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The Foxhole Principle

I often wondered why
I couldn’t seem to get the support I craved from my family
when in pursuit of creative endeavours.
That recognition of achievement
to make me soar

I’ve tried many things
was good at some
Achievements stacked behind me
in my fervent chase
of meaning

Yet over and over it was the proverbial
that’s nice dear, would you like a cup of tea?
Even better
Your sister got a job today
Or, well I climbed Mount Everest you know!?

No backslapping praise, no cheers and shouts
no recognition of hard work or achievement
Just seemingly quiet disinterest
glass half empty comments
Or simply, I was much greater in my time

One day a little light bulb went off in my head
no harm done and I realized The Foxhole Principle:
That family is invented to keep us safe!
So it’s not actually in their interest to have us live large…
they’d mostly prefer we keep our heads down

Not stick them up, out of the foxhole
leaving us open to being eaten, shot, maimed
chilled, frozen, stolen
Raped, pillaged or black plagued
you get the picture?

So now I see those moments of disinterest
those mentions of getting a real job
The handy pointing out of pending disaster,
potential humiliations
and even a flu (in Lady Godiva’s case)

As trinkets of love
in a jewelled case of survival instincts
Gifted to us, by those we love
and those who love us, in return.
It works for me…

© wildwomenlove poetry

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after years of listening to friends frustrations when not being recognized for achievements or effort by parents, siblings or friends, I realized the Foxhole Principle…

I love to celebrate achievements with friends and family…achievements seem much more real to me in celebration worth, than just managing to live another year…but that’s just me…

Hi there
I write poetry and stories, paint, take photos and make films…I’m learning singing, electric guitar and am at art school…
art is my heart song…wanna sing it with me ?

big love

© wildwomenlove all works

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  • wildwomenlove
    wildwomenloveover 2 years ago

  • by Elric Anatine

    – wildwomenlove

  • bearwings
    bearwingsover 2 years ago

    little children in cat cages, the purfect solution, you outgrew the cage and seem to be the only one who knew it, it sounds normal to me, as long as you’re good with it. Substitute door for spring flap, either way it sounds like it’s still open, that’s got to be good..

  • why thank you kind sir…x

    – wildwomenlove

  • autumnwind
    autumnwindover 2 years ago

    wow, good for you. I can think of many things said to me that I will never forget, and cannot chalk the reason up to your wonderful Foxhole Principle. that this works for you is a testament to your unusual and great understanding of an awesome possibility. it sure seems to have come to you by way of love, by your words especially in the end. sadly, does not work for me, as I suppose, some things we just know. a beautiful discovery for you in my opinion. love the write. hugs, shar XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

  • yep shar I can think of some things said that suck too…I think we’ve all got some of those…
    its just that I have come across people from all generations who are still disappointed in not being recognized, or seemingly valued by parents particularly…
    family is such an interesting dynamic, where we are all assigned roles, often times for life…like the baby is always the baby…and it’s frowned upon when someone rocks the boat…
    I guess the good of the greater organism is dependent on the success of the individuals…we’ve all heard the stories of how terrible it is to be the daughter of someone famous, and how damaging it is for the identity of the rest of the family…
    as always there is no right or wrong answer, just human beings attempting to navigate the waters of complexity that life gifts us…
    thanks so much for sharing your thoughts
    big love xxx

    – wildwomenlove

  • solarbear
    solarbearover 2 years ago

    Well said. I had the same feeling in regards to guitar and music, they would never mention it or acknowledge such a big part of who I was. I gave up on music for years and felt bitter, especially since I saw many families actively encouraging creativity in their children from early ages, whereas in my case I almost felt guilty and sinful, as if it were a habit like heroin. Somehow all my self-expression became taboo because of that environment and negative, or, even worse, “neutral” reinforcement.

    My foxhole moment was when I realized just how much they were a product of their own conditioning, and their crushed self-expression was due to put-downs and humiliations from their upbringings, far worse than mine in many respects. The principle, I often refer to as the Medusa principle, goes like this:

    “I feel bad about who I am. Therefore I can’t allow anyone around me to feel good about themselves, or free in their expression, because it will remind me just how much I hate myself and of what I can’t do. To avoid that pain, I will exert a subtle yet indominatable control on those around me, to make sure the situation never arises.”

    I think what it comes down to with artists, is that some have support naturally given and others have to create the conditions for support in their lives, and learn to tune into another source altogether to get their sustanence. I am a “struggler” and sounds like you are too, but I think in the end it makes us stronger, as the art has to endure so much to actually see the light of day.

