nancy reagan, first lady, ronald reagan, just say no, say no

Why can’t I just say no?

“Why don’t we xxxxx?” read the text. “Ummm, not sure…” was my reply.

Let’s stop right here and pause time. Why “not sure”? Why not “No, I feel really uncomfortable with that. I think it’s a no from me”?

Because that is the point it all went tits up. And it stems from my inability to say a flat, straight, polite no. It’s as though I need to make them feel that the ‘no’ is their idea. Which is mad, no? No? Yes.

So the reply to “Ummmm, not sure”, was a confidently gung-ho, “It’ll be fine”.

And here’s where my madness soars into the stratosphere. It won’t be fine. It isn’t fine. How can I communicate that I don’t feel OK about this plan? That I am panicking. I need to just be clear and direct and say no. So, obviously, I reply, “Let’s discuss”. AAAAAAAGH.

I do not WANT to discuss. I do not WANT to talk about the plan. It is a BAD PLAN. I should have strangled the plan at birth. But I did not, could not, would not say no. I could hint no. I could radiate no. But I couldn’t say no.

Now I veer off into a kind of catastrophic fantasy. There will be a huge fight. I will burst into tears and ask the plan-maker to leave the house, to get out. I will tell the plan-maker all the things I do and feel and need: all the thing they do not know, they do not understand. I will be helpless and then I will lose my mind. I will grab a knife. I will threaten them with it. I will scream and scream. They will tell me that they never want to see me again and I will shriek that they’d better keep looking over their shoulder. Because I’ll be there. With a GUN.

Or maybe, perhaps, after days of dread, they will say, “Oh, about that plan…” And I will say, “I really don’t think it’s a good idea because of X and Y.” And they will say “OK then”.

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