My Little, Big and Healthy Voice Theory

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My Little, Big and Healthy Voice Theory
« on: July 20, 2018, 10:24:05 AM »
I have developed a theory of Voice. The Voice that tells me how I feel, what I would like, what I do not like and when something feels wrong has been so trampled by others in my childhood and developing life that it has barely been there at times in adult relationships, often choosing to settle with someone with quite a Big Voice who would carry us both through.

My Voice was still there, however by matching up with a Big Voice it was continually not heard or dismissed when raised in even tiny ways. This caused me to shut it down and ‘learn’ to stay quiet, making me have quite a Little Voice. In some relationships it would be a bit bigger, however in my last big relationship it felt like a very small Little Voice, that grew even quoted as it felt like it wasn’t heard or wanted by the Big Voice at all. For example:

Big Voice: “I think we should get some new cushions”.
Little Voice: “Oh great! (Excited at opportunity for input) I think blue would go with the sofa. I could make some with my sewing machine if you want to pick some fabri together, that way we can both split the cost and it’ll be cheaper?”
Big Voice: “I don’t like blue. I’ve seen some that I like that are very expensive and of good quality. Please don’t bring in anything second rate in the bracket that you can afford. I don’t like anything second hand or hand made. Now I really don’t want to talk about to again so I would prefer it if we no longer discuss it.”
Little Voice: *shuts down*

That was a really tricky scenario for me, and it happened over and over again, with decor, holidays and any sort of making plans. He talked about wanting to marry me (what? Wow! How amazing!) however I was told not to talk about or get excited about marriage, as it was upsetting him. He said he was going to whisk me off to New York for my birthday (what? wow! So exciting!) yet I was told not to get too excited about it, and scolded for stressing him out when I tentatively asked, two weeks before my birthday, if he had looked at tickets. After giving holiday notice months before it was very hard to feel like I had no agency or knowledge, or room to get excited. It was very hard for me.

I felt powerless to assert myself with Big Voice but experienced a great deal of dissociation and frightening feelings of losing myself. He was so sure of himself, and on reflection I feel now that his experience of emotional and material privilege since childhood is what enabled him to develop an overwhelming sense of self-security. We might even call it unhealthy narcissism.

Here’s how the relationship ended. Through what I see now as a fawn codependent relationship style, I had pushed myself into a corner. I realised that I had become very depressed through lack of agency and after a week staying with a friend I returned saying that to help our relationship I needed to start feeling like it was my life too, my living space too, and that I needed agency. The next day I was dying my hair and he was unhappy about me doing this in the house, even though it was already on my head. I used my Little Voice to express that I thought it wouldn’t get on anything, but his Big Voice won and I ended up crying in the shower, washing out my hair, feeling very dissociated, lost and broken.

He helped me calm down a bit, but proceeded to continue to challenge me, saying that despite me getting upset we couldn’t let that mean the issue goes away, and me dying my hair was an issue that needed discussing. It was here that I found my Voice. I put my foot down that he had been unreasonable and within half an hour of me standing up for myself he told me to “Get your sh*t and get out of my life, get out of my house! We are done!”. So that was that.

Upended and homeless, within 24 hours of working out what to do whilst staying with a friend I worked out that I was pretty financially vulnerable but that I could also now do what I wanted. Big Voice tried to get me to go back to him after a little while, but I chose to stay away and start again. I decided to move away to a cheaper location where I could be independent. I also could feel how this had happened and the Voice theory became really clear to me. I began to learn more about my Little Voice and Essie it louder so that it started to become a Healthy Voice of awareness and assertiveness.

My Healthy Voice has had a few knocks, mainly  through allowing an ex who moved into the area to stay with me, plus overbearing neighbours. I am out of both situations, however realise that I put myself at the bottom of the pile again, making my voice small which lead to feelings of depression.

A new occurrence is that I have been dating someone with whom my voice has become very Big. My new Big Voice is frightening to me, as it comes with a lot of strong emotions, including anger, fight, self-defence and guilt for having a Big Voice at all. I find this confusing, however from what I understand it is likely to be the late development of narcissism denied during childhood. I am concerned as I think that this person I care about takes a Little Voice position, potentially due to a past that has been emotionally difficult but is unexplored, and I am trying to talk to them about this, although it is all very new to them. I feel at the moment that Little Voices are quite hard to navigate from the other side, and I am trying to find a balance. It feels very hard to get right especially while I am also trying to manage my new pair of lungs.

What are your thoughts?

Are you a Big Voice or Little Voice? Or is yours a Healthy Voice?

Have you been through all of these voices?

Does any of this makes sense to anyone else?