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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Need perspective

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Author Topic: Need perspective
Skeleton
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Just trying to organise my thoughts and describe what's troubling me.

My last relationship was very turbulent. I met her four years before our first date. It took me another three to strike up a conversation on the internet, and we became close. We were both in other relationships at the time, and when they each ended within weeks of each other.. She slept with somebody else. I got over it, we met. After four or five very intense meetings she called it off, stating that she wished to remain friends. Her reasons were related to her suffering from mental illness and the fear thereof. I inquired as to the possibility of continuing our friendship if I were to pursue another relationship, and she blocked my social media by way of response. I thought I could match her silence but several other girls (I thought this would be good medicine) did not produce in me the things I felt for her. I isolated myself, and in an act of desperation contacted her again via text message. We resumed some kind of a relationship on confusing terms, had another handful of meetings over the course of several months during which I continued to fall for her more deeply than before. My interest in other women dwindled away into nothing.

My life was in great disorder at the time. I had spent a few years too long at university and was still failing to attend lectures or complete coursework, studying a subject that nevertheless may have lead to a lucrative career and I had no small talent in. Weeks before my final exams she cut off contact with me again, stating that she needed somebody to look after her, to keep her safe from the world and herself and couldn't wait for me to be ready. I passed all my exams (improbably I am told) and attended a concert we had each already bought tickets to. I sent her a text message beforehand asking if she'd be there, her reply being 'I have a boyfriend'. With her out of my life, so was all my motivation to better myself. I failed to produce a dissertation or find work.

Nearly two years later, my disinterest in other girls remained, and the memory of her was distant enough to be no more painful than any one of a number of other failed relationships further in the past, with which I am quite able to cope. I made plans to go on with my life and reluctantly cultivated a little ambition. Predictably however, she unblocked me on social media and contacted me. At first attempting to make small talk - I was furious - then responding to my rebuttals with great attention and understanding, allowing my sarcastic taunts. She showed great interest in me, concern for me, and offered sympathy and understanding I simply do not get elsewhere. Then came the confession of unhappiness. Allusions toward unhappiness with the same partner she had been living with all this time, then explicit reports of abuse, a suicide threat. I couldn't bring myself to leave her to her own devices that night, and during the exchange (still angry on my part) I did imply that I still loved her.

Months go by. I tried to be as frank as possible, admitting that I could not help the fact that despite myself I was falling for her yet again, that her leaving me was difficult to forgive, but I could certainly do it if she would at once admit to her mistake and attempt to rectify it. I received no definite answers but was still unable to tear myself away from her. In the meantime my anger continued to grow where I had previously managed to attain calm. Anger, disgust, jealousy, hatred - toxic weeds growing up between the strangled flowers I still loved, if you'll forgive the metaphor.

Recently, in the last week or so she gave some incomplete description of some distress he had subjected her to. She claims she has finally obtained the resolution to leave him, mentioning also that she's afraid to. I asked her to make me a promise and she did, though the question of when is still undecided.

I don't know what to expect. I resent her so much for having done this to us both, for the sake of a well muscled narcissist she barely knew. It's the antithesis of everything I believe in, I would be humiliated to treat her generously after this and if I didn't I'd just be another face of her tormentor. I don't take any pleasure in the fact that she too has suffered for her decision but I'm still deeply angered. Every day is another kick in the nuts.

I had a previous relationship that was built over a foundation mixed of attraction and resentment and I at first denied her the full measure of my affection but my coolness waned over time. In the meantime, she had grown to accept it. While I am still a close friend of hers, all the passion between us suffocated. Perhaps it was a mistake to let that happen, but no less strong an argument could be made that I should have abandoned the poisoned love long before then. When I look back on that relationship however I have no regrets. One difference is that the intensity of my feeling was not so great in either direction as in this case.

Things to consider:
1) I am very isolated. I haven't made a new friend in years. I maintain some friendships but my social activities don't involve introductions to women. This is unlikely to change soon.
2) I am handsome, intelligent, well behaved and no coward. I need only earn some money and I'm sure I'll have a fairly broad appeal.
3) I am very picky. It takes an unusual personality to attract my interest. I am unlikely to meet anyone I find particularly attractive even if I were to expand my social circles considerably. It is however merely unlikely, I have fallen in love several times in my life under different circumstances, it is not unreasonable to propose that given sufficient time I may do so again, with greater age and wisdom to support me. Given my propensity for retreating from the world however, it may well be equally likely that I will merely continue to suppress any desire for a relationship and simply get older by myself as I have been doing since she left me.

If I love her I should embrace it. If she has hurt and disrespected me I should forget her. I don't know the answer.

If I were a fencer and this were a bygone age I would challenge him to a duel and be done with it.

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Redskies
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I'm not quite sure, but I think you're asking for our input on your situation?

First, I don't think it's usually helpful to split these things into an "I love her" or "she hurt me" dichotomy. Both things can be true at the same time, and even when only one is true that certainly doesn't give us an answer about what we should do.

You're describing having a lot of negative feelings towards her and about your relationship with her. Usually, it's not possible to form - or re-form - a positive, healthy relationship with someone when we're bringing in such negative feelings.

It sounds like you feel that she did something wrong when she broke things off with you before. While it certainly sounds like she did not do that as kindly as she might have, I have to question the belief that her breaking things off was wrong. It certainly stinks when someone we like, or love, breaks things off with us, particularly if they then pursue things with someone who doesn't seem to treat them well. But that's something each person gets to choose to do, and it's not something they're doing to a collective "you" - it's something they're deciding for their own life.

I certainly understand you being angry at the person she lives with if he's abusing her. Even so, duelling him - or making this in any way about you and him - isn't a thing that would help this situation, and it doesn't have any place in the situation. Her relationship with him, and her well-being in that relationship, is about her, and she should be the person making and acting on decisions about her own life. As she's said to you he's abusing her and that she's scared to leave, if you want to help her out in any way, the very best thing I can suggest to you is that you suggest to her that she contact a domestic violence service and ask for their help. They're experts at helping people safely leave an abusive situation. From your variety of English, I think you might be UK-based? If so, either or both of these organisations would be good to suggest to her: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/ and http://refuge.org.uk/

For you, I'd suggest that trying to pursue a relationship with a particular person because you may not meet someone else isn't likely to make you happy and work out well in the long run. Relationships tend to feel really good, and go on feeling really good, when everyone in them is in them because they wholeheartedly want to be in That relationship, with That person. Relationships that are make-do, or because we don't want to be alone, or when we feel we love someone but there's a giant BUT like lasting resentment? - tend not to work out well, and are often hurtful for everyone in them.

