All the things I didn’t say…

There are so many times I wish that I could go back and say all of the things that I think about now.  It’s the snappy response to an insult.  The words that were on the tip of your tongue until the moment passed.  The words that you know would hurt eventually, even if they gave you a fleeting moment of triumph.the things left unsaidI carry out full conversations in my head.  Not in a hearing voices type way, I know the person isn’t really there, but in a way that I feel helps me prepare for a conversation.  The trouble with having a two sided conversation in your head, when both sides are you, is that it’s not really a two sided conversation.  Assumptions about responses are made and there are times when I find myself pissed off at Paul because of an imaginary argument we had.

My psychologist says that the reason I carry out these conversations is to help quash the anxiety I feel.  I tell myself that if I prepare these arguments, and think of everything that can be said, then nothing bad will happen.  The world might come crashing down around me.

I also carry out these conversations after I have had the real conversation.  I analyse everything that I have said to death.  Was there something different I could have said?  Did I say something stupid?  OMG they are going to think I’m an idiot.  Just to be clear, this analysis happens regardless of what the topic was, from the weather to a deep and meaningful.

This is why I find it easier to socialise online.  I hide inside my house and comment on status updates, answer messages and send emails.  All safe from the never ending dialogue that runs through my head in real life.  It’s harder to say something completely stupid when you can read your answer before you send it.

Of course the written word isn’t fool proof.  Every one of us brings our own experiences to words, and sometimes a joke hurts.  Looking back at the Facebook status’ of years gone by, I cringe.  I was so young, so ignorant.  At least I have learned different, I have sought out the answers, not always believing the status quo.

I’ve learned that a disagreement doesn’t mean hate, and that it’s possible to disagree with someone and still enjoy their company.  Chatting online has allowed me to feel my way through learning that.  It has helped me to realise that relationships do have areas of grey, that I don’t have to either love or hate someone.

Would I really go back and say something different if I could?  Would it really make a difference?  Maybe I could say something better than fuck off to the woman who judged my parenting.  Maybe I could shovel those words back into my mouth that were said in the heat of an emotional moment.  Maybe, just maybe I could hold my tongue when no words were better than too many.

I regret so many things that I have said when I was emotional.  I wish that I could take them all back.  I don’t know if it would make a difference though.  Maybe where I am now was meant to be.  Maybe there is such a thing as fate, and it was inevitable.

Would you go back and say something different if you could?

11 thoughts on “All the things I didn’t say…

  1. Vanessa

    I don’t buy that we need to have the wittiest come backs. To take your example of saying fuck off to the person who judged your parenting, I guess I don’t see the problem with responding to something that is attached to emotions with emotions. Why can’t people know they hurt us? Humans aren’t robots.
    I’m not saying this is the best for every situation, but I feel like emotional responses are still seen as weak or second rate and I don’t know if that’s true. We have emotions for a reason.

  2. Lyndall @ SeizeThe Day Project

    Hey Tegan – You’re not alone in analysing conversations after they’re finished. I’m a shocker at doing that, but I’m trying to stop it. If something or someone is important to me, I’m much more likely to go over and over the conversation. We have to remember though, that we can’t control what other people think of us… that’s up to them! 🙂

  3. Denyse Whelan Blogs

    You certainly are not alone in the ‘convos in the head’ thing…however, what I have been trying, oh so much, to do is to disengage from those round and round ones which are totally NOT helpful and lead me to a path of more anxiety! Don’t you think that when we do know what we are up to and we recognise that then already we are making progress in our life’s journey? I like to think that anyway. Denyse x

  4. Raych

    Have you seen the show Being Erica? It’s about a girl who gets to go back and relive her major regrets in life. Such an interesting, thought provoking show much like this week’s prompt.

    I suppose I have more regrets about things I’ve said in the heat of the moment rather than things I haven’t said. Those moments were painful enough, not keen to go back for a do-over.

  5. Janet aka Middle Aged Mama

    I am a chronic conflict avoider, so usually bite my tongue. So there are quite a few occasions when I wish I had let rip! One of them being when my mum told me how she spent my wedding day, crying in bed. At the time I kept my mouth shut as I desperately wanted our relationship to work, but what I WANTED to say was: Mum, you had an invitation just like everybody else, if you didn’t go it is your own silly fault. Why can’t you just let bygones be bygones?!

  6. Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    I’m like Janet, I’m a conflict avoider and rarely let angry emotions fly – in fact I’m usually too scared to say what I really think. I wish I had the courage to let loose and not care what other people think of me…

  7. Tory

    This could have be me writing this Tegan! I constantly prepare for bad conversations or situations in my head. Like I imagine how I would react if my husband cheated on me and rehearse all the possible things I could say. It’s nice to know someone else does the same. I also grind for days about percieved social gaffes. I once made a joke about how my doctor felt about water births to someone who had one. I never went back to that book club again.

  8. kit@lifethroughthehaze

    There are so many things I would go back and say or do differently. I don’t know how to change that and I wish I could xoxo

  9. Angela

    You are definitely not alone in preparing for conversations (mostly arguments for me) or analysing those gone by. With analysing though, I find it helps m work through emotions. Or maybe it just helps suppress them. Who knows. I have actually had. A major and life changing argument last week. Who knows how life changing at this point, but although it isn’t the outcome I had planned, I feel much more relaxed and feel this is what needed to happen. Where we head next we don’t know, however right now I feel free and probably have not looked too deep into how I really feel about it.


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