For the last few weeks, we have had a broken front door lock; and my son's key was refusing to come out of the door. Home Depot wanted $130 for a new lock/set that looked the most like the one we have now.
$130 that we just didn't want to have to spend right now. I now have past-due vet bills, a car payment, increased insurance payments, this just wasn't on my to-do list.
So, we left the son's key in the door (it was LITERALLY stuck and wasn't even turning, so it was impossible for anyone else to pull the key out and let themselves into my house) and started using the top deadbolt lock until we could invest in a new one. In that time, we've had several people (to include two of our neighbors, the cable guy, the mailman, and the UPS delivery man) point out that our key was still in the door.
"We know," I'd tell them all, then would fidget with the lock to see if by some miracle, the key was removable, yet. The movie, "Sword in the Stone" comes to mind. It was confirmed that not even King Arthur himself could turn this piddly little key, and I've been delaying having to shell out the $130 for about a month, now.
Yesterday, I was inspired to, once and for all, get out the tool box and see what I could do. There had to be SOMETHING going on inside the lock, some reason the key wouldn't turn. The sun was out and I wouldn't be freezing if I stood in the doorway and did some investigating. In between shooing the cats from the wide-open door, I managed to take the whole thing apart. The key remained in the lock and despite all the jiggling and button pressing and tinkering, it was LOOKING like I needed to invest that $130. I needed to now put it all back together, or there would literally be a hole in the front door that the neighbors, cable guy, postman, UPS man would ALL be able to see through.
The first time I put it back together, I found that I couldn't even turn the KNOB now.
Screwdriver got thrown. Slew of obscenities flew out of my mouth.
Picked up phone to text J to see if she'd pick up a lock set on her way home from work - but decided against hitting 'send.' I was going to try this again - I REALLY didn't want to spend $130!!!
Picked screwdriver up, and in the process, scared the cat who had gone over to investigate it.
Took apart the knob and handle again, did some more tinkering, and apparently, all of my swearing must have helped, because not only was the knob turning now, but, out came the key, too.
I screwed in for the second time the knob and handle. Confirmed that the inside knob was now turnable post-screwing and the button on the handle was press-able. I wasn't brave enough to try the freed key yet because I wasn't confident enough in my hardware skills to say it wouldn't get stuck again. Nevertheless, I texted the wife to let her know that I didn't know exactly how, but that I'd fixed the door and saved us a trip to Home Depot. Not that there was one planned, but it was likely having to be planned soon!
Small update on this, since this was yesterday's excitement - I did end up trying the key when I returned it to the Son - I locked myself outside and used the key to let myself back in. He's now put it back onto his keyring and I'm patting myself on the back.
$130 is a lot of fucking money to save, isn't it? Yeah, I thought so.
So, it's confirmed. Gone (for now) are the days of having to explain to houseguests that the key being left in the door was NOT a result of absentmindedness and that it was because the lock, somehow, was stuck.
Please don't ask me how I fixed it. I couldn't tell you.
So, this opens the door (no pun intended, or maybe it IS?) to conversing about something that I've come to realize over the last few weeks.
People have been trying to fix ME for years.
My mother was first. I came out 'defective' and with two bad ears. They told her I'd NEVER speak (big surprise, I'm sure, to those who know me now - I'm not an overly loud person but if I'm comfortable with someone, I do NOT shut up!) and she made it her personal mission to 'correct' the doctors and audiologists. She made it a priority to raise me as she would a hearing child. Sign language was out of the question. I had no deaf friends. I don't know if this caused more damage, socially (it likely did) but it was almost definitely a result of her trying to 'fix' me. Yes, when she realized she had a deaf child, she did rise to the occasion and did whatever she could to to make sure that I thrived, regardless of how. It's HARD to say whether she had my best interests in mind, or it was more so in her own to have as 'normal' as possible a child.
My parents also tried to 'fix' me by taking me to therapy as a child - I will never know their real reasons for introducing therapy into an 8-year-old child's life but have very deep suspicions it is for the behaviors that I was demonstrating - behaviors indicative of being exposed to CSA. This is something my mother was never willing to see, even though the signs were all there. As far as she was concerned, I was not behaving normally, and it needed to be fixed. Oddly enough, she decided that there was enough 'fixing' done after a year and I was unexplainably yanked from therapy. The behaviors continued well into my teen years, so I don't know - while I don't want to say the effort was wasted, I don't see that there was any resolution, either.
As some of you know, I became recklessly promiscuous following the rape in 1996. There was partner after partner - both men and women. Some knew more than others as far as my history - and some insisted that I just needed to be "taught" how to enjoy sex. "Just let me try this," they'd say while I laid there, TRYING not to flip out, "you will like it, trust me." There was ultimately NO 'fix' here, but they sure as hell tried!
My ex-husband tried to 'fix' me by pointing out EVERYTHING I did wrong. It didn't matter if it wasn't illegal-kind of wrong - if it was not up to his standards, it was wrong. Yes, he used manipulation more often than he did not, and he was SO talented at getting me to actually BELIEVE him. I believed him enough at one point to completely transition into the mindset that if things weren't done HIS way, then they were automatically incorrect. And so, even though his 'right way' of doing things didn't necessarily match mine, I went out of my way to ensure HE was happy.
Reflecting on all of this - I think I always thought I was broken - even as a young child. Here was everyone telling me what I needed to do, what was best for me, what would work, what wouldn't. Rather than take the reins myself (when I was old enough to), I placed my trust into the wrong people and listened to them instead of listening to myself. Instead of chalking things up to opinion, I'd say, "sure, I'll try this. Sure, I'll do that. Whatever you think will fix the problem, I'll do." I suppose trusting myself to make better choices was always an issue, perhaps even more so after enduring trauma, but that's just another factor to consider as I try to get to the bottom of this.
If I wasn't broken before, this definitely is what did it. All of the 'fixing' others have tried to do, only succeeded in breaking me further.
I know there's only one person that can truly fix me. Right - me, myself, and I. That's it. It just became SO easy to let others guide me - they'd been doing it so long and I never had the confidence (or motivation) to speak up for myself. Having this newfound confidence scares me now as I'm not used to fixing anything other than unruly doorknobs or a tech issue here and there. I'm now recognizing the difference between what needs to be fixed and what was never broken and am wondering just how much was even necessary!
Has this made it harder for me to fix myself? Maybe THIS is why I'm feeling particularly stuck nowadays, why these 'grown-up' decisions are seeming so hard? No one suggested going back to school, starting up with counseling, participating in a local Survivors Art/support group. These were all things I took on, by myself, as a first step toward fixing my own way of thinking.
The only fixing I'm going to do for the rest of tonight is that of dinner. London Broil on the barbecue - sun's still out and it's a good grilling day.
Back next time. Hoping you're all having a good day!
Peace, love and hugs,