I'm not sure if you're choosing to have somewhat limited social interaction, or if it's something you feel like you're stuck with. Obviously, you get to choose that if it's what you want, but if it's something you'd like to change, it does sound like you might benefit from having more and/or broader social contact, and we'd be happy to talk about that with you if you'd like.

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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acb
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Hi Skeleton!

I'm just wondering - are you just looking for a public space to organise your thoughts, or are there some specific questions you would like answers to? I'm not entirely sure what sort of feedback you're looking for and wanted to check [Smile] .

That said, just in general I would mention that it sounds like this woman is going through quite a tough time of it now herself and maybe she might not be ready to leap straight into what sounds to be, from your perspective, quite an intense relationship. What she wants is worth also factoring into your expectations before you go making any decisions about this without her.

This is clearly something that has been going on for some time between the two of you and something that provokes a lot of emotion in you. With 'every day being another kick in the nuts' it might be worth taking a gander at this article on self care too.

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/abuse_assault/selfcare_a_la_carte

I hope some of that is helpful. Just shout if there was something more specific you were after!

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Skeleton
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Thankyou for responding. I will contend a few points. If I come across argumentative it is because I'm having difficulty reconciling them for myself.

As for feeling wronged. I fluctuate on this one. I could have accepted that I had nothing to reproach her with if she had stuck to her decision. Instead it transpires she never stopped missing me, and never lost her feelings for me. If we were to be reconciled completely what would that imply? Most people would agree they were wronged if their partner spent one night with someone else. What could you make of two years? I feel I was abandoned and betrayed.

I am something of a hypocrite here as I usually argue strongly that women should be free to make their own choices and it shouldn't be held against them if they've been in uneven relationships, as they were the victims, our culture normalises and sugar coats it and it's insult to injury.

But when I'm confronted with it so personally I'm furious. Shouldn't I be? Where does that anger go? Who am I to be angry with? It was her decision and it should have been so obvious. Instead she tried to be 'normal' (her words) and have a 'normal' boyfriend. A small part of me does hate her for it.

Recently, after the incident the other week she revealed some of her situation to friends, who have offered her help, which I am relieved about. I gather that it's not outright physical abuse and thus he does not have to answer to the law, but she's a very vulnerable person and I am quite sure he is doing untold damage to her mental health. The line about a duel was a joke but I feel protective of her and do occasionally find myself indulging in violent fantasies of retribution. I have much fewer misgivings about using his mental image as an effigy to burn in the anger I feel. There's no chance I'd enact them but they come unbidden, and I don't want violent fantasies occupying my thoughts.

My opinions and experiences are that giving up a particular person who you have strongly established feelings for in favour of the idea of 'other girls' in the abstract is usually an extremely foolish thing to do. When I see other people considering it I tend to think they're idiots.

Of all the thousands of people I've met in my life, I still want her over any of the others. There's still too much that I love about her to be able to consciously reject her even now. But gods does it sting. I wanted to express myself somehow. I talk to her a lot and she knows I'm upset but I guess I needed a good whine and I'm not going to whine about it at this length to her.

On the other thing. I've always been more introverted and tended to settle on small groups of good friends rather than large dynamic groups, but it got worse since being older and unemployed. After a while it's easier to believe that you're happier and more at peace in your very small, static world and perhaps that's even true. Either way, I'm both stuck and unmotivated. Thoughts of her are what's been disturbing the peace of mind I'd obtained.

Her reappearance in my life, while it heralded a mixture of feelings, also coincided with a lift in my depression. I'm not certain if that's coincidence, but I started slipping again when it began to seem doubtful that she'd help herself out of the odious situation she got herself into. I have her promise now, I want to believe she'll keep it.

It's intolerable to me that I should suffer to be her well meaning but impotent friend while she dithers and stalls but nor can I simply say 'not my problem' and forget all about it.

There has been an awful lot of rant inside me waiting to get out.

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Skeleton
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quote:
Originally posted by acb:
Hi Skeleton!

I'm just wondering - are you just looking for a public space to organise your thoughts, or are there some specific questions you would like answers to? I'm not entirely sure what sort of feedback you're looking for and wanted to check [Smile] .

That said, just in general I would mention that it sounds like this woman is going through quite a tough time of it now herself and maybe she might not be ready to leap straight into what sounds to be, from your perspective, quite an intense relationship. What she wants is worth also factoring into your expectations before you go making any decisions about this without her.

Both really. I don't have specific questions as such but it's a little more cathartic if people respond and show some evidence of understanding. It's troubling me and it's difficult to wrap my head around, so input is appreciated (not that I'll necessarily agree!).

I wouldn't be wanting to straightaway resume a sexual relationship with her after she gets out of her current one (in fact I think I'd try my best to avoid it) but it's painfully obvious that we are both, in some sense, very much still in love. There's a lot of evidence for that, but I'd prefer you took my word for it.

I guess I do have a question. Am I right to be angry? Because I am so very angry.

[ 07-18-2014, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: Skeleton ]

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Karybu
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There is no right or wrong with emotions, really - you get to feel how you feel. If you're angry, then that's fine: you're angry.

