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Rescuing The Fat Kid.

See, here’s the thing about not taking responsibility for
myself: I end up the fat, smelly kid. If I allow myself free reign to buy
lunch out when I have plenty at home; if I allow myself to watch 5 hours of
Netflix deep into the night when I have to be up early; if I allow myself to
eat 2 trays of frozen mac and cheese in a row, because at least I’m not eating
sugar; if I leave dishes in the sink and garbage to be taken out when it’s long
past due – then I end up the fat, smelly, broke kid.
And that sucks. I mean, I remember being called Smolly in 6th
grade, so perhaps we can leave out a repeat performance twenty years later.
As you know, I’ve been thinking about (and wrestling with) responsibility,
adulthood, the idea that, Hey! Guess what! No one is going to grow up for you.
I am seeing places where my resistance and fear to taking on responsibility
doesn’t just keep me stuck, it keeps me separate. What happens in relationships
with others when I don’t take responsibility for myself? Well, I ask you to do
it for me. I heap it all on you, and say, there, you take care of it, you fix
it. Most people aren’t willing to do that! (Unless they’re codependent, which…
well, most of us are.) But in general, if that person/relationship isn’t available to me, which it
usually isn’t (even though I keep wishing it will be, and therefore just
flail around waiting for that person to show up and “rescue” me from myself), if
that person isn’t around, then I hide away all the mess and dysfunction out of
shame that I’m such a mess, and you never get to see the whole of me, because I end up hiding the good parts too. So either I’m looking to depend on you or retreat
from you, neither of which is a formula for a balanced relationship.
What am I scared of? Why have I run from taking
responsibility for my life and myself for so long? I’m scared that I’ll lose my
freedom. It’s freeing to buy shit you
can’t afford, isn’t it? It’s
freeing
to stay in administrative jobs when you’re overqualified for them, isn’t it?
Uh. No.
It is momentarily satisfying, however. If I buy something I don’t
need or can’t afford, I have a moment’s relief of, Whew, I’m worthy, I can be a
member of society, purchasing things in the world like other “normal” people
do. If I accept and continue in jobs that are below my skill and pay level,
well, I don’t have to use all my mental faculties, so surely that’s a relief,
isn’t it?
So, I’m giving myself an assignment. Some structure, so
that the internal kid who’s mashing paste into her hair and hopped up on way
too much sugar and TV can be washed up, straightened up, and perhaps cared for
in a way that is consistent, accountable, and in the end, appropriate.
I’m going to do at least one responsible thing a day for 90 days. Whether that’s doing the dishes,
writing down and tallying my expenditures
each day (as I’d done for over a year), filing my taxes, doing my laundry, changing the cat
litter. Whatever the item of the day is, I’m going to do one responsible thing for 90 days,
and see how and if things shift.
I don’t want to be the fat kid anymore, I don’t want to be
flailing in my life any more, I don’t want to be dependent on or hiding from
you any more. I think these things all add up to growing up, being a grown up –
and in 90 days, we’ll see if that isn’t more freeing after all. 

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