August 7th, 2010

Writer's Block: Take a (second) chance on me

Have you ever given a friend or partner a second chance? What were the consequences? Any regrets?

My ex-friend R is a double gendered, bisexual, multiple personalitied male who has multiple psychiatric problems and is a self described "taker."  Only that last characteristic posed problems for our friendship.  He never asked for money or material things (his various pensions and disability payments exceeded my salary) but his demand for time, emotional energy and "understanding" was unquenchable. The problem with  a taker is that he not only take from me, he also takes, directly or indirectly, from others i care about--and without their permission.  I finally dumped him, citing, falsely, that i no longer had anything to give.  He pleaded to resume our friendship, and i agreed after a discussion of boundaries and limits and the principle that real friends do not exploit friendship.  I think he tried to observe my limitations, but (since he is possibly also a sociopath) he was unable to do so.  When he began calling my home, frightening my wife, i broke off the relationship a second and final time.  I actually think our brief re-acquaintance after the first break up was good for him.  I see him from time to time and we greet each other as passing acquaintances.