Skip to main content

P33ish062: Now, About That Silent Treatment Bit


May I speak freely?

Thank you!

I'm not even going to try be modest now: I love how I love. Sue me. I am expressive, I do not leave you in doubt, or asking questions, or wondering; and it is how I love to be loved too; I'll take your crazy on the side. Talk to me. Tell me how I make/have made you feel, write me a damn essay; recite me a whole frigging spoken prose, do whatever, just let me know where your head's at, let me know how you're feeling: it is how I know how (not) to handle you next time. The toxic side effect of this, as with many people who can't just not say what's on their mind, is that we don't know how to leave shit unaddressed: we just gotta deal with it, verbally, and now. I use 'toxic' very loosely, by the way, because I am hoping that we're all gradually attaining the honest maturity to admit that that word has now managed to be even more bastardized than feminist, and that we all have traits that just make it a little difficult for the other person to relax around us at certain times. These traits could even be coping mechanisms that we have crafted or over time adopted by our own self for our own mind's peace. The fact that it is how we achieve or maintain our own peace however doesn't mean it doesn't it the same fell swoop rob the other person of their own peace.

For example, I could blow up fast and quick. I could do a 10,000 decorated words angry email or even handwritten letter because I just can't hold it in or just not let you know the feelings you have provoked or are provoking inside of me right now. I am learning better expressions and channeling, though...but still, you have to know. And you will. Oh honey, how you will. The flip-side of that, however, is that once I've put it all into words, I'm empty. Flushed. Void. Like...whoosh: all gone. On the same side of that flip is that I can't stay mad long after I've given verbal expression to my feelings. I could even manage to forget.

Hell, I was hanging out on a question thread the other day and when I got to the question, "the most unkind thing your partner ever said," I came up blank. Like, I literally stayed on that tweet for like two full minutes, if not more, and I just had...nothing. I ended up skipping that question. Because whatever unkind situation I ever got in, I addressed it there and then and my mind just files it as resolved. No residue. It is crazy but I love it, and this one is not even about the partner I love to be, it's basically the human that I make a point of being, whatever your doubts or guilt. Get your freedom back or not, that's on you; change your ways or not, that's on your honor. But you will not be my mind's prisoner, I'd much rather be gone from you. But I digress.

The implication of being a talker in a love relationship is that if I want it, if I'm thinking it, if I'm expecting it, if I think I deserve it; then you better bet your pene that I am telling you--that I'll be asking you, because it's you that I'm with, so I'm not storing up all the ways I'm not getting pleased and carrying on like it don't bother me when it's in fact shredding my insides: I will ask you, I will tell you, I will demand it; because it's you I want it from, because that's the content I signed up for. But maybe this here is not as much a perk of being outspoken as it is being an intentional lover: I chose you, I'm with you, it's you I want doing these things for/with me, it's you I want to be having this experience with, it's you I want making me feel these things. So who would I be storing up all that discontent waiting to unload on? Ugh! Being (with) an expressive person means that hit or miss, you will hear it, as every other expressive person (and their partners) that I've heard/read has testified. You will hear it if you blow it; and if you don't like to hear it, well then we already know what made it to your 'toxic' list, no?

Communication, however hard it is for you, will always be the way to go in any relationship. Because nobody comes in perfect, and they certainly didn't come in with a handbook on how to love you, even if you have a whole frigging blog/book dedicated to detailing your cools and crazies, lmao; nobody comes in knowing you. And even beyond that, nobody ever gets to a point where they can say they have their partner all figured out, however long they've shared a life; we only get better at understanding each other. And this is the magic of relationships: that we are constantly learning each other, unboxing each other, discovering each other. And this only happens through communication--mostly of the remedial kind too. Because nothing tells me what (not) to do next time like what you (open your mouth to) tell me you feel about what I did last time. It is that simple, it's just crazy how many relationships fall apart because we keep quiet when we should be speaking up, and then start lashing out because we for so long failed to speak out.


Enter Silent Treatment. I will never get this approach. And being me, it of course goes without saying that I find it toxic as hell, forget the fact that it's all shades of narcissistic. Because...pfft, I can't be here always spilling my guts both when I am pleased and not, and you're there with a list of unresolved issues that even I don't realize exist. All this too in your head: there in between us during every hug and every kiss and every lovemaking, wedging a space I'm not aware of--a space I'd rather didn't exist.

