Bowlby meets the dragons

dragons-eyeWe dragons live a very long time. A thousand years is not unusual. This means we get to know people’s families. A number of my visitors are people whose great, great, great grandparents used to come and talk with me.Some guests find this very helpful .It means we can think about why they think the way that they do.If your family motto has always been “Women should be seen and not heard.” Or “Men should never cry.” then that’s what you will live out. It takes a long time to change that. I’ve learned over the years that saying “Do this.” Or “Don’t do that.” is a waste of my breath.So i sit and listen and point out what seems to be happening between me and my visitor. Someone came to me recently .A woman who was involved with a man who always belittled her. All her men had been like this. She was so sad about this, she assured me. “I’m too old for this. i want a life for myself. What kind of message am I giving my daughter about her value?”  I said very little. Let a small breath of smoke drift out. ( I think that’s the dragon equivalent of you humans raising an eyebrow!)

I listened for several visits as she spoke about how all the women in her family married badly. All stayed with the men who hurt them and in their turn inflicted hurt on their daughters. Sadly this is a pattern that I’ve seen in too many human families. (Dragons don’t do that. Partly because wanton cruelty isn’t part of our nature. Partly because who wants to anger something weighing several tons and breathing fire?) So my guest came and told me about her life. I began to wonder if seeing me meant she was capable of change. That she really did see the damage she was doing to herself;her children; her partner. (What creature wants to stay with a partner who is utterly contemptuous of them?) Sadly the relationship with me came to an abrupt end. A crisis had come up which made it impossible to carry on seeing me.Perhaps sometime in the future?

I admit to being saddened by this. I had begun to hope that she wanted to change her life. I had not anticipated her ending our conversations so abruptly. Clearly the message heard down the generations was too strong to be ignored. She had no right to be happy. I do not expect to see her again. But i wonder if her daughter might visit me…


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