Shopping because it’s fun, not out of necessity
Bathing and personal care
Demonstrative concern for health and well being
I was taught these are things one does for one’s self at the earliest possible age and from then on in perpetuity. These are all things you either already provide or things you have spoken of providing.
I can accept the guidance and structure without issue. In fact, I look forward to these things. I respect you and seek your council. Easy. These other things – they make me extremely uncomfortable.
I have been poking at them individually seeking the why of it. It occurs to me they have a few things in common. They are forms of nurturing. They are demonstrations of love. They are things I do for others often. I want, dare I say, need, all of this. I do not know how to accept them from you with grace.
I realized, during my contemplation, that I don’t know how because I have never had anyone to care for me in this way. When you gruffly tell me to shower and follow that up by “force feeding” me water and candy, I am exasperated and feel adored. I want to argue that I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I don’t because I know this is not news to you and it’s also not the point. You are taking care of me because you want to not because I can’t – that is the point. It strikes me that this is yet another form of submission: standing tacitly while you care for this body that belongs to you. I like it in spite of (because of?) the level of difficulty.
I am asking you: Please. Please help me with this. I am concerned my reticence will ruin this for you. Please don’t let me dissuade you from nurturing me. I will probably become quiet in that way I do when I’m at a loss. I may, despite my best effort, have a bit of attitude. Please push me through it. Please teach me how to allow it in my life. Please show me how to let you love me.