I talked to her last night for about an hour and a half, quite peacefully, and intimately as well, which opened my eyes and heart to keep things moving towards peace as far as my efforts were concerned.  She was the one that reminded me that at some point we have to stop being enablers.  I do not think she knows just how ironic that statement is in my life now as I have woken up enough to see my enabling behaviors that I need to keep under control, for many reasons, though most important was for the sake of my soul.

The irony, for me at least, is that as I have begun to put my foot down with enabling in many ways, she gives me ideas of what I can do to stop it while she is enabling in ways I just can no longer do and will only continue to impede on his growth and health if she cannot do what I had the courage to do, so to speak.  She, who could not do what I did while she was married, out of fear and such dependence, is oblivious to the mirror she should be looking at, instead of his or mine.

I love her as if she is true family, and we have had some wonderful times along with some painful ones, so I do not intend to sound as if she is awful, because she is not.  She, though, is definitely one I learn a lot from in some of the most unexpected ways, regardless of whether she intends a lesson or not.  However, that does have its disadvantages, as they may not always be the best things for the type of person I really am, whether positive or negative.

One thing she said that hit me hard last night during that time, other than the statement about stopping the enabling, was the fact I seemed so much more calm and relaxed than I had been frequently within the last, oh, I don’t even know how long anymore, and she didn’t specify a time length either.  She also said how nice it was that we weren’t snapping at each other every single time we spoke.  The final confirmation as to how I should be acting, came when she confessed that, when I picked the kids up from her house her initial statement that it had been a pretty good weekend wasn’t totally the truth, which I had wondered by the way she looked, sounded, and even acted that night when I spoke to her then.

Little does she know just how difficult it can be to not lash out in some way to the comments and interactions that happen, not only between him and I, but between her and I as well, because some of my thoughts can be so sharp and brutal, that I would be seen as, and teeter on being, a truly vengeful woman.  If I give in to the thoughts, I would be giving further validation of what was, and is not, reality, and for the sanity and serenity of my life, that is something I just cannot do. 

The fact that our children have already picked up our habits in a way I would have never wished on anyone, is what helped me realize that I must take a really steep high road throughout the “bad guy” reputation I have to accept as part of placing healthy boundaries, was what took the proverbial cake, in a way, for I knew before I even had children, I would not let them repeat the same misery I had known, whether it is the abusive ways I had lived through as a child, or the abusive ways I lived as an adult. I do carry guilt for not realizing sooner that I already had let them live that life and was grooming them to live it as either the abuser or victim as an adult until it invaded not only my dreams, but even during my most lucid states.

I now have to enable in one way, giving of myself that I may not truly want to, because I know I’m strong enough to stand my ground when it needs to be.  My boundaries are more firm than they have been before, especially once I was able to look at the entire 35 years of my life on a large scale to analyze and find something that made sense.  The pieces started to come to into focus while I was in the hospital with my daughter for those 5 days years ago, and I began truly looking for my soul, because I knew I was feeling the same as I had in my relationship with my mother when I was younger, though I was a capable adult that did not need someone else to survive.  I wanted to know why I felt like I was a child again that was beginning to believe she really was not able to live up to the expectations and questioned her own abilities that were being pushed to the side, even though she didn’t know what she could do differently because everything was so vague.

I felt so scared during the time our daughter was struggling with her health, and emotional waves just over took me to the point of a deep enough hole that I had an overwhelming urge to truly connect with the ones I loved in case someone’s time ended sooner than I would like.  When I reached out for the one that swore, and still swears to this day, that he’d be there for me if I really needed something, he turned me away and made excuses for his rejection, minimizing the reality that I was at an emotional breaking point and needed help of some sort.  I thought I needed my husband, but what I have learned is that I needed a life partner as much as a friend, something I had tried to make what our marriage was based on.  I had assumed his view of a marriage was the same as mine, though as I was reminded many times to never assume, as it makes an ass out of you and me, here I am deciding it is time to stop being an ass, because I am tired of him hiding behind me like that. 

I have taken the brunt for long enough and am determined to put the things I have learned since then into practice, because I will not take blame for doing enabling things that divert the attention from where it is truly needed and help him project things on me.  I was and am tired of being a dartboard for him and simply done with being an easier target to avoid things he does not like within his own mind. In essence, I am done being a victim of a bully that I love unconditionally by trying to control things I couldn’t, which was done because of his inability to handle uncomfortable and painful things.

