During the month of January, and maybe a little of December, we binge watched Downton Abbey. Throughout all of the episodes there was one major problem – Thomas. Most of the time he was a mean, horrible, descicable, unkind, self-serving, jerk. And yet, he was strangely loyal or kind at the most unexpected times and usually managed to be in the right place at the right time to prevent something awful from happening.
Here’s what I think. I think that he was miserable and lonely and afraid. At one point he said that he had no family and that Downton was the only place he’d ever put down roots. I think he was so afraid that he would be taken away from Downton somehow that he did everything he could to hold on to that security. But he did it all wrong. Instead of ensuring his place by being kind and loyal and helpful, he set out to find out any little bit of information that might come in useful for blackmail to try to keep his place there in an underhanded way.
Perhaps that’s what he learned from growing up. We know nothing of his years before Downton really, at least, not from what was said on the show. Also, being a gay man in the early 1900s was not only frowned upon, it was illegal. He was different from everybody, and lonely, and scared.
Does this excuse his behavior? Nope. But if you look at him from that angle – as a scared, lonely, unhappy man it makes a lot more sense. He’s not acting ugly just to act ugly. He’s acting that way in a very wrong attempt to stay secure. How many times do we see people act this way? They’re so desperate to hold on to what they have and keep themselves safe that they sabotage themselves in the process. They live in misery. Are they too afraid to be happy? Are they so afraid to trust and love people that they instinctively push everybody away in a warped effort to try to save themselves?
If you need some coaching to help you work through difficulties getting along with people or …. If you’re in need of a place to hang out and feel safe, you’re always welcome at The OpalTurtle. We don’t tolerate any nasty Thomas behavior, but we’ll help you work through it if that’s a problem you have. And we’ll love you through it. It’s still a tad chilly out so there’s a cheery fire going in the fireplace, books and crafty items like yarn, paints, canvasses, clay are scattered all around. There’s a pot of tea warming on the stove and cold tea in the fridge.