Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I woke this morning thinking about regrets.

of course there are certain things in my life that i regret saying - that's no surprise - i don't have the "think before you speak" discipline mastered quite yet.

but mostly, i regret un-reconciliation. I am non-confrontational to the extreme. This is something I've learned about myself through my marriage.

I remember when Landon and I were dating, very seldomely but occasionally he would call me up and say, "Sheels, I've got a bone to pick with you. How 'bout dinner tonight?" (or something like that) And so the rest of the day I will be completely distracted, near becoming physically sick while i wait for the bone-picking. And then over dinner, i can not eat a bite as we talk about something minor (probably discussing something that i had previously said). We leave, hand in hand, conflict resolved: Doons with a weight off of his shoulders, and I, weak and exhausted from my a day of being completely worked up over anticipating the confrontation.

I still am this way. We have learned that these kind of conversations do not happen over dinner - because i won't be able to eat at all. And in general, i avoid confrontation completely. It's exhausting. I'm completely inarticulate and so emotional that i rarely can convey my ideas anyway. But i'm working on it. The McBrayers have a term for someone like me: "stuffer". In order to avoid the confrontation, I stuff everything that the "dumpers" would usually just deal with and leave refreshed and satisfied. I'm a stuffer.

Though the problem with stuffers is that there's only enough room for that "stuff". Eventually, in a moment of insanity and panick, the stuffer is bound to "dump". And oh boy, does my husband know this all too well, to my dismay. If i tell you stories of my dumpage (which are very few and far between - you know, i usually just stuff), you would probably laugh your head off. The problem with these moments where the stuffing overflows into dumping is that all the "stuffing" gushes out. So in these moments, i am completely incoherent, relaying things that were issues last month and two weeks ago and you always and you never, and..... I pity Landon when this happens. He can make no sense of my hysterics, and we both feel confused and helpless.

Okay, wait, i'm not sure how I got to "stuffing" here. Well, back to regrets.  My biggest regrets are losing relationships because I was not strong enough to persevere through the conflict. The longer I live, the more and more I realize that the greatest beauty and the greatest blessings in life are relationships. They are also sometimes the greatest challenge and source of the greatest pain.  I wish that i wouldn't have given up so easily on some of my relationships just because the confrontation and conflict resolution seemed too difficult and painful and long-lasting at the time. losing them really are my greatest regrets.


Lindsey said...

Amen sister!!! I also have recognized that the greatest blessings in life are relationships and sadly I also have lost some because I or the other person was not strong enough to persevere through the conflict...and that hurts. It hurts me so much to lose relationships that have meant so much to me!
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this quote on a friend's facebook page...
"The truth is, everyone's gonna hurt you. You've just got to find the ones worth suffering for."
-Bob Marley

erin said...

Dearest Hannah, I also will avoid confrontation. As I read this post, it spoke to my heart. Thanks for sharing this perspective. I had not thought of the stuffers and dumpers theory before. Keep writing, you inspire us all!

PS I posted some song lyrics at Prayer The Gate. I did not have a good melody to go with the words. I was wondering if you would take a crack at writing a melody I would love to hear it.

Brandon and Callie said...

oh hannah...we are so alike in our "stuffiness" :) i feel your physical pain when it comes time for confrontation! it's never too late to reconcile though.
love you!

Cin said...

from what i've noticed of you hannah, you try your best not to rock the boat and find/keep the best situation going. but the boat needs constant rocking, and constant waves over the little things so that you have the practice to handle the big ones when they inevitably come along.

i miss our talks in the living room area at our store. and you know, you. :)

The Jardons said...

I am definitely a "stuffer" turned "dumper" at the explosing of my "stuff"... and my dumping episodes are quite hilarious too... like the threat to throw my slippers in my husbands face... or my childish stomping up the stairs like I was 2 throwing a temper tantrum and the most recent... actually breaking my husband's cell phone and throwing it on the floor and my response when he asked me why... because I wanted to make you mad... oh if only all of us humans had decent fighting skills : ) thanks for your openness and honesty!