One thing that's standing out for me in your posts is that you're finding it hard to reconcile the fact that she chose to be in a relationship with someone else when she still had feelings for you. While our feelings toward someone certainly are a big factor in how we relate to them, they are not the only factor. We can have very strong feelings towards someone, and still recognize that perhaps now is not the best time to be in a romantic relationship with them, for (many) reasons other than how we feel.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm getting the impression that you feel that because she still missed you and had feelings for you, that the choice she made to be with someone else wasn't real, somehow. That even though she was in a relationship with someone else, that it didn't count if she missed you. Perhaps that's where some of your anger is coming from? Unfortunately, that's not really the way relationships (and the end of relationships) work. Again, we can make a decision not to be with someone for reasons totally unrelated to how we feel about them. We can't control our feelings, but we can control our actions, and sometimes that means acting in ways that seem contradictory to our emotions.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Skeleton
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Oh It was real. I met her maybe twelve times? She's shared a bed with him for two years. That's real, that counts. It's also abominable. She admitted that he was essentially just there, convenient, and pursuing her. And that wins him two years of getting away with anything! He certainly hasn't been looking after her.

Anyway. I've calmed down a little since having made the first couple of posts. There's nothing for it but to endure a little longer.

[ 07-20-2014, 04:48 AM: Message edited by: Skeleton ]

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OhImpecuniousOne
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You said it's abominable... I'd certainly agree that his actions towards her have been abominable. But I also get the feeling that you think her decision to be with him was abominable. Is that so?

If so - it was clearly a decision that was bad for her wellbeing, and she'd be entirely entitled to consider it a wrong decision on her part. You don't have that entitlement, though, because you haven't been wronged by her decision, even though you feel like you have. Decisions about relationships are entirely subjective and internal to the person making them - and because of that, they can't be judged by an objective, external standard, or by the subjective, internal standards that other people use when making similar decisions, because those standards just aren't relevant to her mental and emotional identity. Does that make sense?

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Redskies
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Skeleton, I don't think that the one night vs two years comparison you made is at all wise. For a start, some people are fine with their partner spending the night - or longer - with someone else, because not all people need or want romantic/sexual exclusivity in their relationship. For people who Do have agreements around exclusivity, the issue would be about betrayal of trust in breaking those agreements.

This woman was not your partner when she spent two years with someone else. She broke things off with you, and cut contact with you. It sounds, too, very much like the two of you also have not made any current agreements about being in a partnership in the here and now, so it doesn't seem correct to think of her as your partner now. Those things given, I really think that framing it as "your partner spent two years with someone else" is not helping you any, and honestly, it is not a fair framing.

Your title was "Need perspective". In that light, you said that you met her about twelve times. I realise that it was very intense and you had very big feelings, but still, I think you're pinning too much on it. Even if we know someone very well online, at around twelve meetings we're really still only beginning to get to know a person in some ways. At twelve meetings, we're really only beginning to discover how we relate with someone interpersonally. We just can't know, at that stage, how or if a relationship might develop and much the people involved are truly suited to one another. When we have big, big feelings about someone and there's a great deal of intensity right from the beginning, what can tend to happen is that we put more of our images of the person into the situation than we see their own self or the relationship, and we can get way ahead of ourselves in thinking about the relationship rather than having it grow and us seeing it as it really is.

I would not ever advise beginning a relationship when there are big feelings of anger or resentment in the mix: it is simply a recipe where everyone involved is very likely to be badly hurt.

[ 07-20-2014, 11:24 AM: Message edited by: Redskies ]

--------------------
The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Skeleton: you okay with my adding my two cents to this today?

You already have exchanges with two people going, and this is obviously something were you're feeling pretty raw, so just wanted to check first so as not to make you feel overwhelmed.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Skeleton
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First up, thankyou again for the responses. I decided to post here because somebody previously recommended this forum to me as a place to get helpful advice and the advice is quite reasonable. Having said that, I will respond and again if I'm coming across as difficult it's because this is difficult for me.

I'll also add the disclaimer that I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's the night before posting this and may have been influenced by that 'people do fall in love and belong to each other' speech at the end. (It's a joke! Even though it's true)

quote:
Originally posted by OhImpecuniousOne:
You said it's abominable... I'd certainly agree that his actions towards her have been abominable. But I also get the feeling that you think her decision to be with him was abominable. Is that so?

If so - it was clearly a decision that was bad for her wellbeing, and she'd be entirely entitled to consider it a wrong decision on her part. You don't have that entitlement, though, because you haven't been wronged by her decision, even though you feel like you have. Decisions about relationships are entirely subjective and internal to the person making them - and because of that, they can't be judged by an objective, external standard, or by the subjective, internal standards that other people use when making similar decisions, because those standards just aren't relevant to her mental and emotional identity. Does that make sense?

It does make sense. I'm not going to argue seriously because I know I'm being irrational about it but it's difficult not to see it as callous and disrespectful on her part to end things the way she did. How can I take that on the chin and not see it as a slight to me? I'd have to think very little of her to be able to simply laugh it off.

On a philosophical tangent, the subjective nature of morality doesn't mean we shouldn't apply our own moral standards to other people. I have no problem applying my subjective moral standards to other people who may not share them, or they're not standards at all. For example, I'm quite sure her boyfriend believes he's justified when he frightens and belittles her to make himself feel powerful, but you and I can still find that objectionable despite the fact that if you dig deep enough you can't say anything, even murder, is objectively wrong.

quote:
Originally posted by Redskies:
Skeleton, I don't think that the one night vs two years comparison you made is at all wise. For a start, some people are fine with their partner spending the night - or longer - with someone else, because not all people need or want romantic/sexual exclusivity in their relationship. For people who Do have agreements around exclusivity, the issue would be about betrayal of trust in breaking those agreements.

This woman was not your partner when she spent two years with someone else. She broke things off with you, and cut contact with you. It sounds, too, very much like the two of you also have not made any current agreements about being in a partnership in the here and now, so it doesn't seem correct to think of her as your partner now. Those things given, I really think that framing it as "your partner spent two years with someone else" is not helping you any, and honestly, it is not a fair framing.

Your title was "Need perspective". In that light, you said that you met her about twelve times. I realise that it was very intense and you had very big feelings, but still, I think you're pinning too much on it. Even if we know someone very well online, at around twelve meetings we're really still only beginning to get to know a person in some ways. At twelve meetings, we're really only beginning to discover how we relate with someone interpersonally. We just can't know, at that stage, how or if a relationship might develop and much the people involved are truly suited to one another. When we have big, big feelings about someone and there's a great deal of intensity right from the beginning, what can tend to happen is that we put more of our images of the person into the situation than we see their own self or the relationship, and we can get way ahead of ourselves in thinking about the relationship rather than having it grow and us seeing it as it really is.

