Terry, I do have another thing that makes me feel bad that you do. Do you mind if we talk about it now?
No, I’m feeling good, it looks like I have a new client, that friend of Rod’s; so, okay, fire away, rip me apart, go on, tell me how bad I am, what a rotten shit I am.
Okay. It’s just that when you left, you said when you get home “We’ll talk about it more”. And it’s that part that makes me feel bad. But I don’t quite know why.
What part, my saying we’ll talk about it all more when I get back - yeah, I remember, I did say that; and so, well, we’re talking about it, aren’t we?
Yes, but I don’t mean it that way, that we wouldn’t talk about it, or you’d be resisting me or anything like that, it’s the words “we’ll talk about it”, like, oh!, we will, will we. As if we will do what you say and I don’t matter. Yes, that’s it, that I don’t matter, it’s all up to you. You say we’ll talk about it, but what if I don’t want to talk about it.
But you do, don’t you?
Yes, but still, it’s more your attitude, do you see what I mean? That you just make a statement that we’ll do something and then I am supposed to agree; or rather, that I don’t even get a say, we’ll just do; and that means, I will just do what you say we are to do. And that’s such a typical thing of so many men I’ve know.
You see yourself as having all the power, that you’re in control, you’re the boss, and so what you say goes; and me, the woman, is just meant to follow you along and do as you say because you’re the boss, and what the boss says goes.
Yes, that’s it, see, what I mean is, you didn’t consider me in it, you didn’t say something like: and if you still want to talk about it, I’m happy to; or, let’s talk about it more, shall we, when I get home, which makes me feel like you want me to talk about it, but at the same time you are leaving the door open for me to say no, I don’t want to talk about it. You’re asking me if I want to join you, but you’re not demanding, whereas when you say flatly “we’ll talk about it when I get home”, then that makes me feel like I’m not allowed to do anything else until you get home, waiting until you get home, so we will talk more about it. Do you see what I mean? It’s hard to explain, I don’t know if I understand it myself.
Yeah, I can see something about it. Yes, if I put myself in your position, I am being rather forceful. And yes, I suppose in that way, controlling, but it’s what everyone says. I don’t mean you have to do what I say, you’re free to say no, and I’m not your boss.
I know, and I know you don’t control and boss me that much, and that’s what I like about you, you were not as controlling and telling me what to do and how to be as many of the men I’ve been with were, but still it rankles me, it makes feel bad. And it makes me angry. Yes, I feel very angry about it Terry. I feel now that you’ve no right to treat me like that, without fully respecting me. You sound just like my father, he was the boss in our house and he used to treat my mother that way, and I hated how he treated her sometimes, it was as if he didn’t respect her at all. And she did everything for him, all the cooking and cleaning, looking after us kids, keeping the house, all how being he wanted it, and yet he still demanded she do all he wanted when he wanted it. It was all his way, all for him, and everyone else - mum and us kids, just had to fit in and go along. And if we didn’t, he got angry, when I can see now that we had all rights to have been angry, we should have been the angry ones, not him, and we should have been angry with him!
Yes, but from how I see your parents, I think your mother likes it that way. She wants him to be the boss, she needs him to be, she relies on him. And too much I think.
Yes, but he’s made her be that way. She might have already been that way, and you’re probably right that she does like it, they seem to get on well enough together and they are still together; but still, there were times when I thought it wasn’t right. And once when I was about twelve and I asked her about it, she said, what can you do, it’s how it is, it’s the way for her type of woman. And I remember thinking back then that I didn’t know there were ‘types’ of women, and that I didn’t want to be her type. But all the men I were attracted to were like dad I guess, that was until I met you. You have some of that controlling way in you, but not much, you don’t demand I am submissive to you, and I can usually say what I feel and think, even though you usually block me out if I go too far. But it was just in the way you say that, like it was final and there was no room for me to move in it. What you said goes, and that’s that! Yes, that’s what dad would say, “It’s what I say, and that’s final, and that’s that! And I don’t want to hear anymore about it!” And that was that, and there wasn’t anymore about it. I’d talk with mum about it, but she’d not bring it up again with dad, that was it, he’d said we don’t go there, and so no one did.