I should probably chip it in here too that if you fail to talk to me about what I did that you're having a hard time living down, then you are robbing me of the chance to make it better--and by extension be better, maybe. And that might as well translate to it being all the same to you whether this sails or sinks. Because even the Bible says that it is the child whom the father loves that he bothers to rebuke, which means that if you're interested in making it better, then you would call check-in. Kind of like how folks say that you only leave stuff unfixed when you have other options; but if you don't have an option and this is all the hill you got to die on, then you would fix what breaks, before it's altogether destroyed.

I saw a twitter thread on this topic the other day and it was no surprise that the people who used this treatment on their partners do it "because I don't like drama, I just plug in my earphone, when you tire you go shut up," and "I value my peace of mind and I don't like explaining myself too much," and whatever else, all centering on avoidance. What also didn't come as any surprise was the fact that the people who have suffered this and find it toxic are those who "can't even stay angry for one hour," and "can't even not say what's bothering me or if I'm mad or offended, I will just blow up inside."

What I loved seeing on that thread is the fact that the people who use silence as a weapon are often reluctant apologizers too--if they ever, because of course they "said nothing;" it was you who got crazy. And God, I couldn't relate enough with how maddening that can be: losing the fight simply by virtue of speaking on it. Damn. Because at the end of the day, with a seasoned 'Silent Treater', silent treatment can be a manipulative tool, intended or nah: it is how the offended becomes the offender, because now you're the only one with all these things you have said up in the air, occupying all that annoying silent space...and guess who comes to apologize first? Heh. And although apologizing first ain't a thing for me in a situation where I know I am loved and respected, it took a whole load off of me to know that I'm not crazy for preferring to air shit out now rather than leave it in to fester into a werewolf bite on a vampire, because the effect is the same on the sufferer of silent treatment in a relationship: the injury decays, runs the subject mad, before eventually killing them.

I mean, isn't that what not knowing the mind of your partner does to you: run you mad with wondering/speculations?

And isn't that what unresolved issues does to a relationship: pile up and become the rock that squashes it?

So yes, I vote expression over silence any day. Like...just use your words, baby; in your respectful voice too. :)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

P33ish065: Silent Treatment II - The Art Of Silence, By K.W.C

Guess who decided to guest-blog and provide some male perspective on Page33ish this weekend?? My retired twin (find him here). He does it with a "RE" to the Silent Treatment article too and I liked it, but of course I am biased; you read first and let's see how you like his voice.

By the way, I turned on the 'anonymous' feature in the comment section so at least those of you who don't "like to comment on blogs" could please leave him a kind feedback, pretty please...please? I mean, who knows, a comment or two might just make him pick on a few other articles to spin off on. But enjoy this one first!

P33ish050: Progress, Perfection, And The Art Of Intentional Loving

I love love. I love it as an intentional decision. I love it as a repeated unwavering choice. Deliberate love is a gift. It is life itself. But life is getting harder by the day. What with love becoming more conditional and intentions getting less trusted. We actually now live (or maybe it's me who's just now catching up) in a world where people extra scrutinize a genuine in-the-moment kind act and are usually just taking an intentionally good gesture with bated breath for when the mask falls off. But hey, trust issues aside now, nobody really wants to see what's behind that put-together exterior, don't matter what they say. And "living your truth" has now become more of a slogan than an actual lifestyle because your lovers don't really wanna see your truth. They can't handle it. Force 'em to hear it and folks might even stone you for it. People want to be a part of your life without your demons or your suitcase of issues. But of course, they'…

P33ish073: Confessions Of A Man Whore - Korede Sins

One

The mind of a young boy can be filled with fantasies too lofty for his head and mine was no different, add that to being a 'fine' boy, and here's what you have.

Back at school, girls would drool over and daydream about me -- not that many of them had the guts to walk up to me and make their orders off my menu; I just heard these things from friends and mates alike. Not that it would have mattered, though, because I had been in a serious relationship which hadn't hit the rock until the end of our second year so I had some big issues stemming from the love of my life leaving me because I was, in her words, a "no way." By the start of year three, though, I had just one mission: to prove my ex wrong.

Upon resumption, I made a new friend, Tola; and thanks to our shared love of music, something she was planning to build a career in, we hit it right off. And then there was my guts which she admitted fancying.

P33ish067: Reflections - Hello December, Goodbye 2019

Say "Hi" if this hadn't been the 2019 you ordered too...?

