This is one of the saddest stories I have ever told, because it is about a living loss of a person that I still love very much. I call it a living loss, because the person is not really dead, they are just lost to me and I so wish it was not so. When we lose somebody because they died there is a normalcy to it and finality, but when we suffer a living loss there is no finality, no ebbing of the pain; there is just the knowledge and understanding that every day you wake you will know no peace, never again feel totally happy, or totally fulfilled.
I saw this coming for over 20 years and fought against it for the same. I would have gladly carried the burden of it alone without complaint until the end of my days if the cost of the schemes, the manipulations and the punishments had continued to fall on me alone, but this was not to be the case. Although everything seemed to be okay at times, I could always sense that the relationship was not real, was devoid of real feeling and seemed to be a relationship built solely on convenience and the needs of the other person.
Did you ever want somebody to love you so bad that you would take almost anything they threw at you? I mean so bad that you would ignore your instincts that were screaming you are being used; this person is going to hurt you; this person is going to break your heart, because you are in their life and they in yours and you feel that you have enough love for the both of you until the other person comes around.
At first it is easy to make yourself believe that the other person loves you and wants the same thing as you because you want it so bad and so when it does not you keep blaming yourself and adding nice things into the pot along with the love that should have been enough, hoping with everything that you are that the other person just needs a little time and some extra nice treatment and that all will be as it should be between you.
As time passes and the other person does not change in fact they get worse and even more demanding and you are slowly beginning to understand that it is not you exactly that they want, but what they think that they are entitled too and the relationship with you makes that possible. It is not an easy pill to swallow that somebody you love does not love you, but it is not enough to turn away and you know you couldn’t if you tried as long as there was the smallest morsel of hope that things could change and so it was with me and that person.
There were times when the line was hard to see and I do not think that either of us could tell the difference between the lies and the truth of the matter, what was real and what was not. I because I did not want to and the other because they were so used to pretending, that it had to feel real. Lies are hard to maintain though because no one can go without making a mistake forever and sooner or later the truth will shine through the lie no matter how much you do not want to heat, or see it and no matter who wants it to remain hidden and for what end.
You can not buy, or sweeten the pot with enough nice things to buy love, because you learn as I did that if you are expected to pay for love than it is just not real and you are merely renting a dream. The tension started to ease its way into the relationship as I ran out of other things to offer besides my unreturned love and grew steadily with every unanswered demand for more from the unsatisfied party. Finally there was no more money, no more chore that I could do and the other’s mood became distant at first, resentful next and then finally angry. This person’s anger woke me up from the dream and my eyes were suddenly opened and it was like seeing myself and them for the first time.
There was no more dream of love, respect eventually to come; all that was left was a hollow, lonely feeling and a sense of great loss. I had fought the fight and lost and now the person I still loved despite everything, was threatening to remove all other rivals that might be responsible for my not having anything but love for them, which just was not enough and certainly not what they thought was owed to them, or what they were entitled to. Unfortunately this person was about to cross an imaginary line, a dangerous line, one that I could not allow. They were not threatening violence, but they had decided that the price for their love was to be the exclusion of anyone elses love for me or mine for them and in all things their wants and their needs must come first.
I could not do that and I would not do that and so things got worse and not better and the call for it more and the part of me that I gave to others became almost never-ending. The resentment of me and everything else that I loved more plain and a lot easier to see with each passing day and the feeling of having to do something hung over me like a dark cloud. As tensions built it was clear that something had to be done to protect all those that I loved, because the by any means necessary attitude that this person was employing had become unstable and I was no longer the primary target. The others in my life that I loved were becoming targets and I just could not and would not let them get hurt, because I once had a dream. My daughter, my grandchildren were getting sucked into the mix and if I did not act quickly my family was going to get into such a family war and all because of one person trying to get what they thought they had missed and were owed.
Finally over a football game that I said I would go to that was supposed to be played in my neighborhood, but at the last-minute got changed to 10 miles away, making it impossible for me to go was to be the straw that broke the came’s back and would spark the beginning of the end. You see it is cold outside now and it would be hard enough to stand at the side of the field for an hour anywhere, but at least when the field is in my neighbourhood I am free to leave if things get bad. It was only 7 months ago that I had my cancerous prostate removed and although most things have returned to normal it would not be a good thing for me to get a cold in my stomach. I was accused of many things and at the end of the conversation that of late have been reduced to hostile text messages and e-mails, I knew now that this person who was lost to me once, came back into my life very angry, was going to have become lost to me again, or I would lose my whole family to jealousy and the need of this person to try to get back what is impossible once it has passed and that is time.
Yes it is never easy to suffer with a living loss, but when the person is your own child then it is truly the saddest day in a parent’s life and so it was in mine. In the end I had to say and then do what was necessary so that the daughter who loves me unconditionally and all of my grandchildren will be able to be a family that loves each other. A family not in it for worldly things thought owed to them, but in it just because we are family and loving each other; not in spite of being a family, but because we are a family. In the end I was forced to say, “I am neither your brother, your husband, or your boyfriend, I am your father and I have tried to be your friend; your father and friendship are what I am still offering, but it is up you to take it now, as it has always been.”
It has been a few weeks now with no word and a sense of great loss aches in me, but a sense of calm has settled in that frightens me a little, but what I felt had to be done is done. As Christmas approaches and I begin the process of transforming my house for the holidays, I hope for the phone call, the e-mail, or the text message of apology and sadly know that it will not come, because there is something broken in her that I do not know how to fix and that she does not even feel that is broke, or in need of fixing. Christmas will indeed be different without her in person, but her threat was to be at all family functions in spirit, like I was on that cold day of her son’s football game.
I will never stop loving her, or caring and worrying about her and I am sure she loves me deep down inside and so we go into exile together oddly enough her and I; still a pain in each other’s side and an itch that we just cannot scratch.