I can see what you mean, he does have that about him. And I can see why you feel bad if I treat you like that. I don’t want to have power you, really I don’t. I might have some of the men’s ways, but please tell me Annie when I get out of line like that again, even if it is slight. I do want us to have an equal relationship, I don’t want to be the boss, and I don’t want you to be it either.
Thank you Terry for saying that, that makes me feel good, like you’re on my side at least, and I’m not all alone having to battle all by myself, which is how I’ve felt with most men. And I am going to try and speak about it as such things come up, I like this speaking about all I feel, I’m stronger in it by the second, and I don’t really care what you think, because if you’re going to be like my father, you can go and get stuffed; I’ll leave, I’m not going to stay in a relationship like that anymore. I don’t wanted to be treated like a second class citizen, to be like my mother and just put it all aside, bury all her feelings, all her feelings of rage and all that hurt, shit I don’t know who she’s coped with it. What a shit life, and although she might pretend she enjoys it, I don’t, and I don’t want to have anything to do with it.
Gee Terry, the more I speak about it, with every word, it’s like I’ve wanted to say these things forever, but I’ve never been allowed to, or I’ve never had anyone who has wanted me to. And because you’re not telling me to shut up, like my father would, to shut up and that we’re not having any more of that; because you’re allowing me to say whatever I like - you’ve not stopped me once yet, and that makes me feel good Terry. Yes, really good, oh Terry I’m so pleased! I thought you would fight and resist me, and not even want to do any of this bad feeling expressing stuff, but so far you’re surprising me.
I’m seeing the more you talk about it Ann, that it is vital, that it is good, and that really if we do want to get along, it’s what has to happen. You saying all that about your parents, and I don’t want to be just like your old man, having it all my way; and my wife can only be as I allow her to be, that sucks, it’s what I like about you, you do speak what’s on your mind. And although I know at times I shut down and block you out, now I can see that’s wrong, that I too have to come out and at least meet you half way. I have to put in, don’t I? I can’t just sit back and let you do all the feeling expression, and do what, just pretend that it’s a woman’s thing and it wouldn’t be any good for me, when I can see, as I’ve felt it for myself, that it is good for me. It’s life, I suppose is what I’m trying to say, only engaging in life fully, not just in some half-hearted way when you only let yourself feel your good feelings and do all you can to block out your bad ones. I mean, yes, I see it more clearly myself, what sort of relationship can you have if it’s so limited, if you’re not expressing all you feel to each all the time.
Yes Terry, that’s it! That’s it exactly! What sort of relationship can you have. You can have the sort of relationship we had before, but what is that, and I don’t want it, it didn’t make me feel good and I don’t think it made you feel good. We’d got to the end of it, we couldn’t go on just being how mum and dad are, playing their separate roles for their whole lives: I’m like this and you’re like that; no, I can’t do that, I don’t want do that, that’s what I hate about their relationship.
No, me either, I don’t want to be like that. I can see my parents are like that too. I guess that’s how you manage to remain to be together for so long, as you said, you both just do your own separate things, but do you really get to know each other. I can see I’ve not got to know you, I’ve not actually tried. Once I knew the basics: what you like and dislike, who your past boyfriends were, what school you went to, and all that stuff, that was it. And what was I going to do, just keep going working away trying to make us money so we can have a bigger and better house, and maybe we could have kids, and I go to the cricket on my days off, and we hardly see each other, only at night to have sex. I’ve never said all these things to anyone either, but they have been my thoughts. But I’ve not even allowed myself to have them. I mean, what else was there to do in life, there wasn’t another alternative way to live, or at least not one that presented itself to me and appealed. But this is making me feel better about myself, even though I can see there will probably be masses of things you’ll be pissed-off at me about, but still, if we can talk about them... well, who knows.
Yes, we don’t know. We can take it one step at a time and see where it goes. Oh Terry I am so excited about it all. How about we finish up and go to bed and have a bit of you know what.