The Giving Tree

You think everything is going ok.  Laughing, smiling, learning each other’s schedules, finding out when they need a hug and when they need their space, and talking…communicating….about everything (or you thought everything).  Finally, for the first time in over a year, you feel stronger.  The past no longer makes your stomach turn and tears form in your eyes.  You don’t get sad and defeated.  There is someone who finally, after 8+ years, tells you that you are beautiful, tells you that you are smart, makes you feel like you are an absolute princess, gives you the love and affection you never had, and starts to bring the confidence back that had gone away long ago.  You think he is just as amazing and smart and soak up all the knowledge and business sense as you can from him. He’s good-looking and known by many.  Anywhere you go with him, you feel like a celebrity – and the best part, while everyone looks at him and wants to be him or be with him, I know that I get to walk out with him and I know whats really deep down inside and know what an amazing person he really is.  He’s more than just the familiar face at the club to me.

You finally are feeling stronger and starting to piece your life back together.  The whole meds mishap is starting to even itself out and things seem to be going good.  Heck, you even have been trying to come up with a new career and find something that interests you to begin starting the road to climbing the ladder.  Its been months since you even had one single brain cell or one ounce of interest in doing thing.  But he made you want to be the person you used to be.  The woman who supported herself, who had 2 Bachelor’s Degrees, her own car and apartment, the woman who worked and worked  as many hours a day, never took any vacations because she was working to put herself through school, and built a life for herself.  That’s the person who was starting to peek out.  The broken pieces were starting to become glued together and little parts were starting to shine through.  Slowly, but they were shining through.

The switch from short term disability to long disability left you with about 7 weeks of absolutely no income.  NO income whatsoever.  You had never had a time when both your savings and checking were both at zero.  You were used to having money and income so you could pay for your own things, you could do surprises for your friends and significant other, and you didn’t have to worry.  This checking the mailbox every single day for the paycheck was getting nerve wracking.  You hated asking for money.  You got your first job at 15 and from that point on, if you didn’t have the money, you didn’t get it or didn’t do it.  You hated asking for money because it made you feel weak and made you feel like a failure.  You supported more than one boyfriend in your day and were used to paying your own way.  Your last relationship, he ate out every meal, so you continued that trend eating out all the time.  The first time you cooked was for a major holiday and you cooked with his family.  Otherwise, you only cooked what was in the freezer like microwavable veggies and frozen pizzas.  That was what they liked to eat.  So now, here you are, its been almost  a decade since you had a new relationship.  Not only that, but now you have no money either.  When you have money, you offer your money but its always denied.  You don’t suggest going out because you don’t feel comfortable suggesting to do things that you don’t have money in your  pocket for.  But, he continues to pay.  You make sure that you say “Thank You” after every event and let him know that you appreciate it.  Because you do.  You really truly do.  Its not just the money you appreciate.  Its being able to spend time with him and smile and be happy.  It doesn’t matter where you are at.  It doesn’t matter what you are doing.  When you see him smile and hear him laugh, it makes you feel so much better and any tiny worry that you had or anything that was making you sad or angry just disappears.  Knowing that you could make him laugh and smile.  Hoping that for a few minutes, his worries and cares are out of the picture too.  You may not have money to give at this particular moment, but you have love to give, and hopefully the ability to create smiles and laughter, and giving him the gift of having companionship and company of someone who understands him and loves him, not just some random person.

 You may not have money right now, but that doesn’t mean that you are not going to have any in the future.  Everyone had to start somewhere.  You usually remember the people who knew you and were there for you before you had any money because they knew the real you.  You knew him before he had any money.  Is his money important to you now???  NO!  The money doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you are so happy when you are with him.  That he shows you new things everyday, new outlooks on life, makes you smile and laugh, and when you aren’t with him, you feel a bit empty and lonely and wish you were with him.  You had a list of surprises for him the second you got your first paycheck.  You wanted to take him out to dinner, then you had a few low carb recipes you had picked out and were going to cook for him, had special outfits picked out, had a few other surprises with some things you found the other day at the house, you had a list of things you were going to take care of and fix around his house after you went to the store and got the supplies and hoped that would surprise him.  You never took anything he did for you for granted.  In fact, you were so touched by all the things he did for you, that you frequently woke up thinking it was all a dream.  Most days, when you were at home, you would think that there was no way someone like you could be with someone like him because you were just plain old you.  But he told you otherwise.  Always told you otherwise, that you were beautiful and he loved you.

You told him a lot of things you never told anyone before and he never judged.  Nor did you judge him for anything he told you.  You had his back, always.  Or so you thought.  You stopped taking one of your medications   for him to show you were serious about getting stabalized and off meds because he was concerned.  Then, it hits you…. like a ton of bricks thrown at you.  You aren’t appreciative, you’re selfish, you’re weak, you bring nothing to the table, you just bring him down and drain him, you are boring, you’re broke and a loser…..etc………

You felt like you were stabbed in the chest, then kicked in the gut, then as you fell to the ground, you were kicked and kicked until you couldn’t breathe anymore. You had just reached a point where you were feeling the best you had in almost a year.  You were leaving all the past that you were so wrapped up in behind and now suddenly here is someone telling you that you are still totally wrapped up in it.  You had finally come to terms that you had lost you job and were starting to do some serious soul searching and making plans for you new career and then you were ridiculed for not having a job and for having no money.

