Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Somewhere near Sudbury
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    I should have....

    You?d think at 50 years old and having survived more toxic relationships than I have fingers, I?d learn - right? Well, here goes another....

    In the very early part of August, C and I met online. That, alone, should have been a warning sign. Out of fifteen starts with Internet ladies (four of which developed into relationships) none have been what they promised. Those that went beyond the first few dates just seemed to fizzle out in the three-to-six month stretch - when the honeymoon?s over. Insanity is defined as doing all the same things and expecting different results. Was she different - or am I insane? Two days later, we met - and it grew into a first date.

    There was some confusion at first. Things moved along at a fevered pitch after that. We?re both mature - and I suppose lonely. C was a drug and alcohol counsellor (?) retired due to illness. She was actively maintaining in recovery and had twenty-five years of sobriety to prove it. She was warm, loving, talkative to the extreme - and so easily offended. I was feeling my own pain with the immanent death of my ex-wife - the mother of my children. After a long string of short, fiery and hurtful relationships, I didn?t think I would be so willing to trust again. Odd how I trusted her. We seemed so much like the perfect match - but all the same red flags were there.

    I should have seen it in the frequency of her moves. I should have seen it in the number of guys who have walked through her life - and it was always them at fault. I should have seen it in her almost desperate need to meet. I should have seen it when she told me the father had custody of her children. But most of all, I should have seen it in her eyes on that very first date when she stepped back like I was in danger close. I should have - but I didn?t.

    In a matter of days, we were inseparable. Though there were certain irritating things about her - like in how she continuously interrupted in conversations, her jealous nature (which I thought flattering - at first) or in her odd way of examining the evidence if she wanted to know something - I accepted her as she was. That?s just a counsellor?s way, I thought. Moods? We all have them. At 49 years in age, she was entitled to hers. There was never an apology if I proved she wasn?t right about something. She had the perfect end-all for every disagreement: tears.

    C lived in the city - an hour?s drive from my place. I lived in an apartment over a small town grocery store. The neighbours were loud and the stairs were brutal - not a good thing for a lady who has trouble sleeping and walking. Where she lived, the neighbours were getting to be pests. Apparently, they were playing with drugs. They were always looking for something to enable them to carry on their activities. Some dangerous people were coming around, so it wasn?t a safe place for C?s teen-age kids to drop in when she wasn?t home.

    We were practically living together and constantly travelling between places, so there was a lot of packing involved. Musical apartments seemed to be the source of a lot of the stress we were both feeling, so she suggested we should set up housekeeping together. I felt it was too soon. She made it appear that I couldn?t really love her as much as I said if I didn?t want to make the move yet. There were a lot of ?excuses? - valid reasons, really - why I couldn?t move into her place: the lease, it was too small, there was no parking. My apartment seemed better - to me anyhow. It was a fair distance from her kids, but they could always Greyhound it.

    I have to admit, it made me feel ?warm ?n? fuzzy? as C set about nesting in my apartment. She went through my place tossing stuff out and making room for her own. Some of that ?junk? was rather personal, so naturally I objected a few times. That brought on disputes - and at least two threats to end the relationship. Her ?rejection? showed. I felt pressured, but I didn?t want to lose her. Was it stress - or something else?

    Those disputes! It didn?t take long to realise that C stuck to whatever conclusion she?d jumped to from any given situation. There was no explaining things. I know I have a stubborn streak and will defend that which I know to be truth - but I?m willing to compromise too. C wasn?t. It was her way or no way. Silence for the sake of peace is an uneasy peace. Still, there was a lovable side to her that made it all seem worthwhile, so for the sake of peace, I gave a little more.

    She wanted me to do something about the noisy neighbours. The reality was, she hated apartment life and we weren?t financially in a position to buy or rent a house. There were places that came available, and we turned them down for one reason or another - much to my relief. We even went so far as to check into places back in her old home town in the hope of a spring move. I truly believed she wanted a home for us. When a great deal on a mobile home not far outside the city came up, though I felt pushed, I surrendered.

    It was one of those ?get-it-while-its-hot? bargains - at a price even we could afford. We didn?t have the money for a down payment, so she called her mother. According to her, her mother is a controlling woman who favours her second family over her first (meaning her and a surviving brother and sister) Her mother claimed to have misunderstood because only one-tenth the cash was on hand when we went to pick it up. C?s tears were enough to soften her. On the way home, she joked with her sister how it pays to be able to turn those tears on and off at will.

