A few nights ago, I collapsed into bed at the end of a three day tourist marathon. I was exhausted. And possibly… maybe… a tiny bit irritable.
I felt the black hand of death my husband’s warm touch on my back.
“I love you,” he hissed.
“Have you lost your fucking mind?”
I bolted up right in bed and launched into a tirade. About how tired I was. About how hard this was getting. About how it just wasn’t fair and he didn’t understand and how many times had he been to the airport in the last two weeks because I was about to make trip number six and did he really think that going about his merry fucking way all damn day without hardly a word at me while I tried to stay afloat was considered good foreplay?!? Seriously?!?!
I rolled over and ripped the covers back to my side of the bed, snapping my eyes shut. I heard him whisper something that sounded like an apology before I fell asleep.
The next night, at a surprisingly early hour, he walked in the door with a 12 pack of Diet Coke.
And 12 of my most favorite flowers in the whole world.
And I remembered how damned good it felt to be heard.
Amy wrote a post recently about what it sounds like to not be heard. It was disheartening to read how many people could relate to what she said in her comments. Disheartening, because it reminded me how desperately we all need that – and how rare it is to truly get it.
How, more often it seems, we’re told “it’s no big deal”. Or met with a blank expression when we express ourselves. Or – worst of all – never even asked how we’re doing. I hear over and over again from people (women especially) who feel like they’re going through their lives completely unnoticed, unappreciated, unheard.
That’s my recurring nightmare.
I wake up in a cold sweat, screaming and crying, but no sound coming from my lips. I spend hours in my sleep desperately trying to get the people around me to hear me. To care. To notice.
And when they do, I can feel the weight lifted. A box of soda and a few long stemmed roses did more to revitalize me than a three day vacation ever could. Because it meant that he had heard. He had listened. And it mattered.
What do you need someone to hear?
Whatever it is, you can say it here. Right here.
And I promise no one will tell you it’s no big deal.