I Could Accept Everybody Else’s

Vulnerability — But Not My Own. (Mae L.)

This was me. I was first in line to offer an ear, a hug, a meal, whatever someone needed, I was there to share what little I had. I was a fixer. Especially for people who might have addictions or excesses. It was part of codependency. Not a good trait when looking for a companion to share your life with.

Once I learned that and consciously decided to stop, I met the Babe. I knew he was a good guy, and I trusted my friend Carla with her description of him. And he didn’t drink. Very funny. Nice guy. And he saw through my walls. (Brick by brick, he removed them. Quite the analogy when you consider he was in the concrete block and brick industry. That year, their marketing department had t-shirts that read, “Building Our Future Together.” How applicable. And ironic! I still have the t-shirt.)

The walls I built to keep me safe. Isolated. I thought, “No one will hurt me from here!” The Babe is the last person those walls needed to be standing up for. He told me, “I just think you’ve been hurt so much you don’t know what to do when someone has no intention of hurting you.”

What? My brilliant disguise is transparent? Slowly and surely, he just kept showing up and doing what he did to earn my trust. Never did I have to wonder what was meant by “I’ll call you.” I never had to wait and wonder when. He’s the first man who called often. To tease me, talk to me, ask how I was. We became friends first. It was wonderful.

The first time he told me he loved me, I said, “Oh, no, you can’t. You don’t really know me yet.” His response? “Yes, I do.” I never expected to be loved. What a vulnerability. No more. I’m so grateful. Honesty, nothing to hide, and a man of his word. Is this heaven? Why, yes it is. My battered heart healed and is beating strong. Our relationship is so very good, there will never be another one like it. There is only one Babe for me.

Today, I met my son Frankie for an early birthday breakfast. We tried to go to one restaurant, but they were jam packed and had a long wait. We went back to a place we’d been before, and I ordered something I’d never had before – a breakfast burrito. It was gargantuan! Half of it is in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s breakfast. I will order this again, it’s that good. Shirley’s Diner never disappoints.

We had such a nice visit. Laughed about a lot of things when our little family was broke but happy, just the four of us; me, Frank, Nick, and Becky. I miss the good times but not the bad ones. And now, they’re all out contributing to the world around them. Frank lives in Omaha, Becky in Ft. Collins, CO, and Nick in Kansas City, MO. So lucky to have the Babe at this stage of my life.

It’s been a long but good day today. I hope to blog earlier tomorrow, and grow that habit. Maybe until NaNoWriMo is over the end of November I should keep blogging in the afternoon/evening. It all counts towards my daily word counts. Decisions will be made when they need to be. Not tonight. Have a great evening, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Thanks for reading. Let’s try and get to #1000followers!

Harry Kemp, American Poet

I read a thought-provoking poem today. It made me wonder.

I pitied him in his blindness;

But can I boast, I see?

Perhaps there walks a spirit

Close by, who pities me.

Despite all the words that tell us “All You Need Is Love,” “Love makes the world go around,” It honestly isn’t the glue that holds the world together. True love, beautiful as it is, is an extremely elusive reality.

Those of us who are adult children of alcoholics often reach for the wrong love pot. We think being needed signifies being loved. It isn’t. We know that now, but I didn’t know that for a very long time. In fact, not until I met the Babe did I finally learn about all the different aspects of love. None of them involve paying someone’s bills, buying them clothes, listening over and over to the wrong that was done them. Love doesn’t hurt. Not like that. Not because of that.

A grown up man or woman takes care of themselves, their bills, their children, their obligations. They are courteous to their fellow citizens. And are polite. And kind. They respect their prospective partner. Too often, I surrounded myself with those who needed me. And the hurt far outweighed the benefit. Grown up love isn’t needy. Or needing to be needed.

Love and pity are not the same thing. Desperate people cannot love us. They can only grasp at what we offer and strip it and our self-respect away. We feel hurt, are reeling, and building our walls higher to keep ourselves safe. All that does is isolate us. We are not our loved ones’ saviors.

I am grateful to have learned this very important lesson about loving others before I met the Babe. Learning what love isn’t helped me experience what it really is. It’s opened my eyes, heart, mind, and freed my soul. It’s been a gift. And no one stands next to me now, feeling bad for me because I cannot see.

Thank you for reading. We will see each other tomorrow.