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  #1  
Old 02-03-2014, 09:50 AM
NovemberRain's Avatar
NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 696
Default advice? Friend interested, I'm not.

Hi all,

Been awhile. For those following my story, one bf has been kind of nice; I stepped back from my stupid job (was a manager, now I'm not; still over-worked, but no bone-crushing responsibility).

So, there's a lovely woman at work. When I first got there, we became friends, it was clear that we were smart, and kindred spirits. Then I realized she had the potential for batshit crazy, and that scared me, so I backed up a bit. Then I became the boss, and we both stayed backed up to a proper professional distance.

A few months ago, I became not-the-boss, and we sort of got close again. About a year ago, she had a huge life-changing (and fairly traumatic) event; and I got as mother-bear as I could. Oh, she's 20 years my junior.

She came in one day and mentioned she and her hubs would like to join me at my local poly coffee thing. They were too exhausted to come last time.

A few days ago, she called and confessed/professed her love and sexual desire for me. It was a very long conversation, and she definitely sounded under the influence. I learned that we shared a more similar history of trauma than we had each previously known about each other.

I adore her; and I'm not going there. For so, so many reasons it would not be a good idea. But I'm not sure I'm handling it well, and perhaps it's just been so long since I've had to feel anything challenging...well that's why I'm asking your thoughts.

I remember feeling so much like she seems to feel. I'm 20 years later and *mountains* of therapy later, and I'm not remotely tempted to enter into that kind of potential trouble. I have moments where I think I feel sad, because (sadly, actually), I could have been wooed, but that confession had pretty much the opposite effect. Then I remember it's not about me.

I suspect she knows exactly how safe I am; and is testing that. I'm pretty sure I can stand up to the test; and still wish I didn't have to. She deserves healing, just like we all do; but that healing isn't going to happen in my bed. Maybe over dinner or at coffee or even at work. But not in any bed with me.

I haven't brought it up; and feel like I should. My fear is that she will deny any such conversation ever happened (since she was under the influence).

Okay, I best be going to sleep. If you have any helpful things to offer, I'd much appreciate hearing from you.
__________________
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2014, 01:15 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 737
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
Hi all,

Been awhile. For those following my story, one bf has been kind of nice; I stepped back from my stupid job (was a manager, now I'm not; still over-worked, but no bone-crushing responsibility).

So, there's a lovely woman at work. When I first got there, we became friends, it was clear that we were smart, and kindred spirits. Then I realized she had the potential for batshit crazy, and that scared me, so I backed up a bit. Then I became the boss, and we both stayed backed up to a proper professional distance.

A few months ago, I became not-the-boss, and we sort of got close again. About a year ago, she had a huge life-changing (and fairly traumatic) event; and I got as mother-bear as I could. Oh, she's 20 years my junior.

She came in one day and mentioned she and her hubs would like to join me at my local poly coffee thing. They were too exhausted to come last time.

A few days ago, she called and confessed/professed her love and sexual desire for me. It was a very long conversation, and she definitely sounded under the influence. I learned that we shared a more similar history of trauma than we had each previously known about each other.

I adore her; and I'm not going there. For so, so many reasons it would not be a good idea. But I'm not sure I'm handling it well, and perhaps it's just been so long since I've had to feel anything challenging...well that's why I'm asking your thoughts.

I remember feeling so much like she seems to feel. I'm 20 years later and *mountains* of therapy later, and I'm not remotely tempted to enter into that kind of potential trouble. I have moments where I think I feel sad, because (sadly, actually), I could have been wooed, but that confession had pretty much the opposite effect. Then I remember it's not about me.

I suspect she knows exactly how safe I am; and is testing that. I'm pretty sure I can stand up to the test; and still wish I didn't have to. She deserves healing, just like we all do; but that healing isn't going to happen in my bed. Maybe over dinner or at coffee or even at work. But not in any bed with me.

I haven't brought it up; and feel like I should. My fear is that she will deny any such conversation ever happened (since she was under the influence).

