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C11P41 – The Best

C11P41 – The Best published on 22 Comments on C11P41 – The BestPurchase

Pakku is not used to compliments. Or for people to notice his skills over his quirks. He has been, for most of his life, largely invisible.

I remember watching a TEDtalk with Amanda Palmer. She was talking about how part of the service she offered, when she was working as a living statue, was what she called “intense eye contact.” She describes some of the most meaningful moments where she would interact with people, especially those that seemed lonely, and in that moment of eye contact there was a silent conversation. “Thank you. And, I see you.”

There is something very important about being seen. Sometimes it is very hard to see ourselves, or to view what we see with acceptance.

One comment I get a lot on my old story, Shades of Grey, is that the character shifts happen “too fast.” I am often told, “Nobody does a 180 like that,” which I have always found strange, because that is exactly how I would shift from one state to another during most of my younger years. I’ve since realized this was mostly because I had bad boundary control, and lived in an environment with people that would violate any boundaries I did attempt to create. I called myself “Silk and Steel,” because I would capitulate, and capitulate, and capitulate, and then suddenly something would catch, and I would become hard. Cold. Divorced from my feelings. I would feel like a being of cruel, harsh logic.

Nobody liked Steel very much. My first boyfriend, who was emotionally abusive, was particularly disapproving. I emerged from that relationship believing that my Steel side was wicked. Sick. Dark. And that, as a result, I would forever be alone.

I remember when Cory encountered Steel. He’d come for my advice on a difficult decision, one that I was emotionally invested in. And I felt that the only way I could be honest and a good friend was to access that cold, logical, emotionless aspect of myself. I was also prepared to lose him as a friend as a result. Instead, he valued it. He appreciated those pieces of me. He saw me.

It was a profoundly important moment in my life.

Have you had a moment where you were seen? Or where you saw someone else? How did it change your life?

22 Comments

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I don’t know if I’ve had one of those moments…but your personal story just helped me make a new connection! I also grew up in a household with unhealthy boundaries/a lack of boundaries, and so have immense trouble setting them myself…but I never connected any of that with my own propensity for swift and frequent change, something I’ve always identified with. So thank you for that interesting insight!

Also, Una knows just how to get to Pakku, eh?? I can’t tell if they’re genuine compliments or manipulation or both, but either way, I can’t wait to see how Pakku reacts.

For me the sudden flip-flop of perspective comes a lot from tolerating something far beyond a healthy boundary. Often this comes from a feeling that I have to “collect evidence” in order to “justify” having a boundary at all. As a result, my energy reserves are not just depleted, they’re at ground-zero crisis when I finally attempt to address the limit breach. Which often results in an explosion, because I no longer have the mental, emotional, and psychological resources to appropriately express myself or handle discussion.

All of which stems from being in an environment where reasonable limits weren’t demonstrated or respected for me. Thus, the only limits that WERE respected came from nuclear deterrent defense.

And, on Una’s compliments…eh, little from column A, little from column B?

if its any consolation, I’m very similar in this pattern. Boundary pushing -> caving in -> time to collect evidence on my own -> emotional shutdown, cold hard pushback. History of a family without boundaries, or any knowledge of how to respect them. History of people telling me the cold, hard side of myself makes them uncomfortable/that it is bad. So, by the time I’m ready to push back, I’ve also resigned myself to losing that friend.

The good news is that we’re all recognizing these things about ourselves, which means we can embrace our strengths and learn to move past our weaknesses. I think that as I learn to manage my own boundaries better, I will still have the core strength of that hard side, but it won’t have to be so cold or unyielding.

I find it interesting that both Warren and Pakku are being recruited – in their own ways, and potentially for the same project. Their employers seem to know exactly which buttons to push for each of them.

The question here is, is Una being serious? I half suspect that she left that perfume on purpose, knowing of Pakku’s skills. If he could detect her from that clue, then he was the right person for the job; if not, he was probably dead.

Ok I kind of want them to be BFFs and run off together please. Pakku is cute when he blushes. Also this is WAY more interesting than the usual dramatic irony plotline…

Now I’m tempted to say something about trains of thought and long, dark tunnels, but it might be better for all if I just shut up.

In any case, it’s fun when the characters catch the writer off-guard, isn’t it?

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