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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Just figured it out [House and Wilson] 
30th-Nov-2007 10:52 pm
I was just sitting on the front porch, having a cigarette and being contemplative.  Thinking, actually, about the longer fic on which I'm currently working, and about all the discussions lately concerning the changing House-Wilson dynamic.  And something hit me--hard.

I figured out, in an instant, why I'm so defensive of, and protective towards, House.  It's so simple, so obvious, I can't believe I never saw it before.  I've always said that there's no such thing as a real-life Wilson.  There couldn't  be; chronic pain wears people out.  Not just the sufferer, but those who care about the sufferer.  And while the sufferer can't leave, the carer can--and eventually has to.

Everyone starts out, of course, with the best of intentions.  The sufferer [having been through this before] pushes the would-be carer away, for the carer's own protection.  The carer pushes back; he or she is convinced s/he's different, and can take it all--the pain, the depression, the resentment, the health crises--all of it.  And if the carer is truly determined, it works.  For a while.

Sufferers of chronic pain wear you out.  It isn't intentional, but it is inevitable.  They really want to believe, each and every time, that this person who cares will stick around.  In the back of their minds, they know what the outcome will be, has to be--but hope is a strong thing.  So they think, okay, let's try this just one more time.  And, just about the time they begin to believe that they've found a saint--a Wilson, if you will--too many bad days in a row happen.  Or a medical crisis.  Or the ninety-third argument about too much or too little pain medication.  Or something.   And the carer, a human being with a healthy instinct for self-preservation, begins to pull away.  This distancing may not even be conscious--but the sufferer quickly picks up on it.

And then, despite the sufferer's best intent, s/he becomes clingy, dependent--frightened of being deserted again.  And eventually, it all falls apart.  Because the carer's instinct for survival takes over, and the carer moves on while the sufferer vows [yet again] to keep those walls firmly in place next time.  And that is why there is no such thing as a Real Life Wilson. 

And this fits, exactly, what I see happening with House and Wilson--why I've been so vocally dissatisfied with seasons three and four.  Because Wilson's wearing out, becoming tired and resentful of being House's Wilson.  And that is why season one Wilson doesn't exist anymore, and season four House has become so desperate for Wilson's approval.

For many in the fandom, the name Wilson has become synonymous with compassion, caring, empathy, an endless store of patience; "Wilson" isn't simply a person anymore, it's a way of being.  And no; there is no such thing as a Real Life Wilson.  But--in their fictional world-- it seems that there may soon be no such thing as a Real Life Wilson for House, either.

12.02.07  12:55pm  ETA:  You kids may have noticed my uncharacteristic lack of written response to your comments here.  There's a reason, and it's personal--painfully personal.  I shared private thoughts and feelings with this wee essay--and honestly wasn't expecting comments on it!  The perception of some of your comments takes my breath away; others, it's clear, have never been on either side of this situation but are trying their utmost to understand.  So I appreciate all your replies, but feel a need to simply let these thoughts stand as they are, and speak for themselves.  Thanks for understanding!
ONE MORE THING:    Just so there's no misunderstanding here; I was not ever among those who theorized that Robert Sean Leonard could or would leave the show.  I don't think for an instant that he will--but the actor leaving the show has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm talking about.  The two issues have nothing whatsoever to do with one another.  My point is... oh, never mind.  Never should have posted this piece; sorry for any confusion.
1st-Dec-2007 04:44 am (UTC)
Get some rest, dear.

You're about to step into the funhouse again -- don't go there. Wilson loves House more than he loves his own life, and if he's worn out after this hellish year and House's electrocution stunt, it doesn't mean he's going anywhere.

He can't, because House owns a very large, very vital part of Wilson's soul. And Wilson knows it.

1st-Dec-2007 04:51 am (UTC)
but... but... but.... i've stayed away from the dependence/addiction debate [which is, btw, still raging as of thirty minutes or so ago]. and i've been working on sde. now what i need is an 'off' switch for my oxy-fueled brain.....

maybe a cup of tea.

1st-Dec-2007 05:00 am (UTC)
*cracks up*

Okay, you've been writing SDE -- I can't fault you for that. And if that oxy stuff helps fuel your brain, pass some in this direction, will you? My brain is right out of fuel tonight.