I would not ever advise beginning a relationship when there are big feelings of anger or resentment in the mix: it is simply a recipe where everyone involved is very likely to be badly hurt.

With regards the first two paragraphs, I realise that the comparison is absurd. I also find the situation absurd. But hypothetically, if she were to be my partner in the future it would be difficult not to see it in that light. We were exclusive, I did trust her (perversely enough I still trust her). My feelings for her never entirely went away and neither did the hurt (I had them well under control before she came back into my life but as it turned out they weren't dead, just buried). Even if you take the view she did nothing wrong (I'm honestly not that invested in the idea that she did) I was still legitimately and dare I say it rightfully hurt by it. Could you honestly say there'd be nothing for me to forgive.

With regards to the rest. I'll make some reference to other liasons I've had. I've had things going with women who were just as beautiful, intelligent, and stylish. I will admit, I've never had a relationship which ticked all the boxes to say 'boyfriend and girlfriend' but I've had a partner I've spent far more time physically in the same place with. But I never felt a connection with anybody like I did with her.

I feel vulnerable even typing that out because it looks like such a meaningless thing to say but I am thoroughly convinced of it. It's not that I can't make friends, I've had many very good friends in my life, but she and I are each very unusual in a number of ways that seemd to fit together almost suspiciously well. I will however admit that apparently I'm not the only person who she's had a similar effect on, she's told me stories of prior ex-boyfriends becoming dangerously obsessed. However, certain things strongly suggest she's quite as strongly obsessed with me as I am with her, though possibly in a different way.

I learned my lesson after the relationship I mentioned in the first post. I held back on making a commitment and she responded in kind, so that when I began to thaw she was still cold and my own flame flickered out. I learned the hard way that you don't love by half measures. Thankfully that relationship didn't turn ugly, it just went cold, and I still have her as a friend.

Even so. In this case I'm still in thrall. It sounds pathetic but I fear losing her again even now. Not that she's mine to lose... There was that other speech about loving wild things. I'm quite aware.

Finally. I could have forgiven her in a heartbeat if she'd made her promises and her resolutions right away after she got back in touch, rather than slow admittances and revelations over the course of several months. She's only still with him out of fear, she's said as much but as much as I'd like to make allowances it's difficult to be sympathetic when she brought this upon herself (Am I victim blaming here? But what the hell was she thinking and what the hell did she expect) and wounded me deeply in the process. Compassion and forgiveness are things I admire and aspire to but there's no small part of me that feels mortally insulted and wants compensation. It's possibly the same part of me that wants her in the first place (or indeed any relationship - but I only want her, there is nobody else). There's so much here in which my thoughts and feelings are at cross purposes.

quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
Skeleton: you okay with my adding my two cents to this today?

You already have exchanges with two people going, and this is obviously something were you're feeling pretty raw, so just wanted to check first so as not to make you feel overwhelmed.

Please do. I have never been one to shirk away from other perspectives. If it happens to surprise me, then I am learning from it.

That said, I'm about to go to bed, so I won't see it until tomorrow at the earliest - no chance of being overwhelmed. I'm interested to hear what you have to say. People here have been respectful and well intentioned (and not just by internet standars), I was not given a bad recommendation.

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Heather
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Okay. And by all means, if I step on your toes unintentionally, you just give a shout. [Smile] I'll also apologize a bit in advance for undoubtedly being a bit rambly: there's an awful lot here to tackle, so I'm not sure how to get started doing that without dancing around a bit.

Most of what I am hearing here is a great deal of sadness, I think -- anger and resentment, too, but I'm betting they are mostly covering up what is really at its core, sadness -- that you were not able to really connect with this person in the way you wanted to be connected. And that she didn't experience the kind of feeling of connection with you that you did with her, or she did, but she just chose not to pursue that. And that she did choose to be with someone else in the way you wanted her to be with you, someone, no less, was who very much sounds, at best, like a total jerk.

It also sounds to me like in a lot of ways, your heart here just moved much, much faster than the development of your interactions did, to the degree that something felt like it was trashed and over before, in a lot of ways, it even got started in the first place to BE over in the first place. The loss of possibility can be really rough. In some ways, sometimes, I think it's actually harder to deal with than losing something you really built over time, because at least with that, the idealistic shine wears off and we get to see way more than just our hopes, if you follow me. Too, sometimes we can feel very strongly connected to someone: but that doesn't always mean that that's a good thing, or that it's a good idea to try and stay connected. Some ways of connecting or ways we connect with other people can be really bad news for all of us.

You talk about how you two feel "strongly obsessed" with each other. Do you choose that term intentionally and mean it literally? If so, know that obsession is never, ever the stuff of healthy interactions or relationships. Clearly, this person has been struggling for some time -- if not always, from the sounds of it -- with healthy relationships. I can't know what got her there, but this is obviously something where she isn't even at Ground Zero when it comes to what's healthy, and is instead stuck in something deeply unhealthy.

I hear you saying things like that you want to be compensated for a broken heart. But the thing is, there's really no such thing. The closest we can get is for someone to make amends with any way they were hurtful to us, which is just taking responsibility for doing that and saying they are sorry. In other words, "I hurt you, and I am so sorry."

A relationship with you wouldn't be a payment for doing you wrong (nor is it compensation to this other dude for doing right: she's a person, as you know, and she isn't a thing to give someone as a gift), and I think you and I can probably agree that if either of you walked into a relationship with that informing it?

There she'd be, again, stuck in something unhealthy, and that would not be a good thing for either one of you. And it sounds like that also might be a bit of a pattern for you, and something you already know is nothing close to a recipe For Good Things.

There's so much here to respond to, and we can all keep talking as much as you like, but I want to throw a possibility out there for you to consider.

