She got furious that her grandmother thought she might want a purse as a gift. “How could she think I would want a PURSE?!?! Of COURSE I don’t want a PURSE!!! WHY would she THINK that?!!!”
She is 11 years old and furious that anybody would think she might want a purse. What is the fury about? Behind anger is usually hurt. What are the hurts? Here are a few:
–I am not seen. My grandmother, who has been so kind and close, does not seem to know me anymore. Who does she think I am? She sees someone I don’t recognize as me. Is this what we’ve come to? I am in exile, connection is lost; I have been pushed out of my home; I find myself on the ground outside, thrust down, alone.
–Should I want a purse? Is this what is expected of me? Is there something wrong with me that I don’t want a purse? Do other girls want purses? What would I do with a purse? Should I know already? I am all of balance. What I thought I knew for sure a moment ago is now all called into question. I am not the kind of person they think I am.
–Will she approve of me if I don’t want a purse? Will anybody? Will I be an outcast? Am I already? What’s next? It all feels dangerous.
These are all versions of the same thing: ruptured connection, disorientation, isolation.
So strong is our need for connection.