I talked to Asa last night for couple of hours. I did a horrible job at being conversationalist but I think it was okay because he has SO MUCH ENERGY. And of course he has so much energy! He is young, I am not. So I’m going to stop feeling guilty for letting him carry the conversation.
It was such a joy hearing from his yesterday. He had another big life accomplishment and he was soooo happy. And the story he told me about it was so hilarious. At first he was texting me as I was driving home from work. It was so very funny I had to pull over I was laughing so hard. (Also pulled over to text, just sayin’.)
Plus he has two possible girlfriends on the horizon, another happy thought! I always pray that he will find the girl who will love him as much as he deserves. He has such a giving heart, seriously, if you knew him, you would feel so very blessed. He deserves the most beautiful, loving, kind and sensitive girl out there.
But anyway, in one of my feeble moments of trying to talk about something so Asa could rest a moment, I of course brought up Doug. My thought was typical: I felt guilty that my life got better in MANY respects after our almost affair, and his life became significantly worse.
His cancer flared, in a very extreme way. I don’t expect that he will live longer than 4-6 months. The treatments he spent close to $100,000 to receive had no effect at all. (And that money was just living and travel expenses, what insurance didn’t cover and co-pays for the three months he was on the East Coast.)
Asa listened, and then said to me, “Let it go Angel. Here, give it to me, I’ll carry it for you.”
Something about the way he said those words touched my heart. He doesn’t know it but it made me cry. I had this feeling of my heart being patched, like I was physically stepping into the velvet of the morning.
And the all the thoughts came to my mind of how things happened with Doug and I, and I remembered (or I guess allowed myself to remember) how he manipulated me.
I know I’m an adult and I share the blame. (Thank the Lord that I didn’t actually have a physical affair, I seriously could not deal with that.) But he did manipulate me. He was so good at it too, so very good.
At one point in the friendship, he made me feel like my concern towards him was the only thing keeping him alive. And I believed that. Crazy, right?
I kept remembering things. How he basically stalked me online and then found out where I lived. And how he would drive by my house and send location pings, and all the weird weird things he did that made me afraid of him. Like told me where my dryer was in my basement. Or how I would be at the bank and he would location ping me from across the street and say, “I’m at Costco, where are you, at the bank?”
Isn’t it strange? That I’m really just now allowing myself the freedom to acknowledge those things? Even to voice them.
I don’t have to feel guilty that his life got worse.
He had cancer before I met him. I didn’t pursue him, he pursued me. I didn’t follow him around the internet, or to his job, or to his home or to the bank. I didn’t send him cryptic messages about where his car was parked at 3 a.m.
Honestly, I’m starting to think that I should have been way more afraid of him than I ever was.
I’ll have to be sensitive here, but I had one of the worst days I’ve ever had on any job in any of my various careers.
Four teen girls. Volunteers that I’m training in various capacities.
Four teen girls. Hormones, backstabbing, pure bitchiness and horrible attitudes. Towards me, with each other, and anyone else who crossed their path. All day long.
Even as I made appointments for them with local colleges. Even as I trained them on software program that will be very valuable for them in their future endeavors. Even as I fed them, even as they drank all my coffee and used up all my hazelnut creamer without asking. Even as they left a mess in the kitchen.
It was a straight up horrible Thursday.
None of them showed up today. I was so happy about that.
All that being said, I love them. They all have horrible and archaic family lives. Absentee or alcoholic fathers. Moms with 5-6 kids by various baby daddies. Major depression and cutting behaviors.
I think I can help them.
I just have to survive them.
Remember how I used to care that my friendship with Doug had (for all intents and purposes) ended?
Oh sure, he’ll email me about once a week with a health update. Or send me a link to his Facebook page with a medical update.
But friends? We are no longer friends.
And here’s the shocker: I don’t care.
I don’t care about him anymore, except as a human being in general.
I’m not mad.
I’m not sad.
I’m not anything. Except free.
There’s a picture that I carry
One we made sometime ago
When they ask who’s in the picture with me
I say, “Just someone I used to know”
Just someone I used to spend some time with
Just a flame that’s lost its glow
So he says to me, “You were the only peace I ever knew.”
[What’s past is prologue.]
I kept thinking, “How can I give him an out? Make it graceful and painless for him?”
It was to the point that I didn’t even want to hear the words, “I care about you, but…”
To quote Neil Young, “Doesn’t mean that much to me
To mean that much to you.”
Of course I felt guilty. I wanted to care less/more, truly. I honestly prayed to love less/more, I prayed that God would reset my heart towards you.
I did love you then, you know I did.
I know you loved me too, a little bit.
But it was always like I was the pinball. Ding, ding, ding! Triple score, you think I’m fantastic! You’re proud of me! You miss me!!! It’s all good! It’s great actually!
But then, a complication. Ball drop. Game over.
Ready Player One? Psych- you lose!
Every external situation in your life was reflected in how you viewed me and treated me.
I was disposable.
And yes, I knew that kisses weren’t contracts and presents weren’t promises. I think I behaved accordingly.
But it was hard for me. You thought I was strong and could do anything, because you never saw me cry. So you came and went, came and went.
As if that’s what I deserved.
And it’s not even that you thought of it as something bad. It’s just that is what I was to you.
I had no value to you, in the sense of you ever considering how the coming and going affected me.
I was there for you when you needed me, I know that I was. But the sentiment was not returned.
But then, everything just started hurting me.
Things I had nothing at all to do with, you were angry at me over.
You were angry at me for the times you asked for my advice and ignored it.
I could never fix it, when you were broken. And you held that against me.
I tried to encourage you; you held that against me.
I wouldn’t accept your negative words about yourself; you held that against me.
At the same time, I accepted your negative words about me and tried to change.
So, I’m lying. It did mean a lot to me, that I meant something to you.
I just acted like it didn’t, so you wouldn’t feel obligated to stay.
I had to learn though, didn’t I?
I was disposable.
I once saw myself as trendy and with it, but in reality I was probably just vapid.
When I was engaged, I asked for an emerald and diamond engagement ring. He lived to please me, so of course I received what I asked for.
A few years later I somehow knocked the emerald out.
And since that time, I’ve never had the slightest desire to own jewelry.
When I was pregnant, I lost my wedding band. We never replaced it.
I never got around to it and then it was freeing, one less thing to worry about. As an older mom, and having a baby at 42, that was all I could deal with anyway.
Flash forward to the new job. I deal with the public a lot now. I force myself to be friendly and outgoing.
And come to find out, there are a lot of single, divorced, and widowed men that need to visit this facility.
So not wearing a wedding ring and being warm and welcoming is an unforeseen problem.
I told my husband today, after my cousin’s funeral. He said, “Let’s stop by this pawn shop and see what you can find.”
I passed on the offer.
It’s not that it hurt my feelings, it’s that it felt so unenthusiastic.
Maybe I’ll just wait and see if he warms a bit more to the idea.