Not the end!

Today is 3rd November 2013. This is more than two years since my last post – growing to love. What I have found out during the course of previous months this year have made me realize that what I thought was the mutual end of a long and arduous journey was in reality a biased perspective.

At the beginning of this year, an incident occurred in my life which nearly brought it to an abrupt and violent end. The details of the incident and all relevant precursory information will be forthcoming. For now I will keep the focus on what I had previously deemed as a done deal, a dead-end relationship. So, as I had been living alone, I kept several dogs for security purposes and also because I just love them. When I was left lying in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital, there was no way of determining for how long I would be out of commission. The question therefore arose about who would look after my dogs.  The only answer I could provide was for my relatives to contact my “former’ friend. He was the only logical one since he had given me some of the dogs and would have some ideas to assist my relatives. I could not conceive that an ex- would be willing to assist with the care of my dogs but that is exactly what played out.

Within the next seventeen days, all the while I am lying incapacitated in the hospital, my dogs were cared for diligently.  My former friend took on the task of cleaning my yard and feeding the dogs  not just everyday but twice a day. After that time my relatives took over. I spent a total of approximately one month in the hospital. I emerged twelve pounds lighter, unable to speak and of course very weak. My dogs were traumatized by my prolonged absence and the presence of other persons tending to them. Remember I lived alone for many years and I had them for several years before this incident occurred. When I was finally able to venture back home to visit with them, they were hesitant and scared. It took several days before they came around and accepted me.

At the end of one of my visits to the dogs, my good friend and neighbour, Gillian, was driving me back home to where I was temporarily staying by relatives, when we decided to stop off at a drugstore. Before we even pulled into the car park I had spotted my ex’s car parked right in  front of the store. I could have spoken a little by this time but I chose to not say anything to Gillian. As we walked to the entrance of the store I knew that he would have seen me but I chose not to even glance in that direction. Gillian on the other hand, spotted him and waved to him at the same time exclaiming about his presence to me. I then let her know that I had already seen him. She related to me how he kept staring at me and that he did not return her greeting. I in turn had predicted what he would have done. No surprise there for me. That incident led me to believe that the conclusion of my previous post was correct. I left the store with mixed feelings and a myriad of thoughts.

The following week I decided to contact my ex to thank him for the duties he had performed during my stay at the hospital. I was still angry with him over the failed relationship and for the way he had treated some of my relatives but I knew that thanks could never be too late and… I was grateful for his invaluable assistance. I was not prepared for his response over the phone, At one point he began to cry and I initially thought that it was due to his feeling sorry for the pain he must have conceived that I would have had to endure as a result of the injury. How wrong I was! He was crying for himself, for the humiliation which he felt I had put him through as a result of the publicity associated with my incident and because he felt that I had betrayed him with someone else. i ended that call so quickly once I realised why he was crying. I was once again agitated by him and angry with myself for initiating contact. I vowed, once again, that I would have nothing to do with him.

To cut out a lot of back and forth, a lot of oscillation, I will simply say that the next few weeks saw a period of change, of renewal. We gradually learned to become friends but this time around I set limits for the relationship. I tolerated no nonsense, no attempts at manipulation or of dominating my time. Temper tantrums were dealt with immediately with definite negative consequences. If he got angry or upset then I became angrier or more upset. As far as I was concerned if he did not like me as I am or if I said or did something which he did not like then that was just his problem. I was no longer concerned with trying to please him. After this, when he began to grasp that things were not going to be as they were before our breakup, he began to make changes – small at first, then more important ones. Finally the day came when he confessed how much he loved me and me alone. He told me that it was always me and that it was still me in spite of all which had transpired and he told me that he was not aware that I had really left him in 2012. He kept thinking -even after more than nine months – that it was just like all the previous times when I left for a few weeks. He expected me to return at any time and was able to continue his routines only because he thought I would be coming back. It was so sad because those were the words I had waited twenty odd years to hear and now that they were being said I felt nothing.

The pain and hurt which I had experienced repeatedly during the course of our relationship, had re-enforced their messages to the extent that when I decided to move on last year, it was final for me. The pristine landscape of my love for this individual had been completely eroded by the harsh elements of his treatment. He was now trying to rebuild the profile of our relationship and I had already destroyed the blueprints. As I said before, I could no longer feel that love for him. The chemistry between us was no longer there and the more I tried the more this was confirmed for me. How unfortunate for us both that he waited until I almost lost my life before he realised that he could not live his own without me. I agreed to remain friends but on my terms which really means just friends. Who knew that this man who once could only find fault with me could now only see the good in me. I guess the best way to end this would be to thank God for His mercies

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growing to love

I was deeply attracted to him when I was just twenty five years old. It initially was not attraction but avoidance. Something, that little inner voice called instinct, told me he looked like trouble, stay away, far away. Time and his persistence made him become ultimately irresistible. I didn’t fight it in fact I sought him.

He played all the right cards. He was indeed the master of the game. I was hopelessly lost without even knowing it. Like a wild bird, he wooed  me with morsels of compliments, deep eye contact and boyish charm. He was ten years older than I and knew all the traps to set. For me I longed to be caged by him. But for him it was more about having a prize to show off.

After our first intimate time together, which in all honesty was not earth-shattering, I could not wait to be with him again. I planned and hoped and waited. He was all cool and disinterested. Smart man! the more I was sideswept, the more I wanted to be with him.

As I write this I realise that it was the perfect combination. He was a master manipulator and I was a willing puppet. The age difference did matter. Some say it doesn’t but it does and it did. His views on life, his rules, his expectations, his perspectives on relationships were all different from mine by a whole generation.

The thing is I changed gradually into a mini me of him. Some of that was good but some was not. I gave freely of time, love, money… you name it I gave it. To keep me in line or to have his own way without my knowledge, he would have an angry outburst and chase me away. Initially this worked well for him because I would always leave… and always return.

What was amazing was that after many years he actually grew to love me in a pure wholesome way. I became a much needed part of his life just as he was part of mine. I had lost myself in him which helped him to find his way. As happy as I was for him I could not go  on living a life in which I had no dreams, no needs, no expectations…

And so what was a lifetime had to finally come to an end. Undramatic, total acceptance by both parties. Life does indeed go on. The younger me would never have understood that concept.