I Don’t Want to Talk About It
After I separated from my first husband, I spent some time ruminating about men. I imagine that many of you are saying “Duh!” or the more sarcastic “Oh, really?” Anyway, I met a man who ended up being my first rebound boyfriend. He was born and raised in the south and he had this melancholy expression in his eyes and a perpetual slump to his shoulders. I didn’t notice at first, thinking about, well… other things. But he was cute, no kidding.
The first day I met John, he told me that he was depressed and takes meds. I have since decided that if someone tells you that within 24 hours of meeting that you should reconsider involvement beyond friendship. But I was depressed too, so I decided it was normal. This is an example of the squirrely thinking that occurs when one is dumped by one’s husband of 20 years (that would be me).
As our first ‘date’ we went to a Support group for separated and divorced people. I am a squirmer in uncomfortable social situations but I must say I have never squirmed so much in all my life. I could easily see why all these people got dumped. They complained, they wailed, and they whined. They were hostile, blaming and bitchy (both men and women). All men were losers and all women were bitches, at least that was the consensus. I didn’t feel particularly supported or encouraged but was horrified instead. I felt as though a group of strangers had vomited all over me. Yuck.
Afterwards, we went with the group for pizza. This was a recipe for indigestion. But, over dinner and emotional rumination, John told me about a book about depression in men. The name caught my attention, “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” by Terence Real. I thought, “Wow, I’ve heard guys say that a lot, especially my ex-husband.” Of course, it could have meant they weren’t interested in being analyzed or spitted over the intellectual dissection fire. Perhaps they didn’t like being cornered by a woman seeking to understand the minds of all men by grilling a ‘captive’ man. But I thought instead maybe that’s what went wrong. He was depressed. It wasn’t just me.
The next day, I went to the bookstore to find my vindication. I went up to the clerk at the book store and told her I wanted to find a particular book. She asked me helpfully, “What is the name?” I said, “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”. She stared at me in puzzlement. Then asked again, “What was that name?” I said, “I Don’t Want to Talk About It,” just a bit louder. She looked at me in exasperation and exclaimed, “Honey, if you don’t tell me the name, I can’t look it up.” After twenty years of marriage, I knew just what she meant.