Hide and seek is a fun game when you’re a kid. One kid gets to count to a hundred or whatever is deemed a high enough number and all the other kids run and hide. No one wants to be found right away, but no one wants to be hid so well they are forgotten either.
I remember many days spent, even in teenage years, playing hide and seek with my cousins in the woods behind my grandma’s house. We would spend all afternoon hiding and seeking each other until it either got too dark to see, or we got hot and thirsty enough to go inside.
I have found myself doing a form of hide and seek at times. Emotional hide and seek is not a fun game and not always on purpose, at least for me. I can sometimes get so emotionally entangled in things that it becomes like a strand of barbed wire wrapped around me, digging in, drawing blood and choking me. I wait in that state of turmoil until I finally allow someone close enough to clip the wire and free me from my self-imposed trap.
The problem is that instead of seeking help (like a normal sane person), I allow myself to get tightly bound while I struggle and struggle, until I fall over and lay silent with my own wounds and tears, secretly sulking because no one noticed I fell, or that I’m bleeding, wounded, and in the dark even though I didn’t reach out to anyone in the process. What can I say; I am a mess at times.
I was trying to explain this struggle to several close friends today and the conversations went from frustrated and weepy to silly and comical. I have a couple of friends that are very good at cutting up my long stories and coming back with rather blunt observations. I thank God for these people in my life.
There is after all a point to this post. Hide and seek might be a fun game for kids, but it’s really useless in relationships, unless it’s played the same way the kids play it. If you play emotional hide and seek then both parties in the relationship lose. You lose because your needs are not met and they lose because you failed to communicate what those needs were. No one is really a mind reader and if you need something then you should ask for it, or don’t get upset when it doesn’t happen.
The game might seem the same, but the rules and the outcome for the kids version of hide and seek and the emotional version are quite different.
Cherry Coley ©