This one ain’t pretty. Some of you may know that Gary Athens, the former champion skier, and most recently, Real Estate agent, died. He was diabetic. He was 51. I am diabetic. I am 56. You just never know what lies ahead. Not all of us write from the heart. I do, unfortunately. I’ve had some recent sadness, losing someone who had become the most important person in my life, and a person I hoped to grow old with. We had what to most would be a minor argument, but I was thrown out like last week’s garbage, just like that. The months of caring and devoting myself to making her happy, doing everything I could, with nothing in return, vanished in an instant. I fell in love with her because I believed she was an honest, genuine, good person. It was obviously only a matter of time before I discovered how used and abused I was. I feel truly foolish for falling for it. I thought I knew better. The heart does truly blind. No more. If there isn’t a woman out there who sincerely appreciates what you do for her, and proves it by giving it all back, then I will be alone. No matter how much I hate doing things alone, and not having someone special to share my life with, it is better than the abuse of a totally selfish relationship. Woman say they just want someone to respect them and care for them and love them and be honest and faithful and all the rest that turns out to be nothing but lies. I guess all the good unselfish women are still married. The rest have been divorced for good reason. And I’m not talking here about women who have suffered their own abuse or lived with men who are just as bad. They had no choice, and I only wish with all my heart that I could find one. I will treat her like gold, but, this time, I will expect it in return. No more "mister nice guy" who’ll put up with anything no matter what.
Not even sure who the hell I do this for anymore. Maybe it’s just the demons in me, or a burning frustration at the disappointments of our lives, well, mine anyways. I want to have such dying unconditional faith in the basic goodness of people and, yet, time and time again, my faith is shattered. No one really cares anymore. It seems everyone has adopted the "what have you done for me lately?" approach. If you are kind and generous and trusting and caring and always put the other person’s interests first, you just end up kicked in the teeth. From being the first one to jump to help someone, to professing your undying love for someone, it never seems to come back. "Do unto others as you would have them do to you" should be "do good unto others and never ever expect it back". Friends are not there when you need them. They are only there when they need you. If you have something they want; if you make them feel good about themselves; if they are sad and need some cheering up; if they’re in a nasty mood and just want someone to take it out on, they grow to expect you to be there for them. But don’t ever expect the same in return. And it does not matter if you have been there for them once, ten times, or a hundred. Cross them once or fail to come through just once the way they expect you to, and you are toast my friend. Guilt about how they respond to you? None. Do they feel bad when they let you down the way you wouldn’t even think of letting them down? Not a chance. Just behave the way they expect and do everything in your power to keep them happy and things will be just fine. But just try once to tell them what you need, no matter how small, and you are out of their life in a heartbeat. It’s no wonder we have so many divorces and failed relationships. People have become so selfish. They have lost the ability to truly and honestly care about anyone but themselves. And if you are unfortunate enough to really care for them, in the "want to spend the rest of my life with you" sense, you are doomed if you tell them. Bare your soul to them and give them total honesty and you are only setting yourself up for heartache. They come to just expect your love and affection and see no reason why you should expect it back. How could you be so unreasonable? "Yes, I know you do everything for me and you are always there for me as a devoted and true friend, but you think you’ll get the same in return? Yeah, right." How unbelievably cruel. Not my kind of world anymore, that’s for sure.
You know who I’m talking about. You might see yourself all too clearly here, but it’s okay, you won’t care anyway. You might call once in a blue moon. Because you honestly care? No. Because you haven’t had your "me me me" fix in a while, that’s why. You ask how I am, which would be great if you actually cared, but no matter what I say, you always have a "me" answer. "Well, I’m a little down today because my foot is really sore, and I can’t….". "Yeah, I know what you mean. My arm has been bugging me for weeks now and blah blah blah," and off they go, all about them. They wonder why you haven’t called them to do something, you see, because YOU are the one that is supposed to plan everything. Get everything organized and plan it for them and you also get to PAY for it as well, just to rub salt in the wound. Aren’t you the lucky one? Wait for them to just call you up out of the blue and suggest you get together? You will die waiting.
It is a sad commentary on my life, and I accept it, that after all these many years on this planet, always trying to do my very best for everyone around me, I only have one person I can call a true friend, and she knows who she is. It’s always been a two-way street with us and we both know we would do anything for each other. She lives a long way away and I regret I have not had the opportunity to help her as much as she has me, from coming to my rescue to get me desperately needed help to move, to jumping on a plane and helping me like no one else, including family, when my Dad suddenly passed away, she has shown herself to be a genuine caring friend. I treasure just knowing her and she does restore my faith that there are still some good people in the world. Everyone else just calls when they need me to do something for them.
The hurtful things that people do has no limits. When my father passed away my mother needed full-time care because of her Alzheimer’s. My sister has a full-time business and my brother was overseas. There really was no choice in the matter, so I moved in with her immediately to care for her. Anyone who knows anything about living with a person with Alzheimer’s knows it is a living hell. No matter what sort of abouse you have lived with before, the things a person with Alzheimer’s says are the very definition of cruel. My mother threw me out of the house at least forty times. I had to take a course to qualify for employment insurance, so my Mum had to go into daycare. She absolutely refused and tried to jump out of the car on the way there. It scared the living hell out of me. My frustration had hit the breaking point and I asked her why I had given up my life for her, and not my brother or sister. Her answer? "Because you are f*king useless!" It broke my heart. I thought I could never ever feel that sort of pain again, but even that turned out to be wrong.
I went through hell caring for her for nine months. I worked every single day on her place, knowing she had to sell it and go into a home soon. I fought with banks and health care people trying to get her into a place she would be comfortable in her remaining years. There are no words to describe how bad it was. I asked for nothing from my family and I got nothing. My brother looked after her for ONE night in six months, so I could get a much needed break, and he couldn’t handle it. He forgot to give her her medicine (he was a nurse) and called me early in the morning to come home because he couldn’t handle it. My sister came down from Revelstoke on the weekends to give me a break, but she had no idea what I was going through. All she saw was a happy Mum who just wanted to drink and gamble. Now she knows what it was like. Caring for Mum now has brought her to the edge of a nervous breakdown. And she has never once done it seven days a week like I did. I never once asked for thanks or refused to accept my responsibility. I knew that I would perservere and get into a care facility, which I did, and get my life back. My nephew had occasion to visit me a while back and we started talking about how my life was with Mum. I know he meant no malice, but, because he was shocked to learn what I had been through, he just made an offhanded comment about what my sister and brother had said. "They said you did nothing". It cut like a knife.
It is a low point in my life. I am struggling to renovate my place, working too many long days and in pain. I don’t know if my foot is related to my diabetes or not. I hope not because there are too many stories about losing your feet when you are diabetic. Those of you who know how active I am know that it would literally kill me to not be able to do the things I love. I doubt I am strong enough to go on, and I am ashamed to admit it, knowing how many people in the world live with much worse, but we are who we are.
I hope things get better soon. I am depressed, lonely, frustrated, and slowly losing it. Oh, and I haven’t had sex in a year. Maybe that’s the real problem?