Just once… I’d love to express something and have a response that reflected caring and interest in what I just said.
This morning when I was bending with stiff muscles from the garden, I said, “Ohh… I’m so sore!”
He said, “I really need to work on my flexibility.”
I almost said, “Oh, silly me. Did I say something about myself? Let’s talk about you.”
I suppose this might still be a notch up from the other typical response which is invalidation.
For example, I might say, “I’m cold. I think a fire sounds nice.”
To that he’s replied, “It’s not cold in here.” (translation: He isn’t cold.)
He also has this lackluster response that almost conveys sympathy (for my bad taste? stupidity?) tinged with impatience at almost any idea I might express, or if I’m expressing interest in any particular thing when we’re out shopping. Interestingly, he tells me the reason he never gives me gifts is because he doesn’t know what I’d like.
This is actually uncomfortable to write about, and I’m reminding myself that I wanted this blog to be honest. I guess I’m honestly feeling grouchy.
Usually, the main thing is his just shifting whatever I said to being about him. If I said that my head hurt, he’ll instantly start either talking about his head or some other physical ailment of his. If I say that I’m feeling depressed, he’ll immediately respond with comments about what’s bothering him.
It feels sometimes as though I’m constantly and subtly being erased.
The only time I really notice a change from this status quo is when I’m in the process of withdrawing from him. I don’t mean outwardly, but inwardly. This he’s always seemed to sense with an uncanny kind of radar, and if I’m staring off into a path without him, he’ll behave in the kindest, sweetest, and most attentive ways while making me laugh.
All I can seem to do is tread water, not gain direction.