That's this: I wonder if you might be willing to try seeing what happens when what you do with all of this is just let it go with love. Let go of the hope of being together, let go of all of these hard feelings (obviously not overnight, it'll take time). And let go of continuing to interact with her -- and again, we can do that with kindness, letting go of someone with love -- because it clearly is not a good thing for you. You're not going to save her from this relationship, because that's something she can only do for herself. And even if you could? Then the WORST thing you could do would be to then enter into a romantic relationship with her. It's a terrible setup to get involved with someone who rescued you from something else like that because it is always super-tangled with feelings of obligation. Plus, then she wouldn't get to be the one who broke her own patterns and reclaimed her own life, which is the only way anyone has half a chance of figuring out what they want in the first place, and then interacting in safe, healthy ways with other people.

What if you recognize that letting someone go who clearly has their own stuff they need to deal with in a huge way, and where you are very unlikely to help with that (I gotta say, my sense is that you're likely only making this tougher for her, even though I very much doubt that is your intent: even the fact that you acknowledge feeling obsessed with her and she has told you she has a pattern of people feeling that way makes clear to me you two would not be a match that would benefit one another or change bad patterns) is actually a gift and a very real demonstration of love? One you might not have returned, but you know, we don't always get love back when we give it, and really, getting it back -- or only back in certain ways -- really shouldn't be a criteria for giving it. I'd even go so far as to say it really can't be, because IMO, part of love and loving is that it's not about getting things for ourselves, or about something we only put out because we want or need it given to us from someone.

In all honesty, it sounds to me like right now you're in no space at all for an intimate relationship like this -- especially with her -- to begin with. You're too freaking hurt right now, too angry, too resentful. You can't see past her at all, and truly do sound obsessed, which truly is not emotionally healthy. Those aren't judgments of you or your character. Rather, I say that because when we're in that space it is nigh unto impossible to start something that's going to be good for people. You also make clear you are very isolated right now, which is no doubt fueling some of your harder feelings and may even make this girl seem more appealing because you are lonely and disconnected from others.

Ultimately, let's say that there WAS a way for you two, if and when you are both available, and she does want what you want to get together. If there was, I'd say the only way that has a chance, at all, of being something at least minimally healthy for you both? You would pretty much have to be ALL the way over these feelings of anger and resentment and entitlement. And as you know, you're nowhere near that. To get there, you'd have to first let them go and move past them, and then be past them for a while. And my guess is, given how long you have stayed stuck in this hurt and anger and resentment around her? Just getting there is going to take at least a few years. I think before she's ready for anything good, she has her own work of years to do, too.

I think there's a benefit in you going ahead and putting your all into that regardless, because it sounds like this has literally been eating you alive and making you feel hideous. In fact, I think it's holding so tight to all of this that is probably making you feel so bad, not anything she did years ago. That's old at this point, but what you've made of it and held of it? That's fresh, and it's probably pretty much all you. (Again, not a judgment, just an observation.) I also think until you do that there is no way you are going to be able to make clear-headed, sound choices about any of this.

I know it is hard to let go of things like this. I really, really do. But I also know that if and when we're feeling like this, especially over so much time, about someone else? If we don't let it go and move on -- and also recognize that clearly, we cannot stay involved at all with someone we feel this way about because it's just not good for anybody -- we're going to hurt and keep hurting ourselves, maybe hurt other people, and be really freaking miserable. We're going to become more and more isolated, too, because -- understandably -- people are not going to want to be around us because it just feels awful and even scary sometimes to be around someone so stuck in anger.

I also want to add something here:
quote:
She's only still with him out of fear, she's said as much but as much as I'd like to make allowances it's difficult to be sympathetic when she brought this upon herself (Am I victim blaming here? But what the hell was she thinking and what the hell did she expect) and wounded me deeply in the process. Compassion and forgiveness are things I admire and aspire to but there's no small part of me that feels mortally insulted and wants compensation. It's possibly the same part of me that wants her in the first place (or indeed any relationship - but I only want her, there is nobody else).
You asked, so yes: I do think that is victim-blaming.

She's not abusing herself. This person is abusing her. And I have no doubt that is not what she expected. If it was, that tells us that her esteem is so low that likely way before this relationship, she learned or got the idea that this is all she deserves. And that's sad as hell, and also probably not her doing.

Abuse dynamics are sticky and tricky as hell, very hard to see coming sometimes, and most often, very hard to get out of. Especially if they are in any way your normal. And yes, fear is what keeps a lot of people stuck in abuse. That's because when we're in it, it is seriously terrifying and we have learned to be afraid. To boot, the reason most people in abuse are afraid to leave is that, in reality, leaving is exactly when someone abusive is most likely to be as dangerous as they can be. But look at some of the things she also told you back when: she clearly is a very scared person to begin with, and very ill-equipped, so far, to know how to care for herself. That's the kind of person most vulnerable to abuse, and sadly, also the kind of person for whom leaving it is the most difficult.

This also? This is not about you. I know that to you it feels that way, but this is about her and that guy. Not you. And her choice to be with that guy also was about her, not you. Your hurt here is even mostly about you and not her, from all I can gather, especially this far down the road. Even her saying she didn't want to be with you because, "she needed somebody to look after her, to keep her safe from the world and herself and couldn't wait for me to be ready?" That right there was a giant banner waving that ultimately means "I am so not looking or ready for a healthy relationship, including one with myself." Even that statement? It's about her, not you. Can you see that?

Statements like your quoted up there? When I look at them, from my view, there is no mistaking that love is not happening here. This is anger and resentment and entitlement and probably a bunch of other things, but love just doesn't sound like this.

Have you yet sought out any counseling around this? If not, I'd suggest it. This, again, is clearly just eating you up, and is also clearly something you are having a very hard time resolving yourself or moving forward from. This is the kind of space a good counselor is great at helping us through: at helping us see where we're stuck, start to figure out why we're so stuck, and supporting us in finding out and doing what we need to get UNstuck.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Skeleton
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I've never discussed this at such length before. I am always convinced people will roll their eyes, and if I keep on about it will quickly turn to mockery. So, yet again, my excuses and apologies.

