I thought it had crumbled to dust by now.  Imagine my surprise when I opened my purse at a business meeting the other day and the damned thing fell out.    There it was, in all its shabby glory, thread-bare and covered with miscellaneous stains.  I tried to kick it under the table, but it was already spotted by my companions.  “Aww, isn’t that sweet?  She still carries around her blankie.” 

I was mortified.  I tried to pass it off as one of my kid’s, but remembered they knew that I had none.   It was a good thing that the waiter came by with our drinks; there’s nothing like good old-fashioned subterfuge when you need to avoid the hot seat.

During the rest of the evening, I tried to be glib and non-committal, but I couldn’t help but wonder why I still carried it.  Why was I holding onto something that served no purpose?

Or did it?  I thought about how I had lived my life, at least up until my dirty little secret escaped from my bag.  Perhaps I had been overly reliant on childish behavior, hanging onto the good opinion of others like a security blanket.  Did I want their love and approval, and was I willing to sacrifice myself to get them?  Yes, and yes.

That was alarming.  When did I lose myself?  I tried to excavate memories from the past; the few that weren’t blocked out yielded some interesting clues.  Was the home in which I was reared a haven or hell on earth?  Clearly it was the latter and somehow I had assigned myself the duties of mediator.  It seemed I would go to any length to keep the peace, even if that meant acting against my own interests.

No wonder I needed a blankie.  Now the real work begins. . . locating all the trip wires and defusing the self-protective mechanisms.


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