Agonising Aunt

I’ve previously published a post from my old blog, and I hope to resurrect some of my old writing in this way. In this post, I am combining two old posts: cause and effect. It should also serve to demonstrate this particular stance.

In 2011, I was 27. Some people are young and immature at 27; others have conquered mountains and the corporate world. I was in neither of these groups. I was young, and found myself in charge of a team for the first time. I only had empathy as my guide to being a good team leader. It didn’t help that one of my team was exactly a month younger than me. She was also married and had a two-year old daughter. There were definite moments where she had more experience than I did.

The first post is when her husband contacted me. He was about nine years older than her, and he said that she was very attached to me. (I was attached to her too.) He was asking for my help, because his marriage was breaking down.

Life? Take a breather already.

I have spent a nerve-racking day, trying to figure how to tackle a difficult situation. The situation is NOT of my making, and yet I have the most to lose by it. However, for the sake of everyone involved I can’t talk about said situation here. All I can talk about is why I am currently so close to tears.

I am a private person. In the sense that I share my life’s joys with the world – mostly anyway. I present a genuinely smiling face to everyone around me. I crack jokes, play the fool, work hard and enjoy life. But heck, that doesn’t mean my life is easy – this couldn’t be further away from the truth.

My life lacks stability. It lacks security. And that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Today I listened to someone worry about his world crashing down around him – as though I have all the answers and somehow my perfect little life would rub off on him; little knowing that is the state of my life every. single. day.

Not that I didn’t sympathise, but the situation was such that any help I extended to him would have looked inappropriate. And if everything was out in the open, it would have damaged my working environment severely.

The reason I am so close to tears is that there is no way I can feel 100% comfortable with the outcome. I believe in being above board always, and I have had to choose a path that I am not happy having chosen.

I am not making any sense; not even to myself. Although I sometimes wish I could hide away in a corner, and let the world pass me by. It is tiring being strong and weathering all the crap that life throws at one. And believe me, while I am grateful for the beauty in my life, there is HELLUVA lot of crap that life has seen fit to shovel into my lap.

Leave me alone already. Tired of being a cosmic punching bag.

What an entitled ass I sound like. The guy was genuinely desperate enough to try and patch up his marriage the best way he could. I was kind to him, of course, but the thoughts in my head are all about ME. I was NOT the person with the most to lose. That was horseshit.

The trouble with him confiding in me was that it was the first time I knew anything was awry in their marriage. She had deemed it private enough not to discuss with her boss, and her husband had laid bare. I guessed (accurately as it turned out) that her pride was the reason she was quiet. And I wanted to respect that. I told him, as gently as possible, that I couldn’t help him and be fair to her. I would have to tell her that he spoke to me, and that would have made matters worse.

And then I wrote this whiny post. And he read it. And he guessed it was about him:

“I read your blog and I am very shocked and sorry to have put you in such a tight situation. I had a horrible dillemma and was desperate for help. And didnt think of the consequences. Please forgive me for that. I think you are a great person and J has a lot of respect for you. I wish I could undo what I have done. Please dont let my stupidity change anything with you guys. I want her to be happy. If you still want to get this off your chest I will not hold it against you. Dont worry about it anymore please. I have already contacted professional help. I pray that we will work it out and we will remain friends always. I hope the plans for Js birthday go as planned. Take care and God Bless.” [via Facebook Messenger]

Shame. I apologised profusely, nearly crying because of my stupidity. He was sweet enough to forgive me. And I posted a retraction, of sorts.

In my usual headlong and heedless fashion, I’ve managed to convey an impression far from what I was feeling. Yesterday’s post was all about how I was in a difficult position – and looking back, I am appalled and ashamed that that was the thought uppermost in my mind.

The true reason for my immense disquiet was actually a deep sense of sadness. A person I cared about was in a rough position, but I was not in a position to help. The reasons for this are multiple and highly complex – but the fact remains that I AM SAD.

I also feel sad for the other people involved, and for the deep trauma they are undergoing or going to undergo. I see a relationship that has broken down, and a lack of clarity and maturity to fix it. I am afraid of the consequences if irrevocable steps are taken and lives are damaged as a result.

Like I said before, life has never been a cakewalk for me – but I’ve managed to stay positive most of the time. When this hit me out of the blue, I confess I was really upset and I did NOT handle it well. To the person who confided in me, my last post would have given the impression of resentment. I am profoundly sorry about that – there is no resentment AT ALL. Please forgive me.

I wish I had the answers; hell, sometimes knowing the right questions would be a start. My only recourse now is to pray very hard that people who have lost each other find ways to be together again.

God, you’d better be listening. You freakin’ owe me.

Well, luckily for me, I wasn’t a complete douche.


Epilogue: In case anyone is interested in the couple’s story, they separated soon after. She did find out he told me, and that probably contributed further to the breakdown in her trust.

He professed much love for her, but he did a lot of things that I found incredibly unpalatable. But that’s not my story to tell. I guess what had to happen, happened.

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