Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kicked out.

"You can sleep over if you're sleeping with me. You can't stay here to hide from your problems over there. Go home and sort your life out."

It's a pretty special man who can kick me out of his house and make me respect him more for it.

Sometimes I need friends to hug me and say it'll all be okay you poor dear, but sometimes I do need a small kick in the ass and I'm glad to have a boyfriend who knows when to do it. Maybe I'm only grateful because when I was a teenager I experienced the opposite.

When I was sixteen, I had a boyfriend who would gladly take me in whenever I had problems, tell me that absolutely nothing was my fault, and let me stay with him until the problems had gotten much worse from being ignored. (Fucking me all the while, natch, but I really don't think he was deliberately exploiting my angst; he just wasn't mature enough himself to know that what I asked for wasn't always best for me.) Eventually I stayed with him so long that a missing persons report was filed on me. The police took me home.

Of course it can be taken too far the other way (anything can be taken too far) and I certainly don't want someone who always knows what's best for me. But I think it's important and in a way more loving when you can avoid being an enabler and tell me to do not what I want, but what I need.

(To not be entirely cryptic about "problems," I'm flunking out. Although it certainly sucks, in a way I'm relieved, because I've already got a college degree and a living-wage job, being out of school earning my own keep will give me more independence than I've ever had, and once the "OMG DROPOUT" dust settles, I think it'll actually relieve a lot of family tension.)


  1. How old is Brandon? He seems wise beyond his years. I like him.

  2. Karyn - He's 27. So probably getting up there into the years when you should be getting wise, but... I know 17-year-olds who are and 50-year-olds who aren't.

    Bruno - Yep. :)

  3. It's stuff like this (and there've been a number of such things, just in the month or two I've been hanging around) that's why I think you're correct to characterize that "miscommunication of 'no'" incident as miscommunication.

    The real trouble with providing refuge too readily isn't that it's enabling (well, that can be a big deal, too, depending on circumstances), but that it creates, or reinforces, a power imbalance. I won't call it "disempowering", because it's not that the protective one takes empowerment away, it's that the avoidant one relinquishes it (or, sometimes, becoming empowered is exactly what they're avoiding). (And there's Eleanor Roosevelt again.)


  4. Sunflower - Actually I don't think so. If anything it's the reverse; by using him as a free hotel and uncritical-hug dispenser rather than treating him as a friend, I'm trying to take power over him. Using people for refuge and comfort, when overdone, is using people.

  5. True enough.

    I was really thinking of the situation you described from when you were sixteen, not the current one. While, yeah, in one level you were taking advantage of the BF in question, on another level, you were surrendering power - not necessarily to him, but it put him in a position where, if he'd been so inclined (which he apparently wasn't), he could have taken advantage of that.

    Power situations are rarely simple, and not always a one-way street.