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Family Deserts 22/33

Family Deserts 22/33 published on 14 Comments on Family Deserts 22/33


Thorn: Kale . . . Just to be clear . . .

He doesn’t know you’re a magical boy. He doesn’t know what you could do. And even if he did, that was not permission. You understand?

Kale: I do! I understand.

Kale (thinking): I do not understand. But I’m clearly supposed to — enough that, if I ask Thorn to explain it, he might take that as picking a fight over it. As long as I behave like someone who understands, that’ll be close enough . . . right?

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14 Comments

Aaaaaaahhhhh Kale nooo… Well, if he doesn’t ask Thorn, or if Thorn doesn’t clarify for him anyway, I really hope Kale brings it up with his therapist. I would trust she of all people would understand he’s not picking a fight. And he’s sorely going to need that session anyway after an event like this.

You dumb motherfucker. This is reformed?

…in all fairness, “I trust the people who say this is the right thing to do, but can you help me understand how that works?” is a thing you’ve asked me more than once.

Kale doesn’t have any friends he can talk frankly with about something like that. (He’ll bring it up with his therapist eventually, just not with Thorn.)

So basically, K’s trust issues are so bad he can’t even summon up the ability to say to Thorn, “No, I don’t understand. Please explain this in a way I can comprehend from where I’m coming from?”

He’s been through a lot, so I’d say yes.

It took me quite a while in my life before I got the maturity to ask that type of question, and I’ve had a mostly safe life.

My issues could probably be summarized as being a smart know-it-all. So it took me a while to be relaxed about not knowing something and allow my curiosity loose to ask others about things they know or about their lived experience.

I’d say I was pretty well there in RL interactions with anyone by age 40, and online in trusted communities by age 25.

I went through a period of being gas lit by an ex while we were dating. I was fortunate in that it only lasted a short time, but the after-effects lasted almost twice as long. And this was when I was in COLLEGE. Kale has spent YEARS being manipulated by people he trusted. Worse, many of these years happened during his formative years. It will take many more years of therapy to undo that damage. It is not that he is “dumb”. It is that he is still learning how to think about these things.

I’m willing to give Kale a pass in panel 4. I’ve had similar interactions to this, and Kale’s resulting thought process, several times in my life and saying that I understand is/was a reflex response for me which would give me some time to gain understanding later. I’m better at expressing my lack of understanding these days, but sometimes I still revert to the same response patterns on occasions.

Been there. Did that. Got the t-shirt. Still don’t understand the issues in question and now crusade against the bullshit society built.

Different issue mind, but no one can explain it in a way that makes sense, and frankly it seems everyone would be happier without sex specific pronouns existing.

… and technically Kale can’t anyhow, at this time. By the time he gets the clearance and someone removes the bracelets, he will be thinking back on this interaction and understand what Thorn was getting at.

But while it’s coming to Kale late, it’s not as alien as all that. A lot of physical safety and record keeping rules we give even mature people training in new fields, are rules they may not understand the purpose of until afterwards, and yet we expect they follow them until they do get them. And with kids, this is pretty much ALL rules, social, moral, safety, and otherwise. Think of Kale as someone training in a field in which he has literally no experience.

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