A bit of mortification

From an old journal

I’ve had many opportunities to be cruel. I’ve taken most of them and proven my lack of “good” on many occasions. Betrayals, deceits, the whole lot. Someone told me once that I am wonderful to my friends, terrible to my girlfriends, and horrific to those I’m indifferent to. I understand I can be despicable at times, annoying constantly, and mean with regularity. I don’t mind these things too much. My friends still enjoy my company. However, I can look back and feel guilt for those people whom I’ve slighted wrongly. Those who might have become my closest of friends had I given them the opportunity. People who may have even loved me.

I have very animalistic concerns when it comes to partners; concerns which I’ve tried to overlook with many of my girlfriends, and which I can subjugate given enough time and energy. Even so, they are built into me deeply, and come into my mind often when appropriate. I’m sure it is based upon a care that my children will be as healthy as possible, and that should be a positive thing, but I have a nagging feeling that to voice my care for the unblemished health of my partner to others would seem taboo. When I meet a girl who has a family history of cancer, or heart disease, or short lifespan, headaches, bone disorders, skin ailments, or any other problem which may have a root in genetics I get standoffish. I worry about adding more problems into my bloodline that I already have.

She was one of the reasons I went to Rowan, though I suppose you could say it was for her ideals. Her group, her friends, the whole lot, seemed like the perfect place for me to seek out next. By the time I got there, though, I had all but forgotten. We found each other later, in many ways. In ways that neither of us had expected, or even desired, in the past. We were growing closer, something which is often considered a good sign, but there were problems.

She had problems, as I said. She wasn’t an immaculate specimen by any stretch of the word. In fact, she may have been the single most unhealthy woman I’d ever been with. Had modern technologies and medicines not been present, she surely wouldn’t have been living and interacting with me at that moment. And so, with those worries in mind, I severed the problem before it arrived. I ended things before they were started, no matter how good they could have been. A compatible match psychologically, personally, and emotionally we were, but physically, the worry was too great for me.

Did I tell her this? Did I share my very real concern with her and let her know that I had reasons for not wanting things to go farther? Of course not. Somewhere inside I justified myself by thinking that she wouldn’t want to hear so honest a comment from me, knowing that she would always live with her health, and having to fear that there were others out there like myself who would turn away from a good thing simply for that reason. I just vanished. I said nothing and that was the end of the story. Guilt built up, of course. But I have never contacted her since, nor will I. When I make a mistake, I like to live with it forever. A bit of masochism perhaps. Maybe like the whip of a monk, it is a bit of pain I keep around to remind myself of my sins.

I think, sometimes, that the reason I fought so hard to accept other girlfriend’s health issues was because of that girl. I didn’t want to give up another opportunity for my selfishness. I’m not sure how I stand on the issue now, though. Perhaps I’ll meet someone really healthy and I wont have to worry about it anymore.

Here’s hoping for that impeccable luck of mine to pan out a few more times.

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