Playing her the same way I played it with Sara in 1988 emotionally prepared me for the realities she presented to me. All she managed to get away with consisted of having several boyfriends in succession -boyfriends who weren't me- during the time she remained on my docket. Ho-hum.
I'll say it again: I played to the idea, right up front, that I could totally accept an outcome where we don't become boyfriend and girlfriend. I didn't just have that acceptance in my back pocket while in reality I tried to come off as some great guy who really, really tried first to make things work out for us, either. Nope, I stood willing to let any opportunity I saw to get with her slip through my fingers, for shits and grins if nothing else. Just to see what happened. Yep, "turning my back on love." I could write a how-to book on how a guy with a major mental illness can handle a tendency to fall in love with the wrong person. A tendency that greatly contributes to his mental and emotional instability should he be twenty years old, undiagnosed, and experiencing all of that for the first time. For the first time in all its psychotic intensity, that is.
Yeah, I called it "falling in love," During that whole time I dealt with her I took care to say things such as, "I care for her," or "I'm fond of her," but a lot of people would call what I experienced, one-sided though I now could label it; a lot of people would call my experience falling in love. Well, alright then. That might best describe the whole state of feeling utterly consumed by thoughts and feelings for someone who just...was never there, for all I can tell.
Yep, I acted in both of our best interests the whole time, just as I said I would. That definitely put me one up on her, in my opinion. I never considered it in her best interest for her to get some seriously wounding licks in on me, and that never happened. And I never considered it in my best interest, and I still don't, to try and "reciprocate" with hateful or hurtful attitudes and behaviors towards her. That never happened either, and won't happen, if I have anything to say about it, and I do. Game over. I am the winner. Nice try, punk. Now hit the showers.