I can’t lie.
I said some ugly things while my marriage was suffering a long, undeniable death. The kinda things even four walls shouldn’t hear.
If only I would’ve stopped there.
My damaged words might have evaporated into the argumentative air.
Instead of taking up residence in the blue permanence of an iPhone.
As my life becomes peaceful again, it’s hard to revisit that side of me. But recently I did. As I studied an old phone and sifted through memories before discarding it.
I didn’t like that woman.
The brutally hurt, hopeless, helpless one who was forced into a corner and fought back. But just like the snarling teeth of an otherwise gentle dog, I was scared.
Not only of losing a man I once believed the love of my life but of what it was doing to my children.
Before I admit my own technological sins…
Let’s talk about the absurdity of railing off successive texts.
In the old days, you hung up on people. Not advisable nor the best thing to do. But it happened even if you weren’t a serial slammer. End of conflict. At least for the time being.
Or you went your separate ways.
One person left the room. Or went to bed. Or went out. Or went home. Or just went somewhere. And that was that.
End of conflict.
At least for the time being.
I mean really take it in. Really think about it for a moment. We don’t keep arguing or yelling once a person has left.
But these conflict perpetuating boxes keep us talking.
When we should shut up.
I mean really shut up.
Especially the late-night, sleep-deprived, or wine-induced words.
I’m gonna give myself a bit of a hall pass.
But in all honestly, I’ve had enough counseling to understand there’s no excuse for bad behavior. Yes, I was bullied but I was in control of how I responded.
And had I not stayed for as long as did, the better part of me might have had the ability to have a choice over that response.
But I did stay too long.
So I reacted. And I reacted badly.
But I’m gonna try and explain my texting transgressions, as best I can.
In marriage counseling, I learned what a passive-aggressive personality was. I thought I had married a laid-back person and yes, by this point I understood he was actually controlling.
I had lived it.
I just didn’t know there was a name for it.
Nor did I understand a passive-aggressive person could actually be more frustrating than an overtly controlling individual. They are far more unpredictable. An outwardly controlling person will make their demands common knowledge.
But a passive-aggressive personality will promise one thing and do another.
Creating a relationship environment of unsettling unpredictability that compounds the control.
The passive-aggressive personality is not outspoken. Instead, they will ignore you, walk out of rooms, refuse to talk to you, or sabotage you.
It’s not uncommon they will attract themselves to a person who is susceptible to being controlled.
An affable person who might be a pleaser, fixer, or peacemaker.
Which will make you hit that tiny keyboard with even greater tenacity. It’s often a disjointed conversation. Anyone reading it might not make the proper assumption because even a typical text conversation can be misinterpreted.
Add in a considerable dose of disrespectful communication, and you have now lit up the smartphone of your significant other. Factor in a diagnosis of Narcissistic personality disorder and you have a trifecta.
So you text away.
But I digress.
Technology presents itself as the friend of relationships.
The private joke, cute emoji, sweet ‘I love you.’
But it has aggravated the darker side in all of us. When it comes to broken love. The argument. The discord. The unresolved.
It ignites our least attractive light.
My husband was a bully. He was financially and emotionally abusive and would then ignore me after doing all of those bad things.
My children weren’t doing well. They were caught in the middle of chaos. This, in turn, made me also regrettably text them because I was scared for their well-being when they would act out and be disrespectful.
No one was listening to me.
Ironically, being ignored is what made me text more.
Looking back, there was an absurdity to serial texting.
Why would I continue to text anyone who pretended as if I didn’t exist? It was the sense of frustration, chaos, irrationality, and absolute desperation making me type.
And send those successive blue boxes of text.
The kinda words even four walls should never hear.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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