Insane Epiphany

August 7, 2012


 

I have been very troubled by my friendship with Wolf lately, and it seems to have gone through some difficult times that neither of us really want at this time.  I was recently asked by Wolf when I thought things began to go downhill, or why, as there had to be some other explanation than we had gotten better at communicating with each other.  I had no answer for him, and it was a question that had been bothering me for quite some time, actually.  As I was discussing some passing thoughts with another friend recently, a thought hit me like a ton of bricks.  It seemed so insane at the time, yet it seems to at least be the most plausible explanation of things between us.  I honestly have no clue when, or if, I will share these thoughts with Wolf, as the very notion of this theory will be seen as unwanted, and goes against everything he, especially, holds as his “values” at this point in his life.

 

Wolf and I got very close about this time last year for various reasons, and grew even closer throughout the beginning stages of his DUI, and what I thought were, the final stages of finalizing my divorce.  Sometime around Thanksgiving was when I saw some small things that gave me pause to question as to why it felt like I couldn’t be “me” anymore around him, and even more so as Christmas drew near.  The final nail in the coffin was placed sometime around New Year’s, or shortly after, as I felt completely awkward, suddenly scared to be relaxed around him.  I felt like I was beginning to second guess things I said to him, feeling criticized and guilty of being/feeling so much more critical of Wolf.  I began to see some changes within Wolf that were absolutely wonderful to see, also gave me a feeling of Wolf not being a safe person in my life.  That left me feeling very anxious, and several insecurities came to the surface that I hadn’t felt in a very long time with him, or any other male friend in a very long time.  I began to take criticisms personally and decided to take some time to do some soul-searching, yet I could not pin point why I felt so uneasy around him.  I began to see a side of him that seemed to mistrust me for reasons I could not begin to know or understand.

 

I have attributed a lot of these changes to the fact that Wolf is on probation, and has been completely sober from the “things” that got him into trouble, and the DUI.  This was the first time in a long time that he had to face his life, let alone a woman whom he loves and cares about deeply, totally and utterly sober.  While that is possibly/probably a huge reason for this unease between us, I believe an underlying problem existed that was exacerbated by the sobriety, as well as his own search for serenity and dealing with his own feelings and demons.  It was this underlying problem that I have continually come back to enough times to seriously consider it one reason that is not favorable or wanted by Wolf whatsoever.  I would hardly hesitate to say that Wolf would deem my theory of the true “problem” as detestable.

 

Wolf has told me repeatedly that he is not fond of my psycho-analyzing the struggles and frustrations between us, though I had to admit a harsh truth to him: that if I didn’t psycho-analyze the things we were constantly saying are frustrating us about our friendship, then I wouldn’t have been able to logically, and emotionally, believe that these things were partially due to him being sober, and that I would be able to be patient with him.  I had to be honest and tell him that if it weren’t for that, I would have told him to just leave my life for a while, as I had become so frustrated that I just wanted him to leave me alone all together.  Psycho-analyzing helped put my volatile emotions aside, which would have been reactive, and put some logic of emotions (which can be/are illogical) into the mix to come to have the compassionate emotions that show I truly do love him unconditionally, and become more proactive instead.

 

The “sobriety” excuse worked for a while, although I still could not grasp why we had so many emotional frustrations, and why I always seemed to be the one to “blame” for these emotional dramatic conversations happening.  I could not see how I was creating drama, and I even looked to other male friends for guidance in how I was acting, or talking, or writing things that could be seen as dramatic, overly emotional or needy.

 

None of the men that have counseled me had any possible answers for me that helped put this dramatic and cryptic problem into perspective, or any logic that I could be compassionate with.  They did, however, make statements to the fact that they could see or understand why I might be confused.  Some men agreed with my assessments that, if looked upon it in one perspective, could come across as me being completely arrogant.  Some men simply saw things as me unintentionally being a “safety net” or basically “the tested and true fallback” that would step in, in some cases, as the last resort Wolf knew he could count on.  I had wanted to refute these suggestions, as these only seemed to portray Wolf as someone who has only been manipulating me for all the 5 years I have known him, and I did not want to see him that way.

 

I did, however, begin to believe how other men were viewing the situation between Wolf and I, and after hearing other things Wolf professed about himself and “men in general”, I began to become quite cynical about what is reality when it comes to anything a man says to me, or any woman for that matter.  I became so jaded that I could not seem to begin to figure out what to believe, or which way my heart and soul were leaning as the truth.  I began to know without a doubt, I wanted nothing to do with men or a relationship of any sort, as all men seemed to be just using me with a goal of having sex with me, or trying to just be agreeable with me trying to spare themselves of any “drama” that always seems to ensue with women.

