{ Saturday, January 25, 2003 }

Self Censoring.

Normally, I don't censor myself. I'm not one much for biting my tongue. I just open my mouth and announce my opinions to the world and then gladly join the debate. I love a good fight.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase "Beware the Wrath of mary". Apparently, not everyone loves a good fight. Apparently, sometimes I get a little mean. Not usually when I'm having some philosophical debate, you know, like say about politics and I'm very actively defending my views while not being personally offended that not everyone shares them. But if you upset me in any way.... well, rumor has it that I'm mean.

I just can't let things go. I have a hard time with that. When I am fighting with someone, I can remember to ask myself "Do I want to be right? Or do I want peace?" and direct my anger toward the answer that applies. I love to win an arguement and sometimes I won't stop until I do, but fighting those Wars of Attrition just aren't always worth it.

Okay, so, how is this relevant to my current life? Why is this on the brain? I'll tell you.

So, I haven't been writing too much about Writer Guy because he told me he was really uncomfortable reading about himself. Obviously, we both knew that the solution to that was for him to stop reading, and he did. He even said that he didn't want me to feel like I needed to censor myself about him. But, you know, it seemed like a good idea for me not to hash out my personal relationship issues on the internet. So, everyone wins this way, unless you really enjoy reading about my personal relationship dramas. In which case, today you win, but mostly you lose.

He's constantly talking about honesty and how important it is that we be honest with eachother. So, last night he's here and the roommates (including Ellie) and I are drunk and he's not and he's tired and blahdy blahdy blah blah I go up to bed with him. No intentions of falling asleep, but in context (not even thinking sex) you might be able to see how that makes sense.

The topic of period sex comes up in context and I learn that he's simply not down for that. Now, I could've gone and gotten an Instead from Emma and really applied myself to using it correctly and potentially everyone could have gone on with their lives happy. Instead, because I pick at things until they bleed (sometimes I'm stupid like that), I choose to delve into why he has this aversion.

I even make mention of the fact that I know I am excessively comfortable with my period. I use a keeper. I am big time one with my cycle and my blood. I'm totally all about it and educating other people so they're all about it. Waste lived with me for a year and a half and he's forever telling me about how some girls were talking about their periods and he knew more about it than they did. And they were shocked because he was so well versed in the whole thing. Every second person on this Earth has a menstrual period and I think it is one of my duties in life to facilitate open discussion of them.

Okay, so I try to go delving into his psyche so I can make him more comfortable with the very normal thing that is menstruation. At this point, sex is out of the picture (in my mind purely because I have no clean towels to offer him and I am imagining he would want to shower).

Now, I am telling you that normally, this would cause a "not personally offended that our philosophies don't match" debate. Instead, I let it go with passive-aggressive color commentary. I don't know what's wrong with me.

The passive-agressive color commentary somehow turns into a Serious Discussion About the Nature of This Relationship. And he says things which I think are completely untrue. And I state my (very censored) opinion about those things and then somehow allow him to continue to disagree with me when I have not presented all of my evidence. Normally, this would have turned into The Wrath of mary. Except, see, I had just gotten started when it became clear that if I continued, he would be really hurt.

Who am I? What's wrong with me? Why am I 'correcting' (I can't find a better word. Correcting in the 'how everyone else says it should be, not how I think it ought to be' sense) myself and stopping myself? When this guy has told me over and over again that he wants me to be honest. And honestly I wanted to tell him that's he was being a self-centered oversensitive ass about the whole thing and why I thought that. In great detail.

So, here I am, completely confused. I don't want to inflict emotional damage on him (I really don't know if he could handle it if I attacked him), but I feel like I am selling myself really short and allowing myself to in some way be a dishrag. I get that I didn't cave on my opinions but not expressing them strongly at all feels like I am selling myself short. I guess I don't know how to feel good about sparing someone's feelings (particularly when he is hurting mine) or really about choosing peace over being right.

Because normally when I choose having peace over winning, it's more like having peace over being victorious. Either way, I want to be right. Or at least, I want the chance to say everything that's on my mind about the topic before it seems closed. If I am trying to establish some sort of peace about the situation, I approach it from a "let's get everything said and then find the workable solution" angle. If I want to win, then it's more of a "watch me pick your entire arguement apart and break it into little tiny pieces using information that you gave me" angle. See, neither way is it "Let it go".

My mother and I were talking about expressing ourselves within the context of a difference of opinion the other day. She's a counselor. And I picked up my methods from her. Mostly it consists of asking a lot of questions and then formulating how your opinion fits into the answers and presenting it from a building-up standpoint using questions, until the person is basically forced to agree with you. Last night, I asked the question, and was shot down. I asked again, and again was shot down. Now, normally, I would've reached into my bag of tricks and found the position, voice and wording that would allow the question to be answered. Instead, I made a passive-agressive joke about it and let it go. Only to find myself yanked into other topics where I continued to censor myself.

This morning, sometime before dawn, he apologized. I asked what he was sorry for. He said something to the effect of simply the fact that he brought on that little bought with unpleasantness, but that he thought he needed to get those things on the table. Thos things being mostly that he think I am "getting too attached too fast" and he has "no emotional energy to give".

Normally, a statement like that about emotional energy would cause me to trivialize it with that VBS song, "it's just like a magic penny, hold it tight and you won't have any. Lend it, spend it and you'll have so many that they're roll all over the floor." and then launch into a ten minute discourse on how that song makes no sense [pun intended]. And I don't want to write what I did not say and use this space to vent things about my boyfriend that I am choosing not to say to his face, but really, I don't think he has anything to worry about, and I did tell him that.

The thing is that I started and then he seemed really like he couldn't handle it. And it's like, what is this? Why does this street only get to run one way? Because seriously, it's not fair that he announce things and then run away like that. And I didn't say that when he apologized. I didn't say "You wanted to get those things said, but you don't want to hear what I have to say about them and I think that's being a selfcentered, overly sensitive asshole about it and please stop using your personal problems and crises as something to hide behind as soon as I start to react to you in a negative way."... Instead I think I said "Whatever. Don't worry about it."

Who am I? Why am I letting things go all of the sudden even when I am really bothered? I don't know about this letting things go business. I don't know about this letting him dictate what will and will not be discussed and when. It's so hard though to have a real conversation with the boy about anything. Because he's always tired and in personal crisis and I get that that's why he is saying things about emotional energy because really, my desired reaction would have required a lot of it from him. But it's shitty that he thinks that it is acceptable to open up topics which he is in no way prepared to actually discuss. He just wants to make declarations and then not allow me a reaction because he's "emotionally exhausted" or whatever.

Seriously, kids, I don't know what happened to me last night, and I don't think it was healthy. Because now I have all of these bottled up rebuttals and let's face it, I'm going to have to have my moment at some point. Although at this point, I almost feel like I could try to learn to let it go without having my moment of rebuttal first. I think probably the smartest thing to do would be to let this one go and tell him plain and simple that I think his methods of discussing anything are shitty.

(And that was you witnessing me thinking through something. Because this was really going to end with some vague statement about whether or not letting things go is a viable option in the land of the mentally healthy. Instead, I think I have a solution that everyone can work with.)

posted by mary ann 2:13 PM