Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gifts

It is really hard for me to accept things from others.

I was raised with a "do it yourself" attitude.  Don't rely on others.  You make sure it happens in the end; people will let you down.  Don't you dare let others down.

The closer of a friend you are to me, the more I will allow myself to rely on you.  If you break your word to me, then it's hugely damaging to my trust.  It's unfair, I know, but I can't help it. It's a cautious and strenuous system, but it has worked for me so far.  I have found people that I can rely on deeply, and our friendships are beautiful.

However, my inability to receive from others is also deeply rooted in my fear of gifts.  See, the word "gift" implies that it is given, nothing is needed back.  But the gifts that I have received from this particular someone always had a string attached.  And I can't really refuse them, since that said person is kin - the closest to me, whether I like it or not.

When they give me gifts, they are promises.  For now, they are something to be enjoyed.

Then something happens.  The dishes didn't get washed right.  I didn't see something that fell to the floor.  The water got spilled.  I closed the door too hard.  I'm not working while they are working.
  "I got this for you, and this is how you treat me?"  "You owe me."  "This is what happens when you get things for free.  You're so ungrateful."  "You treat your friends better than you treat me."

I will spare you the details of the names and curses she has cast on me.

And I have to take it, silently.  I'm not allowed to talk back.  If someone else tries to stand to my defense, they will get cut down with words.  I just have to let the anger spew out all over me, let the words burn, and not make a sound.

Usually, I can take it in.  My saving grace is that I am slow to anger, slow to feel.  It usually passes without incident.  It's always the aftermath that gets to me though.

Because you see, after a few days the heat dies down, things are back to normal and everything is how it should be.  And because of her guilt, she buys me something to apologize.

A gift.

I have a lot of them - in my room, my closet, my heart.  But now I call them a different word.

They are my debts.

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