Communicating

How do porcupines mate?

Very…. Very CAREFULLY

This was a line from a movie I LOVE.. the updated version of the ‘Thomas Crown Affair’.. a millionaire who sees a psychologist? And engages in criminal activity? And has a hot red-head come after him? And takes place at The MET? Yeah! That’s my kind of movie.

But as all movies that leave an impression, I think about the lines I remember and somehow am convinced of their purpose.. there is a lesson to be learned.

I am a porcupine… I have my quills ready.. ALL. OF. THE. TIME.. even when I do not feel threatened they are ready.

I know that it is a defense mechanism developed after many years of growth but because it has served me well, aside from it being exhausting, why deactivate?

I don’t trust easily.

Trust is powerful yet fragile and not many people with identity issues give it away successfully. I have made costly mistakes that have resulted in loss of friendships in my youth. I’ve learned that years of gained trust can be broken in seconds and then take twice as long to rebuild.

Yet with those same years, I have also learned the antidote…   Communication.

Communicating can create, build and strengthen trust. The absence, lack of or FEAR of communication will do just the opposite, it can and will destroy it. So how does one not so proficient at communicating experience trust in a relationship? Practice it.

I am in a relationship now. Unlike past relationships, I want this one to succeed.

I believe women have this feeling within them that tells them if the partner they’ve chosen is good. It comes from living that OTHER feeling that tells you when your partner is NOT.
There’s been a long list of worthless personalities that never inspired trust and I knew it and because I never trusted anyone, I didn’t care. But this dude is different.

Another lesson learned, observe a person’s actions alongside their words. Actions will prove or deny words and continued actions can motivate trust. And I must confess, I still don’t completely trust him, something he knows, but he has demonstrated time and time again that I can.
Maybe that’s another way to make way for trust.

As per communicating with my partner, I realize that I sit on my feelings. What I mean is that today, when something happens that doesn’t sit well with me, there are no immediate reactions. It lingers in my thoughts and I think ‘What just happened? Why would he do that or say that?’ It looks like I wear my teachers’ hat outside of the classroom. And I have learned that it can be good but if I sit on them too long, it isn’t good.

When I am in the classroom, for better communication, I don’t react right away. For the benefit of whomever is in front of me, not reacting right away gives me time to try to understand them, as well as gives them time to talk through or explain anything that could be misunderstood. This is my job… It can be DRAINING. But I do it because I care about my students and that makes it rewarding. When it comes to my colleagues, I can see it as professionalism…  again this is my job.

Who ever said this would be needed when in a personal relationship? No one told me…

With my partner, when I don’t open up about what bothers me, it doesn’t ‘go away’. It remains with the rest of my unsettled thoughts and spins into this tsunami that could take out a small oceanfront village, depending on how long it occupies space in my head.

In the past? I would just cut them out completely, no one was worth the agony, the worry, the anxiety, the awkward silences… you name it. But it is different today. He is different.

‘That’s what’s bothering you?’ he would say with a smile. And then go on to explain what he meant or didn’t mean…
The outcome hasn’t always been baby bottom smooth. We’ve had it out a couple of times, and the feelings of ‘I’m done!’ instinctively come up yet lately after the disagreements he says ‘you know I love you.’
That helps.

It’s hard being in a relationship.
It’s even harder, almost impossible when you don’t trust.

I’ve learned that all of the uncomfortable feelings that feed mistrust doesn’t have to exist, just as long as communication does.

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