    Together, we cleaned, papered and painted. In two weeks, the place was ready for us. Still, there was bickering over what went where and why. The stress didn?t vanish with our reduced mileage.
    She stayed in touch with her kids online - always worried about her son?s teen-age activity, the girl?s love life and her ex husband?s drinking and drugging. When she lived in the city, her young teen-age daughter could come and go at will on the bus [ie: run away] whenever things ?got tough? with her father and step-mother. There were limits here - and she knew that before we ever made our offer to purchase. The parents insisted it wasn?t their fault her mom decided to move so far out of town. C?s moods grew darker. The smallest of things set her off now.

    All in all, we did things right. We were both willing to take a chance. We shared dreams and allowed ourselves to experience the pleasures of love. Nothing?s a waste that makes memories, and she made some sweet ones in me. We both did things wrong too. We did move too fast - into each others? lives, and into this home. In our haste, we let our relationship deteriorate to the point where there were a lot of uneasy silences and heated debates. I know, just in my way of being honest and forthright - and lately, a bit too blunt - she was hurt. I apologize for that.

    Just a day or so before our last time together, she asked me why I loved her. For the first time, I couldn?t find an answer. That was the moment I knew we were at a crossroad.

    Sunday (Nov 26) the day before we were going to consolidate our pensions, C decided it was time to leave. Her story was she?s too far from the kids out here. That?s a line I won?t dare cross. Though I could see there was a lot more to it, I only half-heartedly tried to reach her. What?s the use? I wasn?t happy with what the stress was doing to me - and us. I guess it shows in more ways than the obvious.

    Monday (Nov 27) we went in to Disability. She?s made that first payment so I was sort of screwed for this month. Yes, I was upset - but more so devastated because I?m sure I lost a huge part of a dream come true - her. Money is only money. I got a partial cheque and a clinic doctor will script me for the medical requirement. I still have all the receipts, so I can get a community start-up. It took a bit of humility and a few phone calls but arrangements are made to cover the bills. I won?t lose this place - but now I live in it alone.

    Heart health and stress aren?t a good combination for me. As confusing as she can be, lonely is worse. Tuesday, I spoke to someone from the program, then a counsellor on the phone - and Thursday, I had a home visit from the crisis centre! Turns out he knows her, so it was hard to stay out of it, right?

    He was good about it - told me some stuff about how an alcoholic?s mind works and why they act the way they do - and described this relationship in very specific terms. She has twenty-five years of sobriety, yet the behaviour continues to be haunting. I know its inconsistency managed to push all the right buttons and drilled deep enough to touch anger. He gave me the names of some places to get help, and I am looking into anger management.

    Friday night, C called and spoke again about starting over and moving slower when it?s not shaded by yesterdays. God, how I prayed we might do it. Yes, it could be difficult - but with some counsel.... Neither of us can claim to be perfect. From my heart, I recounted things that have worn me down throughout the relationship - with a hope hers would hear. I heard another denial. It was put onto the fact I?d quit painkillers - then on yesterdays that were dealt with and resolved long ago. She made me aware, in no uncertain terms, that she didn?t have to do anything. The issues were all my own and if I expected to work things out, I had to change.

    I promised I wasn?t going to give her a hard time when she came to get her stuff. I?d even offered to let her store it here. My word is about the best thing I?ve got so I keep it to the best of my ability. I told her someone said that I should change the locks, make her prove it?s hers and claim she?d abandoned it - and that I answered I want things to be on friendly terms so, no. I won?t do it to her.

    It may as have been bait - and she went for it. I?m real sorry for that - not for the trap, but for what I learned. I wish it could have been something in me, for now I know I can?t fix it. She stuck to the pattern and fixed on the bad. I tried to explain. It went unheard. The browbeating I just took about the browbeatings I took came right apart in a threat she was coming out with proof, witnesses and cops. It proved what I saw all along and what the counsellor told me about a ?dry drunk?s? behaviour. They are the same thing.

    Saturday evening (Dec 2) she left a message stating that I had to bag or box anything I could and I had 24 hours to bring it to G House or she was coming out with the cops. I?m sorry it had to be this way too. I called the shelter and told the lady on the other end about last night?s call - how she?d heard the bad, shut me out, jumped to another conclusion, and that trait is the reason this relationship failed me. Then I called the OPP and told them they would be getting a call. ?She left. She can come and get it herself.? The cop seemed to believe it was fair - as long as there wasn?t going to be trouble.

    I wasn?t going to the shelter. It would hurt too much to see her while this pain is still fresh, but I didn?t want her getting an idea I was going to be mean about things

    Sunday (the 3rd) I took some stuff to her sister?s. She wonders why I stayed with C, considering she saw how I was treated on several occasions. In a telephone conversation with someone who knows her very well, I mentioned that C is terribly insecure and can be very abusive. It came as no surprise. A lot of what I lived with her was confirmed in that chat. ?She?s done things like that all her life.? I know she?s just walked out on other relationships too. Heard that from her and from several people very close to her - so it?s not just me. ?She?s a bit too sensitive?.

