Communication Challenges


Communication is not a strong point for me. I’d much rather walk away than hash something out. (But truthfully I walk away and seethe about the conflict, so wouldn’t it be easier to just trudge through?)

However ridiculous it makes me sound, I am getting a tattoo soon. I have it picked out, I have the artist booked, I have the cash I am mostly willing to fork over for it. The pain will not be the tough part, it seems. The pain is going over via email the exact, did I mention EXACT?, design I want.

We started with the artist’s best guess and first attempt. It was 90% wrong. My first hurdle is to not go along with it simply because that’s the easiest route. This thing will be on my body via lots of needle pricks and hours of sitting for it. It must be worth the pain and money and time involved. That’s the incentive.

I figured out the other hurdle is forcing the artist to push herself. I do not want something she has done a million times. I am looking for my iteration of what is in my head, not her idea based on my input. Artists can be tricky buggers to deal with. When they are professional artists, you are talking about someone’s livelihood wrapped up in their talent, which is a very subjective process. What is a good design in my head may not be considered a good design in your head, but if your rent depends on you molding it into something amazing, pressure’s on…. and then there’s ego. A good artist must have an ego, right? You don’t want some shrinking violet who isn’t confident in their skill.

So we’ve gone back and forth many many times tonight to get it just right. We will see what she comes up with, and from there I have to continue to communicate what I want and what I need and what I will accept as a final product.

None of which I am naturally comfortable with. But it’s worth it.

Tomorrow I have to go communicate to a panel of educational professionals what goals I want set for my seventh grader for his IEP. I am not an educator. I do not work with kids (thank God and praise little baby Jesus) but I have to expect them to gather my intentions and plan the next six month’s worth of educational goals. We will go back and forth on what has been accomplished, what is most important, and what is reasonable. I can’t just let my emotions take over and sit and nod my head at whatever “the professionals” see fit for him. They have only known him for two months. They also have a bajillion other students to plan and follow through for. I’m pretty sure they appreciate the lenient and abiding parents who let them set a comfortable schedule. Believe me, I’d love to be able to be that parent, but I learned early on it’s worth the fight. (but fight = communication)

I don’t know why communication is so difficult for me. It’s exhausting. Sad, but true. After these meetings- or any meeting- with a professional, specialist, elevated status individual, I feel like I have run ten laps. I am fighting my own insecurity, self-doubt, negative self-talk and all those stupid demons that pop up in just these scenarios to wreak havoc on your psyche.

Damn. That was dramatic. Sorry.

All of this wretched communication is happening on the heels of this past weekend where my ADD son had two full blown all out fits on two different days. I am riding solo at the moment while the husband is traveling for work, so all resolution is on me. My son had a demanding and sleep-deprived weekend which manifested in “too many feels”. He did what I’d love to do right about now and just flew off the handle when that one last thing came across his mental desk. He did the equivalent of a Housewives table flip. Had I not had to be the one to right the table, I would have marveled at the freedom of that act. But alas, I had to deal with it, help his sister understand it, and then talk him off the ledge after the main event and then decompress. Then the next day we got to do it all over again. (second verse, same as the first)

The evenings after these episodes, I just feel my brain go limp. I sit and stare and just crave mindless stimuli.

As far as communication goes, I’m learning to dig in. I have a very strong-willed, opinionated, ego-comfortable husband who has shown me the benefits of forging ahead. Even if everyone around you is uncomfortable. If you can get through it, everyone is usually better for it and impressed with what they didn’t know they could achieve.

Here’s hoping for quick IEPs and psychic tattoo artists.

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