Reaching my Limit
I pride myself in being patient and understanding in relationships. I am quick to give a person the "shadow of a doubt" or forgive an act of bad behaviour which has caused me personal harm or anquish. In short, I am long suffering.
Years ago, I took in a troubled youth that had been a ward of the Province for many years after he became too much for his parents to handle. When no one else would step forward to take him in, I did. He was the brother of a girlfriend of mine. I was determined to not be another person to give up on him. Well, in the end I did.
In the end, he declared he was going to find the mother who threw him away when he was three come Monday. This was an excuse not to participate in our family life. I had reached my limit. "No, surprise,! you are going today, pack your stuff."
Years later he came to see me and recounted that day and said, "I really let you down didn't I."
"Yes you did." was my only reply. After he said that I was less critical of myself, for I felt I had let him down.
During the seven years I was a single foster father, I had many times when I felt I had reached my limit of understanding with a young foster child. Twice, I had foster children removed from my home when they threated me with violence or mischief (making up stories about me). At least with the Children's Aid Society they were able to ease the transition.
In romantic relationship, (yes! I have had a few,) I have ended only one, not because of the quality of the relatiohsip but because the woman and her psychiatrist husband fought over the children.
It was too painful to watch. He took the two biological children and she got the two adopted ones, one of which was an African child, they brought back from Kenya, like one more of their many African artifacts.
I have just had an experience with my friend, Denis, which saw mew reach my limit. He occasionally lives with me between periods of work. in the North on the tundra, drilling for minerals.
Denis and I have been friends for about ten years. We even worked together for a while. He is a heavy drinker and marijana user. He does much that tests one's patience but like most people he has some admirable qualities.
This last incident occured about a month ago. Since he came out of the Bush he has been beguiled with a woman in Thunder Bay.
After he finishes a stint at work he often goes to a nearby city to party. He spends several thousand dollars on his vices and "working girls".
He fell for one of these part-time working girls and was trying to get her to come to visit him here. I tried to tell him , "you are not supposed to fall in love with the "party girls.", which he often refers to a crack whores. (His attitude toward women in not one of his admirable qualities.)
He took it upon himself to take my truck and drive to Thunder Bay (1000 miles away) to see her. Denis lost his license years ago by driving impaired. He was there before I knew where he had disappeared. On the phone, he said he would be back in a few days. I should have called the police but that would have required me to take an $800 plane ride and a two day drive to retrieve the truck. So I impatiently waited.
Ten days, later, he tried it again. This time he was stopped by the police two hours up the road for driving impaired, plus, more that the limit of marijuana for personal use and lots of cash. He got several charges including "Intent to sell the marijuana." I had to go and retrieve the truck.
He then paid his ladyfriend's transportation to come and visit him, to help him get over his depression for the trouble he got himself in. This required special arrangements for her to get her methadone shots daily in North Bay. He used the truck with her driving most of the time.
I don't think the visit went as well as he had expected. The day he had a neighbour drive them to see her off, my truck was not returned. He went on a drunk. I was starting to think he had decided to drive her home to Thunder Bay. After a day of looking around town I found the truck at the neighbour's as if was being hidden from me. I retrieved it.
For a number of reasons, two of which were I could not keep Denis out of the truck and I thought he was playing me for a fool, I decided to ask him to move out.
He came home druck, of course. "Denis, you cannot live here anymore.." "I know " he relied, I screwed up. I am drunk now I will talk to you in the morning." Later he accused me of abandoning him in his hour of need.
I thought Denis had gone to sleep, While I was starting to feel sorry for him, I saw the truck was gone again. I had reached my limit. I called the police. Denis had taken the truck and tried to sell it to one of his friends.
The police finally arrested him and charged him with theft of the truck.
I feel badly for Denis but he was clearly out of control. putting me and other people at risk. I prized our "odd couple" friendship. I often defended him to others for I knew him well enough to know his good qualities and vulnerabilites.. Unfortunately, our friendship is the price we have paid for his bad behaviour and my willingness to say, "No, more.!"
Sometimes my Life feels like a soap opera.