I had been carrying the Patricia Evans book, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” around with me in my purse, it being my current bible that I poured through, reading until I assimilated her thinking as my thinking. I was doggedly determined to end this cycle of abuse with me. This short but incredibly powerful story was one that shocked me out of my stupor, nudging me toward the next step of leaving an abusive relationship.
If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.
This passage knocked me senseless as if I’d been punched in the gut. Oh my God, this was me! I needed it spelled out in graphic details to get it to sink in. So far everything Patricia Evans said made so much sense and felt right so I put my head down and never looked back. That was 15 years ago.
The passage came back to me recently because I feel my stepson is slowly being boiled to death. I’m not sure what I can do about it, he is allowing himself to be conditioned, relegating his happiness to someone’s else and she is abusing him and his good nature. I’m seeing him in a tranquil stupor, lolling around in the increasingly warm water, not aware of warning signs going off all around him.
So, its the age old parental dilemma, when do you jump in? How far do you go with your child that is post college age but still could require some parenting. I do know, that when I almost boiled to death, I would have appreciated some intervention. When we talk to him this weekend, we hope he appreciates it too…