True Colors: Artist or Imposter

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote,

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” 

In any language, in any variation of quotes and words, it all translates into the same feeling.  When the going gets tough, you really do find out who is truly in your corner.  Whom you can trust and which friends and family members truly, without question or hesitation, have your back.  100 percent.

I recently just witnessed the downfall of a relationship.  The male, let’s call him Pat, was the breadwinner for he and his girlfriend Carla.  A middle-aged couple who had been through a lot in life.  Between them both, they had conquered failed relationships, abandoned children, addiction, immigration, incarceration, unemployment, homelessness, and more.  After being together for a little over a decade, Pat was diagnosed with cancer.  Years of hard living, addiction, and past demons had caught up with him.  He went through the necessary surgeries and treatment – Carla by his side.  He could no longer work, so disability money started coming in, along with food stamps and they managed to get by.  Eventually they asked to move in with Pat’s sister, Jamie, because they could not afford to pay for a place of their own since they both were not working.  While Carla did not seem motivated to try and join the work force again, she was further stifled by allowing her green card to expire.  So here they were, two people who were living off of one person’s disability income and food stamps, struggling to get by.  Despite it all, Pat remained optimistic and Carla remained by his side.

The Holiday Season brought about some bad news for Pat.  Treatments were no longer working and the cancer had officially taken over his body.  He had slowly started to diminish in stature, strength, and will.  By the end of February, a social worker had stepped in and suggested hospice options.  Fast forward to today, where Pat is now undergoing in-home hospice, where they’re administering morphine to make him comfortable.  He is living out his final days on Earth in a fragile state and bed ridden.

This is where it happened – Carla showed everyone her true colors. 

The state stepped in and disability money was sent directly to them to cover hospice costs = Less money for Carla.

Pat cannot get up to use the bathroom on his own and is now in diapers = Not something that appeals to Carla.

Pat is considered a fall risk and can no longer leave the house = Not fun for Carla.

Those who witnessed the relationship had their speculations – Jamie, Pat’s  sister had gotten into verbal confrontations with Carla before regarding chores around the house and needing more help to take care of Pat. Each time there was a conversation that escalated into an argument, Pat would ALWAYS defend Carla and come to her defense.  Jamie knew that the last thing her brother needed was more stress, so she always let it go and ceded to her brother.  However, this past weekend, all was revealed and Carla could no longer hide her selfish ways.

On Saturday, she left the house around noon and didn’t come back.  Jamie tried calling her and she didn’t answer.  Jamie sent multiple texts with no response.  So Jamie stayed up all night by her brother’s bed side, as he lapsed in and out of consciousness.  Finally, the following morning found Jamie with this response from Carla:

“I can no longer see Pat in pain.  I’m sorry.”

There were a few more text exchanges between Jamie and Carla that day.  Other members of Pat’s family had stepped in and pleaded that she return because he was crying out for her. But Carla made it clear:  she was done.  Within 24 hours, she would make one last trip to Jamie’s house to retrieve her things, turn in the house key, and kiss Pat good-bye.  Her last text to Jamie was “Leave me alone.”  

Surprising?  Yes.  Unpredictable?  I don’t believe so.  There were some tell tale signs over the past decade that identified Carla as having this kind of behavior:

  1. She had young children that she left with her ex-husband.
  2. She did not worry about them enough to keep a job, therefore falling behind and delinquent on child support payment.
  3. She did not talk to her children EVER.  Not on the phone.  Not in person.  She hadn’t seen them since she had gotten together with Pat and that was over ten years ago.

Given this display of character over the past decade, Carla exhibited the potential to get up and leave when the shizz hit the fan.  But to have the fallout occur and witness it all was disappointing.  To watch Pat’s sister, mother, and nephew, sit in his presence while he cried out for her, knowing that she wasn’t coming back and had no intention to return and see him take his last breath here on Earth – that was tough.

But even more now than ever, I am convinced of the fact that we cannot be accountable for another person’s actions.  Does it hurt us when people lie?  Sure.

Does it hurt to know that we may not have seen someone’s true colors?  Absolutely.

But the most important thing that I hold onto in a moment like this is, a quote I saw somewhere a while ago:

“Forgive yourself for the blindness that let others betray you.  Sometimes a good heart doesn’t see the bad.”

You fell in love.  You loved hard.  You gave it all you had.  Unfortunately your partner wasn’t in it for the long run but tried to convince you otherwise.  Karma always pays her dues and Carla, I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before she comes for you…



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