A divorced mom with an alcoholic boyfriend and a broken heart.
Hope. Less. Ness. Kathy bounces between these three distinct feelings. Unfortunately, the hope is not the warm hope but instead the cold, grasping kind. The kind of hope that is filled with more wonder than belief, more tears than joy.
I know what you’re thinking. I said ‘three distinct feelings’ as if to suggest that ‘ness’ is actually a feeling. Who even knows what it means, right. Well, ness means something exemplifying a quality or state. In hopelessness, ness exemplifies less and hopeless and Kathy’s hopeless feeling is powerful and palpable. This is important to understand, especially since her love for her boyfriend is three and a half years old and a thousand miles deep.
Kathy e-mailed me four days ago and, after providing a little bit of background, asked if we could start a coaching relationship. We agreed and in the days since, we must have interacted 40 times via e-mail. She needed an ear, a sanity check, a friend perhaps. What she no longer needs is hope. At least not when it comes to her boyfriend.
As the cliché phrase goes, hope is not a plan. I understand the meaning behind it and I am still a fan of hope as long as it does not blur too much with fantasy. There is nothing fantastical about your boyfriend driving drunk when you’re in the car with him. Nothing magical about you confiding in friends, only to find out that he is talking to these same friends and bad mouthing you for showing concern for him and his alcoholism. These examples represent but a small sample size of Kathy’s world. It aint pretty.
Changing dietary habits.
These are but a few of the effects of blinding, unreciprocated love and Kathy has experienced them all.
Kathy is a lifelong bike rider who has won multiple times on various professional circuits. A few weeks ago, she broke several bones in her body, to include her collarbone. She was not in a professional race but instead a routine weekend bike ride. So what happened? Did she just forget how to ride one?
Kathy’s boyfriend lives 1,500 miles away and yet in the three years that they have been dating, he has only paid to fly and see her one time. She has paid for the rest. Does this make sense to you? I know it doesn’t make sense to her.
Kathy’s hours at work have gone down over the past few months. This has come as a surprise to her and of course it’s stressing her out. But should it have been a surprise or is Kathy just not herself?
Kathy has two sons for whom she has genuine love and compassion for. So why are they are feeling the weight and affects of her relationship? Why has she stayed with an alcoholic man that has shown little ability to take care of himself, let alone others?
These are questions, perhaps judgmental questions. I won’t deny that. But Kathy has seen the light and is seeking help. She now realizes that the weight of blinding, unreciprocated love has pushed her over the edge and impacted those she loves.
I often reference the song “Sometimes Love Just Aint Enough” as a lesson or message for people who believe in the Beatles tune, “All You Need Is Love”. A fun song indeed though I would edit the title a bit and insist that all you need is healthy love. Otherwise, it is a feeling with instant and fleeting satisfaction and a world of pain and suffering.
Are you Kathy or have you been Kathy? How did you see the light and what steps did you take to extract yourself and your loved ones from an environment of blinding and painful love?
We will have our first session in a couple of days and I am focused on one of the goals she shared with me in one of her earlier e-mails. She told me that what she truly seeks is a love worth dying for. While I understand the romantic, wanting feeling behind her words, I will share with her a few of my own and they go something like this: A love to die for can often lead to a life thrown away.