  • that’s really interesting sb…

    I had a friend say to me at lunch a couple of weeks ago, she’d just had her first manuscript published in her first ever poetry book as one of three poets, and her parents didn’t even buy the book…

    she was saddened a lot by this…we talked and I shared my foxhole principle and she was like OMG… so I decided to write this poem…I figured there must be others…

    I come from a working class environment, so it’s quite typical that the arts isn’t embraced, although my dad was a speedway champion, so they weren’t that big on safety! hehehehehe

    but so many people I have talked to of ALL ages are still trying to be recognized by parents mainly, that it occurred to me that when people are determined to keep you small, it must be for a reason…

    I have many creative friends who have come to their creativity through the school of hard knocks, and their art is gritty and raw and real…I identify with that kind of art totally…art from the heart…

    and I have heard many famous people tell of the unconditional support and belief they received from a particular parent, and that’s what made them who they are today…that total belief in themselves passed on by a significant other…

    “I feel bad about who I am. Therefore I can’t allow anyone around me to feel good about themselves, or free in their expression, because it will remind me just how much I hate myself and of what I can’t do. To avoid that pain, I will exert a subtle yet indominatable control on those around me, to make sure the situation never arises.”
    it’s so interesting this phenomenon cos we can learn to do what we can’t do at any given time…it’s never too late…

    thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, I was wondering if I’d hear other experiences, I think it’s way more common than anyone would know…

    cheers big ears

    – wildwomenlove

  • Lisa  Jewell
    Lisa Jewellover 2 years ago

    thankyou XX

  • my pleasure…xxx

    – wildwomenlove

  • solarbear
    solarbearover 2 years ago

    Oh yeah, never too late to get started. Its great to let go of expectations sometime and accept that things have their own timeline for maturation. In the end, I think we are equal in our hardships, it seems otherwise but I think everyone will have their dragons and they come in different colours. Thanks for your reply and well done with this poem and philosophy :)

  • thank you kind sir…and yeah I too believe that we’ll all have our trials and tribulations…after all that’s what we’re here for no? xxx

    – wildwomenlove

  • Sybille Sterk
    Sybille Sterkover 2 years ago

    I’m with Shar on this – good for you. I’ve never been able to see it that way and I am not sure it’s true (for me). I’ve always felt love and protection should include believing in you. Mind you, that’s me and works for me. Great thought provoking piece of writing. xo

  • I’m glad you got all your needs met Sybille, you must be one of the lucky ones..

    I’ve always felt love and protection should include believing in you
    and if it doesn’t ? does it mean you weren’t loved?

    forgiveness for another is the greatest act of love that we can give ourselves…
    perhaps this poem is more about the act of forgiveness for others, than the expectation of getting all of our needs met at one destination?

    I for one, choose to celebrate achievements as an act of manifesting dreams…but I find this to be quite a rare motivation…

    I have found that there are many who would choose to pass over an achievement as a non event…

    many people seem much happier to celebrate your turning a year older, than they are when you realize a dream…its not my way of being, but its the way it is for many…

    it is food for thought is it not?
    thanks Sybille xxx

    – wildwomenlove

  • Sybille Sterk
    Sybille Sterkover 2 years ago

    Actually, it’s rather a matter that I’ve rarely had this kind of support and that I always felt it was a lack of love, not protection from the big wide world. I’ve always felt belief in a person and support gives them more protection than trying to hold them back. I think, especially women, get very little encouragement to go out and make their dreams real and they are the ones on the other hand who give the support and belief for others to achieve theirs. It’s good for you to have found a way that works for you when you don’t get the support, but I’ve always felt that a little support goes a long way when I get it and it helps me go that step further.

  • absolutely!
    I love to give people encouragement and support because I think it is such a rare thing…
    and I have seen famous people interviewed that had stated that one of their parents totally believed in them, and that’s what got them to where they are today…so I too believe it makes all the difference…

    I’m not sure if all women are good at giving this support though…

    and I wonder if families that have experience of war are more likely to want you to keep your head down? there are not many generations unaffected by war…they say the patterning from war takes 3 generations to overcome…

    it is interesting to ponder why some find it much easier to encourage big dreams, and others aren’t?

    thanks for the chat xxx

    – wildwomenlove

  • msdebbie
    msdebbieover 2 years ago

    That picture and poem captures it Sharon! It is interesting to me – especially as a recovering career-obsessed melancholic – that family usually finds it much easier to celebrate the size of a pay packet or mortgage, rather than embracing the less monetarily-rewarded paths we choose. However, I’ve been lucky in that way – my Mum and sisters are pretty interested to read everything I publish personally, rather than the dry tomes of my past (Australian Construction Law Bulletin, for instance!) Really well written verse my friend xxx

  • thanks heaps deb, for the read and the thoughtful comment…
    I have heard this story told from so many sources, not all art related, that I decided to write it from an everyman perspective…I dont think its a lack of love so much as a curious phenomenon…
    its interesting to me that even friends seem to get more excited by your 40th and the disaster cards, than by the film you made, or the book you published…come to think of it, I heard a girlfriend tell of even the baby she had with regard to friends…maybe people are just more interested in their own lives full stop? or your disasters? still pondering…
    I’m glad your mob reads your achievements…I love celebrating others achievements…
    if you think of how many people actually manage to publish, or be an olympic champion, or a concert pianist, or a film maker, its quite small…well worth a look I’d say!…thanks for the read and the support…much appreciated…xxx

    – wildwomenlove

  • vampvamp
    vampvampover 2 years ago

  • thanks heaps vamp…muchly appreciated…big hugs…xxx

    – wildwomenlove

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