I agree with a lot of what you've said. I've tried letting this resurgent friendship die out but then she contacts me again and I don't have it in me to ignore her. If she left him I wouldn't try to promptly reinstigate a sexual relationship. I certainly wouldn't believe that it would be 'compensation' - that is a very vague feeling, and a word I settled on after deleting 'retribution' and 'revenge' which as worrying as they sound don't capture what I wanted to express (though I have certainly had fantasies of giving him somebody his own size to pick on so he can understand just how small he is). I would like to hold her in my arms and exchange promises but sex isn't what's on my mind. But it still disturbs me that she's still with him and I would be quite outraged if she were to jump onto another sinking ship once she gets off this one.

She recently promised me that she would leave him but she's been busy since. She works and studies. I suspect that she is deliberately not giving herself time to stop and think. She's told me that she has money saved, she doesn't need the endless shifts she keeps taking. I have been trying very hard not to press the issue and accept her promise. That doesn't stop me worrying or brooding or having a thousand ugly thoughts swarm around my empty head. "One day I'm going cut him up or cut myself up, it's no longer a matter of if, it's a matter of when". My own experiences with her suggest that she's telling the truth.

You're right, in that there are patterns here for us both. She was abused by her father who later abandoned her while growing up, both emotionally and physically. Her early experiences of sex and relationships were far from healthy. Her account of her second sexual encounter sounds unequivocally like rape. Not that her relationship with the perpetrator ended there.

Once, after she'd visited me in my parents house while they were away, she left me a note. "Why are you attracted to damaged women?". I didn't find it before my father did; he added his own annotation and left it in my room. "You love your sister. This family taught you to protect damaged women. Sorry". Long story short my family life growing up was dominated by my sister's various mental illnesses.

Not that I entirely buy into the Freudian perspective but it must be said that the women I've been attracted to over the course of my life have invariably suffered from poor mental health to various degrees. But I happen to think that being a little mad is a side effect of being rather cleverer than you're properly allowed to be, and what I'm attracted to is the intelligence and not the madness. Not that I mind a little madness..

With regards to my much neglected self. I have a realistic plan for leveraging my talents going forward. It will take months at least before I'm able to support myself financially but it finally seems like a realistic possibility. Honestly that's the prerequisite to everything else, much as I dislike the idea. Part of me does blame myself for her leaving - if I were a better man I'd have had money and she wouldn't have left. I believe that's logical and I will defend it logically.

The worst thing of all would be if I were to become financially succesful and then and only then she started doing all the right things to have me back.

I wrote quite a long piece about the gory details of exactly what happened between me and her in the first part of our physical relationship, to illustrate that I was quite aware of her shortcomings and not put off, but it does just as well to say so.

My entire relationship history has been a series of emotionally charged dramatic episodes alternating with long periods of isolation. I'm 27 now, I'm ancient (And given the context of these boards a little embarrassed). The prospect of spending years to get over this and being 30 before my first 'real' relationship is not an appealing one. It's not even like this was the only relationship to have caused discernible damage to my psyche without having ever been addressed. It's just that worries about your own damaged self esteem take a back seat when your sweetheart's holding a razor to her wrists. Ick.

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Heather
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I will weigh in in all of this more in a bit - just waking up over here, and no one wants to talk much to me before I have had coffee, soundly - but I just wanted to reassure you you do not need to worry about being mocked here.

I have a zero tolerance policy here when it comes to cruelty, and that certainly includes people mocking someone in pain or distress. This community really is not like that, period, we have worked hard over many years to build something differentt han that, but even in the case some jerky passerby came and did it, they'd be zapped from this site by me or one of the volunteers in record time. You are safe here, you have my assurance of that.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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acb
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I'm just popping back because I thought it would be rude to ignore a reply that was directed at me but everyone else has already covered all the bases and said what I was going to say, so I won't repeat them. As this is quite personal and other people are going through it with you, I'll step back so as not to crowd the discussion but I just didn't want you thinking that I'd ignored what you'd written!
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Heather
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So, here's the next thing I want to throw out to you:

Sometimes, our big connections with other people aren't what we think they are initially, and also aren't what we want them to be. Sometimes it's clear, when we look back on some of them, that what they really were about isn't staying together or forging a long-term relationship, but helping -- if we let them -- to bump us out of places we're stuck, and to change negative patterns, and then be done.

What do you think about the idea that maybe some of the lesson here could very well be about learning to let go sometimes? After all, we have to learn and know how to do that sometimes in our lives. Sometimes all we and someone else will really do to each other in certain ways of interacting, even all ways, is hurt each other. I certainly don't see this, so far, at all, offering you anything but hurt. I see you stuck in that pain, and it looks to me like holding on to this, to her, to your wants around this, is also causing you great pain.

I also don't see that your interactions with her have been benefitting her either. In fact, from what I can tell, a lot of them likely only are one more thing to keep her stuck in her admitted pattern of being with people who are dangerously obsessed with her, a pattern that in part, is likely some of her own doing. After all, she knows how you feel, but here she is back and interacting with you, and in ways that unless she simply is not at all intelligent, she can't possibly not know cause you pain, and only likely fuel your obsession.

I think one thing truly letting go here -- including learning to let go of her, something you say you are currently incapable of, which is never good, being with someone and interacting with them should always be a choice -- could offer you is a great deal of emotional liberty. I think learning to let go of things and people that cause you pain is probably one big ticket for you when it comes to then actually finding interactions and relationships that do NOT do that, but instead are beneficial and leave you feeling good, not angry, resentful, entitled and with visions of violence. To boot, I think learning to let go would mean you're not calling someone your sweetheart who...well, isn't. same goes for seeing yourself as someone's saviour, or the person to keep them holding unto life when not only is it highly unlikely that is actually something real that is happening, if it was, and you were not their healthcare provider or therapist, it would not be healthy for either of you.

What if one of the lessons here is learning that sometimes caring for people is not holding unto them or trying to rescue them (especially when you also have your own agenda in that), be their protector, or to have to push and push to get them to love you, rather than that simply being something they want to do, are willing to do and are at least able to do?

I also want to add that you're not ancient at 27 (and if you are, well, I must be covered in dust!). It also is not unusual, in my experience, for people to do a lot of learning through their twenties around relationships, and a lot of healing of old wounds. I don't see any reason for you to feel ashamed here.

