Puppeteers & Bunnies is an editorial piece written by Pasithea Chan and shared with The Ugly Writers under the theme Through The Eyes for the month of March
Puppeteers & Bunnies
Dealing with people in our everyday lives is a struggle because we need to be seen for who, how, why, and what we are. We struggle because we are all vain and fashion conscious about how we carry and fashion ourselves. We dress up what we want and how we express our needs in costumes that we believe are better forms of us and more presentable to our viewers. In the process, we forget that other people those we know and those we don’t have the same worries as us and also need to dress up for us. Essentially, we forget that dealing with people is a process where the roles of recipient and respondent are often swapped without a heads-up or a stop-over. We overlook the fact that people accessorize us with their projections as we walk up their mental ways. We owe this oblivious conduct to our inability to see through people’s mental shields because they fall within the grey spectrum something we were never given the ability to navigate.
We were taught to coin love with safety and negativity as something we need to take shelter from either by pity and avoidance, or by ignoring and reasoning. Hence, we associate people with rain or shine leaving us programmed to avoid walking under the rain unless we have to or if we are carrying umbrellas. But the question remains, how do we keep walking no matter rain or shine? Can we or should we expect people with umbrellas to share their umbrellas with us or take us in for shelter? Does that make us weak or entitled? There are many questions that go through our heads which eventually mess us up and mix up what we need with what we want. Why do we go through these struggles and how can one person or a handful of people we associate ourselves with whirl up these psychological and mental storms?
The answer is never simple. We all want to be comfortable in our own skins and be free to be accepted and so we run towards the outside world for that bumping into that someone we know can do that like our family or someone we identify as a friend or colleague. Why do we run to others when we are taught the importance of self-sufficiency and independence as the makeup of social status and influence? Well, it’s because rain dishevels our hair and ruffles our costumes and shine can make us think we are entitled. In the process, we dismiss the possibility that those we bump into also have their own struggles which can rain on us creating a burden share-shed cloud. Before we even know it, we are carrying their baggage. We become the second cloud that collided with their cloud. When do we eventually wake up to this realization? We only do when struck by their lightening. We tumble down their condescending tones and shrivel with their expectations as greyish outfits. We become second hand plush bunnies being washed and tumble-dried before being boxed. The more we try to maintain our sizes to avoid being boxed, the dizzier we get until we finally tuck our limbs and duck our heads to avoid these boxes’ lids from hitting us.
Sadly, only when the first two lids are folded in a crisscross over our heads we realize that we need to get out of that box. This realization hits us not because it’s too cramped or dark but because it confines us and makes us these people’s marionettes. You might think to yourself, yea man, I’m not a marionette. I got free will. I won’t be stringed, and I refuse to have my strings pulled by a puppeteer to do something I do not accept. Well, I hate to break it to you but unless you stand up to your full height, you will never step out of that box. As cat owners say, “if I fits I sits”. You let yourself be coaxed into that box because you forgot why you dressed up. You forgot you got dressed because you came to present something that’s about you and for you: your self-worth and need to interact in a relatable social manner. But then again, you can’t escape being the cat in the bag because you chose to stay on four when in fact you walk on two. Congratulations now you are collared, and you must watch yourself and purr at every stroke they stroke your ego with and every strike they give you spinning you in whatever direction they want you to react to. You look like a bunny, you sound like a bunny, you act like a bunny then you must be a bunny. They have you held from your ears. Poor bunny can’t even wiggle now you must participate in their shows and fit in their pockets, hats, and boxes. So how does this work? How can some people be puppets and others puppeteers?
Is it because bunnies accept everything a puppeteer throws at them or is it because they are already on a puppeteer’s stage? The answer is more complicated than that. Some puppeteers show you their faces and hands as they coax you into pulling your strings in words or actions, yet you fall into their trap because of their empty promises giving them the benefit of the doubt. However, many puppeteers, let you think they are just watching you have fun or go your own way when in fact they are in fact setting you up with options they created for you to choose from. In other words, they create and design your settings to be a stage and a scene in their play leaving you to live out the roles they already perceived you should be doing. How do they have so much power over you? Who are these people? Why do you let them do that to you? Can’t you see you the joke is on you? The sad part of this tragic scene is that they are your everyday joes, sometimes your family and even your so-called friends. Their power comes from your familiarity with them that makes them part of who you are and where or how you choose to live. That’s why you don’t realize how much power you are giving them over you by letting them dictate how you think and feel, and most importantly what your next move or reaction should be towards their conduct. Why do they do this and how can they do that to you? They do this because it is how they treat people as active manipulators or pathological liars. They might not know it or admit it, but they are masked bullies who are true narcissists who thrive by draining you to forward themselves by destroying you through your reactions to their actions.
To say that people are either puppeteers or bunnies is a labeling game that serves to not only out puppeteers but also to empower them but that is a necessary evil people need to know exists. Puppeteers as badies come in many forms, sizes, and shapes often overlooked due to the way they carry themselves and their ability to masquerade their intentions/motives as people worth being in your life. They sell themselves as confidantes, elder siblings, people who need a pick me up, eager youngsters wishing to emulate you, best friends whom you’ve been thick and thin with, and even so-called soulmates/love interests. Fending them off does not end at putting a stop to them but by also making it a point to remind yourself that you live for yourself and according to yourself because mental health is real health and eventually truly living not just going on. What does it take to step out of the box? You have to quit being a bunny that hops for carrots and goes underground when threatened with ostracization, rejection, and vilification. You need to learn to choose your medium and footing before you can adeptly blend in your background not their stage. Most importantly, you need to stand up for yourself on your own two feet. Your first foot should be your footing in this world by being independent in thought and conduct aka knowing your worth beyond their classifications and labeling of you. Meanwhile your second foot should be your own path, something clear cut for your progress, addresses your issues, and has your best interest by learning what to change and manage that are within your control.
