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Racism and the Collapsing Society, Barbara Love and Tim Jackins, June 7, 2020

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Taking Initiative in an RC Relationship

Hi Tim,1

I was happy I got to have a mini-session with you at the workshop, and I want to share how much I appreciated what you had to say and give to us. I know I am not alone in this, but I feel like you were talking directly to me.

The struggles in our Region2 and my struggles with some of the leadership have felt personal. For some time they have felt like my personal failing, or the fault of the other person—and like if he or she would simply die, the problem would cease to exist.

One of the people I have had challenges with was at the workshop. When our Region met at a mealtime, I glanced at her and saw that she looked to be having a particularly difficult time. So when we were done meeting as a group and people were having conversations with each other, I called her over to me. It looked like a big struggle for her to walk the distance to the empty seat beside me, and I noticed I was feeling that she looked like she hated me.

I thanked her for walking toward me and told her I would have come to her but that there was no seat. I said that it looked like she was having a hard time and that I wondered if I could help in any way.

I think it’s important for you to know that I had pretty much3 given up on our relationship. In the past she had made some big mistakes in my direction, and I am sure she would say the same about me. I had told myself that I don’t have to fix every difficulty and that it’s okay to let some relationships fail. To a degree, I still feel this. But I do see the benefit in moving through a rigid decision.

She looked hesitant to accept my offer to counsel her, and I said that it might help her to hear what I thought of her. I was able to share many specific examples of how she was successful in her life and had acted with integrity, and what I liked about how she was living her life. This was good for both of us. She was crying as I shared. I told her it did not make sense that we be apart and that the reason we had such difficulty with each other was that we reminded each other of our traumatic backgrounds.

As I was sharing my thoughts, I noticed that I was softening toward her and that she looked to be softening toward me. (By this I mean that I was feeling less anger and apathy toward her and it looked like she was feeling less anger and apathy toward me.) Both of us were raised poor, with sexual impropriety from parents and older siblings, and I believe that neither of us could bear looking at the hardship on the face of the other. It was too familiar and restimulating. It is no wonder we kept deciding to avoid each other. It was, until now, the best solution.

I was able to use what you shared in the class about how we pin our chronics on other people,4 and how we are more likely to move through heavy material5 if we take charge and decide to remember that it is not about the person it has gotten attached to.

She was able to tell me things she appreciated about me, and she let me know that it had never been true that she hated me, no matter what it had looked like.

We made a pinky-swear commitment6 to remember all this and that we actually care about each other and want to move through the material that confuses us.

So thank you, Tim! From my whole heart!

Anonymous


1 Tim Jackins
2 A Region is a subdivision of the International RC Community, usually  consisting of several Areas (local RC Communities).
3 “Pretty much” means mostly.
4 “Pin our chronics on other people” means in an attempt to discharge our chronic  distresses, act like they are due to other people in the present.
5 “Material” means distress.
6 A “pinky-swear commitment” means a commitment we swore to keep by  hooking our little (fifth) fingers together.


Last modified: 2020-07-01 08:50:08+00