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#238561 - 07/17/08 12:10 AM Leaving...
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
I'm finally leaving...have the license, have the job, working on the apartment/house now. The hospital will put me up rent free in hospital housing for up to six months while I look for a place.
Haven't heard from him in a few months, God only knows what's happening, or what he's thinking or, (God forbid) feeling. I kept thinking that I wasn't going to be able to go through with this, because I'll miss him. Of course, I will. But what it finally came down to, was, which is easier? Missing him from 600 miles away? (Which makes sense) Or...missing him from a few blocks away in the same town? (Makes NO sense at all) Does 30 years qualify as enough effort?
When is enough, "enough"? When is pulling out considered "leaving him like everyone else"? His rules and beliefs do not ALL make sense to me, even though I've been measured accordingly for many a year.
I'm not leaving him for anyone else. I'm not looking to "hook up" with anyone.
I just can't do "this" anymore.
I'm alone in this.

#238572 - 07/17/08 12:34 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: Liv2124]
CDavid Offline

Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184

I wish you luck, truly...

The Bridge
By Edwin Friedman

There was a man who had given much thought to what he wanted from life. He had experienced
many moods and trials. He had experimented with different ways of living, and he had had his
share of both success and failure. At last, he began to see clearly where he wanted to go.
Diligently, he searched for the right opportunity. Sometimes he came close, only to be pushed
away. Often he applied all his strength and imagination, only to find the path hopelessly blocked.
And then at last it came. But the opportunity would not wait. It would be made available only
for a short time. If it were seen that he was not committed, the opportunity would not come
Eager to arrive, he started on his journey. With each step, he wanted to move faster; with each
thought about his goal, his heart beat quicker; with each vision of what lay ahead, he found
renewed vigor. Strength that had left him since his early youth returned, and desires, all kinds of
desires, reawakened from their long-dormant positions.
Hurrying along, he came upon a bridge that crossed through the middle of a town. It had been
built high above a river in order to protect it from the floods of spring. He started across. Then
he noticed someone coming from the opposite direction. As they moved closer, it seemed as
though the other were coming to greet him. He could see clearly, however, that he did not know
this other, who was dressed similarly except for something tied around his waist.
When they were within hailing distance, he could see that what the other had about his waist
was a rope. It was wrapped around him many times and probably, if extended, would reach a
length of 30 feet.
The other began to uncurl the rope, and, just as they were coming close, the stranger said,
"Pardon me, would you be so kind as to hold the end a moment?" Surprised by this politely
phrased but curious request, he agreed without a thought, reached out, and took it.
"Thank you," said the other, who then added, "two hands now, and remember, hold tight."
Whereupon, the other jumped off the bridge.
Quickly, the free-falling body hurtled the distance of the rope's length, and from the bridge the
man abruptly felt the pull. Instinctively, he held tight and was almost dragged over the side. He
managed to brace himself against the edge, however, and after having caught his breath, looked
down at the other dangling, close to oblivion.
"What are you trying to do?" he yelled.
"Just hold tight," said the other.
"This is ridiculous," the man thought and began trying to haul the other in. He could not get the
leverage, however. It was as though the weight of the other person and the length of the rope
had been carefully calculated in advance so that together they created a counterweight just
beyond his strength to bring the other back to safety.
"Why did you do this?" the man called out.
"Remember," said the other, "if you let go, I will be lost."
"But I cannot pull you up," the man cried.
"I am your responsibility," said the other.
"Well, I did not ask for it," the man said.
"If you let go, I am lost," repeated the other.
He began to look around for help. But there was no one. How long would he have to wait? Why
did this happen to befall him now, just as he was on the verge of true success? He examined the
side, searching for a place to tie the rope. Some protrusion, perhaps, or maybe a hole in the
boards. But the railing was unusually uniform in shape; there were no spaces between the
boards. There was no way to get rid of this newfound burden, even temporarily.
"What do you want?" he asked the other hanging below.
"Just your help," the other answered.
"How can I help? I cannot pull you in, and there is no place to tie the rope so that I can go and
find someone to help me help you."
"I know that. Just hang on; that will be enough. Tie the rope around your waist; it will be easier."
Fearing that his arms could not hold out much longer, he tied the rope around his waist.
"Why did you do this?" he asked again. "Donít you see what you have done? What possible purpose
could you have had in mind?"
"Just remember," said the other, "my life is in your hands."
What should he do? "If I let go, all my life I will know that I let this other die. If I stay, I risk losing
my momentum toward my own long-sought-after salvation. Either way this will haunt me
forever." With ironic humor he thought to die himself, instantly, to jump off the bridge while still
holding on. "That would teach this fool." But he wanted to live and to live life fully. "What a
choice I have to make; how shall I ever decide?"
As time went by, still no one came. The critical moment of decision was drawing near. To show
his commitment to his own goals, he would have to continue on his journey now. It was already
almost too late to arrive in time. But what a terrible choice to have to make.
A new thought occurred to him. While he could not pull this other up solely by his own efforts,
if the other would shorten the rope from his end by curling it around his waist again and again,
together they could do it. Actually, the other could do it by himself, so long as he, standing on
the bridge, kept it still and steady.
"Now listen," he shouted down. "I think I know how to save you." And he explained his plan.
But the other wasnít interested.
"You mean you wonít help? But I told you I cannot pull you up myself, and I donít think I can
hang on much longer either."
"You must try," the other shouted back in tears. "If you fail, I die."
The point of decision arrived. What should he do? "My life or this other's?" And then a new idea.
A revelation. So new, in fact, it seemed heretical, so alien was it to his traditional way of thinking.
"I want you to listen carefully," he said, "because I mean what I am about to say. I will not accept
the position of choice for your life, only for my own; the position of choice for your own life I
hereby give back to you."
"What do you mean?" the other asked, afraid.
"I mean, simply, itís up to you. You decide which way this ends. I will become the counterweight.
You do the pulling and bring yourself up. I will even tug a little from here." He began unwinding
the rope from around his waist and braced himself anew against the side.
"You cannot mean what you say," the other shrieked. "You would not be so selfish. I am your
responsibility. What could be so important that you would let someone die? Do not do this to
He waited a moment. There was no change in the tension of the rope.
"I accept your choice," he said, at last, and freed his hands.

