When last we visited Our Hero he was firmly tucked under Thingmaker’s arm, suffering epiphany and the rythmic boffing on the head Thingmaker was using to punctuate his sentences.
I take care of everybody else….
…I try not to be someone who must be taken care of….
…which means other people don’t get the chance to do so….
–I shot out an arm and pressed my finger on the wall. You have to do that when an idea comes and you can’t follow it through, or you lose it.
bo– “What is he doing?”
Bridgette was unconcerned. “He’s holding down an idea. Don’t worry about it.”
“Oh.” –ff Thingmaker released me and as I stood up he was eyeing me for hurt feelings. I eyed him back.
“Thank you,” I said, “for not only being smart, but being smart at me in a way that I could hear you.” Thingmaker went off to find his panel, promising to see us later, and I turned to the ladies. “I stand before you a changed man, better in all ways. I have numbered the parts of my soul and found the patterns that they form. I recognize good in all things, and all things respond to me. I shall,” I finished, “have to find a bo tree to sit under, should I become any wiser.”
They both know me well. They knew this to be the warming up exercise, wherein I listen to myself talk, feel good about myself for being erudite and clever, and then — eventually — get on with what I have to say. Further, they both know that interrupting me or otherwise trying to shorten the auto-agape only acts as inflammable liquids on open flame. Bridgette may have checked her watch.
Hrm. I just checked my own watch. I’ve little time; I shall make this march.
I’m less than articulate, here. Make allowances.
If I’m … perfectly self-supporting, no one has to support me where I am lacking. Which means that no one can fail to support me when I need it, because I never need it.
Uhm. Clear English. I am reaching for clear English. That bottle is nearly empty, though.
‘Kay. If I am, say, writing a book, and it cuts into other people’s time and convenience, they might resent it. They might bitch. They might not help with the cooking or dishes. And then I will have evidence that, when I needed them, they didn’t want to be there for me. I will have to choose between going back to being non-intrusive and self-sufficient, and doing things that I want…I will have to choose between my loved ones’ convenience and something I want for me.
And that’s against the rules. You always, as much as you can, show how much you care, all the time…because I have personal experience that demonstrates that there will come a time when you can’t. People get hit by busses, trampled by ducks, whatever. How can I decide between demonstrating my love for others in little ways and what I want?
And then Thingmaker talked to me. (boff)
How can I deny my loved ones the opportunity to show me that they love me?
But what if they don’t do it?
Then I can ask them to.
…and…trust them…to love me…and act like it.
That part was hard.
Ah. Clear English: If I never need help, I never have to trust others to love me and help me, and I will never again be disappointed by how much my loved ones don’t love me. How much, in fact, they don’t care at all about me.
I have more people who love me and show it, in small ways and large, than nearly anyone I know. I have no need, anymore, to question whether I can get the help I need, support for what I care about, participation in my life. I am loved, one and all, by people who understand what that word means and know how to act like it, not merely say it.
I am done with living one-sided relationships, have no need and have not been requested to I do so.
…unless I keep forcing my relationships to be less supportive of me than I am of them.
So, as is my habit, once I understood the problem, I stopped.
Bridgette & Ambar, you will recall, were waiting for me to finish. I did, much more quickly, being fresher on it than I am now. They nodded and smiled as one does to a backwards child making good effort.
Bridgette said, “That’s good. We’ve decided that you need thigh-high boots from the dealer’s room. We are prepared to beat on you until you relent and let us get them for you. How much beating do you need before you will let us do that?”
Silly girl. I could easily outlast her minstrations, could distract her with pretty-shinies, and we would leave the dealer’s room with something for each kid and her, not for me. But… “No beating needed. I’ve wanted them for two years. Let’s go.” They looked disappointed, so I let Ambar twist my arm behind my back a bit before Bridgette paid for the boots.
They’re really nice boots. I’m really very, very lucky.