Friday, February 10, 2012

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy: Endings

I feel surprisingly better today. Warning: Super long post today. I’m venting.

Without further ado… I am well and thoroughly done with Friend and his wife. I know I came to this conclusion last week, and I meant that, but I had planned on just sort of letting it fade off into nothingness. Yeah, so in actuality I ended up slamming the door shut on it. I was done, but I hadn’t told him that, and was still open to the idea of discussing what the problems were. I got myself back into a more emotionally reasonable place, not hyper emotional, not dissociated and detached, just sort of normal. I explained with greater accuracy how I felt last year, that I’d been healing all this time and that I had needed certain boundaries in our friendship. I have absolutely no impulse control when it comes to physical contact. In the moment all I know is that it feels good and I want to feel good, however the emotional attachments I have to that kind of physical affection are not healthy when I’m trying to focus on simply friendship and not dredge up past romantic feelings. By not allowing physical contact for the last 4 or 5 months in our friendship I was really coming to a better place and was happy with the direction things were going. The last time I was over I was actually in a very good place mentally and emotionally, and relaxed enough to kick back with Friend on the couch. Of course, you may remember, that as soon as I did this he began massaging my feet and my calves and running his hands up and down my legs all the way up past my knees. This is what triggered my emotional flip out on him. I explained that. In just about those term. These are boundaries I need and I needed him to not cross them.  At the end I also told him that I have a hard time talking about things like this, because I’m afraid that if I express my emotional needs, people will judge me poorly and leave me. I have a lot of abandonment trauma so it’s difficult for me to place myself into an emotionally vulnerable position with people.

So what did he respond with?

For the last year you let me believe things were ok. You came over, you hung out, we talked all the time. You even seemed to be getting along just fine with [the wife]. I didn't assume you were close to her but you seemed to like talking and were friendly to her. But then I find out it was all a lie.

I'm hurt and, honestly, confused. Right now my main thought is, it shouldn't be this hard to be friends with someone. I shouldn't have to feel like I'm constantly walking on eggshells and dancing around issues I wasn't even told existed.
I need time, and I need space to sort things out. We aren't healthy for one another and I don't know if we ever will be.  Please don't contact me anymore.
-Friend-

Who wants to guess how I felt after that? Pissed. The Fuck. Off. Of course I didn’t listen to him either. I did reply pretty impulsively but if anyone has ever seen me ticked off before, my clarity of mind is really pretty astounding. Here’s what I wrote if you’re interested…


Tell yourself whatever you need to in order to make yourself feel better.

I told you quite a long time ago how I felt about your wife. In fact I think I still have that conversation. At this time last year I told you how hurt I was {by what happened}. That I still wanted you in my life, but that I wasn't dumping my emotional turmoil on you, wasn't a lie, it was a lack of trust in our friendship and something I chose to work on in therapy instead. It was very personal grief that I do not feel comfortable sharing with people.  You like to push away uncomfortable things, but that doesn't mean you weren't informed.

You're right, it shouldn't be so hard. It's been very difficult for me for the entire last year and yet I continued to give you and your wife a chance. I felt this was worth it even though you hurt me terribly.  I was civil and acted like an adult, instead of crying over something that I knew couldn't be changed, nor wanted to change after some time had passed and was healing. Most of the time I did enjoy hanging out with you, I did enjoy your company. We had fun and shared a lot of good times.  Life throws hurdles at people, I was dealing with them for the whole of last year, making things work and healing. You can't seem to be presented with them for even a couple weeks without fleeing.

My first letter was letting go of feelings that I had a long time ago. I haven't constantly held onto these feelings, but when you triggered me with your actions the last time I was over, they did come flooding back. It was time for me to deal with them, with you, now that I thought we were in a stable place and I have been in a better place mentally. I needed to let those go in order to move back into a place that was ok.

After everything we've been through and been there for each other with, I get one half assed e-mail and an "I can't deal with the consequences of my actions so please don't make me face myself" letter? I'm sorry I ever loved  you. I'm sorry I trusted you. I'm sorry that I cared so much about our friendship that I put my feelings aside in order to continue being friends with you. All while I actually made an effort to bring myself to a place where I could truly appreciate what we had again. Progress that I was making beautifully, btw, for the last 4 or 5 months now.

Grief over the loss of an intimate connection is a natural and painful human experience. I'm sorry that I couldn't get over mine on a time table that was more acceptable to you. I am allowed to grieve. I am allowed to be in pain. I was well and truly healing from these things. You triggered me, I decided it was finally time to get this out of my system, so that we could deal with it and avoid it happening again in the future. I have every right to talk when I am ready to talk. And not before.

