Hopeless Cases and Lost Causes

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This is something I wrote during the summer, about a relationship I knew was doomed but still wasn't ready to abandon--I was so not ready to abandon it that I couldn't even acknowledge the real subject matter in the piece. I read it now and its intensity strikes me as strange, but then again, although there are situtions in my life I wouldn't describe as optimal, right now there's nothing I feel I should quit. Anyway, I came upon this piece and thought it might be better to post it when I don't feel all overwrought than when I do.

***

How many times do I have to say "I give up" before I believe it and mean it?

Or,

Why do I say "I give up" before I believe it and mean it?

One of my lessons in this incarnation must certainly be how to give up. I SUCK at it. We had all these lessons and lectures at church on "Enduring to the End," but what I really needed was some training in the fine art of judicious giving up, knowing when to quit, cutting my losses, calling it a day.

I knew within ten minutes of saying good-bye to my parents at the Missionary Training Center that I had made the biggest mistake of my life by going on a mission. But did I call my parents at that point and say, "Uh, yeah, Mom and Dad, I was wondering if I could catch a ride back to Arizona with you?" NO! I not only endured all freakin' nine weeks of the MTC, that "saccharin-coated hell-hole," as I had the good sense to call it at the time; I stayed on a mission for 18 and a half goddamn months, becoming more and more miserable, more and more ill, more and more damaged--but hey, I endured to the end of my mission and got a freakin' honorable release. It took me another three years to admit that I could not remain a Mormon, three years of struggle and failure and despair.

So why didn't I give up?

Because I didn't want to seem like a quitter.

That's a big reason I stayed in grad school and finished my dissertation: I didn't know how not to endure to the end.

I admit I'm happier with the PhD than the certificate of release signed by my mission president.

A therapist once told me that in the case of most marriages that end within three years, the people involved know BEFORE the wedding that it's a mistake, but it takes them three years of suffering and misery to admit it.

Why is it so hard?

Supposedly Saint Jude, who was martyred along with Saint Simon by being clubbed to death in Persia, is the patron saint of Lost Causes and Hopeless Cases. My book on patron saints states that "Because his name--Judas--is identical to that of the infamous disciple who betrayed Christ, this Saint was long neglected by the Faithful as an object of veneration. Consequently, he was available to take interest in even the most impossible, hopeless, or desperate cases."

I think he must be mine.

But who, WHO is the patron saint of cutting your bleedin' losses?

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on November 15, 2005 7:48 AM.

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