Saturday, June 18, 2011

Self Recrimination

This post is going to be nothing like my usual posts. I'm not advancing or advocating any female issues this time. This is more a nod in the direction of my brothers. I don't even know where to start from but I guess the beginning is as good a place as any.

A blast from a very distant past resurfaced in my life this past week. He is this guy I met when i was 19 through my best friend. He was her oldest brother's friend. He is ten years older than me. At the time, I felt that was too old. He liked me and he treated me very nice and with respect but I made it clear that he was too old for me and I didn't think we could date. In hindsight, I guess inspite of being honest with him, I may have actually encouraged him periodically because I enjoyed the attention. Sue me. He lived in America and would always call and stuff I felt he was an almighty botherer and I was often cold to him. But he liked me and he would put up with all my childish tantrums. I just wanted him to go away. And eventually, he did. I didn't think anything of it at the time. I was dating a jerk, the thought of whom would forever haunt me. But at that time, the sun shone out of every orifice he possessed.
I never thought much of the other guy, let's call him *Dayo. But my bestie would update me about his life from time to time. I knew he had gotten married and he had 2 kids. She would often say "oh Dayo asked after you". One time we were speaking and she said " oh Dayo asked after you" as (relatively) usual and I'm like ok, how is he doing. You know, the polite questions you ask about a person that has become a complete stranger to you. And then she went on to say "he still likes you a lot. And he's told me a few times that when his wife upsets him, he thinks of you and what could have been". I laughed about that and chalked it down to the rantings of a man about 'the one that got away'
On tuesday, last week, I was just arriving at work and my phone rang. Imagine my surprise when the caller on the other end turned out to be the long forgotten *Dayo. I didn't even know he was in town and there was no heads up from my so called bestie (you left me wide open, L, and you know it. But I love and forgive you anyways). We talked; he asked after my family and I asked after his. And the conversation suddenly veered to "cherry, my wife that left me hanging" and I'm still laughing, thinking it was all a joke and this guy broke down and told me things he had never told me before. How he knew what he wanted and how all he needed from me was a commitment at that time, not necessarily marriage, how I did him greasy and messed with his head, how his friends did not find it funny that a 19 year old child was stringing their boy along in this manner, how as an ill- conceived plan to help him get over me, he was given a girl whom he knocked up and subsequently married, how she's violent and always calling his job and embarrassing him, how they don't understand each other, how he's been contemplating a divorce since the minute they signed on the dotted lines, how every time they have a fight, he says to himself that it was all my fault, how she dislikes my bestie because she knows it is one of her friends he likes and on and on. Normally, I would have just ignored his rant as that of a married man that wants a lil' sum-sum. But he sounded so depressed and unhappy. I had to ask my bestie if he was making it all up. And she said, it is for real and he's deeply unhappy in his marriage.

This revelation led me on a journey that had me facing up to what a terrible person I had been when I was younger. I may be flattering myself but my first thought was how a decision I had made in such a cavalier manner may have in turn, derailed and ruined someone else's life. Someone who had planned a life with me, I discarded without even a second thought as to his well fare, especially his mental well-being. And it just made me realize how self involved we human beings are.
When we have had our hearts broken, we go tell it on a mountain, any one that has ears must hear it whether they care to know or not. We women are especially fond of this. We are very vocal about being hurt and what bastards men are. We never take the time to look inwards at what terrible people of questionable character we sometimes are. Men are not as vocal about their hurts but they hurt as deeply if not more than us. And this hurt has far reaching consequences because they are not built to absorb pain like women were. A friend told me that a bad break up led him to become more serious with his Christian life. Men have to do an action as soon as they go through a heartbreak. Women (me) need time to heal. A lot of my male friends have told me they will heal with the next girl who falls into their laps. So most times, they have a rebound that escalates into a relationship they can't be bothered to end.
This is not about women in general. It is about me. For all the noise I'm always making about how men don't take due care and consideration when doing women wrong, I am just as equally guilty. I'm not as insightful as I think I am or want to be. This is the first time I have ever looked back and asked the question from the other side. This is the first time I have ever wondered what became of the guys I decided I no longer needed in my life. I am so bad in that I have the tendency to forget about people or things that add no value to my life. But why would I conclude that someone adds no value to my life? Everybody has a footprint they leave in your life once they come into it. I've just been so shallow and self absorbed. It has been all about me: my feelings, my hurt, my hopes, my fears, my aspirations, my life. I treated that guy so badly and the perceived ricochet effect is not something i want to deal with. See, I'm still doing it! What is wrong with me?
My sister is of the opinion that I shouldn't beat myself up over the issue. That *Dayo made his bed and now he's complaining about having to lie in it. I agree that he went on to make his choices of his own free will but I'm left wondering if I didn't have a bigger role to play in how things eventually turned out.
Lesson learnt. I now know to treat people and their feelings carefully. *Dayo didn't commit a crime in liking me. I'm the criminal for treating him so badly for it. It is important that we always anticipate what reactions our actions may provoke. To *Dayo, I know you are not going to read this, but I am deeply sorry for how I treated you and hurt you. I was childish and immature and even though I believed I didn't want to date you at the time, it is no excuse for how I treated you. I wish I could take it back but I can't. I pray that God gives you the requisite patience and wisdom needed to sort out the issues in your marriage and grants you the grace to enjoy marriage as intended.

