Sunday, May 13, 2007

No, I'm Not A Terrible Person

I didn't stay at the party last night because you were there. That was the one and only reason I left.

I showed up before you, so I managed to say hello to everyone. And I didn't leave the moment you showed up; I stayed and made polite conversation. I informed you that we needed to talk, and I even suggested buying you lunch to talk about it. But it will be business. It will be about the divorce.

But I didn't stay because, frankly, I don't want to be around you. Not because you're a bad person, and I don't think you're a bad person, only a person making lots of bad decisions. You need help. Problem is, you've burned so many bridges so quickly that help is hard to find. You don't know where to look.

Well, you can't look here. This is the biggest bridge you burned. And that's why I said my apologies and left the party. Because I need to remove myself from situations where you might feel the need to ask, and I might feel the need to say yes.

I spent two years ignoring the signs, believing you were getting better. I helped you out when I could. I gave you money, gave you food, let you use my car, encouraged you. You repaid me by stealing from me. Again.

And you can say you were desperate and you can say it was the drugs and you can say you're sick and you will be right because it was the drugs and yes you're sick and you need help and you need compassion but you won't get it from me.

At least, not the help.

Understand this: I will not help you. Those words mean exactly that, and nothing else. They do not mean I don't care for you. I do. They don't mean I won't be civil to you. I will. You seem to think otherwise. You seem to think that if I speak to you in pleasant tones, and attempt to set aside some time with you to talk about how we will end this marraige and what roles each of us will play in raising our children that I have somehow decided that I will go back to helping you.

I won't.

So I'm sorry that the guy you were living with took all your foodstamps and didn't live up to his end of the bargain and now you have nothing. I won't ask you why you weren't staying at the halfway house where they fed you and gave you a bed and fellowship and support, and ended back up with a guy who dumped all your stuff on the curb. I also won't ask you why in the hell you gave him your foodstamps to begin with. And I won't give you money.

And I'm sorry that you have no way of getting the stuff from my house to your apartment. I told you I won't throw it away. It's yours to take, when you can take it. But I won't drive it over there.

And I'm sorry you didn't get to see your kids today. I am. But I saw you yesterday, and you knew as well as I did that today was Mother's Day. You didn't ask to see them today, did you? You know you don't have a phone. You know I don't know where you live. Still, you didn't do anything when you had the opportunity to do it. You asked me for money instead. I'm sorry, too, that we weren't here when you walked over to see them. But I wasn't going to just sit around on this beautiful day waiting for you to show up.

And I'm sorry most of all that it bothers me that I'm not doing these things.

But it's bothering me less and less. It may not seem like it, but it is.

And that's not terrible, at all.



Blogger terry said...

actually, what you're doing now is helping her more than she'll ever realize...because she's forced to try to get her act together.

i know that doesn't make it any easier on you, but those are my two cents.

hang in there.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

A powerful open letter.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

stay strong

10:34 AM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

we are witnesses for you brother

7:17 PM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

[hmmm - clarification:

as in bear witness to you being true to yourself]

7:19 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

that,s right. You are not a terrible person. Stay strong.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

Great job. It's what you needed to do. Hang in there.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

tough love baby
tough love

1:19 PM  

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