Pain

“I don’t want to hurt, or get hurt ever again, and you seem like someone who can teach me how not to.” ~ Thea

There is an interesting scene attached to this quote where Malcom Merlin is pouring scalding water on his (and later Thea’s) hands to prove that he has learned to tolerate pain and that Thea will do the same.  It struck me that this is a totally different approach then what shaped Oliver.

“One the island” Oliver went through a lot of very painful events (both physically, emotionally, and mentally) but what is different about the way he learned to become strong verses how Malcom is teaching Thea is that Oliver didn’t CHOOSE to inflict pain so that he could become immune to it.  The pain overwhelmed him and damaged him but it also improved him and built up his character.  In contrast Thea and Malcom choose pain.  They self-inflect pain so that they will no longer react to it.  This difference is why, I think, Oliver is still able to care about people (and progress toward becoming a hero) whereas Malcom has become a villain…he only sees his agenda. In dulling himself to the pain Malcom doesn’t “connect” anymore.  He didn’t even have to mourn the death of his son.  Disconnection is dangerous ground.

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Why We Lie

Why is it so hard for everyone just to tell the truth? ~Thea

 I’ve often observed when reading stories or watching film/tv how frequently the problems presented in the plot are due to characters who do not tell the whole story.  As viewers we catch ourselves repeatedly thinking, “if they only knew (fill in the blank).”  Yet the characters don’t tell the whole story and we (in real life) don’t tell our whole story either.  We keep things to ourselves and this probably complicates our lives just as the plot thickens in a fictional story when other characters are deprived information.  Why do we lie or stay silent?  I think it comes down to four main reasons…

  1. Fear of Rejection – We all know this and we all keep quite at times for fear that the other person/people will not still accept us if they knew (fill in the blank).
  2. Fear of Broadcast – If we tell someone something then we cannot control what they do with that information.  They can spread it around and they can use it against us.
  3. The Scandal – Why do people really want to know?  If you tell them are they just listening for “the scandal” of the story or are they really going to be with you as you are working through this story?
  4. No One to Tell – Difficult stories are difficult to tell…it can be challenging to find a person who is willing to listen to the whole story…the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  5. Preventing Harm – People who have been through life changing events have gained an understanding that what they need or want to share might actually harm the person they are sharing with.  For example, Thea probably couldn’t handle knowing about Oliver being tortured, and Laurel would have a hard time dealing with the details of what her sister or Oliver truly went through on the island.  Some details we keep to ourselves because it’s not good for others to know.

 So silence continues.  Thea knows nothing about what’s really going on.  Laurel doesn’t know she is talking to her sister.  We don’t know the life’s details for those around us. (for more on this check out a Harry Potter essay – The Silent Champion)

Hit Me

Roy – Thea you’re angry….at your mother, the D.A, yourself maybe. But that anger is going to chew up your insides if you don’t let it out.

Thea – I’m not going to hit you Roy.

Roy – Try

 I actually think Roy is right here.  He talks about how the anger inside of Thea needs to get out somehow or it’s going to burn her up.  I think he is not only right in this but I also think it is admirable of him to let her punch him.  Why?  For a two reasons…First, because Thea will not punch Roy to hurt Roy.  She will not get addicted to punching this way because she will always hold something back.  She has a way to let out some intense anger in a safe way.  Secondly because it allows Thea the arms she will need to collapse into when she has exhausted her anger.  Roy is right there for her…when she’s mad and when she falls apart.  Good job Roy.

Accepting Him

Thea: So, what, he gets a free pass?
Moira: No, I just think we need to stop judging him for the Oliver he was and start accepting him for the Oliver he is.

It can be really hard to see someone for who they really are and not as who we want or expect them to be.  Our lives are so busy and we have so much going on in our own minds, hearts, and circumstances that stopping to really think about who someone else is, what they might have been through, or how they are trying to express themselves to us can be really difficult.  Listening, accepting, and understanding someone really takes focus, time, and work…but it’s worth it.

The Best I Could

“This, me, is the best I could do with what I had to work with.” ~Thea

We have so many decisions to make, so many things to do, and so much rolling around in our head everyday.  Looking back we can often see how things could have been different if we had only…had more information, made a different choice, had more support, resources, help…but in reality we did the best we could with what we had to work with.  We made the best decision we could, with the information and resources we had, at that time.