JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Learning to Love Yourself; *A* Not Helping

So, in therapy today, we talked about the process for learning to love myself and be able to rely on myself and lose some of this long standing anxiety. My therapist suggested that I not only need to learn to rely on other people and take in their nurturance when they do, but to be able to tap into that when I'm alone and anxious. In other words, when anxiety hits me because I'm feeling insecure and a lack of self-love, I should tap into the feeling/memory of what it was like to have someone nurture and take care of me.

Then, I went downtown to work out, do an errand for my research job, and had lunch with *A*. He has this woman coming to stay with him for a month in July. *A* has been super secretive about his relationship with this woman and refuses to tell me if they have a romantic relationship or if they're just friends. At lunch, I suggested that since we'll all be hanging out together this summer, he might as well just tell me. He told me that I won't be meeting this woman and that they'll just avoid me this summer.

I was very insulted and told him so. He said that she won't want to meet me, so there's nothing he can do. I said, "so once you start dating someone, we won't hang out anymore?" But, he just acted like I'm over-reacting and that it isn't a big deal. I'm REALLY annoyed with him:
  1. Why is he still focused on our relationship as "ex" instead of as best friends?
  2. Why is he so non-chalant about not hanging out with me?
  3. Why is he so secretive about the whole thing?
  4. Will he really be so quick to just drop our almost 20 year friendship?

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Blogger Gail Rae said...

Being an ex is hard; lots harder than saying, "Let's just be friends." I think it's especially hard for men because, often, their feelings about their manhood get in the way. Most men don't really "get" the concept of "just friendship" without lots and lots of help and casual "just friends therapy". My feeling is that you shouldn't take it personally. When a person doesn't have a personal, well-worn, emotional "friend track" to fall back on, "just being friends" is like entering a new and frightening universe, I think.

Saturday, May 12, 2007 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

I definitely get what you're saying - but A and I were friends before we started dating; we've been close friends for around 17 years; and we haven't dated for over 10 years.

Saturday, May 12, 2007 1:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gail Rae said...

Aye, but here's the rub: Although you and A may have a personal history of friendship, chances are excellent that A doesn't have something that almost all women have: A personal history of learning friendship between the ages of 0-10. Even girls who aren't particularly friendly (I was one of those), by close, automatic observation of groups of girls learn, quickly, what friendship is all about when they're young. Men learn buddy-ship, but learning friendship is a rare matter for men. That's what I mean by "friend track". The friendship girls learn when young transfers well to friendships with both genders, I think. The buddy-ship that boys learn doesn't transfer as well.
In addition, even though a fair number (although probably no longer the majority) of women still forsake friendships for periods when their interest in a particular guy flourishes, one way or another, for one reason or another, when romantic situations settle down, women who are so inclined reestablish their women-friendships without too much difficulty. Men don't often have experience with the ebb and flow of friendship that they can easily apply to friend-romantic-interest-friend relationships.
As well, even after 10 years, it's possible that A may continue to be confused about the friendship vs. romance relationship between you and he. Because men don't learn, early, how to be super-observant of relationships, they also don't learn how to quickly switch back and forth. In fact, as I'm thinking about previous posts in which you've described A's difficulties with being friends, I suspect this confusion has been operative for a long time within his friendship with you. I can guarantee that although this confusion of his applies to his relationship with you, it is not personal to you, even though it's lasting for what seems like a long, long time. If it was personal to you, A and you would not have been the kind of friends you've been for 10 years.
By the way, Happy Mother's Day to your Mom! I hope you get to make contact with her today, Karma!

Sunday, May 13, 2007 9:36:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Augh! Another issue why my relationship with A is messed up because of HIS inabilities to have any sort of relationship with anyone and his lack of willingness to communicate.

Well, what are you going to do? I guess that by dating someone else and trying to move on, that's the best thing.

I've spoken with my mom twice today. I also sent her 4 dozen tulips and a box of chocolate covered strawberries.

Sunday, May 13, 2007 6:13:00 PM  

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