    I need a voice to feel like I matter too. ?When I want your opinions, I?ll ask for them.? That hurt me. I wonder what her feelings might be toward: ?Children should be seen and not heard?. To me, it?s the same thing. She said she loved me, but I felt treated like a threat. She was afraid I would leave her, but I felt her pushing me away. ?What?s that supposed to mean?? or ?You?re telling me....? I felt like I was being analyzed, interpreted, manipulated, lead to a witness stand confession and forced into another apology for something I didn?t really say or do. Nothing was resolved. It was dismissed for the sake of peace. Why was I getting crabby? It kept happening. After a while, tension creates strain. Then, the cracks appear.

    Dec 18: Today I got the word from C?s son. She?s in the AC. Tears stung these eyes when I heard and I?ll have to see what tomorrow brings. It will be a long recovery for her, if only she?ll accept the help.... It?s just too easy to blame stuff on somebody else. In a dark sort of way, it?s good to know it really wasn?t me.

    C? I still love her dearly and I?m told she thought the world of me. I even felt it. I pray she knows just how truly sorry I am for my part in what happened to us. Forgiveness is such an easing thing to do. Sometime, if she?d like to talk over coffee, I?m here. Despite everything, she?s much too valuable a friend to lose. Who knows? We may have a life together - in time. Provided we can both learn to communicate and validate each other, I?ll welcome the day.

    Wolf

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,104
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: I should have....

    I'm truly sorry for your loss, Wolf. The loss of a relationship is a devastating blow for anyone; especially, one who tried as hard as you did to make things work. Yet, sometimes no matter how hard we try, something simply isn't meant to be. That's when we must let go, and take what we've learned along with us into our future.

    Perhaps, what you need is some time to yourself ... time to know yourself better, and time to learn to enjoy your own company. Also, time to grieve this loss and put it behind you, if that's what must be. When you've learned to love your own company, it's much easier to enjoy the company of someone else, and much easier to know when another is a compatible companion. I hope you can find the peace that brings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Somewhere near Sudbury
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: I should have....

    A lot of water has passed under the bridge sine my last post here. A new lady has entered my life and from the perspective of today, things look fine. It's so great to finally meet someone who doesn't want sex on the second or third date then speak of commitment.

    December 28, a month-plus-a-day after she left, C. showed up to collect most of her furniture. Her eyes lit up when she looked about what was to be our home. She smiled and I heard the song in her voice when she said: “I love this place.”

    She held back in telling me anything specific, but she did spend a week in hospital - and was, as they tend to deem it, unco-operative. Apparently, she’d dumped her meds and made threats to sue if they put her on anything addictive.

    She still wants to believe withdrawal from codeine was altering my mood. I can’t get her to understand that just because I had script doesn’t mean I used it. This province can’t accept pain without painkiller. I did 28 days in rehab to break free from the addiction. In the past 11 years, I’ve managed without them for all but the worst of pain. She even saw as I disposed of several months’ worth of T3, so how can she blame the codeine?

    She asked if I’d been going to meetings. Yes - I do know the lifestyle. I respect it as something that may work for her and I would support her fully if only she’d have said: “let’s go.” Did she have to assume it was my life too?

    I heard from one of her friends she’s saying I was abusive. There’s no denying I yelled. I won’t try to justify it. Losing control of me is my shame. I’m sorry it happened - and sorrier she’d even think that way. Guess if it’s what she needs....

    In putting this “shield” together, there have been many opportunities to weigh out the ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ in this relationship. I know some self-centeredness is vital to the recovery process. Hers borders on narcissism - in just about every way. It’s pretty sad when the ‘goods’ are eclipsed by a total lack of communication. All I’m left with is pretty and good sex - against a mountain of heartache. I just don’t want to be steamrollered any more.

    December 29, I took some of the stuff she’d left behind to her friend’s place - the friend who pulled strings to get her the apartment. She’d already noticed C. tends to make a story a lot bigger than it really is.

    December 31, C. called to thank me for bringing that stuff. She doesn’t know when she’ll be able to pick up the rest of it and she’ll talk with me when she’s dealt with her brother, her ex, her mom and had some time to get things resolved within her own mind. This isn’t easy on me - but I wonder if I can trust her. I mean - she told people I abused her. What else could she pull to get attention?

    January 10, C. called again. She still can’t get anyone to bring her out to pick up the rest of her stuff so would I mind bringing in more. That friend who got her the place is “off doing her own thing now” (avoiding her the way it sounded) and her sister still won’t have anything to do with her. Nobody wants to do something for nothing - not even for her. Her response was just dead silence when I mentioned that coffee or ‘us’. I told her I going in on the 15th, so I’d take some in then. She gave me her number so I can let her know when I’m coming.

