This is going to be confusing. It’s not a great analogy, I admit, but stay with me if you will.
Imagine if you will, that there is a person that always refers to an orange, the fruit, as an orangutan. They don’t know any better. No one has ever corrected them. No one has stopped to ask them where they learned this. Their family and people closest just laughs it off and says, when they are beyond earshot, “that’s just how they are, who are we to correct them”
They make the same mistake in reverse too. When they enter the primate section of the zoo, they point and says “look at that orange, scratching his head” They might even say something like “ya know, I really do believe that we evolved from oranges”.
Around family, no problem, they know what they mean. Family makes allowances for silly mistakes.
Now this person is gainfully employed. Obviously, they do not work in a lab, or a grocery store, but employed. They misuse these words in general conversation and a co-worker stops and explains that, they are clearly mistaken. The co-worker is unbelievably confused because the response from this person would be…
“WHAT! no way. No way, no how! All of the people closest to me love me. We speak everyday about oranges and orangutans and they have never corrected me.” Not caring they co-worker thinks “whatever” and carries on.
The problem isn’t just oranges and orangutans though, now the person has pretty much invented an entirely new way to live and communicate that is hurting them. As you can imagine, things don’t go super smoothly for the person trying to communicate that they need orangutan juice at the grocery store. They are paranoid that everyone is out to get them, why else are they constantly on your ass about your misuse of words? It starts to be easier to just be around people who don’t call you out, making most of your other relationships short-lived. The time line for relationships begins to be “until we have to talk about oranges or after our first visit to the zoo”
The entire point of this nonsensical blubbering is this………….
If you love someone, it is completely ok to say “you are wrong, I love you but, you’re wrong. If you go out in the world confused about these things, life is gonna be tough. I’m afraid for you because though this simple mistake is not a big deal, you seem to be confusing several words like ‘truth’ and ‘lie’ and ‘love’ and ‘manipulation’. It’s a simple adjustment, it won’t happen over night, but I’m here for you when you slip up”
Loving someone is hard. Loving someone making stupid mistakes is harder. Loving someone leaving confused and hurt people in their wake is damn near impossible.
Does anyone understand me? -Greer