Nosy the Fish

When I was a little girl my brother and I would play a game called Nosy the fish.  I wasn’t in school yet so this was pre-5 yrs old.  We lived in a tiny apt in New York my brother was older by a few years.  In the living room was a stuffed brown cloth chair.  I do not think I was allowed to sit in it but my brother was so he sat in the chair and was the fisherman.  I was the fish.  This meant that I crawled all over the floor on my belly until I grabbed onto the cord he was using as a fishing pole.  My brother then reeled me in.  When I broke water and came to the surface he would reprimand me, “Nosy I told you to ignore the worm.  The hook is dangerous and will hurt you.”  I would get thrown back and the game repeated itself as I never was a very smart fish and continued to grab onto the fishing line.

I thought of this game the other day as I was counseling a woman who consistently has relationships with men who are unavailable or abusive.  As we sat I explained how he was reeling her in, hooking her then throwing her back each time she felt hurt but the hole the hook made grew larger and each time it was easier for him to place it in and pull her which ever way he wanted.  This pattern repeated itself clearly in her past and present relationship. This time the “gentleman” would say things like we need to think about taking the relationship to the next level and then hooking with confusion, “we are just friends so you are feel to do what ever you want.” Can you see the push pull.  Calling and then when they are together acting annoyed with other women when they call him.  She also realized he uses some of the same words when he speaks with her at times.  The mixed messages, confusing behavior and criticizing what makes her feel secure.

Does any of this sound familiar?  Perhaps you or someone you know has gone or is going through this situation.  The best way to heal the hole from the hook is to cut the ties.  Just like my brother warned me many years ago, “Nosy ignore the worm.  The hook is dangerous and can hurt you.”

I am sure he lures with something more attractive than a worm, promises, affections…. but non the less a worm.


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