DOLL HAUS & The Family Dynamic

I’ve been feeling for a while that maybe I am too much. I was raised to be fiercely independent so every move that I make is with authority, with presence, with purpose. Within my family I’ve been the head of the castle for years because that was who I had to be. I’ve grazed on it before. About independent women and how that affects our relationships with men in today’s society. How can they be who they are if we are becoming who they are?

This morning I felt driven. I’d been toying with the idea of shifting my work schedule to include one day off during the week to be able to focus on my writing. I’ve been off on weekends however that doesn’t allow me much time to do anything because my kids are also out of school on the weekends. That is instant family time and not mommy needs to write and be undisturbed time. So today I put it into action – this “FRIDAYS are my ME time” kick. I got the kids ready for school, dropped them off, took the baby to daycare, and skipped my tail over to Starbucks armed with my laptop and copies of my novel, Wounded, in my handy dandy handbag from my cousin Jill.

I get situated and a gentleman name Magic of whom my mother and I had met on a prior visit to Starbucks landed. Magic ministers to the patrons at this particular location. It is divine and I was happy to see him arrive. We spoke, sat next to each other, talked about the book and the process of self publishing, so on and so forth. As we engaged in conversation and he greeted every person on their way out of the cafe we got onto the topic of the family dynamic and how the man is the head of the household while the woman cares for it.

I’ve heard this before. I am not an advocate against it but you know all of the arguments that can come into play with that. I’m not one to argue especially when that is the ideal but just doesn’t always play out that way. Magic spoke on the bible stating that men are to love their wives but that it does not state that women are to love their husbands.

Huh? What?

It does not say that because by nature women are nurturers. Men are not. So they MUST love their wives. Women are instructed to honor their husbands. This lead into another conversation beginning with a short story.

A woman is driving a car and is swerving all over the road nearly running into people and causing an accident. Eventually she is able to pull the car to a stop at a stop sign. What do you think has happened?

My immediate response was that she had lost her direction. In turn Magic said, no. That is not the case. The woman was in the passenger’s seat and her husband was behind the wheel and had fallen asleep. It is the man’s job to drive the car but the woman’s to keep him on track. If he falls asleep at the wheel a woman will do anything in her power to get the car back under control.

*jaw drop*

I assumed she had lost control because in all of my prior relationships I have had to be the driver – or so I assumed. I’ve been in cars where my partner has fallen asleep at the wheel so by default I take over the driving. I recline their seats and let them sleep and I direct the car, the household, the family and he never has to wake up and takeover. If my job is to assist, to watch out for his blind spots, that then in turns leaves me stressed out, on edge, and constantly uncomfortable because that is NOT my job to drive!

Another downside of this, and let’s keep it real here, is that all of that driving from previous relationships affects the current ride. I’m not allowing my future husband to take control. I’m not allowing him to be the head of the household. I am stifling him because all I know how to do is be the boss and he is putting up with it because he loves me. Take a look at this…another reference point from Magic…

Since I was a child a Barbie was put into my hands. I was given a doll house. I put that house together and made it perfect. Once that house was to my standards I went out and got a Ken doll and then placed him into my perfect home and moved him from room to room at will.

How does that play out into real life?

A lot of we women today do things out of sequence much as I did. I went out and made my ideal home, my ideal family unit without a man, and once I felt like I was on top of things and they were to my standard then I went out to find my Ken. I brought him into my doll house like an accessory. Note what I just said there. I brought him into MY house. I didn’t build one with him as ours. So from the beginning he is an outsider. He has to acclimate to what I have created. He has to be one of my accessories like my handbag, my iPhone, my car, because he completes the picture. If he is a puzzle piece where does that leave him as a person? As an individual?

I’ve got work to do.

My emotions started to bubble to the surface. Magic was giving me stories and I was giving them resonance in my life. He was giving me metaphors that instantly fit my life. God was speaking to me through him. It felt like all of the things that I have been feeling like HE was saying to me were there on the table. HE’s been telling me to stop, let him take over now because I sent him to you to do that. I sent him to you to be the head of your household. I sent him to you to be the hero and you won’t let him do it. You won’t let him. How many times do I have to say it until you get it?

Magic and I prayed. My mother showed up and she prayed.

After the dust settled I went to purchase a water bottle from the register and when I returned another patron was engaged in conversation with my mother and with Magic. She was nearly in tears. She asked me, while reading the back cover of my book, what brought me back to the source of my nightmares? I asked for clarification did she mean my character or me, myself? She told me that she meant me.

Harlyn Bryan & Monique Nahmias

Harlyn Bryan and Monique Nahmias at Starbucks on Walzem

I told her I had been in a relationship prior where God had been telling me over and over again that this isn’t for you but I kept returning. I wasn’t done. I kept running back to the thing that hurt me until God moved me from it. I had to take ownership of what I had allowed to happen in my life and in that relationship. I had to forgive myself. That was the beginning. In the end she cried, we all prayed, I signed a copy of my book and gifted it to her along with the swag that went along with it from Mary Kay and Get Lost VIP. She told me that I was a blessing and thanked my mother for bringing me into this world.

This platform, this life, is so full of purpose. Before I conclude let me leave you with another nugget of wisdom that was dropped on me today while I watch Magic work the room even still. Today we are only focused on two things. Yesterday and tomorrow. We do not live for the most important which is today as yesterday is in the past and tomorrow is not promised…

Change it.

Note: This is the prelude to my first Non-Fiction piece…bookmark it!

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