Well, that's it folks. I'm sorry if this post depresses anybody but I'm quite unhappy myself so enjoy some of my unhappiness. We've heard my sister's view on the issue, if you have anything to tell me as to how to handle the situation and feel better, please, please, please leave me a comment. I could use some advice right about now.


  1. Interesting. I hope Dayo reads this. One thing I know is that I'll never date or marry a girl that doesn't dig me. So, Dayo should wake up and move on man! And for u, it's jst normal what u did. Every damn gal does dt. I hope u knw when to stop n mk a decision on some guy. I hope u get lucky.

  2. Hey Babe,

    I'd align myself with your sister's view on this. Dont beat yourself about this girlie. You are no criminal for what happened to Dayo.

    I mean at 19, what were you required to do? follow him to yankee to be his lawful wedded MRS? What is the probability that the relationship would have lasted if you guys dated? He laid his kingsize Bed and you shouldn't take the blame for his sore marriage.

    don't be sad dear friend, everything happens for a reason. I know as a fact that heartbreaks can make you do impossible things. I speak from a wealth of experience, but then one's head should still be screwed on straight.

    I pray the Good Lord grants Dayo the patience and grace to sort out the issues in his marriage. just say a prayer for him.

  3. I broke up with an ex that loved me because I just didn't feel the same way. I'm not even sure if it's that I didn't feel the same way anymore or that I never felt like he did in the first place and just went along into the relationship riding on his own love for me or whatever.
    Anyways even though I know for sure I did us both a favor by ending it I'm now constantly afraid that I have no clue about my feelings because I genuinely thought I loved him too...the point is I always feel like this horrible person but I realize if it's not right it's not right and that being in a relationship where you don't return the person's feelings can be just as bad as being in one where the person doesn't return yours. You just cannot burden yourself with the guilt over not liking someone.

  4. @Segun Aluko: I can actually report that *Dayo did read this post. My bestie made him read it. I'm not sure of what his reaction was tho

    @Dasu: thanks for the advice dear. I'm trying to shed the guilt and believe that if it was meant to be, God would have made it so

    @Cheriadore: I am of the school of thought that when it is right, you will know. I hope this is true. I want to believe that when I meet the one, my feelings will be definite and I will know it is the right choice. We all have that thing where we feel we love someone but it really isn't love, it is endorphins in our brain, making us feel good. You made the best decision for you both jare.

    Thanks for stopping by guys. I really enjoyed your comments.

  5. Wow, this post sounds like it could be me. I wouldn't go as far as blaming myself for wrecking someone's future though (so pls get off that) But yeah, I mustav hurt people at some point just as much as I have been hurt.
    Dayo is only thinking of you cause he is going through a bad patch. If his marriage was hunky dory he wouldn't. Pls don't let guilt feelings cause you to become too friendly with him again, cos you know that means you are going to hurt him twice!!

  6. You shouldn't feel bad at all, cos humans have to watch out for themselves.
    You had nothing to do with whatever happened to him, you were only watching out for yourself, which anyone would have done. He probably met you at the wrong time, that's that.


Say What?