Tuesday, February 11, 2020

He can't help it. I can.

Henry was really shitty to me Monday morning. For a quick recap, he sent me a sad email Sunday night, worried about losing Reg and wondering what to do about it. I answered it, thoughtfully, before I went to bed. I told Henry he needed to talk to someone who could help him navigate through his feelings and frustrations and articulate his position to Reg without sounding accusatory. I recommended the psychologist he saw briefly last year and his minister. I looked up phone numbers of both the doctor and the pastor, making it as easy for Henry as possible.

Monday morning, I woke up to an email promising that it will be the last time I ever hear from him. If I can't be there for him during the longest, loneliest night of his life, then I obviously don't care about him and he will respond in kind. He closed by asking, "what else can I do?"

I responded that he could do what I suggested last night -- make an appointment with the psychologist or his pastor. Then I went to take my shower. I was frustrated, but not yet angry.

Then I got the email from Kate. She's an old friend of Reg and Henry's that I've met a few time. She and I have never corresponded. 

"Are you okay?" she asked. "Is Henry okay? It sounds like there's been a meltdown."

Henry sent Kate our email exchange. Bastard!

It seems Henry called Kate Sunday night, too. And, like me, she didn't pick up. She assumes he was too lazy or too rushed to personalize the Monday morning "pity party" email and sent it to both of us. She went on to say that my original Sunday message to Henry was "perfect," what she wished she'd said.

Monday was Reg's birthday. I saw photos on Facebook of the two of them at a jazz club. Reg was excited to report that Henry got into the spirit of the birthday celebration and actually danced.

So let's see: I'm walking around feeling angry and wounded because he has disrespected me. He seems to view my friendship as a utility he's paid for, like hot and cold running water. I have no right to not take his call because I'm watching the Oscars. When he turns on the faucet, I simply must be there. It's ugly and unfair.

Meanwhile, he's enjoying dinner at Salute! and dancing by the blue lights of The Little Room Jazz Club

I know he can't help the erratic behavior. He is trying to recover from a traumatic brain injury.I understand the situation and it breaks my heart.

But it does not give him the right to hurt me.

I cannot control his behavior. Hell, since his bike collided with that van, he can't control his behavior.

I must stay positive and loving to Henry, but I also have to protect and love myself. 

I unburdened myself last night to my oldest friend. Our conversation was like a tonic for me. Afterward, she sent me this, advising me to print it out and carry it with me at all times.


  1. I am so glad you had your oldest friend to support you!

  2. Man, it sounds so hard for you both in so many ways. Your friend gave you great advice in that little card. Take care of YOU.