Posted by: Marie | July 12, 2014

(954) Zigs and zags – Part 3 of 3

Post #954
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, September 2, 2012 – continued from previous post]

Thump!

That was all . . . just a thump . . . well, a thud really . . . we caught his hind legs with the corner of the bumper as he slipped past us . . . and he continued running off the road, across the ditch and into a thick stand of trees . . . apparently he was no worse for wear . . . he seemed okay from what we could tell . . .

Melodie flung open her door and started to jump out to check on the damage . . .

I hollered at her to get back in the car because we were stopped in the middle of a hilly highway at dusk . . . granted, there weren’t many cars on the road; nevertheless, we really didn’t want to get run over by the one or two cars that were in the area . . .

We pulled over and got out to look . . . we got down on our hands and knees and looked very carefully . . . neither of us could see any damage, not even a little bit. The only evidence of the mishap was two deer hairs embedded in the bug guts on the bumper . . . there was a ton of bug guts plastered on the bumper resulting from driving many, many miles . . . we wondered if we might see damage if we cleaned off the bug guts and were in better light . . . but, in the moment, there was nothing more we could do. So, we got back in the car and resumed our travel plans . . .

It took us an hour to travel from Amboy to Randall (including the time needed to examine the car bumper). By the time we reached Randall, the sun was on the horizon and it was getting pretty dark. Melodie really couldn’t take worthwhile photos, although she did try to take some of an old gas station . . .

In the gas station’s bay, the shop floor had collapsed into the work pit. Tools and tires and other supplies were still in there like someone had just walked away a few decades back. There was a side garage that had an old car in there, covered with a ton of dust . . . it looks like someone was working on the car 40 years ago and then just walked away.

The town only has about 65 people living in it now . . . it has declined from about 100 people ten years ago . . . it is a town that is continuing to fade away. Apparently, it was a livelier town 100 years ago . . .

My experience of Randall was that it was not as impressive of a ghost town as some of the other ghost towns we’ve seen over the years. But, it could have been because it was too dark to really appreciate what was there . . . or maybe I was just tired of chasing ghost towns. However, Melodie seemed to have the same impression . . .

At any rate, we headed back to Red Cloud . . . maybe I was extra tired from a long, hot day . . . but Melodie was really getting on my nerves on the way back . . .

For the 14th time this weekend, she “helped” me adjust the temperature on my side of the car . . . and for the 14th time, I explained that I didn’t need her help . . . and then I said . . .

“Please do not touch the temperature button for my side of the car. Just don’t do it. I’m done being nice about it . . . now I’m going to be blunt . . . don’t touch it again!”

“Well, alrighty then! I won’t touch it again!”

“Thank you.”

We sat in silence for a few moments. Then, I asked her where the dimmer switch was for the headlights . . . and she told me where it was . . . I thanked her for the information . . .

We drove in silence for a few more moments . . .

As an oncoming car approached us, she reminded me to dim my headlights . . . I didn’t need to be reminded, I just hadn’t dimmed them at that point because the car wasn’t very close yet . . . I gritted my teeth but let it slide . . .

A few miles later, as another oncoming car approached us, she again reminded me that I needed to dim my lights . . . again, I let her annoying behavior slide by without a comment . . .

The third time it happened, I told her as gently and as patiently as I could that I didn’t need her to tell me when to dim the lights . . . I had it under control . . .

She didn’t say anything as we met the next several oncoming cars . . .

Then, about 20 minutes later, as we met a car, I forgot to dim the headlights until we were fairly close to them. As soon as I realized my mistake, I dimmed the lights and said, “Whoops! Sorry!” out loud. Of course, Melodie grabbed the opportunity to give me a hard time . . .

“I saw it happening, but I didn’t say anything . . . you said you didn’t want me to help you . . . so I didn’t say anything. I didn’t help you. You don’t want my help, so I’m not going to help you!”

“It’s not that I don’t ever want your help, it’s that you seem to think I need help with EVERYTHING, even little things that I’m fully capable of handling. I get tired of you trying to help me do things when I don’t want or need help. But, there are times that I do need help . . . and in those moments, I will ask for help. I just need for you to allow me the opportunity to ask for help and not just automatically give it to me whether I want or need it.”

“No problem. I won’t help you anymore.”

“I’m not trying to take it to that extreme . . . “

“It’s okay. I won’t help you anymore.”

So, there is a price I have to pay when I enforce boundaries with Melodie. Instead of working with me to find a reasonable middle ground, she “punishes” me by taking it to the opposite extreme.

I’ve never enforced boundaries before with her . . . in fact, enforcing boundaries is something that is fairly new to me. I was not aware of my preferences and needs and boundaries until the last couple of years. I didn’t know that I even had the right to honor them. So, of course Melodie is reacting strongly to the new way I’m showing up . . . it probably is threatening to her. But, I’m not going to not establish boundaries with her . . . and she doesn’t have her own sense of boundaries around what is generally respectful and what is not.

I still love her, and we have a long history together . . . and she has been a good friend in the past. But, I am questioning the viability of the friendship in the present. That doesn’t invalidate the value of our friendship before now . . . she has been very important to me in the past. It’s just that I’m growing and changing, and that is uncomfortable for her. And the way she is showing up does not support who I am becoming.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I would struggle to justify investing this much time and money in a weekend that is not enjoyable for me . . . a weekend that I have to spend defending my boundaries . . .

But, I can’t imagine her not being my best friend . . . I can’t imagine removing her from that position . . . but that’s fodder for another day . . .

So, anyway . . . it was pitch dark when we got back to Red Cloud. We tried to find a car wash so we could clean the bug guts off the bumper and get a better look at it for possible damage . . . we knew there was one on the north end of town . . . we finally found it . . . but it was locked up tight. We decided we would come back to it in the morning.

Then, we finally returned to the cottage . . . and now we are heading towards bed . . .

Whew, it’s been a long day.

(025)


Responses

  1. I have a friend who is a terrible ‘backseat driver’ – same type of problem as your friend’s. I hate it. I also have tried setting a boundary and she also takes this badly. I won’t drive anywhere out of town with her – just a few minutes around the city. Ironically, she is not a confident driver herself and doesn’t own a car. I do feel your pain.

    In a way, it’s a very straightforward and seemingly low risk type of boundary to set. You’d think it’d be easy. It’s not like – you’re drinking too much, or anything super personal. But it’s not easy – a lot seems to be involved.

    • I agree, Ellen . . . for such a non-personal subject, it sure is touchy! I’ve had several backseat drivers in my life . . . sheesh! Get over it, I say!


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