Gimme Shelter!

I introduced two stories in my last post.

One involved parents sheltering their child by not telling her that her beloved horse had died.

The second involved another set of parents, coincidentally mine, who sheltered me in another way by explaining in the most heartfelt way that the bunnies that we were eagerly trying to nurse back to health had died.

In one case, there is a shelter of omission where two parents are aiming to keep a childhood idyllic by keeping the real world demons out and the good in, while another set of parents chose to build a shelter based on honesty where they work to bring the good out of evil by framing the truth in their own way.

Two modes of thinking with both having the same goal.

These stories then made me think – what happens when we become adults?

Where does the natural need to shelter those who we care about go?

That has been the hardest thing for me to understand both as I look back on my years of dating and when I think of my general interactions with people.

That “lack of” protecting those who we care about.

That lack of giving shelter.

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J is a happily single 30-something currently documenting her stories of love and loss. Her blog, “I Quit Dating” features excerpts of her journey as she reflects on the lessons learned from the men she loved. A complete collection of essays detailing her walk away from finding Mr. Right in order to pursue a more fulfilled life will be self-published next year. She recently moved from Los Angeles to New York. Contact: iquitdating (@)

7 thoughts on “Gimme Shelter!”

  1. I don’t think our need to shelter our loved ones goes away when we become adults, but just becomes more realistic. In some ways though, it may backfire. We think it would be better to not tell a person some bad news, or even lie about a situation which might upset the other. But the fact is that a lie is always seen as a bad thing, no matter how good your intentions were and, instead of being perceived as a good friend trying to avoid putting another person through suffering, we end up being the bad guy. So in the end I think that our need to shelter others is in some way avoided by people who fear to be seen this way, thinking it is better to tell the story as it is, since they are speaking to an adult who should understand any situation and not be put down by it.


  2. Natural need to shelter the ones we care about and love. That comes with in our inner soul. Learning from our parents. It’s not necessarily about the material things that shelter one self.
    Parents teach children to become their own, to be independent and figure out how to be a grown up.


  3. Good point. I’ve often thought of children as selfish, because they want what they want and may throw tantrums if they don’t get it. But as you point out, adults can be narcissistic too. Cherish the ones that do shelter you but also tell you the truth; those are your true friends.


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