I’m writing this post to remind myself of something, as many of you reminded me in Comments, and I have heard in real life.
This man cannot make me happy. This ‘nice’ man I went out with on Saturday afternoon does not really exist. This ‘nice man’ is a facade, with a mission. And this ‘nice man’ is also inside, a damaged, unhappy, unkind, selfish man who made life so hard for my son. This man took and took from me leaving me with a huge debt to repay. This man thinks he is always right
Even on our nice afternoon, there were subtle attempts to undermine me, telling me that the house is a mess (it isn’t) and smells bad (it doesn’t) and forecasting disaster at the arrival of a second dog. I’m so so used to these little digs that I don’t SEE them until I reflect on things later. He asked with interest and concern about my younger two sons, but did not mention the eldest who started his first job last week.
He tells me he misses me, loves me, but he does not apologise for the things that split us apart and he does not SHOW me that this ‘love’ is true by understanding my point of view. By Listening to me. I am so vulnerable to him that I only hear the words, and I need the commons sense of my friends and family to remind me to look at the actions. Judge what someone DOES not what they say ..I feel weak, gullible, vulnerable, raw and confused.
I contrast that with me this morning at work. I have seen patients with mental illness, a child with a self limiting virus, a newly diagnosed diabetic, a 40 year old with somatisation and anxiety, a transplant patient, and man who’s indigestion is almost certainly angina pectoris. An elderly lady who has lost her husband and is struggling. And more. I am confident here, in my clinic, I have offered these people my time, empathy, explanation support practical advice, medication and expertise. I know I am good at my job. I’m confident in my decision making and my reasoning behind it. I’m confident my knowledge and experience have now produced a rounded, holistic, true “family doctor”. I’m proud of my achievements at work, proud of what I do, grateful that i am valued and relied upon, My judgement is valued and sought.
What happened to this in my personal life ? Why does this one man, who pushed me SO far and has done me wrong, still push my buttons? Why can I see that logically but struggle to connect to it emotionally? Am I afraid of being alone ? Do I judge my worth as a woman by having a man at my side ? Not consciously; consciously I enjoy my calmer life, my time to focus on my children and what needs to be done. Consciously I’m happy in my warm bed at night alone. Consciously I feel the relaxation coming over all of us, I notice the loss of anger and resentment from my day to day life. Consciously I appreciate the peace that comes from doing, each day, what I believe to be right and having no battles between what HE wants and what my conscience tells me is the correct thing to do.
Maybe its like alcohol, it takes time. Consciously I knew that drinking was doing me no favours, but it still took some time to action sobriety. And maybe this ‘moderation’ ; seeing him for an afternoon for a nice drink / rugby match is no good for me either. Maybe here too, abstinence, complete abstinence, is the only way I will recover. He is not my friend. He was my lover, the man I hoped to grow old with. He is the man I loved more completely and passionately that I have loved before. I am afraid that it is THIS I am scared to lose. That there is no-one else who could ever make me feel THAT good. That any other relationship will be a pale imitation, second best – measured forever against this ‘lost’ person. On another level I never want to meet anyone else. I never want to risk this again. I don’t trust myself and I certainly don’t trust other ‘men’ – (excluding of course a few I already know)
Reflective mood for a Monday, before a bitch of a week work wise.
But then, on Saturday, Jasper comes…. and I have a week off 🙂