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, and anger, and fury.
Hate is loud, always.
Hate it 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.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.