I refuse to feel like that ever again, and while I feel guilt and shame for not being strong enough sooner, it truly is motivating me more than anything else, because I refuse to let our children live the life and feel the way I allowed and perpetuated any longer, simply because I had guilt for abandoning my own family before and swore to not do it again, and the fear of what might happen if I just did it again.  I cannot and will not, even if I am not perfect, I am striving for progress, not perfection, at keeping myself and my children healthy, including communicating of boundaries and respect…of that, you can take to the grave with me.


I have been asked so many times about why I don’t leave the ones that hurt me long before I do. My level of patience, or need for martyrdom as some may see it, has left people amazed in a concerned way, as well as appreciative when that patience is bestowed upon them. I’ve had to try to explain why I don’t cut ties when others would and suggest, though none of the answers I have given just fit quite right. I’ve been considered, at a minimum, co-dependent or needy, and at worst, a close to psychotic drama queen. Either way you look at it, people don’t understand, plain and simple, and I’ve been nervous to ever really tell the entire truth of it all, though most that know me well had long ago read between the lines.

I hadn’t been able to fully be able to put it to words within the last year or so, but I ran across a blog I wrote just over 6 years ago about recently reconnecting with a very old friend…the first friend I looked for when I started on a social networking site. Within a short statement written about my friend, I made a promise to him, and even to those others that could fit the descriptions. With that said, I hope I can finally clear the air about the “why” and let others find this instead of me needing to say it again out loud, because I wouldn’t be able to stop the emotions from completely overwhelming me.

From November 13, 2006:

“…The memories are bittersweet, as the time was very tough for both of us, but somehow, our friendship kept us both alive.  He was the one that I was closest to, and I don’t think I have ever had a friend since then that has even come close to him.

Life works in strange ways, and I will always regret those words I never said that were in my heart and I will regret that we ever drifted apart.  I hope to keep his friendship this time and never let it go, for he meant more to me than some will ever realize.

He was my rock and shoulder to cry on when there was absolutely nobody else.  He was a gentleman and always was kind to me, even when he was being brutally honest.  He made me laugh at some of the most critical times in my life, keeping me from literally going insane.  Our times together in the past will never be forgotten, and hopefully more memories will be made from this point forward.

I am so glad we are able to start again!  You know I care about you, and always have, no matter how life stood in the middle of us!  Even leaving things in the past, I still apologize that I was not the friend that I should have been in the end.  I have grown enough to know that the nearest and dearest should always be that way, and I refuse to let that happen again.”

I really loved him, and do to this day, yet denied it for a long time, fearful of the depths and raw power I felt about him while feeling regret and shame when I realized I had mistaken feelings instead of communicating after the damage had already been done. Our friendship drifted apart in small ways at first, and it hurt me more than he ever knew, or could even probably understand, and again, I sought to put the pain behind me and deny it was even there, so I pushed away further to try to get over him.

We never really officially dated and we were not actually a couple, though I know how much I wanted to be. We needed each other in so many ways, yet we always seemed to focus on how we wanted each other in so many innocent ways, and always knew that it was okay to actually need the other person from time to time. It was mutual respect and faith that we wanted to be there for each other, including the worst of times, to hopefully bring about some light when looking back in the dark.

I would have married him in a heartbeat, and I had no doubt mother wouldn’t find fault in him in a way that she would not give her blessing, which she has withheld that blessing for anyone even as of today. There was something about him that I could not, and still cannot, describe as to why I loved him so much and wanted more than just a friendship, but it’s something I just can’t deny.

I apologized for mistakes I made in the demise of our friendship that lasted roughly 6 or 7 years, though with his confessions over the last 6 years of rebuilding our friendship, I felt what I wrote that night says it in the most profound and naked way.

I promised the very best friend I ever had, that I would not leave his side, ever again, because I do not think I could ever go through that kind of pain again and survive emotionally. I will not let anyone that touches me deeply like he did leave my life where both of us have that type of pain that can be heavy burden to bear when you truly love someone.

Thank you, Doctor or whoever decides what is healthy or how it should be done, but at least for me, when it comes to those I honestly love, I would rather take the small doses of sharp but short pain during those lost 6 or 7 years, than take the large doses of soul aching pain tortuously drawn out in that same time frame.

I made a promise, and I intend to keep it, regardless of whether I end up where I always wanted to be with them or not…

I had absolutely nobody in my life and tried to do it on my own, until I met someone that became not only what I needed, but also wanted, in my life. I had nothing, but felt I had everything, and I gave that up too easily, and realized too late, that for so many years, I never had the one thing I always truly wanted, and honestly needed…my best friend. I do not want to ever leave others to feel the same way I did…

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.