The toughest decision for me is whether to turn left or right. I struggle. I have no sense of direction, none whatsoever. If, say, I am on a deserted country road and come to a fork on the road and I’m trying to get somewhere I’ve learned a new trick. If it “feels” like I should turn left, my soul screams I should turn left, that turning left would make me happy…you can bet the right path is turning in the opposite direction. It feels SO WRONG and I struggle with it favoring the path that “feels” right, but it has been my experience that this “feeling” that I should turn left…well, it’s wrong 99% of the time. So I turn in the opposite direction. I am outside of my comfort zone. I am going against my instincts, because, let’s face it, to error is human and I want to be right.
Perhaps, someday, with a tank full of gas, I will give in and let my soul be my guide. It will surprise me with a beautiful sunset overlooking fabulous pastures. Perhaps there’s a single farmer who was sitting at home pining for a woman to talk to.
See what I mean? The romantic in me sees everything rosy and sweet. But the reality is that after the sunset comes pitch black nights with no lights except the occasional farm house light, and the moon illuminates the creepy shadows. The coyotes are noisy, active and hungry. That farmer, well, remember the pig farmer in B.C.?
It’s really creepy out there!
So as the sun sets, and I can’t figure out left from right (which could be an Aspie thing), I get out of my “habits” “instincts” and “comfort zones” because they have failed me before. They say that the path to insanity is to make the same mistakes expecting a different outcome. So I take on the opposite path, the one less comfortable, the one that “feels” foreign and eventually, find myself on the road home.
Because we have self doubt, we rely on others to affirm or correct our assumptions. Which brings me to the title. I couldn’t make up my mind which to choose, then, in a twist of fate, I realized they have one thing in common.
They feed on our insecurities.
I was incensed when as the only Woman , was told I didn’t belong because I was the lone woman. This particular dick made himself seem so innocent and helpful, yet, his deviance became apparent when he kept complimenting me with my programming savvy and putting himself and the Go programming language down. It felt good. It did really. Why, I could save a lot of time by dropping this language and focusing on what “feels” good. Being in that class was quite uncomfortable. 3 flights of stairs and 10 screws in my leg. Do I need any more excuses?
Ahh, but I am the kind of woman who tells the Subway sandwich maker to surprise her and be creative. I tell the bar tender in the Dominican Republic, after having ordered “Un Margarita con sale” every few hours until the day after my child’s wedding. Then, telling the bartender, “No, una surpresa, por favor” (a surprise, please) in my best hungover Spanish. They named the drinks they created “Maria’s Surpresa” (Maria’s surprise). These drinks are tall, have interesting colors and have a higher alcohol content than ever before, so I paced myself.
I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, I wanted to see what happens when I don’t order the same drink or same food every day. A psychological shift happens. I become braver, less afraid of making a mistake and don’t have to struggle with the minuteas of decision making.
So a new computer language in a room full of men up three flights of stairs, well, that’s just an adventure for me, one to be conquered! And there’s FREE PIZZA!
Then I turn on the television and watch as marketers are trying to tell me wearing Depends diapers is acceptable because, like, I might pee on myself! Anyways, it’s cool, I can dance and walk and run with Depends on and nobody can tell if I’m wearing one. It’s OK, really, you know you need it, and it looks just like underwear.
I finally gave up wearing feminine pads and now I have to wear a diaper because, you never know when you might pee on yourself, might as well join the band wagon!
Honestly, between sweat and, well, holding it a tad too long, I might have a drop or two especially if I sneeze. But I REFUSE on grounds that I am NOT going to fall for marketers who want to make me feel insecure and ashamed. Just because it feels comfortable (I survived a broken leg. I was in the emergency room. I had to pee. I had a choice, sticking a tube in a place tubes have no business going aka a catheter, or a diaper…yeesh!).
And that is the problem, isn’t it. Marketers feed on our insecurities.
Instead, I returned to panty liners from the Dollarama. At 12 cents per day, I could stay “fresh” and keep my dignity too. No, Ms. Betty White, I won’t be joining you in the aging process and I don’t intend to “get over it!”.
Because I am taking the path that feels the least comfortable, the one that screams that I won’t last at holding out, that one of these days, I will have to give in, no amount of Keegles are going to save me this time!
Which brings me to the last part of the title.
It’s insidious. It creeps in and let’s us walk into it’s tangled web until we can’t find a way out. It’s a form of manipulation and it’s cruel in it’s intention.
I know a couple who have been married over 30 years until the husband eventually passed away. Before his passing, the man was not well, maybe he fell asleep and peed on himself. His wife convinced him to wear a diaper. He was also fighting depression and let his wife do everything for him, including changing his diaper when he wet himself, and he figured, why get up at all? This went on until he had to be hospitalized.He did what he normally did, having become dependent on his wife for his bodily functions and she was getting ready to change his diaper.
“What are you doing?” asked the nurse and when the nurse realized what his wife had created when she made my him dependent on her. His wife was FORBIDDEN from visiting him for a few days. Meanwhile, the nurses ordered him to get his butt in the bathroom and use the toilet. His diapers were taken away from him.
And you know what happened? He still could get up, could still walk, and used the bathroom like a big boy.
I heard this story and this incensed me, that this man had punished his wife by making her change his shitty diaper pretending incapacitation.
But the blame is on his wife as well, she wanted to feel needed. All of her children were grown, and in a way, by creating an environment of dependence, she was able to hold on to her dying husband a little longer.
There’s another more insidious form of dependence.
Predators use it to infiltrate communities as well as families and get access to the object of their obsession. For pedophiles, it’s being overly helpful in order to get access and alone time with the children. It’s the scout leader, the coach, the religious teacher who “volunteer” their time endlessly. Think about this. There is no financial incentive. The commitment involved can take up to 20% of their weekly life. They are other people’s children which they are taking care of which goes against most mammalian behaviors. And yet, they do it.
What’s in it for them?
We are grateful. We trust them with our most precious gift, our children.
We, on the other hand, are busy. We have work and tv, and social lives and need a break really, and we would NEVER do it for FREE so we are glad there’s someone there to save the day!
And we become dependent on these people. We feel insecure because we could not possibly do what they do. And so, we try and not “rock the boat” as their presence feels comfortable, like we are part of a family, the family we wished we had. The family we really had was dysfunctional and abusive. We want to be better parents. Yet, we gravitate to an adult who feels somewhat “familiar” and it’s comforting. Yet, that is the problem, isn’t it. This is why women go from one dysfunctional relationship to another. This is why children are left with one religious teacher, to a coach to a scout leader to a babysitter or mother’s new boyfriend or new step dad and find themselves in the tentacles of another predator after having left the last one.
We drift unconsciously back to the “familiar” and we are complimented on our parenting while our insecurities are fed slowly, day after day until we relent and give in to be made dependent, once again by another d*ck while wearing depends (not necessarily at the same time).
Drug dealers also infiltrate communities, social fabrics and extended families. They are so gregarious, fun, popular and they want to spend time with your insecure self, feeding you compliments and “doing you a favor” with freebies. Next thing you know, they have passed security barriers meant to keep them out so they can meet new potential “customers” on elevators, in hallways, at get-together, always the salesmen waiting for their opportunity. Before you know it, another drug overdose happens and everybody wonders…where did the drugs come from?
“V” is for Vigilance.
Use your gifts for good, not evil.
NEXT: How to identify predatory behavior.