Givers and Takers
Something pretty profound shifted in me when Espen got so sick in February. The trauma of the events that unfolded in the PICU shook me to my core. I have never associated with combat veterans, but after we were discharged, I got a glimpse into that world of trauma and the feeling to go back because it was comfortable. I can't remember why, but at one point after he was discharged, I was near the hospital and felt the need to walk in and seek some of the docs and nurses that had treated him, perhaps in the hallways. It was bizarre.
During the more acute times, I found myself categorizing people as givers or takers, and basically refusing to serve takers. What I mean by that is there are people in my life, who take more than they give. All relationships are give and take, but these particular set more often take. In the past I was willing to play the role of the "good friend," being there for them to the nth degree. When he got sick and I was in crisis mode, I stopped responding to them. And even now, when Espen is healthy and I'm feeling 90% normal, I've continue to stop responding to them. I've noticed the dynamics of our relationship and just decided to opt out. To let them figure it out or seek someone else to rescue them.
It's been liberating. I feel like the bandwidth previously eaten up by solving everyone else's crises is now spent on giving back to the friends that give more than they take, and for managing my own health. Good stuff, you guys.