The gift of confidence
I was single when I got sick. I didn’t have a partner and was always afraid of men’s reaction to my condition. I talk about George [my stoma] openly to my family, my friends, my colleagues. I never hide his existence. I also once spoke about George to a date and never saw him again…though I don’t know if George was to blame or we simply weren’t compatible.
I met him on a dating website. Handsome, fortyish, self-assured, confident – my type. He inspired confidence in me [for myself]. I told him about my stoma on the first night we met as he accompanied me home. He was open to all of it. He asked great questions. He was interested in everything I’d gone through. He showed a genuine interest in learning all about George.
We went out for a while. Our relationship didn’t last because of our busy lives and our mutual lack of time. George didn’t have anything to do with our parting. I knew from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be a serious, long-term relationship. After a while, I wanted more. I wanted real feelings and an emotional connection. Our relationship wasn’t enough for me anymore. And so, we drifted apart.
I grew from the experience of him. He taught me that I could be loved, that I deserved to be loved and that I should never settle for the first guy I meet. Before meeting him I really thought I had rediscovered my self-confidence, but I know now that he gave it back to me. It was a most beautiful gift. Thank you.
Translated from French by Jane Loignon
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