That I didn't tell you every emotion that was going through my mind at every moment was not a lie. That was my business. Business that you did not have any right to. What goes on with me, is my privilege to tell people. You have no entitlement to my thoughts or emotions. It's not a lie, to not trust someone with vulnerable feelings because they've proven that they cannot be trusted to care for you. I may have still been hurting at points, but that never changed the fact that I still valued our friendship.  I would not have bothered to bring any of this up, I would have simply walked away, if I didn't feel there was some value left in this. Being friends, I believed that if I told you about my issues, you would be willing to talk to me about them and work through them. Clearly I overestimated you.

Trying to turn this around on me, and make it my fault, is passive-aggressive and abusive. That is not ok and frankly I'm disgusted. I have had enough abusive people in my life and I didn't expect that of you.

You don't usually walk away from people? I've seen you do nothing but this over and over. I suppose I shouldn't expect you to treat me any better.

"Don't contact me again". Please learn to be an adult and handle your problems directly instead of constantly running away from them. The passive aggressive facebooking is unnecessary as well.
I think you've well and truly proved the kind of person you are at this point. My taste in people is tragic. My problem is I believe people. I give people too much of a chance. I hear what people say and give them the benefit of the doubt that they can actually be the kind of person they say they are. Except people rarely have even a mildly accurate picture of themselves. They glorify themselves in their own mind and then can't deal with reality when it shows them the truth in their own mirror. I know I have problems, I know I'm far from a perfect person, I know I make mistakes, but at least I'm not afraid to face them, or myself.

I'm sorry I wasted so much of my life believing you were someone you are not.

Good-bye

Anyways. So it didn’t end how I was expecting it to, but after the initial shock of it I feel better. Therapist was shocked at his response considering how I described him so highly. I think my idealization phase is over. The man is a coward. Whenever life throws anything even remotely difficult into his path, his solution is to turn tail and run away until the problem disappears. Therapist was proud of me for my final response to him though. I sent it to Roommate as well and, having much the same experience with him, thought it was well stated. I put up with a lot. A LOT. Of peoples bullshit. Once I’m done though. I’m done. And I don’t hold back.
Therapist wishes that he could have shown more emotional maturity instead of running away from his feelings. She thinks his reaction to what I’ve written him is because it forces him to face aspects of himself that he tries to deny. He likes to tell himself and others that he has this crazy code of honor and duty. Except that only applies when things are taking care of themselves. Honor comes from doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult to do. Which he apparently isn’t capable of.  He wants to believe things of himself, but I very clearly showed him how he is not these things by the way he acts and by the way he’s treated me. 
She also thinks that he was afraid I would walk away so was trying to be the one that left first. Hah, sorry buddy. Too late.
She’s worried that I’ll personalize this. How do I not personalize this? I was good enough to fuck. Good enough to play around with when times were good and good enough to take care of everything he needed when he needed something because his wife sure wasn’t going to do it for him. But when I needed something in order to fix a problem, sorry, that’s too much trouble. Friendship? Doesn’t sound like it.
She thinks that I may have overloaded his senses. He may be reacting defensively and lashing out, but in time he may revisit my words and realize the reality of the situation and hopefully offer an apology. I certainly hope not. She thinks it would have been better had he said he needed time to process everything but would get back to me in a month or two when he had time to really process. I think that would have been worse. The uncertainty, the guessing, that’s the bad part. When I don’t have a solid answer, that’s when I can’t stop the ruminations. No thanks. Even if he’d wanted to take his time, I don’t need to hold out hope for something that hasn’t been good for me. A solid decision is better for me. Plus, the longer we don’t talk, the more of a stranger he’ll feel to me. He already feels like someone I barely know. He’s a familiar face and name but I don’t have any feelings directly attached to our interactions. Not right now. And the longer he’s out of my life, the harder it’s going to be for me to remember why I cared in the first place. There’s a reason a lack of object constancy is a defense mechanism.
Also, the very last thing I said in my previous letter was essentially, “You know I have abandonment trauma, this is the worst thing that could possibly happen”. Ok, I’d already made the decision to leave so this may have been a bit manipulative on my part because I did want to see how he’d react. I was honestly expecting some kind of discussion because previously he’d said he wanted to work on things. I wasn’t expecting: This is too much effort, good-bye. Asshat. So when Therapist thinks he may eventually come back around and offer an apology, all I have to say to that is ‘fuck you’. This was a deliberate statement of “I want to hurt you”.  There is no coming back from that.
None of it matters anyways. Therapist kept asking me how I feel. I don’t. All she would do is nod. This is how I deal with abandonment. I shut down. I retreat to a place inside to protect myself from the pain. This is something I should have done a long time ago though. I’ve been on the verge of walking away from this friendship so many times but letting go is terrifying. Sometimes having painful conversations, getting awful responses, is the best thing that can happen. It made it very easy for me to let go and now I don’t have to waver between figuring out if I should stay or if I should go.
"Jerk" = proof of emotional restraint.
I played the “I hate [how] you [treat me], I can’t leave” game with him for a really long time. The contradiction there is what drives me to madness. Passing into, “I hate you, get the fuck out of my life”… feels much better. There’s no discrepant emotions there.
I spent so much time, so much money, doing stuff for them. Therapist kept trying to get me to remember the good aspects of our friendship; the things I can positively take away. I don’t want to remember the good things right now. Right now I want to be angry.
In retrospect I do realize this is me only seeing him in a solid black light, but it’s emotionally less painful to do so. When I’ve had a little time to process things I’ll start trying to remember the good things and see if I can actually remember the positive emotions associated with that. Attempt to not split this thing up? Right now, I just can’t. Remembering that someone else has their good qualities too, makes me think about how I wasn’t good enough for them. It makes me focus on what is so bad about me that they could let go so easily. Angry is better. Black is better. For now.
I’m getting the urge to move my life again. I figure when it comes time that I decide I can’t live in New York anymore it’ll be one less tie binding me here. The people here are just, shitty. Roommate is a really decent person. I know they exist, but the shear number of people here just makes it hard to weed through the douchebags. I get so tired of trying with people. All I want, is some reciprocity. Is it really too much to ask that someone care about me in a way that is comparable to how I care about them?

