Who came up with the term “Indian Giver”? It’s terrible, but there is not another commonplace way to describe the act of giving something to someone and then deciding to take it back. Is that because it’s a behavior that we really shouldn’t do?
It is not a fun feeling when you’re on the receiving, and then un-receiving, end of an exchange, but when you give without thinking, and then change your mind, isn’t that your prerogative?
Plenty of time to reflect
I’ve had a lot of time to think about my actions, behaviors, and thoughts here in all women’s drug treatment. I can reflect and analyze everything I’ve ever done, at least that I remember, and a certain event keeps popping into my head.
I went to visit a friend, out of town but drivable, after she had her second baby. The little guy was in the NICU for several weeks, too small to go home, and when he was ready to leave the hospital, he still had to be on oxygen most of the time.
Who doesn’t enjoy getting presents?
I stopped at a store on the way to her house, to grab a few presents and fun things for her 5 year old daughter. My friend’s birthday was a couple weeks before this too, so I thought it was a good time to give some gifts. Who doesn’t love getting presents?
Well, I got my friend’s daughter some toys and stuff, and I got my friend a bottle of wine and some fun wine glasses. I got to her house, everybody opened presents, and all was well. The wine glasses sat on the counter for the entire length of my stay (a few days) even though we drank some wine a couple times.
When I was leaving their house to head home, I thought about how those wine glasses will just sit there, unused and totally gone to waste. They would look great on my shelf with my other stemless wine glasses, so I took them.
We make amends in rehab. In my first few weeks of all women’s drug treatment, with no men in sight, I fought it, but now I am really focused on evaluating why I do the things I do, and this seemingly unimportant event keeps surfacing.
Why did I take those wine glasses? Why didn’t I say anything to her about it? Without a better term for it, why did I “Indian Give” her a present? I am not proud of my actions and the thoughts constantly ran through my mind.
I texted my friend to say that I felt the wine glasses were a silly present for a mother of two who is breastfeeding. I apologized and said that another present was on its way to her. I ordered her a more practical mommy gift. It certainly feels a lot better to get things off my chest and actually tell her what I had done. Am I amended?
Cindy Nichols is an addiction specialist and specializes in drug rehab referrals at Recovery Now TV.
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