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#65822 - 06/20/03 02:42 AM Re: Stuffed Animal/Mascot?
Jen45 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Midwest
Doc, as a fellow seamstress I say what a great job! You should really be proud of it! I am so sorry he didn't appreciate it. I know what that's like.
You know the old saying "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it." Likewise, you can give someone a gift but you can't make them accept it. The Dean mentioned co dependence and I can surely admit that 10+ years ago I was a perfect example of that. I had a BF who was bipolar (which I had no concept of at the time) who was warm and fuzzy one minute and distant and angry the next. He had been a****d but I don't know if it was SA or not. I, being a sensitive and nurturing person bent over backwards thinking that if I did enough for him he would finally see what a great person I was and melt into the kind of mate I wanted. I did everything to fix his life: whatever he wanted I got for him; whoever he compared me to, I tried to to be better than her; I gave him surprise gifts; went to all of his ballgames to watch him play, etc. I wasn't happy unless I had something I was working on to help him. Not a happy life for me. Of course I failed miserably. And he hurt me many, many times and very deeply.
Flash forward to now. Yes, I have a friend very much like yours. Although we dated briefly a few years ago it has just been platonic since. He shuts me out, ignores me, etc. And coincidentally, I have a gift for him right now that I am planning to send. I know he will not thank me for it. Will I be upset? No. He will most likely not even contact me. Will I be hurt and take it personally? No. So what's the difference between then and now? Me! It took forever but I finally learned that I cannot fix anyone's life, and in some cases I may not even be able to help much at all. And so what? It doesn't mean that I am a failure as a person. I can finally let go of that feeling of responsiblity for those I love and it doesn't mean that I love them less. I still care for my friend a great deal. I just cannot expect the same from him and that's okay. I understand that he probably can't right now or maybe never. I still keep in contact with him. I will send him a birthday present and he can do whatever he likes with it. The "old me" would have put way too much emphasis on such a gift and would have hoped it would change everything. Now it's just a gesture that means that at least one friend remembers him on his birthday.
The point of my message is NOT to say "oh you're just like me". I don't know you and your friend. I am just sharing my experience and you can decide for yourself if there are any similiarities. Just don't beat yourself up over how he reacted or doubt yourself. You did a great thing. Don't go crazy trying to figure out all the "whys": "Why doesn't he treat me like he used to? Why doesn't he appreciate me? Why did we even meet if the first place?
Why can't he...?" And watch out for the "if onlys": "If only I hadn't said this or that...If only I had acted this way...If only I had been a more patient/tolerant/lively/or whatever person things wold have turned out better. You were yourself. If he doesn't appreciate you, then what should you do...change for him? Nope. You said that he was the one who inspired you to go to med school. That is wonderful by itself. Who knows maybe that's why you met him. Remember this positive result of your relationship and honor it. Maybe down the road this will lead you into using your medical background to help other SA survivors. Good luck to you. You are a good friend to him whether he knows it or not so take comfort in that.

#65823 - 06/20/03 03:26 AM Re: Stuffed Animal/Mascot?
Marc Offline

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 256
Loc: Tucson, AZ

Respectfully, there are many things that you don't know for sure about...

First you said,

By the dates, the package had to have been sitting around for nearly a week before he sent it back.
  • He may have struggled with opening it, or he may have been lazy in sending it back. But he DID have it for a week in his possession.


I guess(silly me), that I expected that the situation might have changed since April when I wrote and begged him to read this site. Apparently it has not - HE has not.
  • Unless you've kept track of his IP and he is immobilized that he can sign on only a 'specific' PC, you can't say this with certainty

and finally,

The only thing that has changed is ME.
  • There is no certainty about this. Besides, you are only responsible for YOUR change, not his.

He may never deal with his issues... however the more pressure he feels, the less likely he is to respond. You've proven that yourself again and again. ;\)

#65824 - 06/21/03 02:26 PM Re: Stuffed Animal/Mascot?
doctorfrau Offline

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...

Yes, you're right. Thanks for giving it to me straight. I guess I was/am just expressing my frustration. I have no clue if he has ever come here or not. For his sake I hope he has, but there isn't anything more I can do about that.

As far as my statement about change, I meant that to be a positive. Meaning, that if nothing else- "I" have changed, so that is a good thing \:D You are right in that I can only change myself, and I think that I am doing that - or at least working on it.

I think my negativity about the whole thing now, is sort of an emotional defense. I have kept hope alive for over a year now, and it has been very painful. So I would almost rather let myself be negative than continue to hope and be hurt. I think I'd rather suture it up and let it heal, rather than leave the wound open to continued infection. I still have the results of his inspiration in my life to be thankful for. There will still always be a Geraldo-sized hole in my heart, but at least it will be healed. \:\)


"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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