September 2nd, 2010
Everyone says communication is they key. I have talked about it being one of the most important things in poly. He and I have discussed how important it is to maintaining and protecting our relationship. In scene and out of scene, communication is the avenue to safety for all involved. Communication is what keeps people together. So, when communication fails, things fall apart.
I fell apart recently, and I took communication down with me. Clarity followed pretty close behind with self-worth tagging along for the ride. At so many points during this fall, communication could have kept me from hitting bottom, but I was so wrapped up that I did not catch the offered hands, or reach out for the sides of the hole. When I hit bottom, I started trying to climb back out on my own, trying to find my way back up, but I just ran circles in the dark for a while, reinforcing doubt and confusion to the point where I just gave up and sat down.
He tossed me a torch, like he has so often done, and I picked it up and looked around, but still could not find my way. So he tossed down a few more, the hole was now well lit and getting very hot, but I could finally see more clearly. I looked up and saw him waiting for me about half way down, I had pulled him down with me and we have quite a climb to get back to the top. So, I picked up a torch and started climbing. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time, to get back to him and get back out of this hole together.
That is a lot of words without saying anything very clearly, but it’s an illustration of how I have felt these last two weeks. I’m a writer, I get a little flowery at times. I am not ready to put details here, and while they are important to him and myself, they are not the point of this post.
Clear communication is. It took me quite a while to get clear with myself so I could be clear with him. The first weekend I appeared to be clear with myself, but I was still reacting blindly and from a place of broken confusion. I sounded rational and clear to some people, and while some of the things I was saying were true and in need of addressing, by the time I got to him, I was still not in a place to be truly clear. This caused the damage of miscommunication to multiply.
It took another week, two more conversations and two very long writing sessions and some reading, for me to finally be fully open and clear with myself, to find the truth in my actions and my heart. So that now I can start clearly communicating with him again.
Over the last six months, I have worked on communicating with him more verbally and less through written word. I often would write him emails about scenes or to answer questions I felt I had not fully answered. We chat online almost every weekday. However, talking, face to face, makes for much better communication, much clearer reading of meaning, intention and tone.
He is a public speaker, a leader. He is used to thinking and speaking on his feet. He often asks me to think out loud and expresses frustration when I fall silent. I am not a social person, I write and am afraid of public speaking. I form my thoughts and words more slowly. But I have been trying, for him, to be more communicative. I have been trying to learn let myself ramble even if the thoughts aren’t fully formed. It is unnatural for me, and I am not good at it, yet. I still fall silent quite often, I stare at the floor or the ceiling or the wall, or just off to the right, trying to compose in my mind, gather my thoughts before speaking. He occasionally asks if he needs to get me paper and let me write so I can talk to him, trying to tease me into speaking, and it sometimes works, and sometimes hurts because I am truly trying to speak.
In trying to be more verbal, however, I have left myself lacking. He found it odd when I was talking to myself the other day and generally I don’t do that out loud, unless I’m scolding a joint for hurting, but that’s what my writing is. I get more clarity for myself by writing. I am more honest with myself with a pen in my hand, or a keyboard at my fingertips, than if I just sit with my thoughts. I have been making less time for writing lately, and I have suffered for it. So, in my plan to create better and more clear communication with him, I have included writing, so that I will be more clear with myself as well. More writing about my other relationships probably wouldn’t hurt either. All the better to have good communication and healthy relationships.
So, my dear readers, what methods of communication do you find work best for you?