Monday, September 18, 2006

not holding back while being sensitive to others

Deciding to be open and more direct after holding back your feelings about the way certain things were handled by friends or family members is a tricky business; There has to be a method, an ethically and morally proper approach ... besides the obvious choice of just starting out by being up front from the beginning. It is tricky even before you go into the particulars of all the folks involved. Finally deciding after 7 years to be more open and direct with your in-laws, when you are always the quiet one who never puts up a fuss and adapts well on his own, just needing a little more time, preferably quiet left alone time, more than most others; when your in-laws are the second marriage when your dad dies when you are in kindergarten and when the step parent in law has a child who was the same age when they both lost their husband and dad, when they are a cancer survivor and a heart attack survivor and your mom decides not to marry much less date ever again after going through her husbands cancer for most of your childhood interesting set of dynamics here, indeed.

A paradox is set up by allowing this situation of holding in feelings to occur; You fear causing someone hurt with your genuinely felt words expressed out loud so you hold back, say "everything is fine" with the hopes that they will figure it out on their own in due time or through someone or something else. But if they are not as unaware as you think they are, then this person is sensing you feeling a certain way and they are aware that you are choosing not to say anything...arrrrghhh!!!

So you write out your thoughts, choose your words carefully and wait to send it when it all sounds just right- and when is that moment? Aren't you also fearing that you might talk yourself out of writing anything beyond the therapeutic letter, the equivalent of shouting in a pillow, writing something that will actually be a true account of your deepest feelings yet saying it in such a way that the person will not be reactive but will read it over and over again and in time try to respectfully answer each and every concern. you want to do all of this but the other person might not be ready to deal with these things. And even though it is important to you it is not the only thing going on in your life; you will want to avoid getting burned out from spending to much time being absorbed by this, otherwise you might just blow up and spill out what you have been carrying at the wrong time presented in the most inappropriate way. You also cannot say it all with absolute perfect clarity in even the 6th or 7th draft. Just preface it with a " it might not be everything I have to say" or "that's all I can say at the moment" or "please let me know if you do not understand any part of what I have written." Words to that effect. And with that I am posting this sucker and hitting the hay, Ray! Good day!

Stephen PDX 12:27 a.m. 9/20/06

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