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Givers And Takers

There are givers and takers in life. Which are you?

I’m not sure people can be classified so distinctly into one or the other category. I know that throughout my life, I have been both. TGBF, while it would seem took more than he gave, actually gave quite a bit…at least there for a while he did. I gave a lot, but I also, especially at the end, took my fair share or as much of it as I possibly could, once I knew he was going to bolt.

We both gave and we both took. He gave time and effort to making sure the daily routines in our home ran efficiently. He truly was at our beck and call and seemed glad about that. He did so much for me and I was grateful. I gave more tangible things, food, shelter, stuff, because I was able and glad to do it…at least there for a while I was. Once he made his decision to leave he began to ease up on the giving and started doing more taking. Sensing something was wrong, I backed off on giving and because to focus more on taking…or getting paid back…for things he promised he’d pay me back for, which he never did, and which, I now realize, he won’t ever. The relationship deteriorated to the point where iI asked him to change or leave and he threw the neutron bomb of relational endings by moving immediately to a place far away.  (He later texted me and told me he did this so we wouldn’t get back together. My response? Good to know.)

This is all water under the bridge, as they say.

I ponder these things, in the wee hours of the night, because, well, to be honest, I don’t know the reason because. I just do. There’s a part of me that wants to try to make sense of the confusing turn of events. There’s a part of me that wants to try to learn from whatever went wrong so I don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. There’s part of me that wishes that, if it wasn’t going to work out, it had never happened. There’s a part of me that is just still really confused and bewildered.

Last weekend, the night that TGBF was to come and get his things, I met up with some friends for drinks. One of the women stated, “If the guy doesn’t make more than I do, I don’t give him a second thought.” She’s been taken advantage of and made her costly mistakes. Apparently she’s learned her lesson. A lesson, I suspect I need to learn. (When men treat women like this, is it any wonder women begin to put demands on men like this?)

The saddest thing of all, for me, is that the man took two years of my life and I have nothing but his furniture and a whole lot of painful confusion to show for it. It’s reason enough to never date again, or, if I do to make sure I’m less of a giver and more of a taker the next time around.

Yeah, I’m so not ready to date.
I’m really okay with that.

Alone-ness

It’s now the end of the second week after The Gone BF and I parted ways. It’s been a week since he ran away to a distant land and started a new life there. The first week was unbearable, this week, surprisingly, not so bad. I think it really helped to force myself through my routines. It also helped to have friends and my son around to help. Realizing that all the drama merely reflected the immature character of The Gone BF, rather than my failure as a companion or person, moved me to a better place more quickly than I hoped. Not being in contact with TGBF also kept me from wallowing around in sadness; ending it quickly the few times he did contact me, proved to be an effective strategy. Work, as much as I dreaded it, going in, proved to be a blessing. It kept me busy and mentally focused on something other than my miserable situation.

In fact, by Wednesday I was sleeping better and drinking less. The bottle of gin I purchased, upon learning that TGBF couldn’t get away fast enough, is long gone, and has been replaced by a small bottle of cheap red wine that tastes so badly, I was forced to mix it with Sprite, just to get a glass of it down. I will finish the last glass of that wine tonight, and tomorrow, I exercise and drink only water. It is time to get serious about taking care of me.

By Thursday, not only was I feeling better, I was actually in a place where I could begin to feel hopeful about the future, and more accepting of the present. Today, some of my old contentment has returned: I look forward to coming home, I love my place, my kids, my work. I believe this feels like contentment. I feel no desire or need to rush out and replace TGBF, and I like being able to keep my home exactly the way I want it. I am even looking forward to the days to come. I’m beginning to look forward to fall, the cooler air, and the golden colors. It will continue to be my favorite time of year even though it was at this time that TGBF and I started dating. I’m making plans for the holidays and I’m not dreading it, even though this year at Christmas I won’t have any of my children. I’m planning to go visit friends and family elsewhere, and that will be my gift to me.

I’m alone these days, and it isn’t by my own choice. Even so, I don’t view my aloneness quite the same as the loneliness I experienced early on. This alone-ness is comforting, it is familiar, it does not mark me as an untouchable or a failure. It is my freedom. I really do not mind or dread this experience two weeks out. It is bearable. I can see hope from here.

Now, maybe you are one who dreads being alone. I’ve included a link to a video poem I love. It’s just as affirming now as it was two years ago before the TGBF entered the arena of my life. Enjoy!

How To  Be Alone

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