Author Topic: Friendship Moments: good or bad  (Read 1472 times)

lighter

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Re: Friendship Moments: good or bad
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2021, 12:09:09 PM »
Hey, Hops.

How's your poet friend doing? 

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Friendship Moments: good or bad
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2021, 04:35:46 PM »
R's doing really well at the mo', Lighter.
Just called me from their retreat at a large, lovely cabin on the shore of Lake Huron.
The lakes not too far away are going to ease her transition into citier-life, I know. It's the first break she's had since the move (exhausting) a month ago.

They had a few days on their own so the couple-tension's abated for now (he's happier in nature than at home). Today her family arrives...adorable, super-bright and stunning 4 y/o grand-daughter (half Iranian, half American), R's daughter and SIL, and SIL's father, who escaped Iran but is now thriving in NE with successful real estate. I'm happy for them all, as they have a very connected family life.

By this time next year, I plan to join them for a lake week. She's already promised me a room of my own. Look forward to that a lot. Peace, breezes, water, horizon.

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

lighter

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Re: Friendship Moments: good or bad
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2021, 01:16:32 PM »
I'm happy hopeful about your lake week this time next year and.....
a little apprehensive above the things we're willing to sacrifice for cherished fellowship. 

IME, we all have our breaking points.

I hope things settle down with Covid. 

I can't imagine your passing up the trip, whatever happens.

So glad friend and struggling hubby feeling better, Hops.

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Friendship Moments: good or bad
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2021, 05:12:32 PM »
I'll make two posts -- one general about friendships that's on my mind, one an update on poet.

I've gotten more honest over time about how I feel about being (or making myself through inherent sensitivity I can only partially control) an easy target in even small ways. I'm less apt to absorb it without asserting/objecting (miracle). In my small social circle, there have been two people recently who've caused me to feel more clear, at least inside myself, about who I enjoy and who I don't. (Patio Princess is one. Another is her new-friend my old-friend, not super close but someone I value via church who's recently moved nearby so I was hopeful we'd become closer. She's someone I never thought I'd pull away from.)

I enjoy people who won't make gratuitous verbal jabs at me but who, if they are irritated or not in sync, will say how THEY are feeling within THEIR life and inside THEIR own self, rather than acting out as though I were the sole cause of out-of-syncness. It doesn't happen often and is usually minor and absorbable (definitely, it was absorbable with the grieving mother). But if it's a big cut and I'm feeling too hurt usually, I just don't expose myself to them any more. ​Don't hate them for it but don't want to spend time that way when I could be finding new friends instead.

I've noticed how several people in my outer-friend group have become people I don't yearn to be around anymore. (I only have two very close friends whom I wouldn't distance myself from for anything.) I've been so lonely that for a long time I assumed that ANY connection, even if seriously unsatisfying, was better than none. I'm still very affected by my early stuff, I know, and will likely have to manage that vulnerability until the day I die. It's surprised me but I'm accepting more solitude as the price. I don't know how that will be going as winter closes in, but I'll find out. (Maybe dating, or a relationship, will offset the isolation. But if it's someone I have no prior connection with or can't be certain about how careful they are about Covid, I'm not going to work super hard to find safe ways to meet up, etc.).--I'll yak about that on the Relationships thread as things evolve, if they do.

Back to the friends sitch. Patio Princess showed me who she is that day and has moved on from the Covenant Group I lead, to my relief. Three nice and interesting new women have joined. I don't miss PP (hah!). The other one (friend who was there on patio disaster day) has also moved to lead a new group -- this is the ideal model that most Covenant Groups keep turning over, because that helps them form wider connections and new relationships within the congregation. My group stayed and none have wanted to move on for about 4 years. I just keep on leading. But I'm learning more about those dynamics.

At first when the three moved on I was sad. Even though I've done it myself several times over many years in these groups. Then I realized it was an opportunity for this core group to learn from and be stimulated by new people, stories and thinking. Our first "new configuration" meeting was great and it'll be a new experience this year. One late-joiner will be turning up too tomorrow evening, which should be interesting. A last IMPORTANT fact is that one of the newbies has a pig and will let me drive out to give it belly rubs! Siggghhhhh, I loooooooove pigs.

