Thursday, April 23, 2009


It is what I need more than anything.

I feel comfortable saying this here because, well, this is just a box and only reflects my life as much as I'm willing to reveal.

I'm a needy person. I'm clingy. I'm emotional. And my distemper as of late has centered around the idea of reassurance.

When my SO and I had our financial conversation, ending in a less than secure way, a fury was bubbling inside me. My mind went where my mind often goes, down a long path that leads no where I want to be.

By refusing to hitch a ride on my plan of action, by saying, "Hey, maybe we should slow down," my SO had, in my mind, said he was not fully committed to us. In my mind, the house was a symbol of his pledge to the life I want for us (house, marriage, kid). By not giving me a detailed explanation of how he would clean up his finances and make himself ready for our home buying adventure, I thought he was backing out of the relationship. The whole part about a shared lease for a year, moving in together, that went over my head.

After two and a half years, my SO has finally learned some of my nonverbal emotional cues. And after a week of no sex, less physical affection, and general ill mood, I was asked what as going on. Unfortunately, this came on the way to dropping my SO off at work. In a less than reassuring way, I said this was a conversation we should not have before a gig. It was later settled that I would come by during my SO's very long lunch break and we would talk about it.

I don't know why we seem to have important conversations in my car, but this was yet another one of them in my Civic. We sat in a strip mall parking lot, hot from the spring sun, me trying to explain why I had been so distant this past week.

I talked about how I felt. I spoke about how I was worried, ever since our last hefty conversation. I spoke about how my mind took the leap that if my SO hasn't made a plan for his finances, what happens when I want to move into a house or have a child. One misstep had sent me on an emotional landslide, scared that the life I thought we were going to have together was falling apart.

My SO, obviously strained, talked about being unhappy. My SO talked about how, in the past few months, it felt like I was hot and cold, happy and sad, exuberant and then done. And this back and forth was weighing on the emotional health of our relationship. My SO put it bluntly: if they didn't want what I wanted, they wouldn't be here.

At the end of our financial conversation, my SO had just needed a break. It was too much to think about, the burden that still needed to be dealt with and the plan to deal with it. Now, sweating in my Civic, there was talk of opening up a savings account, making automatic payments, us both saving and working towards the goal of a home. And the medical debt will be paid, but $10,000 takes time. My SO reassured me; he will pay it off.

At the end of this conversation, I talked about my constant need for reassurance, how I often, with no hard facts whatsoever, jump to big conclusions and hurt myself and those around me in the process. I suggested emotional check ins, where I could ask the "feelings" question and my SO could do the same. We hugged. We ate Subway. We were both happy we had had the conversation.

Since then, my therapist has chided me about not speaking up long before my SO said something. Allowing my emotions to fester for a week did no good and hurt the person I care about the most. Yes, my SO needed a break from the financial conversation, but, because I still had concerns, the conversation was not over. I should have given it a day or two and then revisited with my concerns, not accusing, but saying how it made me feel and why.

As part of my SO's new campaign of my emotional reassurance, I now wear a necklace that was purchased a few years ago. My SO loves it, but asked me to wear it. Around my neck, 24/7, constant physical reassurance.

Just last night, my SO told me how much better it has been in the few days since the car conversation. I agree completely. The emotional weight of my doubts have been lifted.

So from this, I have to learn that it is okay to talk. In fact, I must talk to get the bad out so the good to can flourish within. And STOP STOP STOP assuming the worst!

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