 

I have recently become fascinated with the psychological theory of “projection,” as I have run across it before in counseling sessions off and on throughout the years, as well as in self-help books and soul-searching that I have done for a while now.  I have also run across this phenomenon with people I care about, in terms of me being guilty of projecting, as well as others being guilty of it.  It is something that has torn apart some of the relationships that I thought could last through time, and not something that was easy to admit to when guilty of perpetrating this type of transgression.  It is usually seen as one form of passive-aggressive conflict.  One of the best ways I have heard describing projection is this: “Projection is the opposite defense mechanism to identification.  We project our own unpleasant feelings onto someone else and blame them for having thoughts we really have.”

 

There have been countless times that I have been on the receiving end of someone’s projections, normally criticizing some aspect of my emotions that are blown out of proportion.  This is usually after I was able to truly analyze my own feelings and see if I truly was acting and feeling things that people claimed I was.  I have spent so much time analyzing the negative things people say about me so I can either correct, or balance out, character flaws of mine.  It’s not that I actually “care” about what other people think of me, as in that their approval of me and my actions are not heavily tied to my self-worth or self-esteem.  It is more that I want to be the best person that I can be.  Therefore, if I can work on a flaw to help keep it from negatively affecting my relationships, I will take what others say as to how they view me and try to make amends if needed, especially when I allow the character flaws to affect my relationships with others in a negative way.

 

During some recent discussions while these confusing and troubling times with Wolf have come about, the thought of projection has occasionally entered my mind, so I have tried very hard to analyze my own insecurities and decide whether I have projected any self-criticisms or unpleasant feelings about myself onto Wolf.  I have found that there are a couple of instances of projecting, which I have tried to make amends for, and have seemed to be heavily revolving around abandonment insecurities, such as the one of me having feelings of abandoning people I care about.  However, when discussing something with my best friend this evening, I had to seriously look at the possibility that the problems I have with Wolf are truly revolving around him projecting things onto me.  This seems to be more so than the other way around, and even more than the fact I am a sentimental and hopeless romantic that can fall prey to my mind by reading too much into things.

 

At this point in time, I truly believe whole heartedly that problems between Wolf and myself began when my divorce had been denied, as we both felt dejected and frustrated that I could not get what I wanted.  I know I projected some of my frustrations onto Wolf and became more critical of him.  I also believe Wolf projected his own frustrations onto me, including feelings he seemed to have about wanting or even needing a relationship with me, and his fears that I am, in fact, just using him and have no intention of getting a divorce.  The projections started out small, though I believe that once we both realized that we were comfortable considering ourselves a “couple” and in a relationship, the label of me being married was then used to put up boundaries that were not present even just a few months, let alone a few weeks, prior.  We both fought for self-preservation and prevention of hurt, though it seems we ended up creating more hurt than ever intended.

 

My divorce being denied, along with my stubborn way of not taking Wolf’s suggestions to get myself away from my husband, must have crushed Wolf in many ways.  Sometimes I think he had every right to be frustrated that I had not taken his suggestions.  Even though they were valid suggestions, they just went too much against my core ethics and morals of how I wish to live my life.  I don’t like not taking other people’s advice which is meant help me, as then it can lead to people not believing you actually want to hear their thoughts, but that you just want validation of what you are already doing.  That isn’t what I meant at all, and even I felt as if there was nothing left I could do other than to just be patient and do things in a slow and methodical way, conforming to what was being requested until things could be finalized.

 

As I look back on things, I see many things that lead me to believe that Wolf is projecting his own uncomfortable feelings of wanting a relationship with me that is deeper than “just friends”, and projecting some of his uncomfortable feelings of what happens in a relationship, onto me.  All of a sudden, I was “acting too much like a girlfriend”, though he could not give me specifics for me to work on so I wasn’t making him that uncomfortable as he pulled further away slowly.  This began by him criticizing all the “negative drama” in my life that revolved around my divorce and struggles with my mother and her health and well-being.  Then it turned into me somehow acting like I was expecting or wanting an exclusive and serious relationship, even though I said nothing of the sort, and felt that the hurt feelings I had were hurt on a purely friend level, let alone what a casual girlfriend would feel.  Then it became that he didn’t want to share things about his life and feelings, as he did not want to let people get too close to him, and he felt it was not worth sharing.  If I asked for anything other than topical discussions, I was seen as being basically nosy.

 

After these “issues”, it became that when I wanted to spend time with him when I still felt he was my best friend and safest confidante, especially if one-on-one so I could share some sensitive information with him, I was again asking for too much.  He started to compare me to his best male friend as justification about why asking for his time alone was a seriously emotional transgression, bordering on pure jealousy.  Then it became that almost anything I spoke of from my heart, be it positive or negative, which is what he asked me to do, I became the enemy and was being “cryptic” and “dramatic”.  When I asked to speak to him during a few dark times, he became annoyed with me speaking to him about nothing but “negative drama,” and claimed I was too needy, especially compared to him.  Then it was…well, I have so many examples that I might speak of in another post.

