Diary Extract Give and Be Given

From Alice’s diary:

When I was four years old, I saw my mother crying, she was really sobbing. When she saw me watching her, she cried, “Oh, Alice” and held out her arms. I went to her and said, “I will make you better.” She said, “Yes, you will.”

 A four-year-old thinks a hug makes things better; grown ups know it doesn’t work like that. But in stepping into her embrace, I stepped into my future. That four-year-old had no idea what lifelong responsibility she had just agreed to.

I do for others. Not just say, I do. I try to make things better. When I am able, I make things better. I do not regret being a person who does this. But I do sometimes, awake at night in my loneliness, wonder will anyone ever do for me?

I rarely ask for comfort. My mother didn’t ask for comfort that day; she needed and I gave. That’s what I learned. But I am waiting to be given. And on the rare times I’ve asked, I feel I’ve been let down. So I won’t ask anymore. I will do my best not only not expect it, but to try not to want it. Is that possible? Maybe. Is it how I wanted my life to be?

No.