There is a predictability to the ride, especially after all these years. Clear patterns. Same old things but wearing different clothes. Here we go, yet again.
We could phone it in, but we don’t. We still invest emotion. One still hopes, or wants to. Others of us remember what hope looked like, but it’s buried somewhere in a box of empty bottles, and really, it just seems futile to look for it at this point.
I know, that’s an awful thing to say. Giving up hope. Losing faith. You’re not supposed to do that.
So okay, I can hope, maybe, but I don’t have a whole lot of faith in hope. Hope isn’t an action. Hope isn’t a behavior. Hope, sometimes, lets you sit back and wait for change. But you can’t just sit there.
Maybe hope holds the door open.
You still have to get up and walk through it.
Does that make sense?
Doesn’t matter. I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of things don’t make sense, and maybe the best plan is to stop looking for the sense and just accept the crazy.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Hope’s not in there. Acceptance and courage. Those are more effective.
Wisdom is still elusive.
Conversations are like rollercoaster rides and you’re a person who really doesn’t like rollercoasters.
You just want the ride to stop so you can get off.
There’s a wonderful sentence in a book I read. Winter House, by Carol O’Connell. It’s a work of fiction, yes, but there is a lot of truth in fiction.
“Crazy people make sane people crazy.”
That’s how it feels sometimes.
When you have conversations where you’re trying (again. and again.) to point out The Problem. The Issue. The Pink Elephant Who Used To Be In The Living Room But Has Now Made Herself Quite At Home In All The Other Rooms, Too. The Addiction. And you point out specifics that have to do with It. Problems, health issues, fall-out…all related to It.
And you get a response like this:
“I guess you think I’ve been a bad (insert relationship here).”
“No, that’s not what I said.”
“Obviously you think I haven’t done a good job as your (insert relationship here).”
All this is designed to a) change the subject, b) distract you from your original point, and c) evoke sympathy. Or guilt.
“Oh, no, no, please don’t say that, you’ve been a wonderful (insert relationship here). If you weren’t, would we be this concerned?”
Success. Conversation hijacked.
Wait, what were we talking about?
That doesn’t happen now, though. We’ve caught on. We don’t fall for it.
But for a while, it felt like we were saying one thing and somehow it got twisted in translation. Or so we thought. And we’d squint and think and wonder…did I say that? Did I fall asleep and miss part of the conversation? Nope. That’s just the crazy-making.
Denial. It lives long and prospers. And, given enough time, it builds a cocoon and bursts forth as Alternate Reality. A place where the people who care are the ones in denial. The ones who aren’t facing facts. The ones who don’t want anyone to have fun.
“Are you (insert undesirable behavior here)?”
“(Telltale pause) …no.”
Oh, yeah, specificity counts.
“Have you BEEN (insert undesirable behavior here) within the past twenty-four hours?”
“Well, yes, but it was only (insert one form of undesirable behavior here, which, when you boil it all down, isn’t any different from any other form of said undesirable behavior).”
“It doesn’t MATTER! You shouldn’t be doing it AT ALL.”
“My doctor said I’m in great health. My heart, my lungs, my blood pressure, my ability to create my own reality… We had a very good conversation at my appointment last week. He really listens.” (Of course, so does the dog. Really. So, ipso facto, abracadabra, the dog cares more than we do.)
So from this, we are led to believe that the doctor understands and condones this undesirable behavior. And that any concern we express means that we don’t understand AND we don’t listen. We don’t have medical degrees, either, so our listening is only a layperson’s listening, not a that of a trained professional. (The dog’s diploma must be hanging on the wall somewhere. Probably behind the liquor cabinet.)
“The sky is blue. Again. It’s blue. We tell you this because we love you. Why can’t you see what is so clear to everyone else?”
“No, dears, it’s red. My doctor and the dog agree with me. If you don’t agree, you must not love me. The sky is red.”
And so goes the battle.