ON ABUSE: BEING A FRIEND
ON THINGS GOING WRONG: BREAKING UP
I endure a heavy heart. My abused friend just left. She asked me to help her organize her things against the speak out loud list
to prepare for a counseling appointment.
On the one hand, I am VERY proud of her and wish her continued small successes and she tries to heal and break away from crazy shit things and get a divorce. Step by step.
Wanting an alternative open relationship model is NOT crazy. Wanting to Share in a different way is NOT crazy. But having chosen to go there together? And come to find it is not what they thought it would be because of not having enough education? Enough planning? Enough fitness (in mind, body, heart, or soul)?
That is NEVER a reason to start raining abuse on your partner, blame shifting, causing pain, destruction and I don't know what! NEVER. EVER. And this is what G. meant and I know it. I don't even have to hear what he's witnessed when we chatted briefly this summer and he told me he could tell me "stories that would make my hair curl."
I have witnessed all kinds of freak show in other people's relationships sometimes. I don't think monoships are any less
freak show. Freak show is freak show! It takes all kinds and there will be wonderful examples of monoships and polyships and so on. And there will be wacko examples too. Good and Bad. But I swear this one just takes the cake lately. My eyebrows shoot up into my hairline and my mouth hangs open.
I try to hold in my emotion so I can offer judgement free safe space here in my home when she needs to borrow my printer and do what she has to do. I hurt to know my friend has endured this pain so long when she ask for feedback and sounding board time and she reveals intimate details that are Hard to Hear. But I'm her friend. So I sit there and Hear like she asks. I don't have to choose this. But I do.
I hurt hoping she does not perceive me as looking down on her. I don't
. I try to gently ask her questions not to be nosy and not to tell her what she SHOULD do. It's to try to get her to think it out and see all her options for where she COULD go. This is her decision making process. She's the boss. I will be her friend no matter what she decides but she has to own her process. She's owning it. I am so proud of her. Trying to own a goddamn HARD.
Ugh. And there's soooo many other things I want to tell her, but don't feel like this is the time to burden her with the information.
This is NOT about me. This is about her, and helping her navigate this Difficult Time in her Life with some dignity.
I don't even hate the guy. I hate his behavior. I still do not care to be in relationship with him -- be HIS friend. But I'm still willing to say "LEAVE if this is what you choose. But pass the baton and alert his next of kin he's all wacko right now. He needs care!"
I am still not saying "Screw him! I wish he was dead!"
I have enough compassion to want him to get better than THIS. (If he is able. Lordy. ) But I so DO NOT LOVE his behavior. Abhorrent! It is TOTALLY wrong and inappropriate. Frightening! Mentally and emotionally abusive! Gives me the heebie jeebies. That is a mind there that is all kinds of broken
For myself and my own well being? I just want to keep the hell away from him.
Who knows. Maybe he's evil. Maybe he's Bipolar. Maybe he is BOTH evil and bipolar. Again, I'm not a pro and that's not my job. My job right now is to be a friend.
What is clear? My friend CANNOT allow herself to stay in the line of fire. Something MUST change.
This crazy shit thing is hurting her in all her buckets -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health. She is tired, losing sleep, stressed out to the max, hurting on all levels... She deserves better treatment, a happy life. She's not asking for unreasonable things!
I don't really talk to her much about my own process with my spouse. She knows we're talking. She knows right now we are firmly CLOSED with parenting time and eldercare time on our plates. But that's one of the things I wish I could tell her. Maybe like:
"Oh, honey. If THIS is how you are wired, and this is how you want to live? You have the right to try to live in a way that feeds you well. It can be done. It can be done well.
But slow it down. Really take the time to examine your own fitness, the fitness of your partner, the fitness of the existing relationship FIRST before adding more. Because going there under-prepared and with starry-eyed unrealistic expectations, unreasonable expectations, not seeing eye-to-eye on what you want from the new relationships forged, not having any kind of a code of conduct or map for conflict resolution? Are you increasing your odds of success and happiness going in like that? Success and happiness are not guaranteed. Those things ENSUE after changes in behavior.
But do not RUSH. Spend a good while ALONE post-divorce. Get to know yourself again as you heal. Don't jump into a new thing just to run away from the old crazy shit thing. Wait. Heal. Wait some more. Wait to have something really good to run TOWARD. Life is long. It will come. But only if you let it."
I watched her get in her car and drive off feeling like the Ancient of Days. My heart is heavy and burdened. I just hope for the best outcome. I keep on hoping. That's all a friend can do, I guess. Be supportive in appropriate ways and keep on helping you to hope for better days ahead?
I do not base my own relationship on how other people are doing/not doing. But at times like these I take great comfort in being with DH. Knowing that my partner gets me, and knowing I get him. He told me earlier today he has to give her props and tonight before he took off for sleep I asked him to tell her so directly. So he did. I think she needs to hear feedback from other MEN too that this is just not right. Abusive behavior is just NOT cool.
DH and I have seen a lot go by in 20 years. Friends getting falling in love, married, having babies, breaking up, getting remarried, coming out, exploring alternative models, battling illness, changing jobs, changing homes... just lots of life stuff.
What is life but change?
I reflect on how I want our first Openings to be like and how I hope they might come to pass if we choose to go there. If we choose to make a new Change and choose each other again in a new shape. Knowing that should there we choose to go? We strive to go in there prepared and prepared to pay the price of admission.
- Should it blow up, and go crazy? Conflict resolution plan first.
- Should it circumstances dictate a split? Then let's have an amicable split then. Break out the split up sanely plan then.
Do I want
to split? Hell, no!
But let's not be ostrich about it. The ultimate price of admission is a split. That price tag is ALWAYS there. Even in monoship, even in closed polyship of 2. That price tag is always there.
If you stop tending to your partner's well being in the way you agreed to sign up to tend it? Watch that relationship wither and die on the vine. Your partner may exercise their right leave and choose to go. They do not have to choose to stay in a place where they are not fed.
They may even still love you and wish
it could work. But loving you doesn't automatically
mean staying with you. Feelings are separate
from behavior. Perhaps it's healthier for them to love you from a distance.
I'd like to think if DH and I have to split for some unforseen reason we could manage to do it WELL.
I think we could. Sigh. Let's hope it doesn't go there. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. It's in the playbook, dude.
Ugh. Worrying for friend and being sick is making me not be able to sleep.