As an attorney, I have been trained to ask questions, demand that others answer those questions and do all that I can not to answer a single question directed my way. No longer practicing law, I have carried this conditioning with me and continue to practice NOT answering questions. This morning, I realized what a huge disservice I have done to myself in practicing such evasion. This morning's interaction:
Husband: "What do you want for breakfast?"
Me: "I don't know, it's your birthday weekend, what do you want?"
Now, this may seem sweet, at first glance. He should have whatever he wants on his birthday, right? Yes, and no. Yes, because he deserves some pampering on his birthday. No, because evading the question made me feel small and powerless. When given the opportunity to express my desire, I chose to hide my truth instead. As a result, my "answer", instead of being sweet and selfless, served no one. It robbed me of the opportunity to be and feel heard and it robbed him of the opportunity to consider another possibility that my answer may have presented.
After this exchange, I realized that I no longer want to live this way. I want to be seen and heard in this world in every way. I now see that his choice and mine can coexist, such that we both have the opportunity to be heard and feel satisfied with the outcome. My goal for this coming week is to practice what I have told countless witnesses in preparing for trial: listen to the question and answer the question.