Saturday, February 17, 2007

Carolyn Called…

She often calls when I least expect it. I sat today in my lazy boy, reclined, half asleep, as the phone rang. I screen my calls to weed out those most dreaded and most dastardly telemarketers and to assuage my social phobias surrounding the phone.

“Hey, you there? I want to talk to you! Pick up the phone! I know you are there!” Rang out upon my answering machine’s speaker after a few rings. It was Carolyn.

My heart rate increased and my anxiety skyrocketed as I listened to her talk. I reclined forward in my lazy boy and placed my face in my hands as I listened.

“Well, I guess you are not home. I was just thinking of you. I wanted us to head up to Atlanta tomorrow night and eat at that Japanese restaurant you so love. I will call again tonight. It will be my treat.”

I walked over to the answering machine and pushed play to hear her message again. Her voice sounds so comforting; so sanguine that there is hope of us getting together for the weekend. My feeble and so soft heart melts as I dial her number to call her back. I am such a pussy.

“Hey,” I say as she picks up the phone and says hello. “It’s me. I just got your message.”

“I was hoping you would call,” She says. “I’ve thought about you all day.”

“All of this is hard on me,” I reply. “One minute you love me and the next, you shy away from me.”

Silence reigns supreme as she is surprised by my candidness.

“You scare me sometimes,” She finally says. “I don’t know what to expect. I love you though and I miss you.”

“I love you too,” I reply cautiously. “I miss you so very much.”

Sushi Huku?” She asks speaking of the Japanese restaurant I so dearly love to eat at. “Will you call and make the reservations?”

“Hold on,” I say. “I will call you back in a few minutes.”

I walk over to my parent’s house and call the restaurant and set an 8:00 PM reservation time. I cannot call long distance on my home phone to save money. I walk the short distance home and call Carolyn back.

“Eight tomorrow night is when we will eat,” I say.

“Let’s go in your Honda,” She says. “I love that car.’

“I will pick you up around six,” I reply.

We hang up our respective phones and I have a good cry. This willy-nilly back and forth relationship is so hard on me. I don’t want to be lonely and I love her so much. I know deep in my heart it will never work out, but I can’t pass up on the time spent with her. I just wish I was a normal man, without the rigors of a mental illness to hold me back. She would love me then.

post signature


Claudia said...

She may love you now. It sounds like she does love you, but has a hard time dealing with the ups and downs of your illness. I suppose it's up to you whether to allow her in again and risk getting hurt. Some say without risk there is no reward, but that is a decision only you can make. Good luck and be strong. Take care of yourself and your heart.

P.S. You made me crave some unagi...

di said...

She loves you now. No one can know where it will go. Carpe Diem :)

greglo said...

This seems to be about love! Hope Carolyn and You manage to express it and go beyond the difficulties... can't help thinking it sounds like true love... sounds beautiful to me anyway... just my opinion.

Wish you two the best!


Cheryl said...

I think 'normal' is a very relative term. I think you're quite the man, and any woman would be lucky to have you just as you are. You have a wonderful heart. You deal with your problems. You pay attention to the people you care about. Carolyn might come around, who knows? I totally understand why this is so hard for you. I hope tomorrow night goes very well.

C.A. said...

Enjoy the Sushi and the company. Hang on to the good, but take care of yourself. :)

simonsays said...

She loves you now, you know. As the comment above states, normal is relative. And love is difficult in the most "normal" of circumstances. Andrew, you are so hard on yourself-stop worrying, enjoy the NOW, we never know, it may be all that we have. You are strong and capable and will handle all of this if it isn't forever. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Have a wonderful time!

SimplyTim said...

Andrew: Try this on for size:

Carolyn is doing as well as she can.

Andrew is doing as well as he can.

Have a good time.

Anguishing over it all is optional.


Summer said...

Then is now.

kario said...

I love that she is willing to be honest with you about her fears. I'm sorry you can't trust the relationship, but maybe so long as you two are honest and respectful with each other, you can find a way to make it work. Just don't ever try to change who you are to make it work. Unfortunately, the fact that you suffer with a mental illness makes you the sensitive, caring, sincere person you are, and probably some of who she fell in love with in the first place.

austere said...

step by step, ok?

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew,

Sorry in advance if you find this comment depressing :(

There's taking a risk, where something might not work out, and then there's ignoring a bad track record, where, like many times before, it won't work out.

On the other hand, there are women who would be your partner, but more likely not put you through a "willy-nilly back and forth relationship".

Carolyn excuses her previous hurtful behaviour towards by saying "You scare me". This does not sound remorseful, nor like she takes responsibility for the pain she caused you.

You already are a loveable man.

Look out for yourself!


Jay M. said...


Part of being in a loving relationship is understanding the ups and downs of your loved one. I know how hard it must be for you to have to deal with someone who only wants to be there for you sometimes.

It's tough because you love her. You love the time spent with her, going out, staying in, hearing about her days, all the good things, and most importantly, the bad ones too.