Because puppeteers operate in the shadows, their decisions regarding how they deal with you fall within the grey color-spectrum. Surprisingly, their world, aka the way they perceive themselves is a complex color spectrum with different hues depending on the cues they take to initiate and conduct themselves. They see themselves as your best bet as lovers, leaders, innovators, authorities on what’s right and best, and of course your only source of validation when in fact they secretly compare themselves to you. Don’t be flattered by the comparison because they only see you as a threat to their moral and social correctness. They sell you tit for tat, submission, and isolation as love, acceptance, and approval. Hence only when you stop and look at what they are offering you become their bozo and fool because that’s when they realize you are a potential buyer and that’s when they slip their noose on.
Fighting off puppeteers can be costly if you are trapped with them in the same environment because that means every step you make is on a pavement of black and white boxes with grey bottoms they already lined up for you. A normal person is not a natural born toe-dancer which means you will eventually step into a box and get trapped. But don’t let that dishearten you because even if you do, remember, all it takes is for you to stand up to your full height because that will make that box only reach your ankles and appear the size of a shoe box. In effect, you can’t fit in a box that is not your size. To do this, you must learn when, who, and how to dress yourself and your needs for the occasion and person you are dealing with. Sometimes, you just need to protect yourself with boundaries and most importantly by wearing a facemask. Dresses shield you from their weather storms, facemasks protect your internal peace from catching their control flu. The more skin you show, the more transparent you are and the more susceptible you are to their claws mentally. Conversely, the lesser skin you show and the more opaque you are the harder it is for puppeteers to reel you in. Now if you want to step out of a box, you need to stand in your full height to tower over a puppeteer’s box. In order to do that, you must remember to look where you are setting down your feet because where you place your feet can determine whether you step out of the box or fall back right in only further below. To this end, you must set your maximum and minimum limits. In this sense, only your first foot aka your footing can be inside the box but your second foot aka your progress must always remain outside as it is your maximum limit. Why is that? Because while your first foot is your footing it is the foot carrying your weight while your second foot must remain free so that it can easily be bended backwards to boost you into a cartwheel to the other side of the pavement. By doing this, the puppeteer realizes that you are not a bunny because you showed them your ability to cartwheel not hop. It doesn’t matter if you choose to hop on two feet afterwards because he or she can see your full height not just through your hopping potential. This takes real emotional intelligence and real effort on a personal level on a daily basis but it’s worth it because it means you are in control, and you have a full colored spectrum based on true choices you create.
To be a healthy human and live life to the fullest, you must dress yourself with your truest form inside and train yourself to carry yourself through life’s runway in a pace that serves your best interest. Dress up your needs by all means in any style you like but remember not because you refuse to be a bunny you can’t eventually mutate into a puppeteer. We are not guitar heroes to play notes as they are thrown at us from others’ music sheets because even guitar heroes’ players can skip notes or hit the wrong notes. Still, we sure can choose what we jive with without being imprisoned or imprisoning others in our strides or dance floors and tempos. It takes a real heart powered with empathy, justice, and free will to acknowledge others have rights and liberties just as you are. In short, learn to hand out the “we have agreed to disagree” vibes like dollar bills in election campaigns because you never know who you will meet next a bunny or a puppeteer. After all, only through contrast can grey stand out as doom gloom and color as vitality in bliss.
Life is a set of risk scenarios with situational and seasonal cycles weathered through a dynamic of dualities carried through a clear perspective set in a balanced approach. You only get what you ask for and you only ask what you believe you are worth. For what you shed or step out from either returns to its original grounds and creators or hands you over like a corpse to an undertaker. The difference is puppeteers will always bring in rain and grey clouds foreshadowing slow death. Meanwhile, bunnies will always bring shine and color to celebrate life in its truest form and fullest potential as emissaries of good will and blessings. Puppeteers may seem to be in control and control experts, but bunnies are the elusive dream they always strive to seize and acquire. So set yourself free by gifting yourself a box set of things that give you strength, ground you to reality, protect you from toxic personalities, and enable you to mix color spectrums as you match outfits. I’m not your fairy Godmother but am here to remind you to only wear what you desire. Design your life with choices you sized up according to what flatters you and makes you happy. There’s nothing greater than realizing you have chosen you over what others want and need to see because that is the key to being happy. You were never meant to be responsible for others’ happiness or meeting their needs. After all, having a heart does not mean you give it away.
#manipulation #mentalhealth #toxic personalities #impressions #realizations #puppeteers #bunnies #life #relationships #people #symbolism #personification #motives #toxicrelationships #deception #morality #change #manipulation #narcism #pathalogicaldemandavoidance .
Read more from Pasithea Chan by reading her previous posts here. You can also find her brand of poetry on Facebook.