Nothing takes back words. Revelation. Nothing takes back words. Delivery is an important component. I have always known delivery is the majority of the message perceived. So delivery is what I’ve been working on. Yelling. I have a temper. It’s short, the fuse burns quickly. I don’t need to go into why I yell. I’ve done that before. What I want to do is tell the truth. I want to hold myself accountable for the message and not just the delivery.
Tell me, does a sharp word cut deeper with a louder more commanding volume or with a hushed tone slithered through gritted teeth?
If I am truly to devote myself to loving my family and those around me the message must change. It doesn’t matter the volume. I suppose that is where the battle toward winning the war against yelling must begin. For me.
I suppose the easiest target for this modus operandi is my partner. He has promised to love me, to protect me, to care for me and, most importantly, not to leave me. He has promised not to leave me. I know he never will. That is why he gets it the worse. It’s that unconditional devotion he has sworn to me and that I have sworn to him that prevents me from holding my tongue for a moment to think before I talk. My children, they get it from me too. It is characteristic of me. It’s become so ingrained in my behavior that harsh words, delivered with a blow of volume or a sting of a glare and a quick quiet lash of my rolling tongue, have become second nature to me. They know it too. They sometimes tread lightly around me. If I’m in a “mood”. It’s not right. It’s painful that my 18 month old is already learning this of me. I wonder if he can tell the difference anymore between a shout in concern or a loud complaint of annoyance. Will my children take my words and disregard them because they don’t think they come from a place of love or will they have a “respectful fear” of me if I continue on this path. I don’t think I like either.
Then the violent icy gritty wave of truth hits me. Words spoken softly, piercing my heart and beating me to the ground in submission day after day, is why I left my first husband. I was married at nineteen. Looking back, what was I thinking? I wanted to grow up. I didn’t go to college. I didn’t have a decent job holding me. I had him though. He showed me what seemed like love…I gave him what I thought love was. After 6 months of matrimony he delivered well-placed dialogue in moments that should have been nice, sweet, loving moments. At the dinner table after I’d made a yummy meal he’d look at me and smile and say “ You know I don’t love you right?” In bed before I’d drift off to sleep I would start to say the three words and he would generally interrupt me and say something to the effect of “No you don’t, this isn’t love”. A song would come on the radio, namely any Dido song, and the sad slow words would pour into the car and he would look at me and say “ Some day this song will be about us…” I never replied. What does a teenager say to this sort of mockery of love. I had no clue. I endured it for six months. In that time I made nice picnic lunches, cleaned the house, tried to make love to him, anything I could to pull him back to me. Then I couldn’t take it any more. I asked him for a divorce. To let me go. And do you know what he did….He cried and cried and asked why, what he’d done. He fell to his knees and pulled on my shirt begging me not to walk out the door. This is what I had wanted for the past six months. To feel wanted and to feel loved. Now I was getting it as my bags were packed in my car and tears streaming down my face as I dragged a clinging grown man out the door who had been pushing me away daily. He never thought I would leave he said.
I divorced him. I made him divorce me actually and on the day of our divorce he said “I’ll see you later, I guess.” I looked up at him in the glare of the sun and said “No…you never will.” And that was truth.
Years later I met my partner. I met him and I knew it. He treats me like I’m a princess, as Alanis Morissette says. He loves me and he’s gentle and he would never say a mean word to me unprovoked. But I do. I provoke him all of the time. Might he some day leave me if I continue on like this? Like I left the heart batterer? I don’t think so. I don’t question his devoutness. But neither did the heart batterer think that of me.
My sharp tongue and hot head habits have turned me to hypocrisy. Today is the fourth day that I have not yelled since I started this challenge to not yell fifteen days ago. However, it is only day one since I have said a harsh word in a quiet voice. Which might be worse.
Nothing takes back words. Revelation. Nothing takes back words. Regardless of the delivery.