I saw a “search” on my blog’s dashboard that read, “dependent women make me sick”. Hmm, I wondered, a man with a dependent bitch on his back? A strong, independent woman who has no understanding or compassion for women raised, socialized, psychologically primed to be dependent, no understanding or compassion for women with no resources, options, or a support system?
Many years ago, I heard about a guy who broke up with his girl, but she wouldn’t let go. She’d call incessantly, go to his house, show up at work, his friend’s house, the club, wherever she could find him, begging him not to leave her. This guy finally says, “Woman, what do I got to do, kill you?” Freddie the Freeloader, when he was around, when I still found him charming and amusing, related this story to me with all the charm he had as a storyteller, gesticulating, with facial expressions, an amusing tonality in his voice. We both burst out laughing. “What do I got to do, kill you?” he repeated. Yuck-yuck-yuck-yuck. Heeheeheehee, he chortled. Ahhhahahaha, I howled.
After a good laugh, I said, soberly, “Ha, he probably doesn’t understand how he creates the problem himself. He doesn’t really want her to leave him alone.”
Freddie stopped laughing. “Huh?” he said, stupidly, looking uneasy. At the time, I wasn’t aware that Freddie had a bitch he couldn’t get rid of. When we met, he told me he broke up with his cheating girlfriend, that he wasn’t seeing anyone. I also didn’t know that in a couple years, he’d marry that disgusting, manipulative pig. They were both manipulative pigs. They manipulated each other, and they will do that for the rest of their lives. Like some people I’ve known. They might break up, now and then, call it quits–“For good this time!”–but, shit, they’ll get back together and start the drama all over again. Forfuckingever.
Freddie jerked me around for a year. Then he packed his shit in two boxes. He carted them, one at a time, to his friend’s car. His friend drove him to the pig’s apartment.
I went to my room, sat on my bed, hung my head down in sorrow, quietly shed some tears, sniffled. I got a Kleenex, wiped my eyes, blew my nose. I was sad and simultaneously relieved. I got up to toss the soiled tissue in the trash, when I saw his guitar. There it was, still propped against the corner of my room. He loved that guitar. I knew Freddie wasn’t done with me yet. That guitar was like a foot in the door. I thought, Oh, no way in hell. You are NOT leaving a reason to come back here. You are NOT coming to claim your guitar when you damn well feel like it!
The next day, I called his friend and asked him for the address. He hesitated. I said, “I just need to let him know I sold his guitar.” I promised him I had no plans to go over there, or ever contact him again after this. His friend knew me. He gave me the address.
I sold your guitar. I needed the money.
I didn’t sell the guitar. I planned to give it back to him after I felt better. I figured a few months, maybe a year.
I never heard from him again. He never heard from me again. I got stuck with that damned guitar. I eventually gave it to a friend, six years later. I would’ve returned it to Freddie, but I had no way of contacting him. Oh, well.
Manipulators make me sick. They lie, or keep quiet. “I didn’t lie to you,” Freddie had said to me. He didn’t tell me what he should have, because he wanted to freeload. Lies can be unspoken words.
I married when I was sixteen. I was completely dependent on my husband. I left him when I was thirty. I hid in a shelter for four days with my three children. I filed for divorce. I never went back to him. It never crossed my mind. I have never, never, never, never regretted it. Although it’s been rough. But that’s a story for another day.
I’m still trying to find my “place”. I might have made different choices if I’d known thirty-five years ago, what I know today. But, hell, life is what it is. As Tyreese, from The Walking Dead, said, before he got bit and his friends stabbed his brain and buried him, “It went the way it had to. The way it was always going to.”
Lately, I’m feeling positive. I know some cool people. Writers, poets and storytellers. We run into each other at poetry readings. They read. I read. They teach. I didn’t get my MA, because high anxiety prevented me from writing a thesis. :-( But, “it went the way it had to. The way it was always going to.” These young poets, with their Master’s, who teach, call me “a bad-ass poet”. Some young women poets have told me I inspire them. Shit, if that don’t make a bitch feel great. :-)