Friday, June 29, 2007

Romance & Relationships

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.


Adventures In Waitressing said...

Well I am not romantically involved but I love ya!! HUGS

KM said...

Yah, totally understand this post. It's probably why I have the easiest time with the guys who knew me before I got sick and got as better as I could get: I might have to explain the details, but I don't have to explain the significance. For newer fellas though, there's that back-of-the-mind question: "dude, i know what i've gone through, so what are you made of? how're you gonna deal when i feel like crap? can you hold the rope when i have to back off? can you embrace my weaknesses as much as my strengths?" They always show me. It's not like a pretest or anything; it's just something you come to see while they show you who they are. Of course not everybody is built to handle this particular challenge and that's cool. If they're not, then we're not suited & I happily free them up to meet people without it. If they are I see it as a blessing.
So yeah. I feel ya.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you let that go in time... I didn't allow myself to go through that, although I knew it would and was be a problem to others. I just stuck to myself, (basked in my family never treating me like an invalid, instilling strong self esteem)trying to survive and stuck to my faith in God. I felt like they could all, man or woman kick rocks. Life is too short to make me feel worse than I already did/do. God delivered unto me, two men that never made too much of issue, and the second one is totally there for me in every way.

Vixen said...

Waitress, Love U Too!

KM, like I said, it really is a special breed of man that can deal with the whole package and still just love us in spite of ourselves and despite ourselves.

Anon, Two huh? Lucky woman. So what happened to the first guy?

kem said...

did u tell ur friends u had sickle cell or tell the whole school knew cause i have it and ppl hate me cause im so so skinny and that's not in right now and they think im a freak too with the yellow eyes i don't want to end up all alone in school even ny best friend is kinda embarrased about me and she is the only one who knows.