I didn’t know what to say . . .

As much as I am FIENDING to snark about the arrival of the 18th Duggar, at this moment there’s something else on my mind . . .

I’m at the hospital with Mona and baby Elijah . . . spending the night so as to give her a break from the every-three-hour feedings and to keep her company. Sara is heading off to Boston, so I’m settling in for the weekend.

Our nurse tonight just came in a moment ago, while Mona was sleeping, and asked, “so are you from her church?” When I said yes, she must’ve said something about “it’s great that you help her out” or something along those lines–the kind of thing that people say that ALWAYS makes me cringe. I think I responded with, “she grows on you” (ain’t it the truth!!!!!!!!!) and something about being rather fond of Little Man as well . . .

Then she said, “Does she have a lot of people who help her out?” I stammered answering that . . . said something about, “well, yes . . . and there are different people involved with her older boys”–I’m not sure where it went from there. The nurse proceeded to say something about how that was a wonderful church family . . . which of course I couldn’t disagree with . . .

but here’s the thing. I struggle mightily with the whole concept of my relationship with Mona, particularly with the fact that the relationship is almost always perceived by those who see it from the outside as an unequal one .  .  . with me as the “helper”. And I don’t WANT it to be uneven. I don’t WANT to think that I’m in this just so that I can pat myself on the back and say, “look at me! I’m such a good person!” I hate hate hate hate HATE when anybody so much as says two words to me about what a good friend I am to her . . . as if there was absolutely no balance–as if I was doing all of the giving. I already struggle with the fact that, in some very real and tangible ways, there IS an imbalance of power. I struggle, too, with the fact that I can’t trust my own motives . . . I am very well aware that it is quite likely that everything I do for Mona, I do out of some pathology.

I don’t want to be told that I’m some kind of saint when I’m really just screwed up. I don’t want to feel like I can’t trust my own motives, but who really ever has pure motives in doing good anyway?

This is the thing I struggle with the most when it comes to my life with Mona. And I’m not sure I’ve figured out the answer yet.

One question haunts and hurts
Too much, too much to mention
Was I really seeking good
Or just seeking attention?
Is that all good deeds are when looked at with an ice-cold eye?

(“No Good Deed”–from Wicked)

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2 thoughts on “I didn’t know what to say . . .

  1. interesting. when i first started reading ur stuff and seeing photos of u and mona together, i got the impression that she was like a mother-figure to you. then i was surprised when i found out she’s about our age. something about the way you look in some of the photos made me think that…

    • posted and emailed

      Cheryl, I’m not surprised. In some ways, she IS like a mom to me . . . she’s so nurturing in that way. And she is definitely the “matriarch” in her circle of family and friends . . .

      so I guess that makes me feel better. I know that when my former roommate died, I went to see Mona and found myself disappointed that she wasn’t there. I was surprised that I was, almost without realizing it, looking to her for comfort. So yes, it’s not at all one-sided . .. but I think the issue is that it APPEARS to be . . .

      and ps do I seem that motherless?! LOL. I always say that I’ve got more mothers than I know what to do with . . .

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