More than Words

I really wished I believe that talking it out could solve everything.

It occurred to me that many people’s understanding of talk therapy and its role as a therapeutic tool is underscored by this idea. This is especially true when it comes to couples counseling. Clients are given solid communication strategies in the moment and gently coached throughout the process in the hopes that they’ll develop those strategies permanently and be able to use them outside of session – growth that can take place either implicitly or explicitly. Communicating well, it would seem, can and should make all the difference.

And while it’s true that I see communication difficulties everywhere I look or listen these days and see their awesomely terrible side effects (and how rarely the parties involved realize it’s chiefly a matter of communication — myself included when it’s something that involves me), I know communication has its limits, that we’re all throwing symbols around at each other to represent these abstract notions we have, and much gets lost in the process.

It doesn’t help that I can be literally exhausting to talk to. On a purely linguistic level, I love relative clauses and qualification in even spontaneous speech (I blog pretty much how I talk), and when I really get going with Skyspook, I start throwing out ideas at a speed that takes attention and focus that is probably patently unfair to ask of him.

I talk too much.  I know it’s a lot.

But it’s me. It’s the way I think.

Skyspook follows me well and rarely complains about this aspect of me. What’s really worse is that I expect him to reply in turn and get disappointed when he doesn’t.

I want to talk it out. I want to turn our brains inside out and compare. But communication has its limitations. Our styles vary, and as hard as I might try, I can’t actually convey exactly what I’m thinking — try as I might.

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I think that just beyond what I can actually hear, fear, touch, see… I think there is a point where I have to simply trust and fill in the blanks that I know must exist. Let my own love filter into the gray spaces of him that I don’t now and can’t ever perceive any other way. I feel like I’m almost there but that in the short term I’m stuck mourning the naive ideal I once had that conversation alone would ever be enough.

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