I had to talk to my daughter, Ray, about how to know whether someone was using her.  She’s very empathic, very good at reading people, and pretty emotionally wise for her age, so people tend to lean on her when they have personal issues, and she tends to shut down at school.

First we talked about the defenses she has to put up in order to survive all the tumult of school.  And then I said, “And you’ll know that someone’s just using you when they expect you to listen to them and don’t listen to you back.  You get to choose whether that’s okay or not.  Sometimes it’s okay.  But they don’t get to decide that.”

I should follow my own advice more often…

If you liked this post, check out my poor, defenseless Victorian orphan story, “How Smoke Got Out of the Chimneys.”  Okay, some of the orphans are defenseless.  And then there’s Smoke.