Author Topic: Relationship/s  (Read 61139 times)

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2019, 02:17:07 AM »
So do YOUUUUUUUU, Tupp, so do you.

When you're down please remember:
1) How truly amazing and smart and wonderful and deep and VALUABLE you are, and

2) If ole Hops can receive a random act of kindness from the universe at nearly 69, it can happen to you too.

I don't think there's any magic potion except that I really did work on accepting whatever is while ALSO insisting that I find some way of being that kept space open for the possibility of good things happening. I'm no "Secret" believer, but I do know thinking that way made life better. Even if M had never responded to my profile, I was still feeling more open. Just...open. Not expecting.

Meanwhile, for you to be moved for me moves me. Thanks, dear. I really mean this gratitude.

(Of course, should M and I unexpectedly hit the dust or I discover some awful deal breaker, where else would I recover? Right HERE, thanks to you and everyone.)

Love,
Hops

I think you are a shining example of how going through all the therapy and the figuring it out and the loneliness and that fear of always being alone can really pay off.  It's nice to see someone being rewarded because they refused to settle and just 'put up' with someone else's annoying habits.  Someone knowing themselves well enough to know what they want, what they don't, brave enough to look through it realistically and willing to risk 'being alone for ever' rather than selling themselves short - it takes nerve :) And yep, there is always a possibility of some awful revelation further down the life but that's life, isn't it?  I am increasingly aware that I'm looking back and regretting not taking some opportunities when I was younger - I had chances to make friends with people but I didn't feel confident enough, I had a chance to go to America as part of an exchange programme when I was at Uni and I turned it down because my boyfriend wouldn't have liked it.  There have been jobs I could have applied for and yes, it might have gone wrong but I wouldn't be wondering 'what if'.  So yes, I am delighted that you were brave enough to keep hanging on in there and to keep trying and I'm so happy that you and M will be playing the piano whilst wearing your mad socks :) xx

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2019, 02:44:50 AM »
I am grateful that you perceive me as having been brave, and maybe at some junctures I have been. But no fooling, I truly have missed and neglected and bailed and skeered myself out of opportunities too in the past (and present) that could have made a very positive difference in my life.

This time I think I've been both lucky and open to the possibility of good things happening and did take one action. After years of it NOT working, I hopped back onto the older-folks dating site one more time, freshened up my profile making sure I said what I really wanted to say, and this time I'd told myself...well, I'm just going to keep at it longer. And stayed busy in between so I didn't obsess over it. And I wouldn't let myself get all up in knots about myself being a failure or success or whatever, however it went...I was just meeting new human beings for coffee. That was all I let it be. So I did enjoy that, even though most of those meetings were one-offs. I didn't regret meeting the "wrong" people, because I just kept the whole thing feeling kind inside toward myself and the other person. These 70-ish guys were vulnerable too. And I'd not even look for messages except about once a week, and contacts were slow. I turned it into just one thing I'd try to remember to check on now and then.

I feel lucky and grateful and so glad for friends here who'll put up with the blow by blow.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2019, 09:50:28 AM »
LOL.... telling stories on myself...

Hol INSISTED I let her look at my profile on that dating site and let her edit it. Since she met her new sweetie on Tinder, she now considers herself an "expert". (She always has been a good writer.)

Yeah, there was a glaring "message" that I really didn't want ANY attention, from ANYONE. And that, she said, meant I wasn't being honest with myself about what I really wanted -- and therefore would be interpreted as being a "hot mess" to any guys. It was my usual scaring people off - protecting them from ME - because I really did still feel I was a hot mess at that point in my travels from grief.

She also removed the bit about chasing guys down the aisles with chains and a roll of duct tape. LOL. Dammit. I thought it was cute & flirty. But my perception of these things, I'll admit, might be a tad bit skewed after one considers all I've been through. (Trying to get her to admit the same, of herself, is still a little hard. She compares us, a lot. And thinks she's stronger. LOL... totally forgetting all the years I spent working to help her keep an "open party line" between the gaslighting/projection in her relationship with Matt - and her real self. So she could see it; and deal with it.)

So, I have a live-in "mirror" these days; someone to provide feedback in a constructive, caring way. And that's kinda essential for me, I'm finding. I maybe have a ways to go, before I could claim any "being open" like you Hops, but along with spring dragging it's feet around here... I'm moving through stuff too. Dealing with some of the "other people's approval" of me - or not - too.

Puzzle pieces falling into close enough proximity, that I can see the connections and where each piece goes.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 09:52:16 AM by sKePTiKal »
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lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2019, 01:06:59 PM »
:::Huge joyful clapping::  Hops!

