I believe in always expressing your feelings no matter what. Keeping it in never helps anyone; it only makes the situation worse and ties you down.
All my life, from as far back as I can remember, I’ve always kept things inside. I was always and still am the “quiet” sister. I never let anyone in and I never let anyone know how I really felt. I’m the middle child so I just slipped into the cracks and let my two sisters take the shine. They were loud and opinionated enough to have a say for themselves as well as one for me too so I kept quiet and let them rule the house. I let them make decisions for me even if I didn’t always agree with the outcomes.
So when I had gotten a boyfriend I was ecstatic. Someone actually valued my opinion and let me speak for once. Well, of course every story doesn’t end up being a fairy tale and I didn’t get my prince in shining armor. He turned out to be just like my sisters; demanding, overshadowing and overbearing. If he asked for anything I would do it whole-heartedly, without question, and with 100% worth of effort. But it was never enough; he was never satisfied and always asked for more.
Even though this was constantly bothering me I never said anything because I didn’t think it would even have an effect on him. So I kept it all inside and slowly felt myself becoming more tense and more angrier as time went on. I had lost my smile and my sense of humor. What was the point of smiling anymore if I wasn’t happy?
It wasn’t until after people started to mention my negative changes that I realized that I wasn’t really loving myself and putting me first. I needed to tell him I how I felt. I needed to let him know that I had feelings too. Like any human I had needs and wants that needed to be met.
I had practiced for days just exactly how I would tell him, word for word. But of course it didn’t come out that way. My words were jumbled and blurred but what matters most is that I had told him how I was feeling. Well, he didn’t think that his ways were unfair and he brushed me off leaving me to feel like a failure.
Looking back at that moment today I can truly say that I wasn’t a failure. It wasn’t the outcome I had expected but at least I had opened up to him and spoke about it. I spoke about everything while getting rid of all of the negative energy I had absorbed from him throughout the relationship. I was finally set free.
When you tell someone how you feel after years, months or even days of keeping it in you feel so much different. You become a stronger and wiser person ready for anything and anyone. Speak up!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.