Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She's Got Psychic Powers

Dear SGF,
My husband won't change. What can I do?
Your Mom

Dear Mom,
Wait, Mom? Oh hi Mom. Yes, your husband won't change, I know that. Since he is not my father (that's one blessing I can count today), I think it's time you left him. For good. And not because he's not my father either. But mostly because I know that if I asked him how many years he thinks he can get away with calling you those mean names, he would respond with a big smile. A big creepy, yellow UK teeth grin. So I believe it's time to reevaluate the likelihood of him changing. Didn't you two have a food fight sometime ago? Like back when you were 65 yrs. old? I know your cousin, Psychic Fred, told you that "yellow grin" (quotations mean nickname) was going to kick the proverbial bucket. Soon. But remember when Fred wanted to "feel" my earring? He rubbed and rubbed and rubbed that sterling silver hoop until his joints got rusty and then he told me that I was psychic after which he said that my future husband would be wearing a military uniform at our wedding. Mom, I thought I was going marry Colin Powell. Fred told me so. And Fred said it was going to be soon. But as you well know, some years later, I found my soul mate in an Anthropology Professor. Who's even better looking and smarter than Colin, if you can imagine. It was during this earring reading though that I remembered only 5 years prior he told you to hang in there with your marriage because your husband's heart was going to give out. Soon. Thing is, it's been 15 years now. Meanwhile, Mom, your husband has yelled at you, spit at you, swung at you, and done other things "at you" the likes of which I don't care to know
. So Fred was wrong again. But he was right about one thing: I am psychic. At least when it comes to situations such as this. While I believe people can change, I believe that desire has everything to do with how and to what extent they do change. Your husband has no desire, Mom. None. And since you're still with him, maybe you don't want to change either. Maybe it's me that wants to think you want a change. No, not the Barack Obama kind of change. You already believe BHO is with some kind of terrorist cell. But a personal change. A change in how you see yourself, your worth, your value. Maybe all of that is my desire, not yours. Which leads me to a new word in this response, Mom. And that word is agency.

We all have agency. Yellow grin has agency so it's not your responsibility to try and change him. And you have agency so it's not your responsibility to try to change him. See how that works? We are responsible for ourselves, our own thoughts, our own actions, our own food fights. No one can take that away. That's the thing about desire coupled with change, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

That said, I wish you all the best in your endeavor to maneuver through the art of agency. It's a toughie and one that I'm learning to grapple with, even as I watch you to practice yours.
Love Always,
Your daughter,

A note to my readers: Embedded in this letter are issues related to parentification (child becomes parent figure for their mother and/or father) and enmeshment (child and parent do not have clear boundaries). Both issues are all too common and can be the cause of familial and individual distress. Believe me, I know. And those will be the topics of another post another time. I promise.


The Crash Test Dummy said...

ha ha ha ha ha! I'm ROTFLOL right now.

So excited you finally started your blog. Get yourself a cool profile pic and I'm going to tell all the crazy, bored MORMON MOMMIES that WE FINALLY HAVE A THERAPIST!

Dear Mom! ha he ha ha

Your verifier says booffile. boof file. Boof files. That's funny. Advice from the Boof Files.

Martha said...

I clicked on the link from Crash's site and found your site. So I'm thinking your mom didn't really write that question. I have met your mom. I think that you just wrote it yourself to start your own blog. Is that allowed?

Liz said...

Of course my own mom didn't write that question! Although many moms have probably wanted to. And if she had, would I print it? No! This was simply an illustration of agency, control issues, decision making, self reliance, and parentification. Whew! That was a mouthful!
But girlfriend, you just asked the first question of my blog. Thanks for that. Ask another one!!! If you don't, I'll just have to keep making up questions and drawing on my professional experiences to answer myself. What kind of blogger would I be then?

Anonymous said...

Question if you are taking any.
My wife and I divorced when my son was 15 years old when she started up and old affair, and later married the guy. My son is now almost 19 now and has been caught doing marijuana. Based on the little info you have here, what is the best way to relate with, help him. Thanks

Funny Farmer said...

Hi Liz! :waves madly:

So if I ask a question you'll give your professional opinion? I mean, is this a serious blog or are you a silly/ nut like Crash? (I heard she's the RS president now... can you believe it?!) If it's serious, do I hafta sign some sort of waiver promising not to sue you if your advice ruins my life?

Haha just kidding. Sorta...

:waves madly some more:

Funny Farmer said...

gotta 'nother question: do you have an email we can send questions to, or do we have to do it all in comments? OKay - dumb question, since you currently don't have an email link available... so I guess the real question is: would you consider doing that?

Anonymous said...

Or else I guess I can just ask qeustions as an anonymous person.

Anonymous said...

I could also learn to type as an anonymous person.

Liz said...

funny farmer,
i know you! and don't think i don't! you're the sassy smartie pants on ctd. fun and honored to meet the genius that is you.

so to answer your first question, YES, this is a serious blog for serious issues. except i like to think that i can bring the funny. for example, look at my attempt to design this blog? you're in stitches now, right? right??

so this is more of an advice type of blog. like dr. phil, i'm a licensed counselor with a moustache. and thank you for reminding me-i'll get on that disclaimer tout de suite.

oh, and i'll put my email up in a sec.

again, so great meeting you and i'm looking forward to questions and insights that will give me something to think about as i scrub my tub.

Funny Farmer said...

Whoa. It's always a little unsettling to meet someone for the first time and they already know all about you. And yes, I am sassy. Crash brings that out in me. But genius? hahahahah you are a flatterer, arntcha? Did Crash teach you that?

Hee hee hawwww on the blog design joke and hee hee hee on the moustache remark! hahahahahaha! I think I'm gonna like you, Liz girl!

Anonymous said...