 

I think this all boils down to him avoiding the reality of his feelings about me.  He has spent more time avoiding things emotional, and it seems to be that he is trying to convince himself that he doesn’t actually have the feelings he has deep in his heart.  He seems to be projecting and finding faults in things I say and do that are blown out of proportion, trying to divert the core issue of him getting emotionally attached to me.  It also seems that some of his long-held professions of never letting a woman get him worked up ever again, in addition to his professions of never wanting a serious relationship, are being challenged.  His projections have been pushing me away, though I want to be there for him, no matter what.

 

I am sure I will have more to say about this another time, though for now, I think it is best to meditate a bit, and see if any other answers can be found to when and why Wolf and I began to have so many frustrating conflicts.  I am not sure yet if I will share this insane epiphany with Wolf, if at all, though it seems to be insane enough to actually make sense of a very illogical and confusing time.

 

Hypocritical Stances?

April 11, 2012


My mind has been consumed the last few days with some fragments of conversations that I just cannot seem to understand with any sort of logic.  I do not like and try desperately not to be judgmental, however, I cannot seem to find the compassion it takes to overlook a few key points in a couple of conversations with someone I care about and not be judgmental or question what logic there truly is to the completely hypocritical statements made.

The most complex and confusing stance seems to stand out more than any other I have ever faced in my life, so I am very troubled and trying desperately to find some logical explanation that will help me truly understand, otherwise, I fear that as it stands now, I found a deal breaker that could potentially break just how close my friend and I become that I thought I would never find.  The dilemma posed was that an addict in recovery asked someone I know to help them with a project, and for payment, they would be willing to offer sex if there was no monetary way for repayment of services rendered.  My friend was appalled by this proposition of sex as payment for help, and while I agree with that stance, my friend could not see the mirror I showed of their own actions and how eerily similar they treated others.  He could not see the similarities that would make someone question why he would find the offer of sexual repayment as degrading to one woman, but not another.  Here in-lies the confusion and hypocritical statements that I am seeking understanding and peace to overcome.

My friend is a “ladies man” by some standards, a “man-whore” by other standards, a “player” by yet other standards, and I am beginning to believe he may actually have some more deep seeded issues that go way beyond just your stereotypical “perpetual and proud bachelor”.  With that being said, his list of sexual conquests is very long and lengthy, something he seems to be more proud of than anything, and holds very little remorse for any hurt he has actually caused any of these women, or others in their lives that he affected.  He is a self-proclaimed “attention whore” and selfish (and are part of yet another hypocritical stance for discussion) and has confided some statements that, whether true or just a way to “protect” or “respect” my feelings in a way he thinks is right, put off the impression that he borders on truly psychotic or sociopathic in his attempts at providing himself with as much sexual variety and make sure a constant supply of women used for sexual release or pleasure.

When he told me about a woman who was seeking assistance and very bluntly proposed sex as payment for services rendered, my mind immediately went to how he treats many women as well as how he confessed that he had kissed this woman on the lips even though he felt she was “just a friend”, and that if sex were to happen between them, it would be a while down the road yet.  I tried to speak calmly and compassionately while still stating a rebuttal after he told me how he felt she was just degrading herself by “prostituting” herself, though the similarities to his own life were too compelling to simply leave in silence.  I have no doubt that because this woman was so honest about her past addictions to have confessed to prostitution to receive things fueling her addiction, my friend “saw” this situation as completely different from how I viewed it in relation to his path in life.  I was not sure how to state my case without coming across too harshly or critical, but I knew I had to try.

I asked my friend how this situation was any different from a situation he was in with a woman he was currently having sex with on a fairly regular basis, as well as how he handled things with women outside of the current frequent rendezvous. When I brought this point up, he seemed truly offended and became quite defensive in his responses, though they did not seem logical and seemed to miss the point I bluntly stated.  He most certainly would and had use sex to get what he wanted from a woman if she was willing to pay for, or buy him, or give him, whatever it was he wanted, but he did not see that as the same because he had never been at a point of not having the ability to actually pay for what he wanted.  He also could not see that women he gave time and attention to were being just as degraded when he only was spending time with them for “payment” of sex.

One of his current conquests is also in some life situations that leave my friend helping her out monetarily and in other ways that give her what she wants, and the entire point of them meeting was so he could find and have a new woman to have sex with.  He viewed her as strictly, pardon the crass way of stating this, nothing more than a piece of ass, so he was completely willing to play any mental game necessary to achieve the goal of having sex with her, which included giving her things she wanted from him, emotionally, monetarily, and included physical possessions.  At one point within the last month, he looked at me and told me that if she didn’t have money to pay for things she wanted that he had or could get for her, then she was going to have to pay with sex.

