Friends with issues and Life Lessons

This is a journal excerpt from my life that I wish I had held on to that momentum.

As I hung up the phone I had the realization I should have had over a month ago. I am thirty years old and I see for the first time in my life, who I am. It was a bit hazy until now. I always portray myself as very self-confident and strong woman. I am very soft and actually fragile as well. I am an accountant at one of the leading Motion Picture Studios in Los Angeles. I moved to Los Angeles from Chicago about four and one half years ago. I moved for all the wrong reasons, yet this is the place I need to be.

The phone call was with a man I had been dating until he decided he need to figure some things out about who he was and close some issues in his past. He said he needed some time and some space. I believed him and honored the request. It was not long before he called; as a matter of fact it was four days.

The fact it is the Christmas season also makes the situation more painful. We chatted like friends. He said he wanted to be friends a couple of week’s prior and I respected that request. He called Thursday, the next day and he was very ill. I went over to his place and took care of him. He had been vomiting from six in the morning until midnight. I brought over pedialyte and some other anti nausea medicines. At that time I had no idea he was an addict.

The next morning he went on holiday to Mammoth Mountain. The plans were made long before I was even a part of his life. I respected the fact of the plans. I never made a big deal about not being included. Hell I thought I would not hear from him until the New Year, the next millennium to be exact.   That would be some decent time for me to reflect where I am in my life and close some issues of my own. It has been an emotional roller coaster for me. Being an accountant, year-end is an especially joyous time, to be working late every day.

I came home from work on Tuesday, walked the dog and the phone rang. It was Jimmy calling from his holiday. I received an especially detailed account of the day and then he told me he would call back in an hour. The truth of the matter was I had hoped he would not call. It was not that I do not enjoy talking to him but I had just started the beginnings of the “emotional enema” in regards to my pending divorce. The call never came.

I took a long bath and went to bed. The very next day he left a message for me with the condo number where he was staying to call him back. That was at ten in the morning. I also received a call at five in the evening asking me to call when I had a moment. I have been very cautious not to involve him in my divorce proceedings. I had been negotiating some key points with my husband prior to calling. I felt confident and strong about the discussion. I called the condo number and I reached an odd answering machine. I did not know if it was the correct number, yet I left a message. I then decided to try his cellular phone. I finally reached him, and I was happy to hear his voice. I realize that being his friend is a huge step. I also realize that he is commitment phobic and I have a very strong persona.

It was very flattering that over a twenty-four hour period he had called me three times. I took it to mean he missed me. I was sadly mistaken again. Upon reaching him he proceeded to describe every detail of his past three days. This after hearing how heinous work had been for me. I let this go on. He asked what my plans for the millenium were; I told him I had not firmed anything up as of yet. I did tell him about my plans for the rest of my weekend. He then went on about the festivities at Mammoth and how he was sure by nine in the evening he would be running up the mountain naked. Okay, “so what is so bad about that?” you think. Well he continued on about the friends coming up for the weekend and how much fun it was going to be. Gary is coming up and he is so much fun. Then Gary’s ex-girlfriend will be coming up with her friends to celebrate with me. I wonder how that will go? He said. He neglected to mention the women were gay and would not be with him. I was so hurt.

Yeah I am his friend but did he have to rub my face in things and go out of your way to hurt my feelings. He is well aware I fell in love with him. He knows I am dealing with an awful lot besides our friendship. I was then rushed off the phone because Graeme and Diana were back from shopping. How did that make me feel? Well I felt like shit to be perfectly honest. I felt as if he was ashamed of our relationship. Graeme, Diana and I are all friends and it would not be odd in their eyes that Jimmy and I were on the phone. I thought about it and decided to call him back and tell him how he made me feel.

Well let’s not disrupt the perfect world of Jimmy. He does not deal with things well when you point out his errors. I am by no means perfect but I try to be aware of people’s feelings. I told him that the conversation really hurt my feelings and that the three calls had given me the wrong message. He said I am spending some time with my friend Graeme right now. Not only was he adamant but he had to obviously take a strong tone. “We are just friends Joyce. I was only being a friend”. I said “You do not call someone three times and expect them to believe that they are still only friends especially when you are on holiday. I said I really thought you missed me and wanted to talk to me. He then tells me I am trying to hang him with guilt. “You obviously do not know who I am” he stated. Well he is right I obviously misjudged his compassion. He has absolutely no idea who I am and how I feel. I do not think he cares either. I told him. I did not think he was doing it intentionally but that is how it made me feel. He took absolutely no responsibility for his actions. I said “you told me you needed space and then you call me. I took it seriously. Now you call me when I need the space as well.” The response to that was “well that is a first.” I said “I had made that decision recently and I need to get some things in order.” He said, “You can have a million miles of space”. That was the most childish statement I have heard in years. That was the end of the conversation.

The fact is he fell hard too. The difference between us is I can admit the truth, to me as well as anyone else who asks. He cannot be so honest. He will only refer to me as a friend. We have slept together, yet we are not fuck buddies. He has told me he loves me and wants me to have his children yet we are only friends. He has told people I have treated him better than anyone ever has in his life. Wow that is a compliment. Yet, it has wounded me to my very core. I feel that my unconditional love is my fatal character flaw.

Who knew that giving love unconditionally was wrong? It is practically a sin in Jimmy’s world. I should have never given my love so freely and openly. It is what has led me to this place, being a free spirit. I knew he had an addiction to pain pills before I got involved. Yet did I listen to that piece of advice? No. Joyce needed to figure it out for herself. The fact is Joyce did not figure it out until she gave her love. Did I even say, “hey I need to move on” after I found out about the cocaine? No I did not. I did not think I could save him. Or did I?

Well I must say there are a lot of things I have learned about myself from Jimmy. He has taught me to be much fairer during disagreements. I never learned to fight fair before. I have tried to see all of the positive things I have taken from this lesson. It is really hard to see through the hazy clouds right now. I am also very grateful that he has brought a new friend into my life.

That was part of the conversation as well. He must have mentioned them at least a dozen times. If he was a dog he would have already urinated on them to mark his territory. How much he loves them, how glad he was to spend time with them. I think he fears me stealing them. Or maybe telling them his dirty little secret with the blow. Diana she is magical. She is so caring and loving. To see her with either Graeme or Nicole is to see love. I am happy she has all of the love she so deserves. I also was given back the gift of self-worth. My relationship with him made me cut the ties to other relationships. Not just any relationships but all of those that continued to demean me. I am thankful for that lesson and gift.

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