Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Bet - Chapter 48 (Thursday – week 7 Part 3 of 7)

The Bet
by Karen Singer

Chapter 48 (Thursday – week 7 Part 3 of 7)

Robin spotted Gloria waiting just outside the door to the restaurant as she walked up from her car. “Hi,” she said politely. “I really appreciate you meeting with me like this. Were you waiting long?”
“No, I just got here,” Gloria replied as they went in through the door. “Good timing.”
A few minutes later, they were seated with menus on the table in front of them. Gloria was there often so she didn’t bother opening hers, instead she waited patiently while Robin briefly looked over her menu before closing it. “So, you wanted to see me?” Gloria asked.
Robin felt bad and frustrated about asking for help, but she was here now. “Yeah,” she replied. “It’s just that…” But it was difficult to put into words what she really wanted to say? “That… I don’t know what to do about Sissy!” she blurted out. “I mean, he just makes me so mad!”
Gloria already had no doubt that Sissy was really at the heart of the matter, but all she did was to raise an eyebrow and repeat the word, “Mad?”
“Yeah! And the last few days I’ve started making him… I mean…” But she didn’t know how to say what it was that she wanted to say, so her main piece of frustration forced its way out of her mouth instead. “I’m not a bad person!”
Gloria was a little surprised by her sudden turn in the conversation, but many of her clients were often all over the place with their thoughts, so this was nothing new to her. All she said was, “You’re not?”
“No! I’m not! At least, I don’t want to be.”
“So you think you are.”
“No… I mean, yes… I don’t know!”
“So you think you might be bad. Why is that?”
Robin felt a bit embarrassed by her thoughts. “Because of some of the things I’ve been making him do.”
Gloria really wasn’t all that interested in knowing about it, but this was a professional consultation so she had to ask. “And what did you make him do?”
“Not much, at first,” Robin replied after a moment of reflection.
“At first? It’s only been what, two days?”
Robin blushed. “About that,” she mumbled. “I mean I made him…” She shook her head. “He was just being so childish!” she blurted out in her frustration. “So I made him suck his thumb.”
“You…” But Gloria didn’t get any further before Robin continued.
“And the second time, I taped it to his mouth so he couldn’t take it out without me knowing about it.”
“You taped it?”
“Well… I can’t trust him! He’s so damn childish! I just don’t know why I never saw it before. I mean he really is!”
“Childish? In what way?”
Robin shook her head. “He’s forever trying to get away with stuff. He tells half-truths. And when he wants something, he nags, nags, nags, just like a child. So… I treat him like one.”
Gloria took that in for a moment before saying, “I see. So you punish him.”
“Yeah. I can’t help it. He just infuriates me so much! Why didn’t I see it in him before?”
Gloria ignored her question for a moment and instead asked. “So you don’t… dominate him like Mel does?”
“Well, that’s just it, I’ve started doing a little of that too. A little.”
“But mostly, you punish him for being childish. Is it possible you’re more sensitive to his childishness now because you now know what he is?”
Robin thought about that, then sheepishly nodded. “But I don’t want to be bad!”
“And who says you’re bad?”
Robin was saved from answering right away by the waitress taking their order. When she left, Gloria pushed the question again. “Who says you’re bad?”
The answer seemed perfectly obvious to Robin. “Everyone!”
That surprised Gloria. “So you’ve told others about what you’re doing, and they’re all condemning you for it?”
“No, not that. I haven’t dared tell anyone!”
“So who says you’re bad?”
“Well wouldn’t anyone say that? It’s obvious, isn’t it?”
“Obvious, because you punish him for being childish?”
“Well, yeah, I guess. And for the other stuff too.”
“The other stuff?”
“Well, I’ve been making him curtsey when he sees me like Mel does, and I told him to always use his sissy voice around me too.”
“So you like dominating him?”
“No, it’s just that… it helps to remind me what he is all the time.”
“What he is? And that is?”
“A sissy of course!”
“Of course. So you feel you have to dominate him to help remind you of that, and now you’re feeling guilty about it.”
Robin nodded. “Something like that.”
“So you think that making him talk funny and curtsey once in a while makes you a bad person.”
“Well… there’s more,” Robin replied sheepishly. “Yesterday when I taped his thumb to his mouth, I made him sit in the corner under my desk for several hours. I told him it was his time-out spot for acting so childish. And then today… Well, I didn’t really do much with him today. I chickened out with what I had planned and tried to avoid him as much as possible instead.”
Gloria was a bit startled, but she didn’t let it show. She had heard worse. Much worse! “You chickened out?”
“Well, yeah. I had this idea last night, but this morning I realized that everything I was doing was wrong. All wrong. It’s not right!”