But I do agree with you that you obviously only want to be stuck here for so long, and the sooner you can stop? The better.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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OhImpecuniousOne
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I know the discussion has moved on, and Heather has made a whole lot of excellent points, so this is less relevant now, but I do want to respond to what you said about right and wrong, and her decision to date this guy in the first place.

There's a distinction which completely boggles law students (and most lawyers, too): that between public wrongs, i.e. those which should be handled by criminal law, with censure and interference of all of society (represented by the state) to condemn a certain behaviour; private wrongs, which are settled by private law, just between the people involved with the judge as a facilitator, and an eye to fairness but not to moral judgment; and social wrongs, where the law shouldn't intervene at all. If you want to guarantee a few hours of debate with no meaningful conclusion, ask some lawyers to come up with criteria to use in placing different wrongs in the different categories.

I think within that category of social wrongs, we can make a similar distinction. There are some actions which are subjects of public morality: where it's reasonable and acceptable for someone unaffected by the action to step in and say "that was wrong". And there are matters of private good or bad, where the actor's morality might inform the decision, but it's primarily about their preferences and needs and inclinations, and anyone else's judgment is pretty much irrelevant and inappropriate. An example comes from this forum, actually - we've had a few users recently who've mentioned that, on the basis of their own and their partners' morality, they agree not to masturbate while in a sexual relationship. My morality says that masturbating in a relationship is fine, but my morality is irrelevant to their relationship.

As with the legal categories, there are no hard lines, and it's very difficult to draw out exactly where one category begins or ends. But there is a distinction: I don't think you'd put murder and masturbation within relationships in the same category. So even though we can't necessarily draw the hard distinctions, it is still valid to say that a person's decision to enter a relationship is within that last, private good or bad category. You might disagree with me... but then you'd be wrong.* [Wink]


As for how you start believing that emotionally - it's a difficult one. What I would do is to think it through until I was sure I believed it intellectually (which does mean taking the risk of finding that you don't), and then I'd feel confident of reminding myself of that conclusion whenever I started to think contrary things. But, in fact, if you take Heather's advice and work on moving on entirely from this relationship and this girl - I think you might save yourself the trouble, because that question will probably resolve itself.


27 isn't ancient, indeed. It can be hard if you feel like your peers have all settled down in their Final Relationships (they haven't, though); but you still have plenty of time. People start wonderful relationships at all points in life. I think that being preoccupied with someone who is not your partner is going to be much more of an obstacle to you than your age.


*Please take that statement in the spirit of facetiousness with which it is intended, 'cause this isn't the place for that debate. [Razz]

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Skeleton
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Well that made for sobering reading. It paints a rather sinister picture of me, without saying anything I hadn't already said about myself. Which is an uncomfortable revelation (I say revelation but I think I already knew).

I will say in my defense that for instance I spend far more time worrying about the fact that I have had violent fantasies than I do indulging in them.

And I have skipped over the joy she once provided. At first, when she got back in touch, she apologised if not for the leaving at least for the how (which is all that could really be apologised for, as others have explained). That was good, I woke up smiling the following day and I never wake up smiling. It solved a dreaming problem.

I wasn't planning on keeping up regular contact after that but she did and I did begin falling for her again. Most obviously on the evening before the revelations of abuse and threat of suicide.

And now it hurts. And that's no good. But, the academic year is nearly over and her lease is nearly out. And surely, she doesn't need me to freeze her out right now? I could endure two months. We could be friends after all of this without being tormented lovers. It's happened for me before.

That's my new bargaining line [Smile] I know, I'm impossible.

Explain more about why I'm bad for her and possibly even just getting in the way? Somebody else told me this right at the start of these troubles and I don't really understand it.

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Volunteer Ruth
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I hope you don't mind me stepping in here - everyone else here has said some really great and important things, and I don't want to overstep that, but I was thinking I might be able to answer your last question just a little bit.

What you've pointed out yourself and Heather's referenced a couple of times is that she has said she has a history of and a problem with obsessive men. It doesn't seem like you're doing anything to conceal your obsessive feelings about her, which put both her and possibly her attempts to leave in a position of obligation to you.

To expand on that: you've said that she's made promises to you to leave. Therefore, the position is that her leaving could be seen as a promise to you that she doesn't want to break, rather than a promise or agreement with herself that she needs to leave of her own accord. I'm sure you can understand that this isn't helpful for her, because it places a lot of pressure and guilt on her for not having left yet, which isn't anything that she needs right now, or really ever.

Furthermore, it feels like with your frank honesty with her about how you feel, it's seems like you're placing an expectation on her that not only should she leave, but she should leave in order to be with you.

quote:
I would like to hold her in my arms and exchange promises but sex isn't what's on my mind. But it still disturbs me that she's still with him and I would be quite outraged if she were to jump onto another sinking ship once she gets off this one.
You said this in response to a similar point earlier, but I don't think that distinguishing a sexual relationship from a romantic one is helping anybody here - both kinds of relationships with you are going to be unhelpful for her. Also, your second sentence indicates that you feel like you know what's best for her and that you think her best option is specifically with you. It may be worth considering that actually, you may be another sinking ship to her - in the kindest way possible, it seems like the intensity of the feelings you have for her might just be difficult and unsettling after leaving the intensity and turmoil of an abusive relationship.

Also, I think you need to be careful not to posit yourself as 'hero'. By making her make promises to you to leave and providing emotional support, you should be careful not to see yourself as her rescuer - because that could only create more resentment and entitlement and pain for you if she doesn't express her gratitude by way of entering a relationship with you, and that would be an unhealthy basis for a relationship if she did.

I really hope that, as you've said in your last post, that you can just be friends without pulling up a "tormented lovers" dynamic (which is just plain unhealthy), and I hope you have a better understanding of why previous commenters have said you're not the best option for her.

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Heather
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I want to add that I have not in any way perceived you as sinister.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Per what you're asking, I'd go back and look at what's been said here about, if nothing else, the notion that you -- or anyone -- could possibly forge anything even resembling a healthy relationship when you are overflowing with anger and resentment and when the other person is currently stuck in another relationship that is abusive.

