Tag Archives: manipulation

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Dog

Who's the manipulator here????

Who’s the manipulator here????

Most Sunday mornings I am on our local Native American land at a meeting. When the weather is nice, we sit outside in a circle, enjoying nature. The Rez  is a beautiful place. Our meeting is held on school grounds so there is a building, a field and surrounding woods for miles. We see hawks and deer and dogs. Lots of dogs. We have had dogs wander into our circle and bask in the love. We have had a mama trailing puppies who stopped to nurse right in the middle of our circle. I think it’s pretty neat stuff.

This morning, I sat down on the damp grass and looked out across the mowed field to the edge of the forest. About 2 acres away from where I was sitting was a dog, a perfect looking Husky. Perfect coloring and tail, standing as if he was guarding something a little deeper in the clump of trees. I shifted my gaze and saw some movement. I couldn’t really make out what it was exactly that was moving so slightly. I squinted and strained but all I could make out was a reddish shape and a blondish shape. I stared for a few more minutes willing myself to be able to see what the shape was. I was trying to force my brain to make sense of what I was seeing.

So, my brain said it was a reddish dog having puppies and a blondish goat standing behind it. That didn’t make a whole lotta sense.I had never seen a wild goat on the Rez…then again, what do I know? The shapes started to move a bit more. This was after about 10 minutes of them moving but basically in place. I was concentrating so hard on trying to figure out what the heck was going on in this clump of trees with these animals I think I drooled a little. Thinkin is hard work sumtimes.

After about 20 minutes I could finally make out that it was two dogs…butt to butt…and the reddish one seemed to be pushing the blondish one…like the blondish one was facing up the hill and the reddish one was facing down the hill and the reddish one was backing up as the blondish one was moving forward…what????? This made even less sense than a dog giving birth with a goat in attendance as like a midwife type role…So, this is going on and the husky is just watching from the sidelines. Now, my first thought is Oh NO! These poor dogs have been tied together, maybe their back legs…maybe some mean kid did it or maybe the dogs found some handcuffs and were playing and accidentally handcuffed themselves together…I’ve seen that happen in cartoons…

My second thought was the husky was going to try to eat them because they were sick and dying or had been hit and crawled off to die….And as the two slowly disappeared into the woods, the husky followed and I sat there and thinking about the circle of life, of what I know about dogs, about Emma and Spencer and their natural decline, about how a goat could survive in the wild or if there might be a goat gang living deep in the forest and how they might be harassing the homeless dogs. Goat gangs in Upstate NY…I haven’t heard that covered on NPR…

I saw some movement on the other side of the wooded clump and out trounced the reddish dog…up the hill and into the forest proper. More movement and there was the husky, butt to butt with the blondish dog pushing it up the hill. The husky took over for the reddish dog! About 10 minutes into it, the husky stood still, the blondish dog laid down and the husky went back into the clump. The blondish dog laid there, looking around, watching a big hawk fly over head.

I was stunned, I could not believe what I was seeing. I was so wrong in my assumption, in the story I was telling myself! The poor blondish dog needed help! Blondish dog was obviously old or sick or hurt. Reddish dog took the first shift, going butt to butt to help blondish dog though the small clump of trees and small hill. Then the husky took over and helped blondish dog up the steeper hill, butt to butt the same way the reddish dog had done. Poor poor blondish dog!!! But how lucky blondish dog was to have two such wonderful friends!!! What a heartwarming thing to observe. Nature, not being cruel or harsh, but being kind and gentle! So, as I sat there and marveled at the determination of the husky and reddish dog and grieved for the obviously sick blondish dog and wonder if maybe I was wrong about the goats being a mean gang and possibly being like nurses who could take care of poor blondish dog….the huskey came galloping out of the clump, and stoped next to blondish dog, Blondish dog got to his feet, huskey went ahead up the hill in a jog. Poor blondish dog…ditched by both of his friends. They were probably sick of pushing him up hills…blondish dog can’t count on anyone ever….blondish dog is probably crying, (I can’t tell because I am too far away, but I just have a feeling) WAIT! LOOK AT THIS!!!! Blondish dog is UP…blondish dog is trotting up the hill all on her own!!!!! Oh happy day!!! It’s a miracle!!!