 So glad you're enjoying M, and twirling like a girl in your heart.

Just twirl away, and don't worry about it. 

The twirling, today, is the important bit, IMO.

Lighter







Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2019, 01:29:22 AM »
Thanks for twirling with me, imaginatively, Light!

Amber, how great that you let H have a peek at your profile. I forgot about the chains and duct tape! I remembered it as a fantasy but didn't realize you'd actually included it in a dating profile. Oh Lordy, I'm still hoping for your upscale holler guy.

The formal dinner went fine. The location and the accoutrements were formal but the people were just lovely, warm and kind and funny. His department is truly familial and all show respect and love for each other, and were very nice to me.

He was MC, in his tux, and had to keep hopping up and down to introduce the next speaker. And he did a charming introduction for her (outstanding retiring colleague, a woman, who has had a dazzling career, much of it about Latin American women, bravo!) and friends and former students and colleagues talked too. The young poet I've become pals with was there and I got to meet his lovely wife. The rest was a spinning blur of people slipping in and out of Spanish and lovely wine, great food, and the most beautiful (and historic) room in town as the setting.

We were at "Table #1" up front and I wondered how that would feel, but it was nice. People seemed very curious about me but nobody looked disapproving at all. (I was wondering whether they'd judge him for getting involved less than a year after he lost his wife.) He openly held my hand and when they asked how we met, I deferred to him and he started talking about the restaurant. His brash colleague on my right said, But yes, but how did you meet at FIRST? LOL. So M fessed up that we "met" online, and told them his late wife had told him more than once, "don't be alone." I actually felt fine, not really awkward, glad to be there with him and them. It felt good that he so openly showed that we're a couple and looked so happy.

During the day though, I LOATHED the getting ready. Partial "up-do" at the hair salon looked fine was was so tediou$ to have done, new fancy $hoes, pantyho$e, etc. But I have to admit my outfit (borrowed very glam flowy pants, old but beautiful quilted top, my own quiet jewelry) looked just fine. People did laugh when I seized a wandering insect off the carpet and carried it outdoors. As usual, I had the deepest talk with one of the caterers.

I was feeling pretty airy as he drove me home, and then got all sad. Because he can't stay off the subject of my D. He has a picnic at a winery all planned for tomorrow and I was so looking forward to it, but once he started saying he'd really like a very long talk, and he needs to understand the D story better, and what was the timeline with her estrangement, etc etc. And my heart just sank. It's so painful to narrate it. I even printed out my two "Mothering Again" threads here and re-read them, and all that old misery.... Not feeling it again the way I did at the time, but just feeling "heavy" about the necessity to help him understand it.

I KNOW he adores his family and can't comprehend this. But it'll be really really hard to re-live it through trying to explain it to him. I would rather he let it come out naturally over time.

I felt better after I had the thought: I can explain as much as I want and put a boundary around the rest. Or do it in small installments so as to not weigh down my own spirit. Or even ask, "Can you tell me why a more detailed timeline about her will be helpful for you?" It almost felt like an intrusive question until I remembered how he talks about his own people, like history, with timelines. But as soon as I had the thought that I could turn this back to him, more or less, by asking what is driving his questions, I instantly felt stronger. Vulnerable place.

So I'll cope, and tomorrow will probably be lovely. Nice weather and the winery views are ridiculously gorgeous. Pooch gets to go too, so I gotta get up in the a.m. and give her stanky self a bath.

Night, all.
Love,
Hops
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 01:40:26 AM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2019, 11:40:29 AM »
Hops, it's always hard to tell the story of something that broke our hearts. But I suspect, that this will be a healing telling. Just go at your own pace... don't map it out... and give him time to compassionately feedback to you. Tell it naturally. It's perfectly understood, that not everything will come out the first time you tell the story. And it won't be a linear progression per se either - because you'll be touching on some still sore areas - and that will be A-OK.

Dollars to doughnuts, he'll reach out and comfort you.

Fret not dear. The fact he asked to hear it, in the first place, isn't that he doesn't understand how these things happen in families... My guess is, he already senses how painful it still is and he CARES.
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Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2019, 12:05:56 PM »
Gotta go shortly so in a rush...THANKS, Amber.

He does care! No question. But he also has a relentless
mind (appetite for inquiry) and given his powerful career,
perhaps not much sense of his own limits. He has teased
out Islam's deepest roots in the western world as a major
cause of present tribal ills even to today, to much reknown.

So he's approaching my D situation with a similar deep deep
interest in details and timelines, as though as an historian,
he'll get an answer. And I just don't wanna relive all this.

