I know she hurt you, but I’m not her.
I never will be. Never have been.
It’s tough sometimes, how you confuse us. How you assume that when I’m quiet and sad that it’s because I’m passive-aggressively seething. That I’m going to trick you or trap you.
I know that’s what she did. And her. And her.
I know that’s how you’re used to your close relationships going. That’s why I make sure to tell you clearly that yes, I’m upset. But to be just as clear that this isn’t a silent treatment to punish. The reason I’m not talking much is because I’m overwhelmed. That I’m not sure exactly what it is that I’m upset about.
And that I’m not sure if what I’m upset about is a reasonable thing to be fretting about.
And I know that if I stumble into it now, all fire and fury and wounded ego that I’ll probably say something that sets you off.
When I do, all we’ll do is argue. And it won’t be a productive argument.
So I’m taking my time, taking a second. To sort through my feelings, test them against reality.
So that I don’t say something that either of us regrets. Something that I don’t actually mean.
My own mother was deeply passive-aggressive. I grew up getting the silent treatment. I was conditioned to expect communication to be full of tricks and traps myself.
After growing up that way, I swore that I would never do that to someone I loved. I promised myself I would break the cycle.
It’s been nearly 10 years, and you don’t quite believe me. But that’s okay. You spent twice that long learning that silent people are passive-aggressive. And I’m going to be patient while you learn to trust me, to fully trust me in the way I want to be trusted. And the way you deserve to be able to trust someone.