1st-Dec-2007 05:01 am (UTC)

What Mare said. I agree with her, completely and unequivocally.
1st-Dec-2007 05:07 am (UTC)
Gotta agree with that. Having sort of been in the carer role, I can attest to how it can wear someone down. But thankfully (or unfortunately) Wilson is a fictional character. I think Wilson is taking steps to stabilize himself because he is aware of what is happening-- and he is aware of how him going down is going to take House with him. Wilson seems to be reaching out for help- and since he really doesn't have an outside support system he's gone to a professional source for that help. Wilson would have considered his state and realized that him being messed up was going to reflect on House. Since House is outside that support loop he doesn't know exactly what Wilson is doing he's going to be uncertain of where these changes are leading and will probably be either clingy or-- seeing that Wilson seems happier and stabler-- House might try and push Wilson away to protect him.

You did go into Wilson seeking help in "The Devil's in the Details." I kind of see Wilson's action now kind of being like in that story. He's tired, yes, but he is trying to get that under control and I'm hoping eventually he finds the balance he needs so that he can continue to be there for House (cause I really don't see fictional Wilson being able to give up on House-- considering everything he's already gone through.)

1st-Dec-2007 06:24 am (UTC)
I don't know. Chronic pain certainly takes its toll on the patient and those around him/her, but I've worked with some patients who seem to be fortunate enough to have real life Wilson types. People may get worn out every now and then and even need an occasional respite, but they rarely completely desert those they love, just as Wilson won't be deserting House (imho).;)
Props to you for staying out of that whole debate btw, I couldn't manage to do so.
1st-Dec-2007 07:32 am (UTC)
I want you to know that while reading this my head was nodding at a lot of your points all of which had less to do with House/Wilson and more with watching my parents marriage fall apart due to my dad's chronic illness. By the time he passed away they weren't even on speaking terms anymore. Caring for a sick person or on in pain does drain you out and you are right, there really is no real life Wilson.

1st-Dec-2007 09:23 am (UTC)
That's forgetting one of the main point of the House/Wilson dynamics : Wilson isn't a victim, but a sufferer too.
The show has very explicitly shown, at moments, that it was as much Wilson being there for House than House being there for Wilson.

And for me at least, and I think it has been shown on screen too, Wilson isn't only compassion, caring and empathy. He isn't the same kind of jerk as House, but his three failen marriages prove that he is far from being the perfect human being.

The only difference between carer!House and carer!Wilson is that one of them is open about taking care of the other... actually, it's kind of surprising that you would come up with such a line of thoughts after Games which, regardless of the global quality of the episode, showed us a House who volontary got out of his way to 'help' Wilson not to let himself abused by his generosity. Okay, so it went into an argument, but I'm sure Wilson is mature enough to acknowledge that House was just being utterly protective and was certainly not doing it for himself.

And that's not even going into the "Wilson feeds on need" territory. The guy *can't*, by definition, pull away because caring is a need for him, not something he does out of true philantropy. Maybe you idealize him a wee bit, eh? ;)
1st-Dec-2007 11:26 am (UTC)
I agree with your read on the situation, including House being needy, Wilson getting frustrated, etc...up until the (pessimistic!) part about there being no real-life Wilsons, as they always leave. It's certainly true that it's a difficult situation, but people handle it differently. To use another situation, when a catastrophic accident happens and someone is permanently disabled, does every spouse turn into, say, a Dana Reeve? Energetic, supportive and caring until the end (though of course she had her struggles and frustrations that she outlined)? No, but at the same time, it's untrue that everyone leaves or skedaddles when it gets too hard.

Every marriage (did I just compare H/W to a marriage? Oh my) is different. Some survive through unimaginable hardships and tragedy. Others crumble over nothing at all.
1st-Dec-2007 12:03 pm (UTC)
it's true that caring/taking care of someone does wear you out and at a certain point the self-preservation instinct kicks in. But it's also true that the carer doesn't inevitably leave for good. Sometimes a short break is enough to 'recharge'. I've learned from experience that if you tell the other person that you need a break, but you won't be gone for good, these breaks can be good for both sides. You just need to be open about it, when you think it's getting too much.

about Wilson. You might be right, that he needs a little distance from House. But he isn't just House's carer. House also cares for him. They help each other, in their different ways. So I'm hopeful that things will end up okay for them. :-)

1st-Dec-2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
Your perspective is very interesting. I don't think Wilson will be going away; he's too entwined with House. The parallel for me is a man with a son in his late teens. The son is independent in many ways but still needs his father desperately. If Wilson were ever to have a successful romantic relationship in the future, his significant other would have to accept House like a stepson -- to accept that House will take up a large portion of Wilson's time, concern, and thoughts.

But you are absolutely correct that Wilson needs some respite. The chronic pain is a huge factor, but on top of that, House's personality is consuming. House will take as much as he can, because that's how his psyche works. Wilson will keep giving, because that's how his psyche works, but he needs to develop other support to give him a break.

