Dynamics And Accountability: Understanding Relationships

As I’ve said I’m an only child and like anyone else I view the world and people from my own perspective. These are my opinions and observations. They may or may not be yours. We are each unique individuals with unique experiences and situations. Consider that a disclaimer if you don’t agree.

Growing up I didn’t get away with much. I learned pretty quickly that it made no sense for me to try to lie my way out of something. The dog didn’t leave the milk on the counter, crumbs on the table or a wet towel on the bathroom floor. I learned to be accountable for my actions. Basically there was no one else to blame. I think this left me with a certain level of intolerance for people who try to get away with stuff. Think of them as rule breakers (not really criminals since they aren’t breaking laws). My truth and justice meter is set pretty high as is my level of compassion. It leaves me outraged more than I probably should be. It also leaves me disappointed in people quite a bit. I work hard to avoid the extremes of all feelings.

The Husband comes from a big family. He is number two of seven children. He and number one are twins. I have spent 35+ years as part of this large group of people which continues to grow as the nephews and nieces marry and have children. The observations I made from the early years still serve me well as I navigate the relationships. My MIL was an only child. She probably could see on my face how overwhelming the chaos of a large, loud family was for me. I quickly learned the different personalities and dynamics of my eventual in-laws. I observed all those things parenting books say about birth order. To this day the dynamics are the same even though everyone (5 siblings- the 6th passed away about 10 years ago) is married with their own children.

By nature I’m an observer. I think it comes from not having the distraction of someone to play with when I was young. Or maybe it’s just the way I’m wired. Maybe I’m a little shy in a crowd. Here is a crazy example. When my MIL was going downhill I said to The Husband something about the boxes in the attic at her house. He had no idea what I was talking about. I reminded him of the day nearly 20 years before that we visited and his brother was helping his father put boxes in the attic with a ladder through the opening in the ceiling in the living room. He had no memory of what I was talking about so he asked his brother, the youngest of the boys. He said he had no memory of that but there is an access to the attic in the ceiling in the living room. After my MIL passed he was curious and went to look. There were the boxes for the eldest 14 grandchildren, those who had been born when the boxes were placed up there. My BIL was shocked I remembered this event. He participated and had no memory.

I’ve been observing the things going on in my country for ever. There is a tone set by the leaders that reverberates down through the people. The way they speak to us. The way they act towards each other. The way events play out. It’s all very much like observing a family. They may not be related but they are forced to interact with the dynamics set forth from their position. While I don’t have specific individual memories of the assassinations of John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, I’ve seen too many documentaries so my memories are overwritten, I do remember the palpable feeling of sadness and loss. People who should have continued to make an impact were gone and as a society we had lost a great deal. I do have crystal clear memories of September 11, 2001. The shock, sadness and vulnerability are still right below the surface. It just takes a mention of the date to bring the feelings right back. At the time I said 9/11 was our JFK assassination: we would always remember where we were and how we felt.

The events playing out today feel different. There is no united feeling of the people. Sure there is sadness, indignation, outrage, confusion and nearly every possible feeling but there is no unity. We are like kids whose parents are getting a divorce. We are all confused and unhappy. We’ve picked a side based on the information we’ve been given. Maybe you think from your observations that Dad (democrats) is right and he should be given custody of the kids. Maybe you think Mom (republicans) is right and she should be given custody. No child knows exactly what their parents relationship is. Yes we know how they act in front of us. We hear their arguments. If we’re lucky we see the gentle touch on a shoulder. In the worst case we see fists flying. What we don’t know is how they are when we aren’t around. We don’t know what is influencing them from outside. Does Dad have a girlfriend he’s seeing on the side? Does Mom flirt with the butcher to get better cuts of meat? (I know dumb example but you get the idea.) What we as a people need to realize, just like children whose parents are getting divorced, this isn’t our fault and we need to work together for ourselves. Mom and Dad are too busy with their own agendas to work together in the best interest of the children. They’re much busier with each other and they’ve forgotten to give us our allowance (where are those bigger stimulus checks?). They don’t see the children are suffering. They’re pulling out all the stops to be the one that wins without considering we could all lose. As the children we don’t know their individual motivation. As the children we don’t know if what we see is the whole story. As the children we just have to stand together, no matter which side we’re on, and hope the adults come to their senses and start behaving like adults. In the end everything will work out. But until we get to the end it’s going to be a bumpy ride.


