Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The Unsaid keeps me awake.
It visits me, mainly at night, as I'm trying to go to sleep. Sometimes it's all of the things that I should have said when I'd had the chance. But most of the time it's all of the things I should have said if I'd had the nerve.
It looms before me, this subconscious shadow, as I lay in my bed thinking about not just the day, but the weeks, months, and years before. The few times when "I love you" should have been whispered and wasn't. But mainly the times when "what you have done is unacceptable" should have been brazenly declared.
The Unsaid was born out of my need to avoid conflict and my overall belief that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But there have been times when I wish I had a little more vinegar in me. Because there is a difference between avoiding conflict...and allowing a swarm fed by complacency consume you.
Years ago, my therapist told me that I should eliminate the word "should" from my vocabulary - what I "should" have done or what "should" have been said. Because in some cases that word self-implicates and implies that we've done something wrong. And I can understand that we use it all too often in our thoughts and, therefore, are constantly condemning ourselves for things we "should have done."
But when it comes to the Unsaid...the word "should" comes back into my personal dictionary. And sometimes it comes with a lot of regret.
It's strange to think that silence can be so peaceful and overwhelming at the same time, but it can. Because I've come to realize that my silence has led others in my past to believe they were right to do whatever it is that they've done - and that I agree with the outcome. When in reality, what they've done has hit me so hard it has stunned me into that hush.
And that means I've left things unsaid.
Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of www.theWiddahood.com and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014). She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.