No, it’s not a miracle. Blondish dog is a faker. Blondish dog is simply lazy and had manipulated his friends into butt pushing him through woods and up hills. Blondish dog is a total jerk!

Moral of the story: Never butt push someone up a hill who doesn’t absolutely need it.

Or maybe the moral is : Never assume to know the story from a distance.

Or possibly : Goat gangs exist.


On Being Human


See, this would have made me fall in love...it should have made me run screaming...but such is life

I am sober. I am not an alcoholic, but I am sober. Ask me how I know I am not an alcoholic? Because I tested myself over and over. Nope, not an alcoholic. I am, however, addicted to people. I tried really hard to be an alcoholic. I had the full support of my family and friends in attempting to become an alcoholic. Getting drunk was what we did. And the quicker I could get to drunk, the better. I felt the same way about alcohol as I did about cigarettes…it was a means to an end. I hated the taste, but enjoyed the feeling. I just didn’t enjoy it enough, or maybe I enjoyed it just enough. I know I didn’t like the feeling of being out of control. At all.

And so, try as I might, being a raging drunk was just not in the cards for me. I then turned my focus to the real raging drunks in my life (emphasis on raging). Now there I found an addiction I could be comfortable with. A person who needed saving, who was suffering, who I could “help”. And I just knew that once I “helped” them, then they would love me and I would experience the high I was looking for. And just like a drug, after that first attempt at saving another human being, I was hooked.

Oh, I was no Mother Teresa. I wasn’t attempting to save the drunks in my life out of some selfless idea of love or spiritual message from The Almighty. No, I wanted to control and manipulate. Doesn’t sound like love does it? Similar to a drug addict who thinks they can control their use, I thought I could control the addicts in my life. Funny thing about addicts, they were totally willing to enable me in my addiction to them. They hopped right on my bandwagon and played along with my fantasy of control. “Oh yes, you CAN save me. I WILL love you. As long as you do exactly what I tell you to, how and when I tell you to do it. Then you will be safe and loved.” Who was trying to control whom? That is two sick people lying and manipulating to get what they think they need all the while getting nothing that they truly want.

I am not unique. This addiction isn’t something that has just afflicted me. There are millions of us. We have our own special club. There are millions more of us who have no idea what their “issue” really is. They are still believing that if only everyone else in their life would just stop messing up, screwing around, grow up or stop using, then they would be fine. After all, it’s not us, it’s them. I remember so well being unwilling, unable to look at MY part in the insanity. How convenient that I was attached to a drug addict, then I didn’t have to look at myself and the messes I was making. My dysfunction couldn’t hold a candle to a real drug addict!! That left me free to try to control and manipulate behind the scenes and look like the long suffering saint to anyone looking in at us. *Sigh*

I am grateful for the addicts in my life. I am grateful my life became so unbearable that I had to stop, quit cold turkey. Gratitude is now my way of life. I remember my bottom and how damn hard it was. I am grateful that I can remember it. Spiritual awakenings, miracles, higher powers and group conscious have all conspired to transform my perspective. Control is an illusion. Illusions are fun for a minute, but trying to live in an illusion can really send someone over the edge. Humble was a dirty word to me for years. Ego, pride and knowing what was best for others was the way I had lived my life. And all that did was eventually bring me to my knees.

When I was 17, I moved half way across the country with a friend. I met the most incredible group of people. I knew then that I would be taken care of no matter where I went in life. That is a wonderful revelation to have at such a young age. I also learned that letting go is sometimes the most loving thing we can do. And one of the greatest bits of wisdom I ever came across was out of the mouth of my 17 year old friend. She told me that if I kept hanging onto “stuff” and not dealing with it then I would definitely have a nervous breakdown by the time I was 40. I have had a couple of nervous breakdowns and I am still a few years off from 40. But she was right. Breaking down is the only way to deal with running into a brick wall repeatedly.

Today, when another drop of the dramacoster is approaching, all I can do is take the necessary precautions and then stand against the rush with my head held high. I may need to apologize, make amends. I may need to do it differently from here on out. But I do not need to scream, yell, lie, play the victim or try to organize others to do what I say. I can just do the best I can with what I have and be peaceful in that fact. When I know better I do better. I am far from perfect, I don’t even think about perfect anymore. I just try to be human. Messier but at least I have good company!