About nothingbutknit2

I'm a wife, mother and knitter. Watch out for my pointy sticks.
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22 Responses to Dynamics And Accountability: Understanding Relationships

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    Another interesting post. Just from my own observations from the UK, what I see is an outsider- the cuckoo in the nest, i.e. business man president, coming along and upsetting the whole nest- they all just want him gone so they can get back to normal, all with their snouts in the trough, and no care for everyone else, just as they can have their nice political careers. My heart goes out to America.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. ReginaMary says:

    This was so well stated. I love this post. Even if people have not been directly influenced by divorce, we all know someone who has and the impacts are reverberated regular in movies and television. I think your analogy of dad’s girlfriend and mom’s butcher is accurate, actually. You could substitute words like ‘big tech’ and ‘china’ or a slew of other words-take your pick. I agree…I don’t feel we can rely on the politicians to lead us in a positive direction. This is a nation of the people and for the people. I always chuckle at primary debates where everyone from the same party tears each other down, then when they are out of the running, fully endorse the person they just publicly called out. Kamala Harris was VERY critical of Joe Biden. I don’t know. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I often joke about working in the school system and how some teachers behave in a manner that would not cut it in the ‘real world.’ Well the same goes for the politicians. All of them. In the real world, this sh*t wouldn’t get you hired.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m posting a link on my blog to this post. Brilliantly said.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: A link for you | Knitting In Flashes

  5. Bobbie Jean says:

    You only trust the military? Why? Members of the armed forces participated in the riot. Who controls the military? The president of the United States is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mainly trust the military. I’m talking about the real people military not the commander in chief who is by and large a figure head who takes the advice of the generals. The military who actually put their life on the line are trustworthy. They are much like the every day people in our world. Most are honest hardworking people. These people are unlikely to be corrupt. I can’t say that about politicians who take favors from lobbyists and very quickly forget they are representing the people who voted for them.
      I view trust on a continuum. One end is high trust, the other is complete lack of trust. No one outside my immediate family sits at the full trust end. No one sits at the complete lack of trust end. I would never throw someone away entirely with no opportunity to be redeemed. On my continuum of trust of the government the military sits closer to the full trust end than the president or politicians.
      There has been a call for an outside panel to investigate the riot at the Capitol. Until that is done we won’t have a full picture of what happened. We just have to have patience and see what comes of that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bobbie Jean says:

        I still don’t understand your rationalizations, but then I’m a bit slow. My dad was a career soldier. I don’t trust the military any more than I’d trust anyone. The army is being investigated over the murders of soldiers, most notable the female who was dismembered. My father was stationed at the bases being investigated. Soldiers are people just like everyone else; they are flawed–some frighteningly so. I know people who were given the choice of the army or jail.

        I also believe we get the politicians we deserve. I’m quoting Thomas Jefferson. You do make me think. And wonder. I appreciate you being open to opposing views and questions.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. chrisknits says:

    Another great post! I think you and I need to live closer to enjoy each other’s company in real time, not computer links! Since your husband likes to move I say, move to the Heartland! We have lots of wide open spaces and great schools!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’d just like to say that I trust our governor here in Vermont, among other elected officials; I may not agree with him, but he’s doing a great job with the Covid pandemic – not that I always agree with him there, either – but he’s honestly trying to put the population of the state first, and with two televised and broadcast press conferences a week, we all know what his thinking is.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. And do you seriously need a stimulus check? I don’t; I’m retired, so my finances haven’t changed much, and I have always lived on little. The last check I stimulated the economy, and if sent more money I’ll do that again, supporting artists and my faith community. But if you need the money, I’m happy to contribute. (This would be a private e-mail if I knew how to do that!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t need a stimulus check but there are a lot of people in my community that do. There are a lot of businesses that are open at 25% capacity. I happily spent my first stimulus check in small restaurants in my area. Still one of my favorites has folded.
      I have contributed in my own way during the pandemic. I have a tenant who skipped a few months rent. We have to fight for those who need help by doing whatever we can.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m glad you are in a position to make a difference in your community. Absolutely right, help those who need it in any way we can. Yes, some businesses will fold – and unfortunately more than would have without the pandemic. But I’m more concerned about the hundreds of thousands who are no longer alive to spend money in businesses. Their families will pay the price, as did my godfather, who, as a toddler, lost his dad in the 1918 flu.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. kathyreeves says:

    This was a brilliant piece of writing, Karen, thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Another great post! I have long believed that the two major parties are largely in favor of maintaining their own power and control far more than they are in favor of doing anything for the country or the general population.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. LDSVenus says:

    Have you ever taken the Myers/Briggs personality test? You sound like a INFJ to me :), so am I.

    Liked by 1 person

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