I was thinking about words the other day and remembering some of the words I have heard over the past year or so.
I never really explained why or how I broke things off with ‘The Prince’. For my offline friends, they knew the story better than I did so it seemed a bit pointless. And for this space, it felt like I didn’t quite have the ‘write’ words on some level.
But lately, when I talk to ‘The Writer’ and we share the stories of the people in our lives, I realize that I’ve had the words all along. I just didn’t want to commit them to this space. I didn’t want to destroy the space in some way. Wow, could I get a little more dramatic?
Let’s go back to August…
‘Prince’ forgot my birthday. Not a big deal, you say, and you’d be right. It isn’t. Not with the debt crisis and gay marriage on the radar of most New Yorkers. But in this little Leo’s corner of the world, it was a slight sting. However, like I usually do, I found an excuse for it. The excuse was that said ‘prince’ was busy with a move.
Then…he forgot about my Iron-man event.
Not like ‘slipped his mind’, but more like a purposeful forgetting and when he asked me, a day later, what I was up to, I only answered: Nothing.
Ahh…what a mistake. You see, ‘The Prince’ likes to be a holder of everyone’s information, but hates to share his own. So while I was training like a madwoman and biking 100s of miles a week and running and swimming another 25 or so, he was out trying to set up dates.
Now here is where the story gets fuzzy. He tried to set up dates to meet at least two of my ‘friends’. I quote this because only one of the women “San Diego” is actually a friend. The other woman “Seattle” is not. From the start of her ‘whateveritwas’ thing with ‘Prince’ she made it clear that she had every right to engage him directly because she was used to poly relationships and that means she was in charge. Her words. Not mine.
I swear I broke up with ‘Prince’ last October after my trip to Denver and it just took a few months to sink in. But nevermind that, this isn’t about that, it’s about why it’s hard to write angst right now.
It’s also about feelings. One time, my friend Smarty’s husband said if you feel something it is real. His words have stuck with me for over a year. So, three weeks ago, I sent one final text to ‘The Prince’ that ended with a simple: And don’t call again…
And like that, it was done.
But I look around at the many women he has seen over the years and the many awful things he has said to them. Usually, they didn’t know that I knew or that he’d shared so many of their conversations with me. Or they say they didn’t know. I always tried to get him to be more honest with them. Or himself. Neither seemed to work. Maybe no one wanted to actually hear what was happening.
How does that tie into the now? ‘The Writer’ and I have been talking about the power of words and how something said today can last in someone’s mind a lifetime.
I reminded him of the SNL skit with Tiger Woods *and thus the title of this post* and how words can be just as deceptively strong.
Too often, we allow the words people say to shape our lives. I didn’t understand this until I had been in therapy for about two years. Things my mother had said to me 30+ years ago were still rattling around in my head and on many levels, I had to get them out. I thought that by raising ‘A’ to be strong and self-assured, that I had achieved some great parenting goal. In reality, that’s only a part of it. Teaching her to accept her own feelings as valid has been just as important.
In our house we have a simple rule: You can not say ‘nothing is wrong’ if something is, indeed, wrong. You can get away with a quick ‘not now’ but never a complete dismissal of a feeling, not matter how small we think it is.
So, the next time I forget that my words have power even when I think they don’t maybe you can remind me that just like the SNL skit, I might be deceptively strong and way too often, what’s really needed is a quieter voice.