Carolyn says she loves you, but she has to understand that to love anyone--schizophrenic or not--means that you have to take the good with the bad. Real people aren't always happy, and successful, and lovey. People have bad days, and sick days, and problems, and family and everything.

I think it's very strong and courageous of you to be so upfront with her about your feelings. Don't change that, because it's something most people appreciate. It shouldn't scare someone who loves you.

Amy H said...

I couldn't have put it any more eloquently than Jay M. above. If someone actually loves you, they take the good with the bad. Not to mention, what is normal anyway? The more I get to know anyone I find out how completely strange they are to me. It's all just part of the human experience.

Take care of yourself,

DraMa said...

"For better or for worse, in sickness and in health...."

For Carolyn it seems as though it's just "For better and in health..."

She loves you in the good times but hasn't got the strength to see you thru the bad times. Honestly, it would take a special person to be able to cope. It's ok. Maybe it's not her... but there is someone out there that can. If it's not Carolyn, someone will find you.

M said...

Well, I hope you have a good time at dinner. Live in the moment, just live in the moment.

Proxima said...

Maybe you should post Jay M.'s comment on your fridge. I think a lot of people need to take that comment to heart.


BeeLee said...

First post didn't work (I don't think)... hope it's not a repeat. Anyway...

You know mental illness and you know relationships, as well as the rhetoric surrounding both.

We ALL are taking chances on everything daily and we ALL have a 50/50 chance of making a "right/wrong" decision.

If you make a choice to open your heart to Carolyn again, you have a 50/50 chance it was a right/wrong decision, if you make a choice not to allow that type of relationship with Carolyn, again a 50/50 chance that it was the right/wrong decision.

Choice - it is powerful, isn't it?

There's no way to "predict" an outcome in ANY decision. But what we DO have control over is our acceptance the consequences - good or bad - for these decisions. We can control ourselves.

I do wish you the best in whatever decisions you make, and will support you no matter your decision and regardless of the outcome. From reading the other posts, I'm sure readers are in agreement with this statement.

You are not one to play the "blame game" and hopefully most of us, if not all of us, will never play the "I told you so" game either.

Take care Andrew, no matter what.

PipeTobacco said...


I am being a realist, not a cynic:

Carolyn is a yo-yo'er. She will utilize your friendship/services when it is convienient for her and will disappear when it is in her best interest.

That can be either wonderfully convienient for you or a damn heartache. It is up to you to decide which is likely to be how you view it.

It can be convienient.... if you want to have a woman available once in a while to take a day or weekend trip with, or if you want a no-strings attached copulatory session. It CAN be convienient... but it will not likely be according to your timetable.

Or, it can be a damn heartache.... if you expect Carolyn to change, to suddenly realize that she was wrong and will not leave again, and again and again. It can be a heartache if you expect her to fullfill your needs of a true, committed companion in your journey through life.

So, at least in my opinion, you should just accept that she will use you as she sees fit, when it is convienient for her... and if you can avoid the emotional heartache, go for it and hang out with her WHILE you continue to search for a real life partner.


latibug said...

No words of advice from me...just have fun and eat lots of sushi for me...


greglo said...

Wow!!! great to see all this human experience concentrated in a few comments. Blogging is quite a way of developping quality relationships;
All the comments above made me think also of how dynamic a relationship can be. Dynamic and "educational" so to speak. Carolyn may evolve, as you can, and in time better understand each other. Mental illness is not always a requirement for someone to be scared to develop an emotional bond. Time, openness, honesty, respect help and nourish a relationship.... of these, we all know you have tons to offer.

Again, best wishes!!!!


March said...

Sometimes relationships thrive best when space is not a threat.

There is a man who has loved me for years, and I love him. We tried to live under the same roof, but the paranoia caused by his mental illness was threatening to destroy us both physically and emotionally. Recognizing that we both needed our own space, we parted, but stay in touch.

We are both committed to loving and encouraging each other, but the relationship remains healthy because we both have space to thrive.

There is an answer that will work for both of you. Set aside the "norms" and expectations, and appreciate one another and the love that exists between you.

Wishing you well,


Dorid said...

There is a difference between not loving someone and not being emotionally equipt to handle their illness. I'm not judging either you or Carolyn on this, only YOU and SHE know how this all plays out.

as for thinking it would be all hunky-dorey if not for your illness, I don't know that's so, and I doubt you do either.

what I DO know from reading your blogs, is that no matter how you feel at the time, your illness has not diminished you as a person.

Kristen said...

Hi, Andrew. It is time to post again to let us know you are OK.

It is also time for all of Andrew's readers to send him thoughts of love, strength, peace, healing, and connection to help him feel and know that all is right with the world, no matter what he is going through.

Each difficult time that we face in life is for learning, but it is hard to remember that when we are in the middle of it. Support from friends is always a help.

Let us send these thoughts of friendship to each other and to Andrew.

Peace to all.

d. chedwick bryant said...

what is normal anyway? supposedly normal people have plenty of problems really loving and dealing with life. I think you are right to be honest with her, and not blame yourself for how she feels or deals with things.