|Posted by Sara Moore on 19 February, 2015 at 10:30|
The other day the bottom door to my woodstove got stuck on the ash drawer inside. No matter what I tried I could not open it, which meant I couldn't really build a good fire or empty it out. Z helped, I swore at it (when he wasn't around), I begged for the angels, tried searching for information or advice online (I suck at doing that), and asked a few people but no one could help me.
So what did I do? I let the fire go out and came home to a really cold house. The heat is set at 55, but I hate using the propane and it was just unsatisfyingly cold. And then I got pissed. Pissed that I had no one to help me. Or was I really more upset that I couldn't figure it out myself? That was it. So I took a bbq fork, opened both the side and front doors of the stove, and tried to poke through the grate to push the ash door and hopefully make some progress.
I called my friend Johnny, who is my stand in husband for some of the things I'm just not capable of doing (like replacing the motor in my washing machine, getting a Christmas tree home or figuring out some car issues). He asked if I could get into the drawer from above. I said no. Then I took the bbq tool, put it in the slot in the grate, twisted it and lifted. The grate budged! NO WAY!
I used my fingers to pry it out, then cleaned out the over stuffed ash box and the stuck door opened easily! I cleaned out the rest of the compartment, replaced the grate and started a rager of a fire. My house is now toasty and I'm feeling pretty accomplished. My fingernails are still filthy but they represesnt a moment of empowerment for me.
I was cooking dinner last night after all this went down, and all of a sudden I had a revelation. For most of my life I have been wanting someone to take care of me. Not to take care of me per say, but to SHOW me that they were capable of it. There were a lot of times in my childhood that I wanted to be taken care of. I had a job as soon as I was old enough to babysit in 5th grade. I made my own money. I then worked at the Littleton Apothecary. Then I had money, so I had to buy my own clothes. And then I had my money that I had made, so I started paying for travel. I went to texas in 8th grade and I paid for it. My parents may have given me some spending money, but I know that I bought my ticket. Then my junior year of high school I went on a trip with the school to France, Italy and England. I paid for it. Then I went to college, and I had to pay for my expenses while I was there, inluding books, so I got multiple jobs in the field house and busted my ass. My parents paid for 2 years, I had to pay for 2 years.
So. All of my life I've had to really take care of myself. I was the one who got my brother up and made our lunches. I helped fold the laundry (and remember getting reprimanded once because I had left it folded on the kitchen table and not brought upstairs), I fired up the woodstove after school and had more responsibilities than a lot of my friends did. My father was an alcoholic and my mother went back to work full time when I was in maybe 4th grade. I think it's fair to say we were all struggling in our own way.
Because of that, I just want to be shown that I am worthy of being taken care of. WOW. That's pretty intense. Is that really it? I get a yes. I have shifted to being proud of what I'm capable of. This morning I shoveled the deck, raked the roof, shoveled to the woodpile, the shed and the propane tank. Then I cleared off my car and did the dishes. I didn't mind doing it, either. But that stuff is relatively easy. The hard stuff, like the woodstove issue, is when I don't want to step and and fix it. I've been "fixing" things my whole life.
I have no idea if this makes sense to you, but it was a monumenal moment last night when I realized that yes, I am able to fix the woodstove. And to realize why I have resented taking care of things like that was incredible. I'm not a victim. I'm a hard worker. I have always been. But last night I realized I have always been because it wasn't an option. I guess I want the option to ask and receive help. And knowing this means that door has been opened.