Which means: stand up, turn the oven on again and put the taco back in, because I don’t have the energy to do it myself, but really don’t want to be accused of nagging. Under some self-scrutiny, it seems that, most of the time, there is an unspoken current of discourse running through my life. A current that is presenting my husband with continual dilemmas, my family with ignorance, my friends with alienation and myself with frustrated loneliness.
It is an inherited trait – which is funny, because you would think if I have been on the other side of it, I would realise how completely futile and irritating it is. But no. The problem is that the times I have abandoned the sub-text it has been a terrifying, guilt-ridden experience and hasn’t generated the outcomes I had hoped for. The only occasion that I can recall feeling satisfied with my honest communication was when I wrote it down and read it out without any spontaneous qualifications or apologies. But that was to a neutral observer, and not actually the real perpetrator.
So is unassertiveness a form of cowardice dressed up as consideration? I’ve always prided myself on my sensitivity towards others, but I’m beginning to think that perhaps I am actually under-estimating them, and cheating them out of ways to know me and love me. Maybe, my sensitivity needs to go one level deeper, and I need to begin tuning in to the goodness of those around me, and the things they long to offer to me. Maybe, that way, the relationships in my life will never be cold again.