Okay, I best be going to sleep. If you have any helpful things to offer, I'd much appreciate hearing from you.
I have found that with drunken confessions in general, the person may remember part of it, but isn't always sure about what s/he said, and really can't be held accountable. That said, I hold the information in my head - information given without a filter, information she probably wouldn't have shared if she was sober - and wait for an opportunity to bring it out in bits and pieces. What I mean is, she will allude to the things she told you at some point in sober conversation. At that time you can draw out the information you already have at a time and place where she can cope with it.

I suspect if you bring up her drunken confession, she won't deal with it, because of the nature of the topic, and she probably has no clear idea of exactly what she said.
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2014, 02:04 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,026
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Quote:
I haven't brought it up; and feel like I should. My fear is that she will deny any such conversation ever happened (since she was under the influence).
If you think you should? Do.

Maybe you need help forming the words? Perhaps something like
"Hey, about the other night. You seemed under the influence. Are you ok today? Could you be willing to tell me how you prefer to handle the convo? I would like to call it "under influence, does not apply" and put it behind us. No harm no foul. Just carry on the friendship. Does that work for you?"
Face saving out -- she can laugh and say she doesn't even remember a thing. (Whether she actually does or doesn't.)

You get to restablish boundaries here as "friendship."

Win for all.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-03-2014 at 02:09 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2014, 04:20 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,114
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***JaneQ waves a BIG "Hello!" to NovemberRain***
(So glad to see you here again - I missed you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
...I adore her; and I'm not going there. For so, so many reasons it would not be a good idea...

...I suspect she knows exactly how safe I am; and is testing that. I'm pretty sure I can stand up to the test; and still wish I didn't have to. She deserves healing, just like we all do; but that healing isn't going to happen in my bed. Maybe over dinner or at coffee or even at work. But not in any bed with me...
From the back story this definitely sounds like it fits under the "Don't Fuck Fragile" rule - which you were quick to recognize.

I know that you can stand up to the test and be a friend and mentor and care for her by being strong yourself - doing what you feel is best for her AND you.

As to how to handle the "drunken conversation"...it depends on your usual interactions/conversations and whether or not she is acting in such a way that you believe that she remembers much/all of the conversation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookbug View Post
I have found that with drunken confessions in general, the person may remember part of it, but isn't always sure about what s/he said, and really can't be held accountable. That said, I hold the information in my head - information given without a filter, information she probably wouldn't have shared if she was sober ...
If she seems to have "forgotten" the conversation (either because she doesn't remember or she does NOT want to talk about it)...you could let it ride.

You could just treat the disclosure as "information" and let that knowledge aid you in understanding her better (and avoiding any innocent interactions that could indicate, inadvertently, that you were interested in "going there" - you can be on guard.)



Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Maybe you need help forming the words? Perhaps something like
"Hey, about the other night. You seemed under the influence. Are you ok today? Could you be willing to tell me how you prefer to handle the convo? I would like to call it "under influence, does not apply" and put it behind us. No harm no foul. Just carry on the friendship. Does that work for you?"
Face saving out -- she can laugh and say she doesn't even remember a thing. (Whether she actually does or doesn't.)

You get to restablish boundaries here as "friendship."
I was going to suggest something very similar. If she seems troubled - like she remembers the conversation and wishes she could take it back, or like she remembers that there WAS a conversation but not the details. You could say something fairly ambiguous to open the door:

"When you called the other night, you seemed pretty worked up ... I just wanted to let you know that, as your friend, I am flattered that you feel comfortable enough to confide in me and want you to know that if you ever want to get together and talk about stuff over coffee, then I am here for you."


At that point -
  1. A. She can deny any recollection of the conversation (and you can drop it),
  1. B. She can back-pedal and say that she was drunk and didn't mean it (and you can drop it, while maintaining that you are available to talk and support her as a friend),
  1. C. OR she can proclaim her undying love for you and her willingness to move heaven and earth to be with you (and you can tell her that YOU are not in a place where that is possible for YOU right now and that if she doesn't feel that she is in a place to be "just friends" then you are going to have to walk away - best wishes, etc.).

(OK, she could respond in other ways as well, and you can tailor your response accordingly)

Glad to have you back,

JaneQ
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 02-04-2014 at 04:25 AM.
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