Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Communication Station

Communicating has its difficult and easy moments for me. I think for most people. I am really good at communicating when I have boundaries and expectations. I get really bad at communicating when I don't.

For example, I am perfectly fine not talking to someone if I know that we aren't going to talk that day. However, if I think we are going to talk, and we don't, I get very emotional very very fast.

It's kind of ridiculous really, because although my head is saying to me, "Rebecca, this is not a big deal. Really, there are so many rational explanations. This does not mean you are not wanted or unimportant." my heart is saying to me, "You are entirely rejected and unwanted. Run and hide now before this hurts even more than it already does. GO NOW!!!"  So I sit and cry and laugh at myself at the same time, and try to make myself breath, although breathing, much like drinking water when I need to vomit, only makes matters worse.

This week has been a practice in figuring out my side of communication needs.

I need:
to know when we aren't going to talk and why
to know what style of communication (email, gchat, in person, phone, etc) is acceptable for which conversations
to remember that my needs are okay and not always ridiculous
to know that needing does not make me needy

In a "Love Languages" perspective, I am very much a Quality Time and a Words of Encouragement person. I love presents, but only because they are surprises and I naturally love surprise, but for me it's really about being known, and I don't often believe you can know me without tons of experience (time) and then I won't know that you know me unless you tell me (words). I feel silly most of the time admitting that. But it's true.

I think a lot of my insecurity surrounding communication and needing links back to my abandonment issues. My dad left when I was so young, and in a much different and yet startlingly related sense, my own dear and lovely mother abandoned me right after high school. Waiting for someone to show up always brings up the picture of me, somewhere around 10, sitting on the couch in front of our living room window, facing the street in front of our house. I would kneel backwards on the couch so I could see the street and every car that went by. There I would stay all day and far into the evening waiting for my father to show up... he would call, and I would have the phone there next to me so I wouldn't have to move to answer it. Again and again he would say, "I'll be there soon, baby." And again and again I would believe him. And again and again he would not come. And my heart would break again and again.

It's hard for that little girl in my head, sitting on the couch, waiting for you, to remember that if you don't show up, you aren't abandoning me. It's a hard lesson every single time I have to relearn it. And lately I am relearning it with alarming rapidity.

So tonight I am going out with a special girlie who always has the knack of making me happy again, and I'm going to forget about communication for a while.

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