Dandelion fights

dandelions 3

They fight on my sofa.

The themes are familiar.  He never listens to me.  She won’t stop trying to control me.

Thirty minutes, this goes on.

Finally she breaks down and sobs, and he stares angrily off into space.

 “Do you guys have a lawn?” I ask.

Betty wipes her eyes, looks at me.  Bob, suspecting  I’m crazy, frowns.

“With dandelions on it?” I continue.  “What happens when you mow dandelions?  Right.  They come up again tomorrow.  Because to remove a dandelion you have to dig up the root.

“This is a dandelion fight,” I say.  “You keep having it for the same reason you can’t mow dandelions away.  You’re not getting to the root.”

“What root?” Bob asks.

“Two roots, actually.  One’s emotional: how you feel right now.  You guys never talk about that.  Betty, what are you feeling right now?”

She sniffles.  “Like he doesn’t love me at all.”

“Bob?”

“Like a worthless piece of shit.”

They look at each other in surprise.

But I plow on.  “The other root is transference.  What’s familiar here?  What does this fight remind you of?  What other relationship? When have you felt like this before?”

I already know the answers.  Betty’s dad was an alcoholic who ignored her.  Bob’s mom was a narcissist who treated him like furniture.

“So that’s a dandelion fight.  You keep having it because it never addresses what you’re really feeling inside, and where those feelings really come from.

“You’ll keep having it unless and until that changes.

“And if it doesn’t change – if you never find a way to get at the roots — there’s a danger these fights will develop into something nobody ever wants.”

 “What?” Betty asks.

“A dandelion war.”

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