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I used to buy an extra ticket to everything, for an eventual partner who never existed. When I was married, my husband would join me for some things, but his attitude toward anything I enjoyed was so negative that I stopped wanting him to go with me. So I stopped doing things I enjoy at all.

When I started seeing Nandi, I would buy an extra seat to anything I wanted to do, on the offhand chance he would actually join me. He never would. He even resented the last minute things he agreed to do with me like, trying a new restaurant or just joining me on errands. Actually joining me at a planned event was out of the question. His excuse was needing to be home with his kids and not being able to plan ahead because of them. But it never stopped him going to bars late at night and texting me about the flirtatious waitresses there. And if I asked him to meet me at a bar? He couldn’t, of course – the kids. But I would join him at things he had planned, out of town trips for martial arts events, that sort of thing. They were never about me or us – they were about something he wanted to do and I was just along for the ride. 

Later, when Mac came along, he would do things with me sometimes. I paid for trips out of town, concerts, all kinds of things, and he loved every plan. He didn’t make it to most of them because he would initiate a fight or just disappear the day of, and go missing for days or weeks, then claim illness or a drug bender. So I wouldn’t go either. Or if he did go, he would have a drug-induced psychotic episode and create huge drama that caused us to have to leave. So much wasted money buying seats and trips for us that never got used. The last one, he staged a huge fight the day before a concert I had bought us tickets for. I was too upset to go, so the tickets were wasted, as usual. Late night the day of the concert, I saw him post about having gone and how great it was. I don’t even believe he had gone – it was definitely intended for me to see it and honestly how would he have gotten tickets? He had no job, no money, and they were sold out long before. The story that a friend took him could have been true, but I knew it wasn’t. He had long before admitted that he often posted pretending to have been at events just so it would look like he had a life. 

After that, I would just try to plan things with friends. Sometimes it worked, but most of the larger ticket items just ended up never happening because no one could commit to go or not. 

I didn’t want to keep wasting my time and money on tickets for two that never got used, so I just stopped planning to do things. 

For the brief time I was seeing Caelus, I would suggest things – always something I could arrange, of course. Someone gave me tickets to this event, we should go. There’s a restaurant I can take him for his birthday. He would say “that might be fun sometime,” but it was never the right time. He never took me anywhere and never did anything with me outside his house. When we started coming out of this pandemic, I still considered making space for him in things I wanted to plan, just in case he came around. I resisted, of course. I no longer am willing to make space for someone who doesn’t exist or someone who doesn’t want to be in the space I create for them. 

From now on I plan things for no one but myself, and I do things for myself and with myself alone. Sure, I’ll offer friends to join me if it makes sense, but I make my plans without waiting for their decision if it’s not forthcoming.

I am entering a loving and supportive relationship with myself, and I will give myself every single ounce of the love and care that I used to offer up to others. 

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