For a long time, I was proud of the fact that I never really argued with my exes. I would beam as I imagined how perfectly we got along. I thought true love meant that we always got along and agreed on everything. What a myth.
The truth was we didn't argue because I was afraid. Since they had the ability to say something with conviction, they were always right (in my mind). I was afraid to be a person with her own thoughts and feelings. That fear made me invisible. It takes two people to make a relationship, and sometimes I wasn't there because of this fear.
We also didn't argue because I couldn't find the words. I couldn't/wouldn't use my voice. I thought that if I spoke up, they would leave. And I couldn't have that. So I stayed quiet. I was a peacekeeper trying to keep people from being mad at me, saying hurtful things, or leaving.
Peacekeeping has caused me a ton of problems. Trying to keep the peace has made aspects of my life not so peaceful. I can't tell you how many times someone has said something hurtful to me, and I didn't say anything because I didn't want to rock the boat.
All the while, I would be seething with anger on the inside while smiling happily on the outside. I was telling myself that what they said didn't matter or that it didn't hurt. When really it did matter and it did hurt. Ouch! And I was saying to them with my lack of words that this behavior was okay and that I would take whatever they dished.
I still struggle with getting the words out, but I've cut down on the peacekeeping. People are allowed to say what they want to say, and I'm allowed the same right. I may not always say something with conviction, but at least I'm questioning crazy comments. I've had enough of the invisibility. I want to be seen.