I seriously cannot see the difference, other than one person admitted to actually prostituting herself prior to meeting my friend, so the bias is present in his perception of her extremely blunt request and offer of payment, where other women have not admitted to prostitution, and because my friend sees these other women as “conquests” with a much heavier emphasis on flirting, seduction, and innuendos that nothing is outright spoken as a sexual proposition.  Even with a possibly skewed perception, I just cannot see much of a difference and cannot fathom how one is degrading and the other isn’t.

Can anyone actually explain this to me so I can see the difference and see how one is more degrading than the other?

I actually said that I gave the “prostitute” (I don’t want to use that term, but for clarity’s sake, it’s what I’m doing) a lot of credit for being absolutely bold and blunt with no room for misunderstanding.  What makes this even more confusing for me in regards to seeing the difference, and where I give this woman a lot of credit for being so upfront and honest, is that my friend kissed her on the mouth prior to this request…”as a friend only”.  This led to a misunderstanding when they spent time together only a few days before this proposition, and I think my friend continually leads women on by being extremely intimate with them when he has either no intention of anything truly intimate and deep, or it has become such a habit of his to do these type of things to women with a back-burner goal (or front burner goal) of having a sexual encounter with these women that they are completely thrown off guard when he decides something different from his actions profess.

He said that if she wanted to actually have sex with him, that was one thing, but to offer it as payment for him helping her with something was degrading.  So if she flirted, seduced, made innuendos that let him know she was interested in sex with him, and then asked to have him help her out, without offering sex as payment outright, he would have seen it as non-degrading and more worthy of his time?  If so, does this mean that “games” and ego stroking are less degrading than purely blunt honesty?

Does he not see that maybe the way he outwardly treats women puts off an instant impression of a “player” that really only wants sex anyway?  Does he not think that in a social setting, the more women’s numbers you ask for, regardless of platonic or sexual intentions, will eventually lead to women being a bit hesitant to give out their numbers, regardless if you are a “stalker” or not?  He is charming and his reputation spreads fast, so while he gets offended that women rebuff or are hesitant to be social with him, regardless of innocent intentions, women to tend to pick up on those that ultimately have the goal of having sex with you.  Most women do have that innate sense about men and how they act around them to at least be jaded in trusting that a man wants to be “just friends” platonically.  If he puts off the impression and a reputation of how many numbers he seeks out, let alone how many women he flirts with or kisses, let alone anything more physical than that, then he should look at himself and be thankful when women are blunt in offering what is in at least the back of his mind anyway…or at least give them more credit than to say what they are doing by being blunt is degrading.  Of course, that is just my humble opinion on that one.

Personally, I think it is degrading to him to treat women in the fashion he does, as well as degrading the women he encounters that are so willing to give him sex as payment for any help he may give them, no matter how large or small.  I brought it to his attention that while he wouldn’t have any form of sex with a man for things he has wanted or needed in life, he was very willing to have sex with women to get what he wanted or needed, regardless of whether he had or did not have the means to obtain what he wanted or needed outside of sexual favors.  I also brought it to his attention that he was willing to expect sex as payment for some things he does for some women in his life.  How is that not degrading and disgusting for him to do, let alone how is that not degrading and disgusting for the women that know that he will expect payment in the form of sexual favors if they do not have money to repay him?

He cannot seem to handle the mirror of his life when it is shown.  Of course, it is hard for anyone to truly look in the mirror of themselves when it is shown.  It saddens me greatly to hear his views on this and to see that he is as low as those he condemns.  He is judgmental and critical of some, but sees what he does as perfectly acceptable and something worth commendation at times.

He is not the most selfish and self-serving man I have ever known in my life (an ex boyfriend of mine takes the cake on that one), but it is so disheartening to see how the pathology of his mind works.  I even have gone so far as to think and feel that he is a sex addict of some form or another, and have actually begun to visit a support group to help me, as his friend, deal with the extremely degrading things I see and hear.

Then again, I have been taken advantage by him and fallen for his charms before as well, so I have also been seen as just as degraded with no self-respect as he has viewed this one woman, by the ones that care about me as well.  I admit to my hypocrisy by allowing myself to fall into that charming web, though I know I had and have enough self-respect to do self-reflection and get help for the “codependent” and “enabling” tendencies that leave me easy prey to giving off the impression that I am degrading myself and that I have no self-respect.

Now if I could just understand why this one woman, who should have been given more credit for being blunt instead of playing games, is seen as degrading herself, while it is completely overlooked and even celebrated when done by others, maybe my mind would stop thinking of example upon example of how so many situations are similar, and just as degrading.  I keep trying to understand, throwing my mind into the rules of debate and trying to see both sides, but I just cannot find it in my brain, or my heart, to see how they are so different…and I wish I could, because now, my mind and heart are viewing someone I care about deeply as very degrading of himself and women and pathological.