The Fight

Upset. Two inches tall. I’ve got words for this situation that I learned in seeing my parents talk to each other, and in reading books and watching movies. In seeing other people fight.

But I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to play out a script.

He’s upset too. He goes quiet when he’s angry. Strong and silent. His breathing pattern changes. He squares his shoulders.  Friend. He’s my friend. Love. He’s my love. Mate. Partner.

Simple tiny things that two people fight big fights over. Loud words. Slamming doors. Threats of endings. The desire to break things. To hurt each other with louder and angrier statements that are no less of a blow than if we were to resort to flinging our hands at each other.

So blessed we are that he and I have never fallen into that pattern to break. In truth we haven’t really figured out how to fight at all. We haven’t followed a script. Our disagreements have become quieter, more open. Heavy things that weigh on us rather than things that throw us into a fury.

I don’t want to fight. I want to speak of the things that I feel when certain other things happen. I want him to listen and to speak of the things that he feels. And for both of us to gracefully accept that we are speaking the truth from a vulnerable and open place.

But I never learned those words. I never learned to understand what it is that is making me hurt so bad over some small and innocent thing.

Scale. We’re seldom upset to the scale of the thing that’s wrong. It runs deeper. Down inside of us in that place that makes our bodies numb and our heads hot as we panic, anger, sadden, cry, withdraw, cling to or defend.

Other words are there that can play out a scene. I should be ANGRY and LIVID for RIGHTEOUS reasons of entitlement. I feel that there. He should be angry too. And SHOUTING and BEING BIG.

I want to yell because I feel two inches tall and loudness and anger puff me up like a blowfish to intimidate the threat. Threat. My mate. My partner. Threat? No. Just no..

I’m upset. I’m sad. I’m angry. I don’t know why because this little thing that we’re bickering over is so tiny.

It’s so tiny that he should be able to let it go. It’s so tiny that I should be able to let it go.

But neither of us really have the script for that.

It’s one that he and I have to invent each and every time. A script of listening, of understanding, of trying harder to hear than to speak. A script of backing down from the anger. Of speaking quietly and openly. Of being vulnerable. Of trust. Of wanting to understand the other person, not break them down and build them back into what we want.

Yes. When we fight we try and work on trust. We try to trust better, to trust bigger, to trust more deeply than we’ve been able to do so far. We try to trust that the other person isn’t following some script where they will hurt us without caring. We try to trust that the other person isn’t trying to control us, to use us, to change us into something that we’d never consent to be.

There’s an amazing intimacy in having a quiet and unhappy conversation without all those walls we’ve been taught to throw up around us.

One thought on “The Fight

  1. I needed this today. It really spoke to me. My heart has been hurting about the discord in my relationship the last week. I don’t want to fight and am always at a loss for what to do. Thanks!

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