“Not right as far as you’re concerned, or Sissy?”
That startled Robin. “It’s just not right! Period!”
“So don’t do it.”
Robin shook her head. “You don’t understand. I can’t deal with him like I used to! His childishness makes me so angry I just want to kill him!”
“So dominate him.”
But I can’t! It’s all wrong.” Robin leaned forward to emphasize her words. “I’m not a cruel person. It’s not me!” She leaned back again before continuing. “All I ever wanted to be in life is a wife and a mother. And now I am. I’m not some freaky dominatrix person with a whip and boots and… well, you know. I’m not a cruel person. It’s not me.”
“It’s not you, or not what you think you are.”
Robin had to think about that. “It’s not… I’m not…” She shook her head. “I don’t know. Every time I see him I still get so mad at him. And it’s been almost a week now since I found out!”
Gloria nodded. “You’re angry at him and you can’t let go of it.”
“Yeah! Exactly.”
“And you’re frustrated about it.”
“So what is it you want to do?”
Robin shook her head. “That’s why I’m here. I don’t know!”
Gloria nodded. It was time to backtrack a bit. “So now because you’ve made him do a few things you’re afraid that you might be a bad person.”
Robin wasn’t sure, but she thought that Gloria might be twisting her words a little. “Kind of,” she admitted. “But it’s not me! I’m not a bad person.”
“I didn’t say you were.” Gloria paused to think for a moment. “You say you’re not cruel. Was it cruel to tape his thumb to his mouth? Was it cruel to sit him under your desk?”
Robin nodded. “Yes, it was. I need to apologize to him for that I guess.”
“Maybe. But… was it cruel by your standards, or his?”
“Do you think that Sissy thought it was cruel to have his thumb taped to his mouth?”
“Well sure. Wouldn’t he?”
“I don’t know. He’s a sissy. And his particular breed of sissy craves that kind of thing.”
“So I wasn’t cruel?”
Gloria shrugged. “It depends on whose standards you’re going by.”
Robin was a little startled by that. “Whose standards?” she repeated. She paused a few moments while she tried to figure that one out. “So I wasn’t being cruel when I made him do those things?”
“I didn’t say that.”
Robin was getting more confused. “So I was being cruel.”
“I didn’t say that either. It depends on whose point of view you want to go by.”
Robin was getting more frustrated now. This just wasn’t working! “Whose point of view? Either I’m wrong, or I’m right! Either I’m bad, or I’m not!”
“I’m afraid that it’s not really that easy,” Gloria replied. “You say your big problem is that you can’t deal with him as you now know him to be, yet you have been dealing with him – the best way that you can.”
“But it’s all wrong! I’m not that kind of person!” Robin protested.
“But you’ve been dealing with it – as that kind of person. You’re just conflicted because everything you’re doing goes directly against everything you believed – before! But now you’re finding out that life isn’t that simple. Life doesn’t always fit into nice neat little boxes. Sometimes you have to find a different way to deal with something, even if it doesn’t fit into one of those nice neat little boxes you want your life to be ruled by.
“You say you’re not a cruel person. But again, cruel by whose standards? Yours? His? Or do you need to look somewhere in the middle. Make some concessions in your life that will enable you to deal with him in a way that satisfies your needs – while at the same time, keeping in mind that you can look a little bit out of that box you want to put him in because of his own ‘unique’ point of view of life.
“Let’s face it,” Gloria continued, “he’s a bit different. But he has needs just like you and I do. His needs are just a bit…” she searched for a good word.
“Weird!” Robin finished for her.
Gloria smiled. “Maybe. But you’ve got the idea.”
“So what I’ve been doing is not wrong?”
“I’m not saying that.”
Robin grunted and rolled her eyes. “You wouldn’t, would you! You won’t say one way or the other.”
Gloria leaned forward. “Only you can answer that one.”
Robin had to pause for a few moments to calm down and think. She was getting frustrated by Gloria’s non-help. “It helps me to see him as a sissy and not as… Chad… or even as Chad who was trying to be a woman.”
“Why is that?” Gloria asked.
“Because every time I see him in those… more normal roles, I can’t help thinking that this… decent person, is nothing of the sort! He’s perverted! He’s twisted! He’s… an idiot! Can you imagine, wanting to go around wetting yourself all the time. Not to mention messing himself too! God! What a jerk! It makes me so mad I could just shake him! And he’s going around trying to act like he’s totally normal? Not warning anyone at all that in reality he’s a damn… pervert? God, it just makes me so mad!”
“But is he a pervert?”
“By my definition he is!” Robin replied.
“But you said that’s how you see him when he’s in a ‘more normal’ role. What else is there?”
“His sissy role.”
“What’s the difference?”
