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So after my little tirade with the now ex-girlfriend, heartbroken and beaten down, I talked to an old friend of mine of many years ‘Alan’. After hours and hours of talking with him all the way across the world, he found certain little aspects of the me that I had turned into since I had last saw him. He showed me that the reason she fell in love with me was the same reason that she inevitably left me. That led me to the realization, the revelation if you will, that somewhere I lost a part of myself. A very big and integral part of myself that, in fact, made me, me.

From the time I was 12 years old, I had some crazy sense of responsibility of everything and anyone around me. I don’t quite know where it came from, but I have an idea. I was an only child up until the age of 12 when my younger brother was born. My mother and step father were always fighting, and I do mean always. If a week went by without some blown up fight with threats of divorce, ruining each others life and etc. I thought I was living on another planet. It was so bad that even my stepfather and I came to physical violence between each other. Fortunately for me though, I was bigger than him when I turned 12, so I kinda had size on my side. I remember this one time, he and I were gripping each others collars one night yelling and screaming and swearing at each other. I had had enough of that, so I picked my foot up, put it square into his abdomen, and pushed with all I could muster, right out of a window. It was a good 6 or 7 foot fall that he landed flat on his back. Now this entire time we were fighting my mother was in a back bedroom calling the local police. Low and behold, the responding officer just so happened to be my D.A.R.E. instructor in school that week. Kinda fortunate in my opinion, for the fact that he considered me on of the best behaved and well educated, level headed students he had seen. So from then on, in my opinion, I had somehow fallen into a roll of ‘Protector’. Not just of myself and family, but of everyone around me that I cared about.

Now to me being a protector of any and all that you love, does not just translate into a physical realm of responsibility. It falls into a provider category as well. My entire life from those events on consisted of me doing everything in my human power to provide comfort for those around me. Be it a shoulder to cry on, an ear to hear problems, issues and concerns. And in some few cases financially to those that I cared about because they were in a tight spot, just as we all have been in the past. Everything in my entire adult life and then some, I have earned, bought and paid for with money from my own blood, sweat and tears. I worked late nights for my family. I gave up vacation time so that someone less fortunate and more deserving than me could spend holidays with their loved ones. The weight on the shoulders has always been my burden to possess.

Therefore, when the aforementioned events of my relationship unfolded, I was no longer in control. No longer responsible for anyone or anything. I felt useless, hopeless and helpless. I didn’t know what was happening. Having to rely on another person to help pay my bills, taking away responsibility of something. For the first time in my life, I had nothing to be responsible for. I broke down. Quietly, silently and unnoticed. Unnoticed at first that is.

After weeks of fruitless job searching, things with she and I came to a head. Because I shut down, she felt left out, closed out. I had become complacent, and taken what she and I had for granted. Now that I know what the issues were, I am working on them. Taking back my title of ‘Protector of All That Around Me’.

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