Learn to trust again, then you can love again

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - LIFE - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’m 41 and sin­gle since my break-up 10 years ago. I had a few re­la­tion­ships over the years that never lasted long be­cause I al­ways had my dis­abled child with me on week­ends and some­times dur­ing the week. She takes up most of my time, and I love her dearly. This sum­mer it’s been hit­ting me how alone I am. I feel I’m run­ning out of time, or sim­ply get­ting too old to find any­one. No one seem to be in­ter­ested. Ei­ther no one wants a dis­abled child in their lives, or it’s me and my prob­lems.

My re­la­tion­ship with my ex was full of ver­bal, emo­tional, and the odd time, phys­i­cal abuse. The ver­bal abuse only stopped last year. I find I can’t trust any­one. I don’t get paid much ei­ther. I love my job, and why should I quit just be­cause it doesn’t pay $18 a hour? I’m not cheap, I just spend most of my money on my child’s needs, so there’s no cash for me. I go to coun­selling my­self, just to talk to some­one. Most of my clos­est friends have left the city. The only thing that’s keep­ing me go­ing is my job and my child.

I want to grow old with some­one. I just feel too scared and too broke to find a new re­la­tion­ship. I’m get­ting close to my the end of my rope, but hold­ing on for my dear life and am not go­ing to give up be­cause I love life and who I am. Any sug­ges­tions for me? — Lonely, Near Down­town

Dear Lonely: Be­cause peo­ple move so much th­ese days, it’s im­por­tant to keep mak­ing new friend­ships all the time. If you’re not ready for a trust­ing love re­la­tion­ship yet, at least build up your friend­ships through work­ing with a char­ity when you’re not with your child. Good, kind peo­ple are at­tracted to char­ity work. As for your trust prob­lem, did you know that see­ing a psy­chi­a­trist is free on Medi­care, al­though there may be a wait­ing list. You need to work on re­gain­ing your trust in men be­fore you date any­one again, and how to pick a bet­ter man. Your physi­cian must re­fer you to a psy­chi­a­trist, so see your doc­tor soon and get that hap­pen­ing. Forty-one is way too young to give up on your love life.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This guy I was dat­ing hit my child, so I clocked him with a me­tal vase. He threat­ened to hit me, back, so I picked up the phone and yelled at him, “I’m di­alling 911 to re­port you. Zero tol­er­ance, you jerk! Get out of my house!” He ran, say­ing “I’ll be back to get you, $%&*.” I said, “The cops will get you — threats, and I have a wit­ness.” Women don’t have to take this crap any­more and I want you to tell them that. — Tougher Than Him, Transcona

Dear Tougher: One lit­tle thing — did you not know you could be charged with as­sault for “clock­ing” this guy? Be­cause he hit your child first, he prob­a­bly wouldn’t get much sym­pa­thy, but you should be aware force­ful words and di­alling 911 at the same time are smarter moves than any phys­i­cal blows dealt on your part. Some women, just like you, have hit some­one with a blunt ob­ject to scare him off, and accidentally killed the guy by mis­take, and had to pay for it. Now let’s talk about the guys you date. Con­sider not bring­ing them any­where around your child un­til they have been time-tested and found to be pa­tient and non-vi­o­lent with both adults and chil­dren. Yes, that could take a while.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met a strange man in a pa­tio café and we had a two-hour ex­is­ten­tial con­ver­sa­tion. I’m a phi­los­o­phy ma­jor and love a good dis­cus­sion. In the end I de­nounced him as a ni­hilist. To my shock and amaze­ment, he called me some very filthy words in re­turn. I got scared and swept out of the place. He left right be­hind me and tried to fol­low me. I got on a bus, and he got on be­hind me. I jumped off in a last minute dodge, and he missed me by a block. I ran back­wards to­wards the café and lost him com­pletely. Now I’m scared to go back to my favourite café. Why shouldn’t I go back. I have the right. — Supremely An­noyed, Co­ry­don Dis­trict

Dear An­noyed: This is Win­nipeg. If you can avoid that one café for a num­ber of weeks, no­body will be sit­ting out­side any more be­cause it will be too cold. Se­ri­ously, let’s talk about what led up to this pos­si­ble as­sault. You need to re­al­ize that play­ing ver­bal gym­nas­tics with a to­tal stranger, and then throw­ing out in­sults about his de­struc­tive­ness and to­tal lack of val­ues (ni­hilism is of­ten men­tioned in the same breath as Hitler) is a very bad idea. You were show­ing off your youth­ful in­tel­lect and play­ing the care­less bo­hemian with­out real­iz­ing this guy has a tem­per and he was not averse to chas­ing you down, and demon­strat­ing his dark side. This was much dif­fer­ent from a phi­los­o­phy class where you have other stu­dents and a pro­fes­sor to mod­er­ate the con­ver­sa­tion. In this case, you got per­son­ally in­volved “alone” with a to­tal stranger. You don’t know what he thought was go­ing on — per­haps a pre­lude to sex. Then you dumped an in­sult on him, and be­ing un­sta­ble any­way, he blew a gas­ket started com­ing af­ter you. Stay­ing away from en­coun­ters with strangers is a good rule, es­pe­cially when you still don’t have spidey senses that tell you early on that a per­son is giv­ing off strange vibes. Un­til that time, you could do with a no-non­sense women’s self-de­fence course like Wen-Do (943-2444).

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