She met Friend at her first real job out of college, maybe a year or two in. She was already married. She would go to lunch with Friend frequently but they did not see each other outside of work.

When she moved to a new job, it was near where Friend lived so they would meet for dinner, or sometimes lunch if Friend was off work.

Friend went through a divorce. Then breast cancer. The son went to high school. Then college. Then the breast cancer was back in another location.

As Friend told her of the recurrence, Friend mentioned that it was a good thing the divorce was final before the breast cancer wad found the first time so Friend had not had to deal with the ex’s BS.

Wow. As that sunk in, she felt a little selfish. And told Friend what had happened in her head. And Friend said it’s not selfish; it’s time to think about what you need.

And what had happened in her head was that she thought, if I have a major health issue, a likely possibility with her unpredictable invisible disease, would she want him to be there? And she immediately thought how much harder it would be to have him there than not. And it was like having the air knocked out of her.

This man, who had been with her through so much, had been so unsupportive in recent years that she doesn’t think he will be supportive or helpful when the time comes. There are exceptions but she thinks of him trying to not be there for her thyroid surgery. Sending his dad with her for her eyelid surgery. Expecting her to just do things and not have fatigue or be worn out. A friend asking if he was helping her when she was sick and the only thing she could think of was that he brought her a glass of orange juice.

Then there was the recent hunting trip where he had an elk processed, quite a bit into sausages and similar things that have seasoning added. When she asked for an ingredient list, he was surprised, like he didn’t know she had food allergies. Then he got a partial list, enough that she was uncomfortable eating any of it. So she said she was not planning to cook anything she couldn’t eat. He and his parents were shocked by her statement. Her friends couldn’t understand why she would be expected to cook anything she couldn’t eat.

As they discussed all of this, Friend said something she was unable to forget. “He disregards you. It’s like he doesn’t think of you.” And she wondered how someone who disregards her will ever take care of her or support her.

Disregard

“But if a person disregards your feelings…they need to go.”

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