ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 194: The Big Problem
One day in the last year of Ernie’s life, as I was sweeping the tribal rug, he said to me: “When I’m gone you’ll mourn me for three weeks, then you’ll forget me.” I looked up at him briefly, then kept on sweeping the rug.
Every time Ernie revealed a little of what he was truly thinking and feeling about me and our marriage, a black curtain dropped in front of me. I blanked out. Or, I turned sweet. That’s when he’d say: “You think you can wrap me around your little finger.”
Together, Ernie and I solved many practical problems. How to write a novel. How to run a five-plex. How to win a Pick Six. How to live on very little. But we didn’t take on the Big Problem.
Mary, mentor of my Co-dependents Anonymous meeting, says: “The dependent one is hooked on . . . who knows what? The co-dependent one is hooked on the relationship.” Mary also says: “Co-dependents don’t love themselves. They need the other to feel loved, and they stay in the relationship even when it hurts.”
Even when it hurts. Yes. Even when it kills.
And it will.