That was the saddest part of the Tritter arc for me: not that House wouldn't support Wilson but that nobody else would. Cuddy was downright cold to him; Cameron was judgmental and nobody stopped her; nobody from Wilson's department even gave him a ride when his car was taken!

In fact, the show never shows Wilson working with anyone but House, and I find that sad and distressing. Extras don't cost that much - they couldn't show Wilson leading rounds, or chairing a meeting, or even just giving advice to an oncology resident?
1st-Dec-2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
Weird, very weird. Yesterday I thought about the fact what would happen if RSL will leave the show. He said in an interview that he dosen´t want to work that hard as Hugh Laurie does it and I thought, well he is a great actor and he certainly earned a lot of money with House M.D. My thought made me a little sad and after I thought that yesterday, today I read your entry. Wooooaaa that´s not good and I´m really glad about all the comments to your entry. They reassured me a little.
Uuuuh but not completly *sigh*
Currently I think about the song: *lala* Que sera, sera, what ever will be, will be .....*lala*
1st-Dec-2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
He said he doesn't want to work as hard as Hugh - the other part of that is he said he has "the best job in Hollywood" precisely because he doesn't have to. He said he is paid well, gets to have his supporting role and work 3 days a week, and basically only ever works with Hugh Laurie, so it's pretty much a dream job.
1st-Dec-2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
Uhhh great to hear that. That reassured me more. Thank you for this info. In my opinion he has the best job he ever can have. And I hope he doesn´t miss New York so much. But well he always can fly home for a few days. *sigh reassured leans back to the sofa*
1st-Dec-2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
Yes, RSL seems to love his job! Be reassured, because he hardly expresses excitement about anything. ;) But the show - and Hugh - are two things he's been unironically enthusiatic about. I think his taste of fame when he was a teen (via Dead Poets Society) convinced him he never wanted to be famous. His small supporting is fine with him, and indeed in his last interview with TV Guide he's said it's only gotten better as the H/W relationship has evolved as his real-life friendship with Hugh has evolved.
1st-Dec-2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh and I do love Dead Poets Society (just btw)
1st-Dec-2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
I have to admit I haven't read every response to this post but what you said makes complete sense in a way. Not that I want Wilson to go anywhere but it has to be very taxing on someone to watch a friend constantly struggle with pain and self destruct in front of his own eyes.

Made me think of the whole 'antidepressants' episode. Wilson stated the reason was personal. Now I think maybe it might have something to do with feeling inadequate as a friend or having negative feelings toward House and his issues. He always seems to want to make things right, such as in the last episode (trying to pay the cancer free patient) and he's finding it's impossible to fix his friend.

I don't know. I have such a difficult time expressing my thoughts in written word. Anyway...
off to read your latest fic. Peanut butter and blood
2nd-Dec-2007 03:57 am (UTC)
Wilson has become synonymous with compassion, caring, empathy, an endless store of patience

My ass, but I realize that could just be me. Oh, man. You're...probably right. Which sucks so much. But you knew that. *goes off to cry in a corner because they're destructing before our very eyes and we know it*
3rd-Dec-2007 12:35 am (UTC)
I've already stated on your last discussion post all the reasons I don't think RSL/Wilson is going anywhere but to sum up, DS has acknowledged that they need that relationship to balance out the show, RSL has always struck me as content with his job (I know it wasn't his ideal one but he's never had a bad word to say about it, he seems to really like it and his character), and CC already have greatly reduced roles, if they axe Wilson, the only real connection House will have that all the fans will recognize is House/Cuddy and (while I don't mind them) unless you're a diehard Huddy fan, I don't think that's enough to keep fans around. Even some Huddy and HAM shippers love the H/W relationship.

Anyway, it's clear that we just have different views on S4, especially wrt Wilson. I just haven't seen much evidence this year that Wilson is getting tired, worn out, sick of it, reaching the end of his rope, etc. etc. The only evidence I've seen of that is at the end of Games but I don't call that Wilson getting tired of being there for House. He was already upset about his patient and his exasperation with House (though some of it admittedly came from his anger at the 97 Seconds and YDWTK incidents) was more about House convincing the guy to sue, which had nothing to do with being there for House. If I ever thought that Wilson was getting fed up, it would have been last year. Last year, it would not have shocked me (it would have upset me) if Wilson left. This year, overall Wilson seems a lot more confident and secure with House. He's been playing games with him, teasing him, laughing with him, I'm sorry, I just don't see any evidence of Wilson giving up on House.