“The difference? He’s not running around pretending to be something he’s not. He’s not trying to fool anybody into thinking he’s normal.”
“And it doesn’t bother you to see him in that light, as a sissy?”
“It bothers me, just not the same as it does when I try to see him as a normal person. I can see what he is, and it kind of triggers something in me that says I can deal with him differently. If I don’t see him as a normal person, then I don’t have to deal with him as a normal person. But when I see him in any kind of way that even ‘might’ be normal, then I just get confused and angry and everything seems all wrong.”
“So it’s easier for you to accept him as a sissy, than as someone… normal.”
“I don’t know about accept him, but I can deal with him.”
“So you have no trouble dealing with his as a sissy.”
“Yeah, I do have trouble. But when I see him that way, every time he makes me mad, I just have to find some way to punish him, and then I feel better about it.”
“Better about it?”
“Yeah. Well, maybe more… justified anyway.”
“But you can deal with him that way.”
Robin nodded. “Yeah, I guess.”
Gloria just nodded. “And now you think you’re bad because of the way you want to deal with him.”
“Well, I guess I am,” Robin admitted.
“Again, by whose standards?”
“What does it matter?”
“To some people it might.”
Robin had to think about that, but only for a moment. “I guess, by my standards.”
“Good,” Gloria replied. “That’s important! So what you need is for Sissy to fit into your little box of acceptable standards?”
Robin was thrown off balance. First Gloria had praised her, then in the next breath she had pulled the rug out from under her again. “Him fit into my standards?” She thought about that for a moment. “I wish!” She looked at Gloria for a moment. “I guess I can’t expect him to fit my standards, can I? At least… not anymore.”
“As I said, he has needs too. And his needs make him see life a bit differently than you do. While he’s very aware of what most people would consider ‘normal’ or even ‘acceptable,’ his needs force him to make room for something more. He knows he doesn’t fit in, even when he tries.”
“Yeah, I get it,” Robin admitted sullenly. “But that doesn’t make it right!”
“Again, for you? Or him?”
Robin looked at her for a moment. “I guess, for me.”
“But to him it may be okay?”
Robin nodded. “I guess.” She remembered something then. “Yesterday, when I told him that I didn’t know what the bounds were on this type of thing, he told me that there were no bounds. I could do anything!”
“That may have been a bad choice of words on his part,” Gloria replied. “I’m sure he has bounds. He just may not have reached them yet.”
Robin nodded. “Yeah, probably. But maybe it means, that he doesn’t really mind what I’m doing to him all that much. Maybe, no matter how much I feel that it’s wrong, he doesn’t.”
“Possibly,” Gloria admitted.
“But it still feels wrong,” Robin replied.
“And it is! To most people! And also to you because you’re matching it up against how you treat everyone else.”
As Robin tried to digest that, their food finally arrived. When the waitress had left, Robin stuck a French fry in her mouth and said, “I’ve been trying to avoid him as much as possible so I don’t have to see him and get angry again.”
“How’s that going?” Gloria asked with her mouth full of hamburger.
“Not so well. We work together, and now our boss has thrown us together on another project.” She looked up at Gloria. “I could handle the whole project by myself! There was no need for Tom to include Sissy in it too!”
“In other words, you just wanted to avoid him.”
Robin nodded before she stuck some chicken in her mouth. “Yeah, I guess. The less I see of him, the better. The problem is that I really can’t avoid him.” She thought of something else. “The one little piece of advice that Mel gave me was to make him understand that I’m the one in charge of everything now, not him.”
“So, since I don’t really need his help on this thing, then I’m not letting him touch it.” She rolled her eyes before adding, “which means he has nothing to do and so he seems to find ways to act more childish again and make me mad at him.”
Gloria had been about to take another bite of her hamburger, but she delayed it. “That’s a twist,” she said. “You want to be the boss – and do all the work too – while your workers, or in this case worker, does nothing.”
“But I don’t need him!”
“I didn’t say you did. It just struck me as different. Not wrong, just different.”
But her words struck something in Robin that made her think about it. “You’re right, the boss doesn’t do all the work. He makes everyone else do it for him.”
“Maybe not exactly like that,” Gloria replied. “A boss still has a lot of responsibilities, they’re just different responsibilities. Not less, not easier, just different.”
Robin nodded. She had a lot to think about. It was still all wrong! But was it really? And the one in charge doesn’t have to do all the work!

1 comment:

sarah penguin said...

Fanks for posting another bit of The Bet! I hope this helps Robin be happy interacting with Sissy. :)