Sometimes people can’t hear you

I was so freaking mad yesterday, and you know what I was mad about? Movies. Specifically, about $200 worth of DVDs that Ex “borrowed” last summer. These included the first three seasons of The Clone Wars, all of which he had purchased for me as birthday presents; High Fidelity and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which I had owned long before we got together; and Love and Sex, which was Tripp’s and my movie, so I think Ex just took that to break the DVD. He was supposed to bring them back, then he couldn’t. Then he was supposed to mail them back, and he forgot. Then he “did” ship them back, but they never made it to me, and he had no delivery confirmation or insurance placed on them.

I wanted to email Ex and tell him what a horrible person he was, explain how freaking pissed I was that he had taken these and never returned them, and let him know that he was lower than low to steal from me, especially when he still owes me $8,000 in unpaid bills (can you tell I have some pent up anger here?). Before I could dash off the email, I decided to go for a walk to work out exactly how I would tear him apart piece by piece when mi madre telephoned me. As I was explaining all of this, she started laughing, which is something she often does when I am mad abut something stupid.

“I’m sorry, I just think it’s so funny that you are mad about these movies when Ex owes you $8,000. Like, you know you’ll never see the money, but at least the movies he should be able to send back to you.”

She then went on to explain something to me which should have been self-evident, but which I very much needed to hear from an outside source.

“It doesn’t matter what you say to him in an email, or over the phone, or even in person. He can’t hear you. Do you remember how surprised you were when he didn’t understand why you wanted a divorce? You had explained everything for months, you all had been fighting for over a year, and yet when you finally said ‘I want a divorce,’ he felt it had come out of left field. That’s because he is not in a place where he can hear what you are saying. So while it might make you feel better to tell him off and curse him out, he will just continue to say the same things he always has, and he won’t understand why this is such a big deal, and you will only get mad all over again.”

This made total sense to me. How many times had I been in a situation where I just wanted to explain it to someone? “I never want to talk to you again, and let me tell you why.” “I need you to know why I can’t have you in my life anymore.” “Let me just set the record straight on why I am going to do what I am going to do, no matter what you say.” More often than not, I did not get the response that I was looking for in any of these situations. I would pour my heart out, end the communication, and then… they did not come running back to me with the correct response. Or if any of them did, it was way too late, and I no longer cared that they got it.

I did not send the email to Ex. Instead, since I get upset every time we speak, I think I should take some parental advice and not talk to him for awhile. Maybe not speaking will get my point across in a way that explaining things never has.

– Finch

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