Is it always best to speak one’s mind? I wonder about that a lot. I don’t, generally, speak my mind. I filter all the time, unless I’m really tired, but generally, I filter. Mostly because what goes through my mind is best left unsaid. My sense of irony, though funny to a few, is found to be insulting by most, so I filter and smile. I do a lot of smiling. Especially since I’ve found out that I come off as something of a bitch when I meet someone new. I’m shy, you see, and shyness comes off as bitchiness.
The other side of the leaving things unsaid coin is that I keep things inside until suddenly they burst forth with the impetus and destructive power of a hurricane.
Case in point, the ex has been living at my house (previously our house) since he’s been home from the hospital. This situation was obviously fine with me, since he’s ill and I want to take care of him and let him spend as much time as he wants with his children (turns out, he doesn’t want to spend an awful lot of time with them). But the situation is not without its challenges. Mainly, he’s altogether too “at home” there and I’m altogether too ready to take charge of my house and my life.
But I don’t say anything, because I don’t want conflict and also he’s dealing with a lot. I don’t say anything, I filter, and I smile… and then I erupt like Vesuvius.
That’s pretty much what happened yesterday. I was tired, it was Sunday and I just couldn’t smile or filter. He left, moved back into the temporary apartment he’s been living in, in a huff. I felt guilty.
But then, you know what? I decided not to feel guilty anymore. Because, he left us. The separation was his decision, he’s in my house, and I have no reason to put up with things that make me unhappy in my own home.
I’m not abandoning him. He can see his children as much as he wants, I’ll help him when he needs it, I’ll take him to the doctor and I’ll support him in his decisions. But I also need my life back, my privacy, my space and my freedom. I need to make room for me as well as for him and our children. I need to take back my life.
And I refuse to feel guilty about it anymore. I’ll probably keep filtering and smiling and making sarcastic comments in my head all the while, but the guilt I can let go of.