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Be Careful How You Treat Me

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Bishop G.E. Patterson was a wise man.  He provided insight into my life.  One of my favorite Bishop G. E. Patterson sayings was “Never hurt your help”.  Have you ever had someone that you would have moved heaven and earth for?  Have you ever had someone whom you would have given your very last?  Have you ever had that same someone to betray or humiliate you?

I know what it feels like to give your all to someone and the person who you gave your all to hurt you to your core.  There was a man who I was in a relationship with for an extended period of time.  I had grown to care for him deeply.  Not only was he my life partner, he was my friend, and I had a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for him. There is nothing legally or ethically that I would not have done for this man.  I was “in it” and loyal to a fault. 

Imagine how I felt when I found this person who I would have done anything for was betraying me, while I was helping him.  I stood with this friend, encouraged him when his world was falling apart, and walked with him through heartache, betrayals from business partners, extreme adversity and devastating financial loss.  When most had walked away when the money, celebrity, and power was gone, I remained.   Through standing by his side at his lowest point, this was the very person that pushed me away and cost me money, time, and heartache, and even made me question my self-esteem and values.  It was if he had determined to do everything in his power to bring me to the edge of sanity. 

I found out how close we can get to being pushed to the brink.  It appeared as if this person was determined to destroy me.  There are no words to describe the depth of my pain and despair I felt when I found out how this person was hurting me emotionally, mentally, and physically.  Although he never hit me, I would say that emotional and mental abuse can be just as real and painful.  The difference is there are no identifiable scars to show. 

A couple of years later this same person came back to me and wanted to rekindle the relationship that was irretrievably broken.   He came to see that I was a great friend and partner.  I was supportive, loving, nurturing, and kind because I chose to be that way.  When I declined the offer to rekindle the relationship, my heart broke for him.  It was unfortunate that he had done too much to hurt his help.  He voluntarily annihilated our relationship, friendship, and everything we had built.  Though he was hurting having buried the closest people to him, I just didn’t have it in me to place myself in a position with a hurt person who refused to get help and take ownership for their destructive behavior.

How do you recover when you have hurt your help?  Sometimes, the person you hurt may really want to be there, but the damage has been done and you have to own the consequences of your actions.  I just could not be there for him at the expense of me.

Question:  Who have you hurt that you need to go back and apologize to, so you won’t hurt your help?  If you have hurt your help, what lesson did you learn from hurting your help?  Who has hurt you that you have helped?  Are you willing to put yourself in the same position again?