Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Gift

"The value of the gift given is not measured by the manner in which it was received."

I gave a gift once.  One I have never given to anyone else in this world and one I will find it incredibly difficult to give again.  I learned something today in group, as I do most days, but today it was something I really needed to hear.  They do this little exercise to teach people that they are not worthless, I'm going to teach it to you.

Take a bill from your pocket, it doesn't matter the number on the bill, just take it out and look at it.  What is it worth?  The one I am holding is worth five American dollars.  Now crumple it up, throw it on the floor, step on it and grind it into the surface below you.  Look at the bill again, how much is the one you were holding worth?  Mine is still worth five American dollars.  I would be willing to bet yours is still worth the same value as when we started this little exercise.  It will spend the same, because the value of that bill is not decided by how many times it has been pissed on or tucked into some stripper's thong.  The value of my bill is decided by the United States Treasury.  Let's move on shall we?

I wrote to myself last night and revealed it this morning in treatment.  I took their little game and turned it on its head.  I wrote about a penny, a worthless piece of change that I don't even bother carrying around.  I told them this morning that I felt like a penny that had been cut in half by surgical scissors, even more worthless than when we started.  I told my dad that last night and he said that there are a lot of people out there who pick up the pennies I have been throwing away for years.  They might be worthless to me, but to some they are the opposite.

I woke up this morning depressed and lonely until I walked out to the car and found something sitting face up on the door handle.  A brand new penny.  "Clever fucker," I thought to myself.  I picked it up and put it into my pocket and went on about the day.

I got called into the counselor's office today and he wanted to talk about something I have only been able to voice in anger when there, my ex.  He told me that he was going to try and drag the pain out of me so I could feel it and that it would not be pleasant.  So I told him the story, in all its bloody detail and found myself crying by the end.  I tried to keep talking but he stopped me.

"Patrick, the value of the gift given is not measured by the manner in which it was received," he said to me.  It took me longer than it normally does to get such metaphors, but eventually I got it.  He explained that I gave the greatest gift I could have given to someone.  I dropped my life, moved across the country into hostile territory and gave my love to a woman who I believed loved me just as much.  It does not matter that she did not accept the gift, it only matters that I gave it and gave it sincerely.

He told me that it was not my fault that I was left in the manner that I was, it was hers.  He told me that I might be to blame for a lot of what happened in our relationship's failure, but that there is a simple thing you say to your spouse when you get married.  "For better, for worse.  In sickness and in health."  She left me when I was at the sickest point in my life, so sick that I was in denial about it and getting high constantly to stay that way.  She left me when I needed the most support and comfort.  She left me in a mental hospital with no connection to the outside world.  She is the offender.  She is the quitter.  She does not deserve me and she never did.

I read her blog so long ago and saw a woman who was so beautiful, smart and funny but had been treated like shit by so many men in the past.  I wanted to give her the gift of being the man who would never do that to her, who would do anything at all costs to protect her from hurt.  I may have failed in that task, but it was not without trying.

"The funny thing," he told me, "is that you are getting your life back on track and learning to deal with your problems while she most likely sits in New York in denial and blames it all on you."  Then he said something really powerful to me.

"Fuck her, dude, she never deserved you in the first place.  If she was willing to leave you at the drop of a hat in your darkest hour, she never really loved you as much as you loved her."  He said that he saw so much in me and that someday some woman would be glad that this happened to me, because it will have made me hers.  Someday someone will come around who will accept my gift and who will stand by me in my darkest hour.  Someday I will be there to stand by her in her darkest hour.  Someday I will find the perfect woman because I love too much not to.

Where does that leave me?  It leaves me with a dick that cannot be used for a while, that's for sure.  I need to take it easy and stay away from women until I rebuild myself again.  Better and stronger than I ever was in that cesspool known as New York City.  Someday, however, when I am ready I will give my gift again and it will be received in the way that my ex failed to take it. 

Right now, I couldn't give a fuck what happens to her.  She will probably end up with the same shitty guys who didn't value her as much as I did.  Maybe she will end up alone and maybe she deserves it, but honestly, I don't fucking care anymore.  Sure, she hurt me and she did it in the most brutal way possible, but I will be stronger in the end.  Stronger than I was to begin with.  Strong for the woman somewhere out there who does deserve me.

Contrary to what she may believe or have tried to make me believe, I am not worthless.  I am worth loving and I have so much to give.  Until then, it is time to focus on me.  Fix.  Rebuild.  Grow.  Fight for it.  You should all know by now, I am no quitter.

And I am certainly no penny.