Posted by: Lizabeta | March 20, 2008

Another Day, Another Dream….

This one about me apologizing for my behavior when I was younger. He actually listened. He met our son. He liked him. They played checkers. My son has never? played checkers. I don’t think I even own checkers. Things were going well. He turned angry at the end. Pointed at me and said, I’m not done being angry with you. This is foolishness. and stomped off. My son looked at me bewildered, wondering what he had done. His stepmother finished the game of checkers, and I took him out for Ice Cream. I can’t tell how my son felt about it. But still, he listened. I was feeling hopeful. I woke up, realized it was a dream and was sad.

I’m tired of being the understanding one. Tired of understanding why he wants nothing to do with us. Good God, things have changed. Grow up. Don’t let anger ruin the rest of your life. I’m married and I love my husband deeply. I don’t care about past relationships and clinging to a friendship that obviously died years ago. I wouldn’t even think about you except on occasion except that there is a little boy who needs me to be his advocate, who needs me to not be selfish. Hate me all you want, but could you shove the feelings aside long enough to see this child, this creature who is so smart, so loving, so giving of himself. He is funny and full of excitement. He’s left handed and has massive control over his eyebrows. You are 31, are you grown up yet?

“I don’t want your life, and I’m
Far too scared to let mine go –
Still afraid of saying yes,
Terrified of me I guess.

Please don’t ask why
And sit and cry like you don’t know.
Accept that there’s uncertainty
In everything surrounding me,

And I need to see that you don’t need me.
I need to see that you choose to let me be me.”

© IVJ. 1998

 I wrote this at a time when a large amount of responibility was suddenly thrust upon me by someone, and I was coping.  Upon seeing these lyrics now, they seem harsh.  Am I saying that I’m unreliable? 

 You were, maybe you still are.

Am I stepping out and saying I refuse all responsibility because I value my independence too much? 

 What is independence? Life where you are free to do whatever you want? Damn the consequences? Is it Life without others? Life without Love? Life with Love but no committment? Somehow, I don’t see any of those as happy choices. And I don’t think that you are independant or that you would be happy being independant. You enjoy bringing other people happiness. You care about people around you. That is what has always defined you.

And how much of that attitude do I carry with me today? 

I don’t know. 

Is it really immature to say “I want you to let me be me,” or is that a difficult but necessary requirement of stable adult living? 

The irony of this would amuse you to no end. I met and fell in love with and married a man 10X more stubborn than you in getting his way. “Let me be me.” I can ask. But I cannot nag. I can request, I can never demand. If God intended to teach me a lesson about “Let me be me” than my husband was certainly God’s gift to me. If I nag, make a demand, state that something IS going to happen a certain way… no matter how reasonable or sensible it might be… he will dig his heels in and hit reverse JUST on the principle Let Me Be Me.

It is a requirement of a healthy relationship. One person always getting their way or always making the decisions or always telling the other how its going to be is a sign of weakness in the other person. Really it’s not about Let Me Be Me, it’s about respect. Respecting the other persons desire to be happy, to be free to make choices for themselves, to be free to GIVE and not be told they HAVE TO. (*A bulb just lit over my head*) It’s about respecting opinions and knowing that two ways can lead to the same outcome and one is not nessecarily better than the other. It’s Let Me Not Feel Trapped and I Can Interact With You and Others The Way I Want. A good, healthy, adult relationship is two people, Letting the other person be Themselves and TRUSTING that they are going to care enough to Let You Be You.

And what about the imperative “Accept that there’s uncertainty”?  Am I saying that I will never be a known quantity, essentially that I can’t be counted on, and that those close to me will just have to live with that.  That hardly seems fair or mature.  To what extent do I still feel that way, and to what extent do I use it as a defense mechanism – because that’s what I think it might be.  I’m afraid I have a fear of failure, which leads to a fear of letting other people down, which I guard against by – in extreme circumstances – trying to keep others from counting on me in the first place.  And maybe I disguise it all by asserting a right to “individuality.”

Perhaps. And it has long been my hope that you might overcome this fear and realize that being counted on isn’t as scary as it might seem. It also doesn’t obligate you to any particular level of being counted on. You can still call the shots, you can still make your choices. You can still Be You. In fact, you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to be You when you are around a child, and no one else.

The difficulty for me, in understanding all this is quite the Catch-22. I can call, and point out that I understand this now. But by calling and pointing it out, it will look like I’m nagging and thereby negate the previous statement.


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