Therapy last night was a lot of me being very pissed off, gnashing my teeth, and wiping my hands of stupid people forever. Ya know what, letting go isn’t that scary after all. At least not in this case. Being full of rage probably helps.
I went home after therapy and made Tech-Boy a strawberry-rhubarb pie (his favorite). It’s his birthday tomorrow =) The plan is to go out of state. We shall see, we shall see. He was surprisingly receptive to the whole debacle this week. I mean, I toned it down and didn’t get into a ton of detail because that’s a long ass story. But when I thanked him for listening he just smiled and quoted somebody that said “We have two ears and one mouth for a reason… because listening is twice as important.” Or something along those lines. He also didn’t try to “fix” the problem. Just let me talk.
I feel relieved.

8 comments:

  1. Haven. OK, first, I've been waiting for this and am happy to see your reactions. Hoo-rah, baby. The healthiness of your thoughts and actions is remarkable.

    Your therapist's thoughts seem confusing to me, however. "She thinks you overloaded his senses?" Did you place your creamy-skinned legs seductively in the fucker's face, and with pouty lips and Devilish smile, say, "Would you?"

    This guy is a weak-hearted goat fucker and because he still pretends he's OK, he's way nuttier than you or me.

    Keep on truckin', Haven.

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    1. Haha, thanks Mooner. I agree. He is a weak hearted fucker and a coward. I'm much better off without him. I just wish it hadn't taken me so damn long to figure that out.

      Sometimes it takes quite some time for me to make the best decision, but that I'm able to do it [eventually] is definitely a HUGE step in a good direction.

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  2. Tech Boy cared enough to listen. Thats a good thing.

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    1. Definitely. I'm still just kind of shocked that Friend responded like this. My taste in people is really tragic sometimes.

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  3. Sorry, but that guy is totally toying with you. How dare he touch your legs??? FYI-- don't be surprised if feelings come flooding back. Be gentle and kind to yourself. You will most likely need a time to heal and frankly, (I should now refer to myself as NONBPD MOM)it is ok, to feel something now, then, 5 years from now. If you don't great. If you do. That is what life is all about. You know that song, "Don't look back got a new direction,
    I loved you once, needed protection
    You're still a part of everything I do
    You're on my heart just like a tattoo" I do love that song. Your life and who you are is part of everything you experience. Good, bad, ugly and I'll add, the beautiful. Here's to more beautiful moments ahead, (while the painful ones will come and go as the tide does)

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    1. Being gentle and kind with myself is something I struggle with. Therapist often tells me I'm harder on myself than anyone else in my life ever could be. I'm trying though. You're much more understanding about the fact that sometimes feelings come and go than my supposed best Friend. ::sigh::.

      ::smiles:: That song and your words are very comforting. Thank you. Things I must remind myself to keep in my thoughts.

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  4. New to your blog and have to say I can't wait to find time to read more...
    Loved this letter and love the way you express yourself and let it out but I fear that this jerk will not be able to grasp or process your shared reality and take responsibility for his actions in this relationship.It is ok to be on different pages with the same person but it is impossibe if at the same time we are reading a different book!!! Move on and find someone who has a genuine shared interest in sharing the same book as you...You deserve that. You are worth that!!!!

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    1. Welcome and glad to have you. Unfortunately you were quite right and he wasn't capable of grasping the reality we shared. Actually, let me rephrase that, he was capable, but too cowardly. So maybe he wasn't capable. idk. Thank you for you kind words. You're right, it's all about finding someone that has a genuine shared interest in the relationship between you =)

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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