Everybody Needs A Witness
Posted on July 18, 2012
“I think I’m the only person who has defended you like that,” said Wifesy. “I think you’re right,” I said. I had just hung up the phone with my mom and as per usual she went through a series of negative assessments regarding me and my life. This is how it usually goes with mom.
“How’s everything,” she says.
“It’s good. Things are really good,” I say.
“I don’t know,” she says.
“Huh? What do you mean you don’t know?” I ask.
“Well, I don’t know. I worry about you. I think you should be making more money.”
“Yeah, well, I think most people feel they should be making more money, but you know, I’m doing alright,” I answer.
“I don’t know,” she says. And I’m telling you, I can feel her head shaking through the phone. While her head shakes, my blood pressure rises.
“Why do you always do that, Mom? Why is it necessary for you to always be a Debbie Downer in regards to my life?”
“Well, I worry about you. That’s just the way it is. I worry,” she says.
I’m always left thinking, Couldn’t you feckin’ worry with just a hint of silver lining surrounding the worry or does it always have to come packaged with an anchor that drags me to the bottom of the sea?
Dramatic? Maybe. I don’t know.
Poor Wifesy is always having to skip around my mother and her monologues about me. A lot of times my mother will say, “Well, you’re just so hyper, you have so much energy. I don’t understand it.” Then when I don’t answer the accusation because a) I’m trying to ignore it or b) I don’t know what the feck she’s talking about – then she hammers away with the diatribe towards Wifesy. “I mean isn’t she always up and down, up and down, running around, hyper, hyper? I don’t know. I don’t understand it!” Mom exclaims.
To which Wifesy always, gloriously, side steps the nonsense and says something like, “I don’t know. That’s not my experience of her. I understand that you may experience her that way, but that’s not my experience of her. I experience her as pretty calm. In fact, I think she’s a calming influence for me.”
Thank god for Wifesy.
It got me thinking that everyone, EVERYONE needs a defender. Everyone needs someone who will say – Nope, I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon with you here, while you throw that person under the bus. You’re on your own.
In fact, the person you love SHOULD (within reason) defend you even when you’re wrong. A good partner will declare, “Yep, I get it. I understand why she (or he) is saying that” to the masses waiting to pounce. And then quietly the good spouse will go, “Look, you lost it a bit back there and it wasn’t really necessary. Maybe you were really mad about this or that. I defended you so you wouldn’t look like a bigger a-hole.” Something like that.
Man, it feels so good to have an unconditional defender and, as such, I’d do the same for Wifesy at any time. I’m like a pit-bull for my awesome lady.
A quality defender won’t make everyone else stop acting like a chronic a-hole. It just won’t. For example, it doesn’t mean my mother doesn’t get to me (she does), but it DOES mean that it takes out some of the sting.
I suppose events like this give meaning to the phrase, “You and me against the world.”
What about you? Do you feel like you have a good defender? Someone who acts as a witness for you when you need it most? Someone who goes, “Nope, I hear you. Time to disengage from that bad situation. Just let it go. It doesn’t matter because I always have your back.”
As always, I want to hear your thoughts.
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