Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I feel weird.

Back before I met DH (so this was years ago), I was in a relationship with someone else for six years. Towards the end, it came very close to being abusive, and I gave him an ultimatum: Get counseling for the anger within the next 30 days or we're through. He didn't. So I walked. But it wasn't that easy, of course. There were a lot of things said and done by both of us that weren't very nice.

I wasn't very grown up. Neither was he. And "fighting fair" was just a concept. There was a lot of yelling. He even went to my mom's house one day and told her things about me that I never wanted anyone to know. But I also did some things I regret--and could have handled differently. I played a lot of games. He responded by being angrier. It took me many years to see that, of course. I still believe that the relationship was very doomed. I should've left long before I did.

But it is a part of my past. There are still some happy memories, although the unhappy ones outweigh them.

I was at the thrift store in town when someone said "Hi Carol!" It was his sister and his mom. I hadn't seen them since probably 1996 or so. His mom looked so old--of course, what did I expect after all that time???? Anyhow, there was some small talk, then his sister said, "He's not doing well. He's not taking care of his diabetes at all. (I didn't know he had diabetes, of course). His leg's all black and he won't go to the doctor. He got arrested for driving without insurance and they wouldn't put him in jail, they told him to go to the hospital, because he was in too bad of shape. He keeps saying, "If I die, I die." And all he does is sleep. He's going to lose his leg for sure, but we think he's going to be dead soon."

That really freaked me out. I don't know how to feel. I never, even when we broke up, never hated him. But I was afraid of him. Now that I'm older, I can see that he didn't have very many skills in the relationship department. I'm not afraid any more. He never had another girlfriend after me. That kind of freaks me out, too.

Part of me wants to give him a call and tell him that I'm thinking about him and urge him to get to a doctor before it's too late. But another part of me does not want to open up a can of worms. I'd like to tell him that I know he did the best he could and that no matter what I said at the time, it wasn't all his fault (our breakup). I think I would regret not telling him that, if he were to die.

I told DH about all of this. He told me that if our positions were reversed, he'd probably call. He said he understood that this person was a part of my history and I didn't stop having that just because DH and I got married. (For all his shortcomings, DH is good at the relationship stuff...) But I also know that he might've just been saying that. The thought of me contacting someone who was a big part of my past has to make him at least a little uncomfortable. It makes ME a little uncomfortable.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do. And how to do it. I can't even imagine this person in such bad shape that he might die. I know we all do, but I guess you kind of tend to think of your friends and family as super-human, know what I mean? I'm kind of shocked and sad.

And it makes me want to force DH to take better care of HIS diabetes (or whatever). I know they were giving him insulin in the hospital. So he should at least be checking his blood sugar....and I should be trying to cook healthier, too. It's scary. Mortality sucks.


Elizabeth A. said...

1. I've had that relationship. Nothing in this world could convince me to contact that guy, but he considered any contact a sign we should get back together. If you're sure he won't try and reach out, give him a call. The guilt could eat at you when you find he's dead, which he will be soon without serious medical intervention. And boo on his family for sharing that. This is not a problem you should even know about after this long.

2. I deal with guilt of ordering Chinese when I know it's the last thing in the world my husband needs. The salt, the calories, the saturated fat, bad wife. Enabling is a real struggle for me.

3. Wasn't DD decent with his mood charts? Maybe he could do the same thing with checking his blood sugar. Is he on a medicine like Glucophage? Uncontrolled blood sugar made my stepdad's moods extremely erratic.

perphila said...

Tough call. Still, you have been open, honest and above board with your husband. You have a caring nature.
How would your call benefit this guy? I know you would offer to help but do you have the time and the emotional resources to do so? Don't take on something else or call because you might feel guilty later. If you really think you have something to offer then I don't see how a "hope you get better" call will hurt. Just watch out for the slippery slope.