The one person you thought understood you the most is the one person who made you feel the absolute worst.  The person you thought was going to be happiest for you that you were getting stronger was now doing all he could to make you weak.  You couldn’t understand it because you thought you had always been there for him and been supportive and good to him.  You did the things he asked you to do, you helped him with computer stuff on occassion, you ran errands with him, watched tv and laughed with him, and tried to be his ear when he needed to vent or had a problem.

But at the end of the day, he was right.  What can YOU bring to the table that no one else can?  Last night, you couldn’t think of anything.  What about now?

-Who else can make you laugh by doing a silly white girl dance?

-Who else asks more questions than a 6 yr old bc they are trying to get to know you?

-Who else offered to put together that castle bc they knew who it was for?

-Who else gives the best shoulder, head, and knee massages?

-Who shops better than your assistant bc they get the right shit? 🙂

-Who found you the number for the bulldog?

-Who helped you fix your ipod, burn cds, made you playlists for your travels……?

-Who has been giving you suggestions about things we could do at the condo so you could breathe better?

-Who actually asks you how your day was and wants to hear all about it and gets excited when you get new deals and wants to talk through big career decisions with you?  And who cares more about how it affects you and your family, than how it affects me so is listening as an impartial party?

-Who  cares more about being with you than about anything you own or how much money you have?

-Who would sign over every single check they get from now until whenever the amount of money you have spent on them is paid off, or until forever, if its about the money?

– Who would beat down any bitch that caused you harm or made you upset or angry?  (even if it meant that I might get my ass completely whooped, but I’m not letting anyone hurt you anymore.  I don’t want to see you in pain!!!)

-Who actually wants to help you through your problems so you don’t have to deal with them alone because 2 are stronger than 1 and because they always have your back?

-Who has been planning surprises for you (because you weren’t supposed to leave until next week after my check came!) to pamper YOU?  (and these were planned before last nights events.)  and fyi – i haven’t baked you cookies or brownies or anything bc every other day you say you are going on a diet!

-There’s this incredible sense of humor!

-Sparkling personality

– Pretty intelligent, I must say

-I’m HOTT!!!!!!!  🙂 hahaha

-The respect of your religion

-AND There’s the moment at Moe’s, the day I first curled my hair and was wearing a black dress, when I walked toward you after going to the bathroom. (you remember that moment.)

-Knowing that regardless of what I decide to do as my career, I would go anywhere to be with you and have your back.  You have given me so much to get me back up again and stronger, that I would do anything in my power to help you and make sure that you are happy and successful.

Money may not be plentiful right now, but I show love, friendship, compassion, companionship, and devotion through actions.  One day, money might all be gone and lost, but the memories will be there and so will a lot of the things I have to offer. Sometimes people show things like gratitude in ways that others aren’t used to.  We don’t know if others feel underappreciated until they tell us.

The lesson from this:  People sometimes feel like they are the giving tree and others are just taking advantage.  Tell them you are feeling unappreciated and see how they respond.  Don’t let it fester until you explode and then its too late!  Sometimes people think they are showing their appreciation but the other person doesn’t see it.  BUT JUST because the other person doesn’t see it, doesn’t mean that the appreciation wasn’t there and wasn’t trying to be shown in their own way.

SO what happens now?  Well, he’s gone.  I’m crushed.  I didn’t realize he didn’t know how much I appreciated absolutely every single little thing I did. God, my friends all know and so does my family.  I didn’t have the money to show appreciation like most do.  But, then again, I guess thats why I was in the position I was in and was weak and needed help and strength.  I didn’t need money or fancy things.  I just needed someone that believed in me and could make ME believe in me again.  I do appreciate every single thing though and every place we went to, every gift, will always remind me of him.  I guess I’m going to have to move out of Chicago then.  He was so much different. Sooo much different.  And now I feel like I can’t breathe again.  One day someone is going to love me and I’m not going to mess it up.  One day.  One day I’m going to stop hearing all of those words and insults. One day the sadness and anger will subside.  I will stop trembling.  I will realize that when people tell you “I Love You” they don’t mean it.  I will realize that giving someone your heart or letting them in is the stupidest thing you could ever do.  I will realize that showing someone the real you is nothing but a disaster.  Men want barbie dolls with big boobs, big asses, and lots of money.  That disqualifies me.  You think you meet someone different, but then you realize that you were completely wrong and you had been living in a fantasy land.  Or was I?

I don’t even know anymore.  Things change from day to day, but with me, they stay the same.  When I love, I love.  What does he feel?

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