I'll try. With boundaries. I did email him that his probing had
awakened the anguish monster, and he was sorry it had. But
I think this may be a difficult thing to navigate.

The love is there, so I'm hopeful we'll navigate it okay. But
family estrangement just Does Not Compute to him, who is
passionate about family all the way back! So...he's pressing
and keeps telling me (again) how sad it makes him.

I honestly wish he wouldn't. Once I said, "I cannot carry your
grief about my grief. It's too much." And a few days later, he
says it again.

I think my challenge is to learn not to try to fix his sadness
by excavating more "research information" for him. He is
driven by that kind of approach, I think.

Off to winery! Clean Pooch!

xxxxoooo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2019, 02:47:38 PM »
Aww, Hops.  He's a kind, good man who really seems to....

seems to.....

::dropping head::

want to HELP you solve this dd problem... I think?

If he wants to understand, then he'll have to learn about personality disorders, the nonsensical nature of these things, and how PD individuals sometimes (often IME) sabotage themselves along with those closest to them.  That's never going to make sense.... no matter how you tell it, IME.

I'd ask M why he wants to know the details.  Maybe his answer will guide the answers you provide?

From here, there's a linear story, and trying to tell it would lead down painful rabbit holes that go way off track, and are confusing, perhaps, for both you and M.

I suggest writing out the pieces, in the order you want M to hear, to help him understand the situation.  Depending on what he says he needs to understand about it, writing it out might be a healing process that helps him understand, while helping you remain as level as possible.

You can include websites with information about PDs.

Your painful journey, understood clearly, and quickly, is something that could bring you and M closer, IMO. 

If the thread of truth meanders, or he misunderstands, or God forbid makes you feel judged..... that would be a direction to avoid.

I very clearly so both POV.  I didn't have experience with PDs, and truly didn't understand until I experienced it first hand.

The ignorance isn't willful, or meant to harm, but it can, and that feels bad.  I really want M to understand, with economy of motion, while avoiding your most tender spots, or making you in any way feel misunderstood (defensive) which is demoralizing, and my rule has been to NOT discuss these things with people who aren't capable of "getting it."

I don't know if he can understand, but talking to him about it before trying to explain is an imperative, I think.

Maybe providing a few articles about PDs that can help frame your story before you share.

Definitely consider writing it out, and providing it to him.  You can write, read, sort, and re write in your own time, carefully considering the pieces, and putting them together in the most helpful way.  It might help a layer deeper. At least I very much hope so. 

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2019, 07:08:31 PM »
Thanks, (((((Lighter)))) --

In a way, though, for me writing it IS reliving it.
I did print out my two threads on mothering again from here, and re-read them through last. SO much anguish spilled and healed here, I cannot tell y'all.

But today, our magical afternoon really was that. It was hard but since we had a 45-min. drive, and he wanted to know in a chronological way, I narrated through the first half of her life (and my two marriages) -- the outline of when, where we lived, etc. -- taking her own life up to the death of her Dad at her age 19. That's kind of First Half.

When I go for dinner on Wednesday, I promised him the Second Half. Bit in two that way, it's not so bad. In a funny way it does help to go chronologically, not just because timelines are his comfort zone, but because I know I'm now halfway through it! I don't think he understands much about PDs or mental illness, but I've referenced both. I also sent him links to Joshua Coleman's work and a huge review article on estrangement that covers what research there is. Ironically, Dr. Coleman is in SF so if I do move to Sonoma, we'll go visit him together!

I think it'll be okay. Today really was gorgeous and fun and relaxing. We talked and talked and he brought a ridiculously lavish picnic and we did a tasting and bought a bottle of rose and stared at the mountains and wandered around the vinyard with Pooch. There is no more beautiful place in spring.

Back to his house, bit o' cuddling, and by the time I get home he's already emailed me again that he's "crazy, mad" in love with me. He is already hinting at "the rest of his life" with me, and you know, I am feeling it too. We'll see! No rush!!

And when we were on the big porch at the winery his sister called from Costa Rica (I kind of wondered at the timing) and she wanted to talk to me and was SO KIND. Told me how thrilled the whole family is for him and how he told them I've brought him back to life. (He had sunk into a really sad sad dark place after she died.)

One thing I'm stunned by is that there are HORDES of people in his life who are his family or clearly consider him family and so far I've felt nothing but welcome. And a grandbaby in SF on the way!

He's also going to take me to Cuba, where his great aunt lived. We can go there from Costa Rica. I have always wanted to go there!

This is ri di cu lous.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2019, 07:45:24 AM »
Well that's a relief, Hops.  Sounds like everything's working out. 

