Cheap Therapy

Okay, it is time to make this blog pay for itself in the form of cheap therapy.

Seems here lately every single female friend I have is having relationship troubles, and it reminds me of a person I used to be close to.

Years ago, we used to be best friends. He would come over and visit every chance he got, helping with the kids and stuff. He was so sweet back in those days…

When the kids would go to bed we would sit and chat for hours! I so adored his company and the refreshing way he looked at things. Even though we were just friends he made me feel special, you know?

Eventually time wore on and we would spend hours on the phone together while he drove (he was a truck driver). One night he asked about us maybe becoming a couple, with possible marriage in mind at an unknown time in the future. It was so sweet how he brought it up I wanted to cry. To this day it is one of my most cherished memories.

Then came the request for us to move closer so that he could be around more. Considering I lived several hours away, it was a reasonable request.

At first all was well after the move. He was wonderful in the beginning, and even surprised me with a cell phone as a gift. I was flattered and touched.

Slowly, things began to change. When we would all go places together it seemed I could do nothing right. I would wear heels and dress attractively to please him, but it only seemed to annoy him. He would complain that I walked too slow, “with my head up my butt” or “my nose to the ground.” His comments cut me to the quick, and eventually I began to avoid going places with him.

Then one day I began to feel that the cellphone wasn’t a gift – it was an invisible chain. If I did not answer when he called he would ring it over and over, and get upset because I wouldn’t answer. Wherever I was, whatever I was doing, I had better answer that phone.

I really began to dislike that stupid cell phone.

I was dependent upon the safety it represented, however. He would get mad and punish me by taking gifts back – including the cell phone, leaving me afraid to go anywhere in my older car for fear of breakdowns.

As I rebelled from the tightening noose and shied away from the verbal cuts, we started growing apart. Whenever he offered me a gift I learned to either refuse, or pay him for it somehow. I told him it was an honor thing, but honestly it was because I resented getting comfortable with something then having it jerked away whenever the mood struck him. I purchased my own cell phone, keeping it in reserve at first for whenever he demanded his phone back. Eventually I began using it full time and returned his phone to him.

Anyhow, we grew apart. He stopped visiting as much, while he was telling others that we were closer than ever.

Then he told his employer that we were married, and used me as an excuse to get extra time off of work. By then we only saw each other maybe once every few months for a couple hours. That hurt, but it’s all good.

He would make promises to spend time with us, then stand us up cause “something came up.” I learned that if he wouldn’t answer his phone the night before he was not coming the next day. Whenever he was around, especially in public, he felt he should be in charge, which I resented.

I feel now that I started the rift between us a long time ago, but I tried to discuss the lack of closeness in our relationship, and a need to spend more time together. I was rebuffed more than once. So I quit.

When I became so lonely that I was starting to look outside of the relationship for friendship, I broke up with him. I didn’t want to disrespect what we used to have by cheating on him.

Now we rarely talk, and while he has called me for help getting to a couple of appointments, we don’t visit anymore.

I miss what we used to have, miss the person he was in the beginnning, and still mourn that all of these years later.

I have to remind myself that people change, and I don’t miss the cutting words he liked to use when he was annoyed. I don’t miss listening to him scream and rave at other drivers on the road. I don’t miss how he enjoyed punishing me by taking away things that he called “gifts” whenever I did something he disliked. I don’t miss how he would look at me and tell me to do something and the fear I would feel inside.

I am proud of how I would face that fear by brazenly doing whatever it was he wanted me to stop, and for telling him he was out of line a couple of times.

Perhaps it was my resistance to his authority that placed the last few nails in the coffin of our relationship. I don’t know.

I miss what we used to have, back in the beginning. I miss his refreshing attitude, his open way of living his life regardless of approval. I miss the live and let-live attitude he had at the beginning. I don’t miss the person he became. I don’t miss that at all.

He blames our breakup on me, and perhaps he is right. But it’s all good. Some things were never meant to be. People change, and we just changed in opposite directions.

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