I’m sure those of you with medical conditions know this, it’s hard to find a good man while you are grappling with an illness. There aren’t that many guys who are capable of handling a debilitating disease, and even less who are willing to.
When I was younger, I read a story of this girl who had sickle cell and met this great guy that she was in love with. However, instead of telling him about her disease, she would disappear for days at a time leaving him worried wondering where she was. Then she would come back acting like nothing happened, wanting to keep her image in his eyes as healthy. She thought that when he did find out, he would leave her, so she kept the secret as long as she could. As fate would have it, he did find out after hunting her down and finding her in a hospital almost 9 months into their relationship. She tried to break up with him, but he wouldn’t let her until she broke down and told him everything. His response was so perfect, so idyllic, that for some reason, I wanted to be her. And yes, they lived happily ever after.
Alas, life isn’t like the fairytale, and as you can see with my dating history, having sickle cell turned out to be a huge crutch to my self esteem and confidence. I felt like since I was not perfect, I had to bend over backwards trying to make up for my illness with my flexibility and accommodation. This backfired insanely, leaving me with a broken heart not even realizing that I was the one constantly sabotaging myself. Because I kept giving and giving in order to make up for what I thought I lacked, and the guys I was with used this weakness as way to get everything they could from me and leaving me at the end of the day.
It’s taken alot of psycho analysis and self therapy to even understand what I kept doing wrong and how to make a transformation.
Because of my history, I always had the assumption that I had a short ‘shelf life’. I figured that in 6 months or less, any guy would end up yesterday’s news, so my best bet was to enjoy the ride and live richly & wildly, doing everything I could pack into my 48 years. I wanted to try every experience I could so that when I’m laying on my death bed I wouldn’t regret not doing something. My motto became Carpe diem…and actually allotted myself 5 years of sowing my wild oats. I did pack alot much into those 5 years things that when I tell people leave them wondering what in the world was I smoking.
I’m blessed to realize that I’m mortal, and I only live once. I don’t have the luxury of feeling like I’m going to live to the ripe old age of 80, so what am I waiting for. I threw caution to the winds, moved cross country because I felt like it, took up any hobby I wanted and traveled to my hearts content. Diva doesn’t even know half the stuff I’ve done, and she shudders wondering how her darling older sister grew up to be such a vixenish hoyden.
After the Nitwit told me that he had broken up with me because he realized that he couldn’t deal with my disease in the long term, I was quite livid and cussed him out with several scathing comments for being a ‘yellow bellied coward‘. I’m sure that other SSA peeps have been in my shoes one time or another.
Add to that, there is always the issue of when you are in a fight with said guy, he could end up throwing it in your face. “If you weren’t sick all the time, we might actually be able to have some fun,” or “You can’t expect me to sit with you in the hospital all day long,” or “I signed up for a girlfriend, not a patient,” or something else along that vein. I know that at times I felt powerless and unable to voice any complaint in a few instances because at the end of the day, I felt like I wasn’t good enough and so should be ‘grateful’ they were with me. I made excuses for each behavior or comment, somehow feeling like because I wasn’t perfect I didn’t deserve or expect perfection from my mate. Don’t ask me why I felt that way…I just did.
I’m so glad that I grew up out of that. In time I came to realize that I was a wonderful person and deserved to have a wonderful supportive person in my life. It wasn’t until I came to this epiphany that I stopped taking shit and actually yelling in my Wild Woman voice, “I’m Vixen and I have sickle cell. If you can’t hang, leave me the fuck alone!” Hahahaha!
Of course, it’s right around here that I met as Teri would say, Mr. Wonderful.