She is in no place to try and resolve things with you, or probably anyone else right now. It sounds like she is in danger, and doesn't yet know how not to be, so she has a mountain of much more pressing work and self-care ahead of her.

You have your own work to do here, too, that also sounds like no small thing: you have a long history of anger and resentment and entitlement here with this person, a history that would pretty much have to be wiped almost entirely clean before you could even think about getting intimately involved with this person. And that I suspect, if and when you DO clear, will also change your feelings about getting involved with them again in the first place.

In a word, you two have between you, from what I can gather, an epic amount of work to do just around learning basic self-care and healthy ways of interacting with people, let alone each other, where my sense is this has been, and probably always will be, seriously toxic. And that's something I'm not sure either of you even have the ability to see clearly right now, let alone magically resolve. [Frown]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Skeleton
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"You're not totally unhelpful. I don't know how to express with without coming across as emotionally manipulative or that I'm trying to guilt trip you into staying situation that is damaging to you, but you definitely have not been unhelpful."

I'm not going to bail on her.

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Skeleton
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"and now I'm ansy preparing to apologise profusely for a takeaway being closed and having to think around it, still better than dealing him hungry I guess,"

And now I'm back to impotent frustration and helplessness.

I won't post any more excerpts nor details (you already have the overall picture and I don't want to waste anybody's time), but it is not simply a matter of telling her to leave me alone (particularly as I don't want her to).

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Heather
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Well, what do you see as your other options here, options which seem healthy and beneficial to both of you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Skeleton
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That I have a little faith and a little patience that she will in fact leave him soon, in the meantime working on the state of my own life.

Once she's away from him whatever comes next will be preferable to this.

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Heather
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Okay, but I meant in regard to you saying you want to continue to interact with her, particularly given all you have said about the way that has you feeling and thinking (and suffering).

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Skeleton
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I actually find her to be a perfect delight, she is thoughtful, intelligent and fun to talk to, the dark clouds gather around the knowledge of her situation.

If she removes herself from it, then there is still an ugly stain but the issue of this having happened, while not being what anyone wants is better than the situation being ongoing.

I haven't pushed her for dates or deadlines. She needs to plan her move carefully in her own time. But I will walk away if it's not over between them by Halloween, I have told myself.

There might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Certainly, I wouldn't very soon stop thinking about her if I stopped talking to her.

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Heather
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Let's try this: what are you looking for from us at this point, then?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Skeleton
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I think I just needed to vent my frustration. Maybe I'm too stubborn to take advice and save myself trouble. I have listened to what's been said though and will try and keep it mind.
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OhImpecuniousOne
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I don't know if you've heard of Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft - it's a seminal book on domestic abuse that I read a while ago. I bring it up because it seems like you've kind of accepted that your relationship with her is bad for you, but that you feel like while trying to move on would be good for you, it would mean leaving her in the lurch, and you're not willing to do that. I totally understand that; I'm someone who hates being helpless when my friends are suffering, and would offer any help I possibly could.

However, some of the things Bancroft talks about make me think that even in terms of leaving the abuse, your relationship with each other could well be quite damaging to her as well. One of the defining characteristics of abusers is that they are controlling. They take away control over their victim's life, and they send a bunch of messages to their victim - that the victim isn't competent to run her or his own life, that the victim can't be trusted to make their own decisions, that the victim makes bad decisions and so should just let someone else make all the decisions for them.

As a result of this, Bancroft has concluded that it's really important for friends and family to resist their initial urge - which is to get the victim out, as soon as possible, by any means possible. Convincing, frightening, bargaining, manipulating, "interventions"... anything to get the person safe, right? But the abuser already denies the victim their right to make their own decisions: friends and family trying to do the same - for totally opposite reasons, of course - only reinforces what the abuser is telling the victim about her or himself.

I think this might be an especially significant problem for you two, for two reasons. Firstly, it sounds like she has never been very good at taking control of her own life. That's probably going to be something which is even more difficult for her than it otherwise would be.

Secondly, you are very focussed on assessing her decisions. You tend to view decisions of hers as about you, when they are not. You strongly feel that she has made mistakes, and that you know what she should have done differently, or better. You've really struggled with accepting things in a spirit of "This hurts me, and I worry about her, but it's her bacon." I don't say that as a criticism: it's a simple fact that these are all things you have had to wrestle with. And that's very contrary to the kind of respectful support - the "I'll be here if you need me, no matter what you decide to do, and when, and I won't criticise you for making decisions that I wouldn't make myself" - that Bancroft has found to be the most helpful approach.

So I guess the question that I worry about is, are you able to take a sufficiently hands-off approach to her life to be able to support her through this abuse?

(I am, of course, neither a psychologist, nor a counsellor, nor a domestic abuse expert; so please, anyone, feel free to criticise my interpretation of that excellent book)

[ 07-23-2014, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: OhImpecuniousOne ]

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Skeleton
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quote:
Originally posted by OhImpecuniousOne:
are you able to take a sufficiently hands-off approach to her life to be able to support her through this abuse?

I can with regard to my conversations with her. I suffer for it on my own time.
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Skeleton
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In the interests of bringing this to a conclusion.

I've done some introspection (helped along by the sensible things people have told me here) and realised that I've become rather hateful, and yes that is entirely to do with me, and for me to deal with, and her situation is entirely to do with her and for her to deal with.

Furthermore. She is very precious to me and this time I'm saying that with gratitude rather than as a complaint that someone else is not taking proper care of my favourite thing.

Of course, just having a better understanding of why I'm suffering doesn't solve the problem but it does help me to have a more realistic idea of what a solution might look like.

At this point she and I have said everything that needs to be said to each other (and in fact read one another's favourite books, mine being The Idiot, hers being Norwegian Wood), and I think we have reached an understanding that we should disengage from one another until we are "not prisoners anymore".

Which I think is probably the closest thing to a positive resolution that I could currently hope for. In fact, no need to be so mean about it, I already feel slightly better. Still anxious, still lonely, but more at peace and no longer looking for justice where there is none.

[ 07-26-2014, 07:20 PM: Message edited by: Skeleton ]

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Heather
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I'm really glad to hear all of this, Skeleton. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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