'Cause there has to be a manager we could talk to about product quality, dammit!

God, this year has been IT! A really crazy it, because it started out so beautifully. So so beautifully. And then it was as though I took a test and failed. Or maybe it was that I took too many things for granted and wasn't thankful enough, or fussing when I shoulda been nursing or whatever. Because just like that, (almost) everything went to shits. And Lord, how I'm still here and able to stay standing, is a miracle I'll never take for granted. Because this year demanded my very life. Almost got it too.

P33ish042: Movie Review - Kemi Adetiba's King Of Boys

The first thing I thought of as Alhaja Salami walked into that room where her goons were holding the bleeding man was Ghost walking into the basement at TRUTH in the pilot episode of Power season one. It just so happened that both characters had left their parties to do the same thing: be evil. I loved the precision in the similarity. It was just so...there; from the 'who you working for', to the language switch, and the blood on the shirt/ipele ish, right down to the bleeding guy's refusal to snitch on who he'd been working for. You better holler at your girl if you caught that math too, TV people.


Despite being a godfatherism/dog-eat-dog story—not unlike many before it—that chronicles the rise-fall-and-whatever-else-followed of the protagonist, Eniola Salami (Sola Sobowale), I think that what takes King Of Boys off the 'typical' list is its realism: that good or evil isn't absolute; that if the line must be drawn, then sometimes 'evil' wins; that …

P33ish047: #WorldMentalHealthDay - Confessions Of A Survivor

I didn't realize how emotionally dependent I had been on other people: first my son, then my partner; until the son had to go on vacation too soon after the partner left. And on an exceptionally bad day, I took a lot extra anti-allergy pills (that I had already been abusing for its side effects) just 'cause I wanted to 'sleep'. I just didn't know how to be me outside of my mom/partner duties; it got too quiet in the house, thus giving the voices in my head more audio, and then there was the part of me that was still bleeding so much from being left that, to stem it, I did the one thing all the counselling materials warn against: trigger my own self for temporary relief.

P33ish028: The Heaviness Of Hope & The Timeline For Healing

It's exactly sixty-four days today that my once-upon-a-time ended once and for all. Hmmn! I got a shiver as I was typing that, so I'm gonna go again: it is exactly sixty-four days today that my once-upon-a-time ended once and for all (there, better: acceptance) and it was not until three days ago that I truly let go.

Yes, it took me two full months. And change. To simply stop wishing the 'bad dream' away.
There were moments in those two months when my mind went all, hey, suck it up he's moved on, your spot is filled, he's not out somewhere being miserable and a shadow of himself looking like a scarecrow, he's back on his game, he's happy, so quit whining, B...quit praying, Mary, bury this Lazarus!

Ahhh, child...

P33ish021: Meeting The Parents - Why It Should Be The First Thing You Do

Two years ago, a 26-year-old declared love for me. I told him to tell his mom first. Felt like a callous thing to say/do, but it was a cut-or-get-cut situation. And I'd been cut once. Because two years ago, I was 32. And I am a mom. And the last time I allowed myself get Mills-and-Boomed by someone who was that younger than I am, let's just say the mommy took him back...and there wasn't even a child then.

I had a buddy at the time who thought I'd been harsh with my 26-year-old, but he -- I presumed -- understood where I was coming from. Turned out he didn't. But that's not the point of this write up.

P33ish022: Self Check - How Toxic Are You?

How about everyone steps aside and stop by the confessionary before we go any further? Are you toxic or not? Whether your answer is yes or no -- especially if your answer is no: get in here.
The priest will see you now...

P33ish025: Solitude

I probably shouldn't be trying to write anything right now: my head is empty and my mind is out of even my own reach, so it's not like I have anything ready to go. But words been all I got for a long time, so I'm hoping they haven't chosen to ditch me now.

My friend said something to me very recently, she said, "it's just a freaking breakup babes, why are you falling apart like this?" The answer to that question is one I've been trying to find in the rare voidness that is my current mind ever since. What that has led me to, however, is a backtrack into my life the past ten or so years, and the one realization that has come up staring me in the face is one I don't think I've ever actively pondered before: the fact that I have never been alone.

Like alone.

And that's crazy. Because I was never even the typical relationship person. I mean, I don't need all my fingers to count the number of guys I've gotten naked with. I have never b…