Sometimes We Need to Rip the Page
I’m on the back end, the good end, the end where there is love and relief and peace, of Hurricane Krawczyk. In other words, Paul and I just declared a truce and came back to center where we belong after a two-day impasse.
It began the way all of our arguments begin–a breakdown of communication, a lack of appreciation, at the end of a blessed yet tiring day. Someone says something that pokes at the nerves and heart. The other person issues their rebuttal. I can’t believe he said that. He can’t believe I said that. You aren’t listening to me. No, YOU aren’t listening to me. Listen to me! No! You listen to me!
We each wanted to be heard. But neither of us can hear anything over the noise of hurt feelings and raised voices.
My journal, however, has no choice but to listen. Like a super cheap therapist. If it could, it would nod with empathy and say, “Tell me more.”
But sometimes I have to rip the page before I can see a perspective other than my own.
It was a five-page rant in my journal that came after a (small) can of V8 juice was hurled through the air in our kitchen. Propelled by my arm. In an explosion. Not unlike a human volcano. He ducked. Lucy’s eyes peering over the counter, bearing witness to her mother’s tantrum. And I don’t write this because I am proud. In fact, quite the opposite. After an episode like this, anger immediately steps out of the way to make room for shame.
Before my arm threw anything else, I banished myself to the Treehouse, let out a crazy-person scream, and wrote furiously in my journal with a few swear words in big capitol letters, ripping a hole in the page. In the midst, in the eye of my storm, after I had drawn it all out in my righteous indignation, I was able to catch a glimpse, a tiny unintentional peek, into the perspective of my best friend, my beloved, and my momentary pain in the ass husband.
While whipping crap across the kitchen in front of your daughter doesn’t help (at all), writing does. Because the truth of all of us humans, every single one of us, is that we each want to be heard.
Last night, after a half-assed and steely attempt at resolution, I lay in the bathtub seeing that we were both struggling in a raging river, unwilling to reach out and help each other to the shore. Though I had built a stubborn wall around myself, I wished that I would just reach out and grab his hand and his heart and say (sincerely), “I am ready to listen.” But I wasn’t quite there yet. However, I had enough wherewithall, thanks to the insight gleaned through my writing, that I knew I didn’t want to stay where I was. I knew my true desire was not aligned with my actions. I wanted my best friend back.
“Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.” -Joseph Campbell
When I got out of the bathtub and crawled into bed next to, but not touching, Paul I extended an olive branch. It was kind of a brittle, weak branch, but nonetheless. “I don’t want us to be like this. I am sorry that we are fighting. I am sorry about the mean things I’ve said.”
“You never say you’re sorry.” he replied.
But in the middle of the night, a thaw occurred. He reached for my hand, his gentle warmth melting into my skin. Together, we pulled ourselves from the raging river to the safety and peace of the shore.
We humans learn. We keep learning. We fall down. We get back up.