The End.

The Bridge
By Edwin Friedman


Edited by CDavid (07/17/08 03:00 AM)

#238585 - 07/17/08 01:48 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: CDavid]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
dear Liv,

I wish you all the best. I know this must be so hard for you. Thirty years is a long time, you gave all you could, and now you must do what is best for Liv. Never feel guilty for that.

warmly, NYDAISY

#238586 - 07/17/08 01:49 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: NY Daisy]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Cd, that was a really good story. Warmly,NYDAISY

#238619 - 07/17/08 06:55 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: NY Daisy]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
You are in my heart and prayers. Stand with your head held up lady. You will find strength you didn't know you had. Keep us posted.

Life is to short to blend in

#238620 - 07/17/08 07:00 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: dangal]
Lee73 Offline

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 32
Best wishes in your new job and home. I really like your story CDavid.


#238706 - 07/18/08 12:25 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: CDavid]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
I stand corrected. We didn't exactly get off on " the right foot"....
I appreciate the story, I'm into such things. You hit the nail on the head so to speak.
I've been dealing with all of this for such a long time... it hasn't been easy, and there are few, if any, rewards.
This has not been an easy decision. But what I realized, (taking a "mental" health day from work yesterday and thinking everything through.) is that he ONLY comes to me when things are falling apart. Because I'm the one who knows "the dreaded REAL reason". Some of the things he confides have been happening for months and even YEARS before the conversation. I'm expected, then, to just..., fix it?
I've never ASKED for anything (and I accept this part as my OWN fault) so he feels no obligation to do ANYTHING for me.)
I recently had conversations with his brother, who I've known as long as I have him. He's "disclosed" certain things. That whole family is a mess! Why am I the "guru"? That IS what he calls me, in a non-affectionate way. I'm tempted to tell him to give me $300.00 cash, and I'll have some witch doctor I found, bop him on the head and cure him. This is where we're at. And at the risk of offending you, or countless other survivors, the past 30 years of my life have not been all wine, roses, and song with him. If any survivor has been able to accomplish this, or any other partner has experienced this, I can only say, this has not been MY experience. I've stuck it out this long because I truly love him, and for no other reason.
The choice became, being "alone" with or without him.

#238713 - 07/18/08 01:00 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: Liv2124]
CDavid Offline

Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184

My first therapist handed me that story. She had written in an epiloque. Where the "other" simply gathered up his rope very neatly, climbed back up to the top of the bridge and waited patiently for the next passer by...

She offered it to me because my father was a manic who refused to take his meds.

I was with my first wife for just about thirty years all together...I know how hard it is. I know it sounds corny...but, I remember my first therapist saying, when I asked, "What now?" She said, "You get to choose, you get to decide. It is your life."

Good luck


#238715 - 07/18/08 01:18 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: CDavid]
childsplay4 Offline

Registered: 11/04/06
Posts: 42
Loc: USA
What a great story. Thank you,

#238746 - 07/18/08 11:54 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: childsplay4]
indygal Offline

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439

you are never alone - you, of all people, should know that.

I'm so sorry you've had to make this choice; so sorry for all of us here. Still, we have to look at things in perspective. I'm sure there's a multitude of women out there - men too no doubt - who were in relationships with csa survivors and never knew it; for them perhaps, they never knew why things were the way they were, why their partners behaved the way they did. Perhaps for those who did not know, they took the blame on themselves.

at least we have a chance and have offered some semblance of normalcy and love to a person who may have not had it otherwise. I'd like to think I made a difference in his life, even if he never decides to go into recovery.

things do change, albeit slowly. maybe the next generation will have even better luck, I'd like to think so.

thinking of you and all of us together,

my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

#238748 - 07/18/08 12:23 PM Re: Leaving... [Re: indygal]
Abigale Offline

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 28
Loc: Northern NJ
I give you much credit. I hope one day I can be strong and make decisions that are needed. I love him so. I am afraid that I am living in a dream world and he will love me again. I know this isn't about me. But I am involved. I wonder do i start my life or do I wait to see if we can pick up our life when he is ready. Life is precious and we only have one. I am so confused.

#238852 - 07/19/08 01:43 AM Re: Leaving... [Re: Abigale]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

You are strong. You know that; we've talked about that. And yes, I understand your love for him and the torment of the last 30 years, and probably even more the last few days. Making life changing decisions is always brutal, many times even when it's the best, smartest decision in the world. When you question yourself, and you will, remember that I and everyone here believes in you. You know you did all you could to help the man in your life but he couldn't accept it enough to help himself.

I'm glad you accepted the new job. There isn't a doubt in my mind that you will succeed where ever you go, both professionally and personally.

I admire the way you've always conducted yourself here, which is all I have to go by, but if it's any indication of your real life, then it would be an honor to have you as a friend.

I wish you all the best Liv!

ROCK ON...........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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