Not Everyone Is Happy For Me

Friday, 5 April 2013 – It turns out not everyone is happy about me having an apartment.

PADS is at Immaculate Conception tonight so I went there to say thank you to the volunteers, and ask them to pass that message on to everyone at that congregation. Cathy and Gordon were there, too. That’s partly because PADS ends next week – one week from today – and they’re trying to make sure everyone has some kind of support through the summer.

They had several people to speak with, so they spoke to each one privately outside. I let them know I wanted to speak with them, and waited my turn.

When they called me outside, one of the other PADS guests was standing outside the door. As I passed him, I said hi. His response was to say “F**k off. You can leave right now.”

That really took me by surprise. Especially since it was one of the two guys I had told they’d always have a place to stay with me. To have this thrown in my face really hurt.

And when I spoke with Cathy and Gordon, they seemed upset with me, too. Maybe I’m being overly sensitive. It’s just that the only thing that’s changed is my getting an apartment. But Cathy seemed happy for me yesterday.

This is one of those times when it’s super easy to get mad because you feel badly treated. I admit, I was upset walking home. Then I started thinking about what any of it really means to me.

The fellow who swore at me, he just burned a bridge. It isn’t like we’re family (which wouldn’t be saying much with me anyway), or long time friends. I don’t know why he decided to be rude and abusive, and it really doesn’t matter. It hurts, but the answer is simple – he wants nothing to do with me. Having just lost Yvette and the kids makes losing an acquaintance easy to handle in comparison.

For Cathy and Gordon the answer is a little different. I like them, and we’ve started to form a friendship. For them, I plan to ask what was wrong. I’ll see them Sunday at Peace Lutheran and can ask them then.

Part of getting happy is deciding where to invest your energy. No matte what happens with my career, Cathy and Gordon are people I want to stay in contact with so I’m going to make sure the air is clean between us. The other fellow is not someone I expect to have a long term friendship with, so I’m far less willing to invest in that relationship.

Of course, it’s not always that clear cut. If it were, I’d turn my back on Yvette easily. But I love her, and the kids. The only thing I can do for them right now is pray. So the investment I make in that relationship is to pray each day, keep writing this book, and hope that some day we’ll have a chance to talk.

Something else I’m doing is working on me. It’s easy to lay a lot of the accountability on Yvette’s side of the equation. She undermined me with the kids, excluded me all the time, and she has told a lot of lies throughout our marriage. But that’s where working on myself begins.

Those are all the things Yvette did. Working on me means looking at how I responded to the things Yvette and the kids did. Where could I have done better? Did I draw the line for tolerance in the right spot? In what ways did I allow myself to be controlled by my past instead of using it to help me grow?

I may not be able to make things better with Yvette at this point. But I can make good decisions about dealing with people now. That’s why I choose to end one relationship that’s turning sour for no good reason, and invest in another that looks like it has been damaged. Getting happy means taking responsibility and choosing.

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