Scenario 2; This is a true-life story and happens to be one of my own.
I was in a long-term relationship with a man we will call Mark. It was about 5 years to be exact. I would always describe him as one of the good guys. That, of course, was before I hit the doors of recovery.
My mother had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer almost a year previous. I had gotten the urgent call from dad that I needed to get to their home quickly because mom was dying. It was a 9-hour journey for me as I packed my things the previous night and headed out the next afternoon.
I had not quite made the bend in Cleveland when the van started sputtering and I nervously pulled off to the side of the road. The van wouldn’t start, and worry turned to all-out fear. I was a little way from an exit to a small town I was not familiar with and I didn’t have a cellphone to ease my dilemma.
Luckily a woman pulled over to give me a ride to the nearest gas station and I borrowed one of the station’s employees phones.
I called Mark, told him what happened and that I was stuck, what should I do? His reply “I don’t know what to tell you, I’m at work and you’re an hour and a half away, call your son”. I called my son, “mom you’re an hour and a half away, this is such an inconvenience for me is there anyone else you can call”?
How many times has this happened to you? You’re in an emergency situation, and everyone passes the buck.
I told my son that I didn’t have anyone else to call and he unhappily agreed to come to get me, but he didn’t know when he would be there, it could take up to 4 hours. There was a bar and grill across the street, so I waited there with other patrons who were enjoying their dinner at the bar.
I struck up a conversation with a few gentlemen and started telling them of my predicament. They asked if my husband was on his way and I stated I wasn’t married. I told them I called my boyfriend and he didn’t know what to do, so I had to enlist my son.
The Wakeup Call
What! Your boyfriend didn’t know what to do? The men sitting within earshot couldn’t believe what I was saying. “I would never leave my wife or loved one on the side of the road with no help, I wouldn’t care how far away they were”! This hit me like a ton of bricks! I was stunned! They were right, and I hadn’t even mentioned why I was on the road in the first place.
It’s funny how other people will plant seeds. This was definitely a seed I needed to sow. But why didn’t I see it first?
When you tolerate bad behavior of any sort this is exactly what happens. It gets worse until you’re crippled in a downward spiral that you awkwardly call life. Or perhaps you have been groomed since childhood with the message that you are an inconvenience. I really thought this was all typical! This is how people responded.
I was Blessed when a retired cop sat down beside me. He waited with me until my son came, made sure Mark’s van wasn’t tagged and made arrangements with a local tow company and auto mechanic. So, there were complete strangers making sure I was going to be OK instead of the ones who told me they loved me over the years.
This was also the beginning of the end of the relationship with Mark. My son was cheered by the bar patrons for doing the right thing and taking care of his mom. I never told them he had responded in a similar fashion.
People will show us who they are all the time. They also show you that you really don’t have a great deal of worth to them. After recovery started to really sink in, I have had to let many people in my life go. This wasn’t an easy feat since my network was already small.
I had stayed friends with Mark after the break-up but even that didn’t work!
My gas furnace went out one night. By the time I had caught it, it was about 53 degrees in my home and the snow outside was piling up quickly. Mark had always been the guy to relight it when he lived with me so I called him. Mark lives less than a quarter of a mile away. He was cooking and told me he didn’t know how fast he could be here. I told him I would see if my neighbor was home to help.
Thank God my neighbor was home! Not only did he help but showed me how to light it myself in case I had problems again. I called Mark to tell him the heat was on and he didn’t need to come over. Mark didn’t even bother picking up the phone.
How I Solved Any Future Problems
I had a new furnace put in that has an automatic ignition. I also bought a new car and added towing to my insurance. I can say I have learned my lesson and have had to become very self-reliant. I totally disconnected from Mark.
It is amazing to go back through my life and look at things with new eyes. I am so grateful for the hallways of recovery and healing. I really am free!