I saw my dad today and we had a great visit as usual. He was in fine form. His memory was not bad at all as he only mixed up a couple of things. We were talking about what I’ve been up to. I told him I had a second job interview for a second job. He looked so pleased and proud. Then he looked confused. He gave me an impish grin and asked me what I applied for, a Lion Tamer? Oh my god, I laughed so hard! He looked so pleased with his joke and happy I knew it was a joke and not part of his dementia.
After I left him and after I screamed about the flat tire on my car and after thanking the man who stopped to help me change it (who am I kidding, he did all the work!) I got to thinking about me being a lion tamer. Not a real one but many of us are lion tamers in a way. I am constantly taming those around me (raising kids, avoiding conflict, blah blah) but I am also training myself. With a big whip and leather boots.
No, now that’s the wrong picture. I mean I have to keep changing behaviour in myself since that is the only behaviour I have the authority to realistically change. It’s not easy. True, meds help to some degree but I am still responsible for the lion within me as well as the lion tamer. Behaviour isn’t just the way I may be acting towards others but it’s about how I treat and see myself. It would be great if I could train self-esteem, confidence and self-control with a whip and a chair but I think the biggest tool a lion tamer has is authority, power and patience.
That feels right.
So really, that is what a lion tamer is, someone or something that can take charge and have people/peers listen and give oneself a chance to succeed. Could I ever hope/dream for that? You know, there was a time in my life where that happened. I do not want to blame the change entirely on my illness but it had a place in the diminished capacity of my self-worth. So now I take out the brave lion tamer every chance I get and give her a good workout. I think the hot flashes are not just from menopause but the work my brain is doing, wrapping itself around all these new things I’m up against and being chemically balanced too. It’s hard work but my mum and daddy did not raise a needy, whiney little bitch who cries when she can’t have her way. No. They raised me to believe in myself and my power and control over the universe I live in and all the while they were fighting lions of their own.
My kids think I raised them but they really raised me. And that teenager of mine….is cracking the whip every chance she gets. They are strong and happy people who are doing amazing things with their lives. They have their own lion tamers.
They’re in our souls.