I couldn't be happier for you. 

CUBA! 

Lighter

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2019, 08:08:41 AM »
Oh. My. Goodness!

This sounds like a fairy-tale come true Hops. And JUST what the "doctor ordered" for ya!

Do me one favor, though. Stay anchored in "Hop's world" for a just a bit. Your life, still has purpose and meaning, on it's own. I have no worries about this, with you. Just a reminder to take your time about falling head first into an "us". Remember to breathe, in between meetings and emails.

I do understand the time factor; it was something that Mike and I went through. But, it turned out just fine (even though I'm still trying to convince Hol of that, in some aspects; there were parts of him that she saw me "caving" to... that she didn't think were "really me". Maybe she's right. I'm not sure I need to know that, one way or another, right now.)
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2019, 09:01:20 AM »
Gently echoing Amber here.

Stay anchored in your world, Hops.

Lighter


Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2019, 04:07:53 PM »
Yup, yup.
Still gotta do my taxes.
Still take comfort in coming home to my messy solitude.

One step at a time, despite the exciting announcements.

Thanks, guys...important reminder! I still feel the earth beneath my sensible shoes, but I'm glad you're watching!

xxxxxxxooooooo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #43 on: April 09, 2019, 06:08:08 AM »
This is so lovely to read, Hops.  I'm glad his lovely, extended family and work network are welcoming you in to their fold - as they should be!  A lovely addition to the group :)  The situation with your D is difficult; I can understand him wanting to know more and understand (as this is such a huge part of your life) but equally understand your reluctance and worry over pulling those wounds out again.  But you are able to put the breaks on when necessary and I know you will feel you can tell him "Not today.  It's too much".  And I think he will understand, he sounds like the sort of person who hears what people say and that's quite rare.

I loved what you said about having a deep conversation with the caterer at the formal event :)  I did lots of waitressing jobs when I was younger, always at very posh do's, either corporate events or weddings, fancy christenings and so on.  There is always someone (they've usually snuck off for a fag) who ends up chatting to the staff and having their own little party separate to everyone else!  I loved it, always really interesting people and I've always felt you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat waitresses, cleaning ladies, bin men, road sweepers and so on.  It sounds like a lovely evening (although I can identify with the faff of getting ready for it :) ).

It sounds lovely - fun, excitement, travel, adventure, and interesting conversations and new people to meet.  Aw.  I'm really happy for you xx xx xx

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2019, 11:14:03 AM »
Talked to my T yesterday about how painful it is to answer his questions about D. She said, it was not just grief you healed from, it was deep trauma. I haven't been using that word inside my own mind, but it does make sense. I recall one parent on a forum said complete rejection from an estranged adult child feels like a combination of death, divorce and murder. That rang true.

I DID heal from it. But to be truly intimate with M, I do understand the necessity of telling it. Because he would interrupt me at moments or go on brief tangents, it was difficult to tell him Part One. I got through it and was relieved afterward, but still felt that while he does care, he also is pretty cerebral about it. Being analytical, rather than fully comprehending what it costs me to talk about it.

So I just told him. Wrote him a long email about what my T had said, and spelled out unmistakably how deep and complex is the healed wound he is probling. And how I am willing and recognize the importance of re-lancing the wound to tell the story, I need to ask him to sit with me first for an hour next time I see him (before he bounces around happily concocting dinner, pouring wine, talking nonstop about friends and scholarship) and just listen.

It's tough to draw this boundary but for my own peace of mind, I needed to. Each time he has suddenly talked about how sad HE feels about my loss of my D, it's like a pick, poking into the sorest part of my being. He truly does not want to cause me fresh pain. But I felt I needed to tell him the truth. He does, when he's casual about commenting about it.

One thing I noticed when my dearest, oldest friends were visiting for an overnight last week. Even THEY asked, "Have you heard from D?" It astonishes me. They even knew her, when we lived in another state. They knew my second husband. They once remonstrated with her about the way she was talking to me (contempt). They watched her (and our relationship) deteriorate. They know I haven't heard from her in seven years. Yet, still asked the question. And, the pick went in.

I think it must be rare enough that even the kindest people, people who love you, people who normally display empathy, will just comment, or ask questions, that are really painful to hear. I don't blame them. I don't feel anger. It just amazes me. (I told them the truth: it is over. My relationship with my D is over. We could start a new relationship one day, if she wants it. But the old one is over. Not my love for her, which will never change. But there is no relationship.)

I hope and pray M will eventually come to understand this too. It's not unfinished business. I have finished all I know to do.

Thanks for listening,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."