The Fine Line


Hello, Friends.

Well, today has essentially been a miserable day.  I am suffering from guilt.  On Sunday I got a call from someone I know that wanted me to give her a ride to the VA…she’s sick.  Well, I was in a distant city picking my kids up, so I told her I wasn’t home and woundn’t be home until later.  I guess she called me a couple of times and I never heard my phone ring…swear I didn’t.

Last night on my way home from the VA – her mom called me – no one would seem to give her daughter a ride to the VA.  I had meetings I had to attend and then I essentially hid for 3 hours.  I never committed to being able to be her taxi service.

I would like to point out that it is a 70 mile round trip to the VA and back.  I also know that someone had offered to give her a ride, if she could give them a little for the gas money.  I have also seen this person turn a paper cut into a four inch long gash that goes clear to the bone – at least when she retells the story.

However, I feel like crap for not just going and getting her.  What if she really was as sick as she claimed to be.  I do need to say that this person is not my friend.  She used to be my friend.  Actually, I am older than her and when we were in the  military together, her and some other young girls used to call me MaMa.  Need something?  Got a problem?  Go ask MaMa.

I spent quite a bit of time going toe to toe with male NCO’s that gave female soldiers trouble.  This girl was one of their targets and so a lot of issues for me came because I was protecting her.  When I filed charges within the unit, she had a private meeting with the Sergeant Major, all she had to do was say, “Yes, this is the truth.”  All she had to do was say, Yes.  Not only did she lie and say that none of it ever happened and that I was lying, but then she took her precious time to go out into the community and tell people that I was doing this because I was afraid to deploy.  Excuse me?  Several mutual “friends” came to me and said, “you gotta be careful!”

She acted like nothing had ever happened and for some time after I was discharged she would come to me to complain about SGT Jerk.  Oh, yes, SGT Jerk…the same one that likes to beat females with sticks in front of platoons.  I finally told her as nicely as possible that I never want to hear another word about him again and that if she had simply taken the courage to stand up for one moment…it would have been over. 

I try to live my life as a good Christian.  Not a “religious” person, but as a person who tries very hard to put Christ’s love into action.  Believe me, I know all of the Bible verses about loving your neighbor, forgiving 70×7, turning the other cheek.  But is there a fine line between being a door mat and a forgiving person?!  What if your cheek has turned so much that it just “burns” all the time?  What about protecting myself from being tortured?  To spend two hours with her in the car listening to her talk about the trauma she has suffered.  Wow…really…must be bad!  Or worse, that she has no real friends…no one does anything for her after all she does for others.

I hear from this person once every 6 months – and that is normally when we run into one another accidentally.  It is no surprise that everyone she called for a ride had other responsibilities or they were sick.  She takes and takes and gives nothing in return.  Not even the common human courtesy of friendship.  Real friendship. 

So why do I feel so like HELL today.  Like I have sinned.  Like I have failed.  Still, I know that if it had been anyone but “her” I would have been there in a heartbeat.  Really, I would have.  Even people that I wouldn’t necessarily call a friend.  Every month I shuttle my kids 160 miles to see their dad and then I go back again and get them.  I don’t complain.  They love their dad.  I can’t stand him – but when he had his heart attacks I came to the hospital. 

So why can’t I let go of this?  Maybe it is because there is a fine line – and maybe protecting myself this time was okay.  I forgive her – I truly hardly even think of her – and I know why she did what she did.  That doesn’t mean that I should have to be re-victimized just because SHE needed someone.   After all, that is a small part of what got me into the mess in the first place, when she needed someone I was there.  When I needed her – all I got was stabbed in the back.

Joan

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2 Responses to “The Fine Line”

  1. Jerry Says:

    It’s all part of being human Joan. Remember, To forgive is divine. That includes forgiving yourself.

  2. enemyinthewire Says:

    Thanks, Jerry. I needed that.

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