    January 11, I was going in that way to get a tire fixed. I wouldn’t be more than twenty minutes from her place, and it was warm. I left a message offering to bring in her plants and a couple of boxes. She called back and said I could keep the plants but there was a bunch of stuff she “needed badly” - including half the canned goods in my kitchen! She already thinks she should have the freezer because she has kids (who don’t live with her) and her neighbours can use it too.

    I know her greedy side. She’ll go into the Salvation Army or the Mission and take all but one loaf of bread, simply because it’s “free”.

    Then she wanted to know how long I’d be. I didn’t know. How could I? It all depends on what the guy has to do and how many jobs he has ahead of him. She refused to wait until after her Al-Anon meeting because she “had to get some sleep” and demanded a time. That’s like asking me to predict the future. “I don’t know” wasn’t a good enough answer. She started to get angry. “Oh just forget about it. I’ll get some....” I wasn’t buying into it. Why was she pushing for a fight? I just ended the call.

    Why is it my problem if her life’s not going the way she wants? She got more funds than I did when this thing died. I do have this too-soft heart though. I won’t see anyone go hungry, and started feeling bad about hanging up on her. I left another message that I’d come in today (Friday)

    C. never called....

    February 1: Tonight, C. called to tell me she was coming to get the rest of her stuff on Saturday. It didn’t matter if I had plans. As usual, what she wanted had priority. I know I promised I wouldn’t give her a hard time, but she’s carried this to an extreme. She treated me like I was dirt when I offered to bring stuff in and tried to make me feel like I owe her something. It’s been here for over two months now, so I think it’s fair to ask for some storage - considering how she left me short-chequed with all the bills to pay when she walked out. She said we’ll talk about it on Saturday.

    Why couldn’t she just leave good enough alone? It was easy to guess she expected another freebie. A sincere “thank you” might have been payment enough. Moments later, she called back to say she’s “...just going to let my new boyfriend handle you.”

    Really, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were several guys seeing her on a regular basis. I empathize with anyone who would enter the chaos and usury called her life. Pretty and good sex just aren’t enough. No - it wasn’t jealousy. That door closed shortly after I realized she was using me too. Coming from someone with an unstable mental history, I consider her words to be a threat. I feel a little bad that the police had to get involved. What choice did she leave me?

    Monday (Feb 5) Final contact with C. I took her kids video tapes, her jewelry box and some other personal items in to the apartment building where she lives. When she came to the door, there was a look of real sorrow and shame in her eyes. I didn’t say a word - just handed the package over. Surprise of surprises, she said thank you. I didn’t even look back when I walked away. (Okay - within me, I cried) At least she’ll never be able to say I’m heartless.

    Anything from which we learn is a valued lesson in life. From her, I learned the true worth of boundaries. In being a part of her pain, I learned the line between empathy and sympathy is a too-easy one to cross. It is sad to realize that a heart like the open prairie is a target for users - but it’s a darned good thing to know in a world full of them. The four months we shared weren’t wasted.

    In the real sense, C. is no longer a part of my life. I chose to close that door - and another is opening. I care, and probably always will - from a safe distance. One cannot have loved without knowing empathy. Really, the hurt is for her for I know she’ll never know the happiness she seeks without admitting to herself she is human and very capable of screwing up.

    Today, I am being counselled to grieve for, then step away from her and yesterdays. Today, I am learning to curb my instinct for retaliation. Today, I am attending CoDA. Today, there is hope, where with her, there was little. Today I have forgiven the person who most needs to be forgiven - ME. That can only make my next relationship a better one.

    I still love her - in an unconditional sort of way - despite what I know. I’m told she thought the world of me. What really happened in her is something I guess I’ll never know. I pray she knows just how truly sorry I am for my part in what happened to us. Forgiveness is such an easing thing to do. Despite everything, she’s much too valuable a friend to lose. She can’t abuse me any more.

    C.’s last words on that Dec 2 phone message were: “I’m going to do what I need to do to take care of myself.” I hope to you, God, she does....

    Wolf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,104
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: I should have....

    It sounds to me like you've handled everything very well, Wolf. This episode of your life can now be put behind you for good and you can move on to the future. There's no sin in having a kind and giving heart. The sin lies with those who take unfair advantage of such a caring person.

    Good luck to you in all that you do, and may true happiness come your way.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Disclaimer: PsychLinks is not responsible for the content of posts or comments by forum members.

Additional Forum Web Design by PsychLinks
© All rights reserved.