“I can’t simply talk at a normal level. I must yell. It’s the only way I’m heard. It’s the only way I’m acknowledged. I’m not sure when it got like this, but here we are. A harsh reality of this marriage. A harsh reality of this relationship.
I could whisper. I could sing. I could talk.
He wouldn’t hear me. He wouldn’t acknowledge me.
He wouldn’t listen.
So, I yell. I get loud.
I get louder and louder until I’m heard.
Yelling works. It gets his attention.
Yelling works. It gets him to notice.
Yelling works. Suddenly, I’m seen and heard even if it’s returned with negativity and hate. It’s better than being ignored and invisible.
The irony, he doesn’t yell.
He doesn’t have to.
The harshness of his words don’t need volume. They are backed by hate, anger, and fury.
Hate is loud, always.
Hate is noticed, always.
Hate is felt, always.
His words are remembered, not for the volume, but for the pain in them. He uses my vulnerabilities to slice me into pieces. He uses my flaws to break me.
Somewhere along the way I learned the survival skill of this marriage. I learned to yell. I learned the only way my voice mattered was if it rang at decibels that were high and mighty. I learned that the only way he would respond was to demand acknowledgement.
One day, I stopped yelling. I stopped demanding acknowledgement. I stopped demanding to be seen and heard. Instead, I simply whisper, ‘I’m leaving. I’m filing for divorce.’ It’s the softest I’ve spoken. He barely looks up from his haze. He barely moves. His only response, a slight smirk of arrogance and disbelief.
He heard, but he thinks I’m bluffing.
Until the day the judge firmly states the dissolution of our marriage. Papers that represent the end to the dysfunction and the powerful opportunity for a second chance.
I no longer yell. I no longer need to.
I found a life that doesn’t require a loud voice to be loved or seen or heard. I found a life that doesn’t make me feel invisible or silent. I found a life loud in all of the right things.
Loud in love.
Loud in faith.
Loud in hope and compassion and grace.
Loud in living life beautifully.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chelsea Ohlemiller of Indianapolis, Indiana. You can follow her journey on Facebook, Instagram, and her blog. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Chelsea:
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