Back to the social stuff o' the day. My nearby-friend was raised Catholic and has tendencies to judge, instruct and monitor others (or at least me). It annoys me a bunch. If I say something in a meeting she doesn't approve of, she'll gasp and go "HOPPPPS!" in a scolding voice, etc. And when I say something truthful about how I feel (like telling her the beach was 90% great and she asks what was the 10% and I go, half the bed and the other half a hurtful comment....) she starts explaining to me it's a "let your hair down casual group" as though I was an outsider and didn't understand the social setting I was in. Boy did that push my buttons. I've known a lot of these people longer than she has. So the condescension got to me and on the way home I told her I often feel disapproved of around her (she said I'm sorry).

Talked to my T today about it and so far, it was so good (saying honestly how I felt). But the next bit was I said to friend, This might be your inner nun, and I've observed that judgemental reflex a lot in my friends who were raised Catholic...just a whole bunch of analysis that was unecessary and may have hurt her feelings. I figured it out (finally) with the T and realized I did want to mend bridges.

So I wrote her a very honest apology for the analysing her inner-religious-origins part, and simply re-stated the first part. I had been feeling annoyed and didn't feel comfortable saying so.

We'll see how she responds. But it felt like a mature thing to do (Hops hopes).

Thanks for listening -- as ever, I understand better what I think after writing it out...

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

Hopalong

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Re: Friendship Moments: good or bad
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2021, 05:21:50 PM »
Update on poet friend:
R is very happy to be near beloved daughter and grandchild, but stuggling with partner as she was before. He's nasty, lashes out, criticizes her in ways that trigger intense shaming and vulnerability, and she's avoiding him now and quite miserable.

It's hard to watch as I had so hoped she'd leave him behind, but she is unable to be alone, she believes. Even 10 minutes from her family. Or with a housemate. I think she has "learned helplessness" and just can't bear the idea of sleeping in a building alone or not being with a partner for any length of time. She was molested in Africa at age 4, and has never recovered from this. And was beaten by first husband.

She is intellectually very strong but tries to use her intellect to defeat her resentful country-boy partner, who gets sick of being "instructed" or condescended to, and so they're off on another battle. He also has an ex-con son who manipulates him constantly. It's painful to think about their situation, as they're both miserable.

I think the end of their partnership is inevitable and I'm sad to see her pour out her vital energy in her 70s on someone who isn't able to see her and love her well. But I  am just supporting, there when she needs an ear or shoulder, and ever ready to Zoom.

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

lighter

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Re: Friendship Moments: good or bad
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2021, 09:19:08 AM »
Inner.
Nun.
Whooboy, she did have it coming, Hops.  I'm proud of you for standing up to her and calling out the judgment.

Would it have been more about you and your feelings if you said you often feel you've had your emotional knuckles smacked by a nun....when she judges you.....instead of called out "her" inner nun? 

Lighter




Phyll

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Re: Friendship Moments: good or bad
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2021, 12:33:24 PM »
This "inner nun" discussion has helped me to understand the behavior of a woman I know I'll call her M), who was a casual friend I met up here at an AA meeting.  M has a cottage up here 4 miles from where I live. I found M makes many of what I consider to be judgmental statements about others.  I noticed too M does not keep confidences even when asked.  M also added a phone number to the meeting list without asking the woman's permission.  I learned this when the woman contacted me - she was upset that a male member called her and did not know how he got her number. The male member was married and was trying to get something going on the side. I suggested the woman confront M for adding her number to the list without permission.   

Anyway, M came on hot and heavy when we first met, wanting to ride to the meeting together, wanting me to stop by for breakfast, take me fishing, etc.  I set some boundaries back then and it was fine.  At one point though she got pretty distant. It could be that I did not respond when she sent me a request to "like" her business as a spiritual advisor on FB.  (She used to work as a chaplain in a hospital). I am only guessing.

I arranged to speak with M after our meeting one day, to ask if I offended her in some way, but the conversation was focused on her husband who was needing nursing home care.  I decided M had enough on her plate and did not bring it up.  Since the pandemic I no longer go to the meeting and do not hear from M.  I texted a few times to ask about her husband and to offer support. I know M still comes up as her cottage is on the main county road and I need to drive by her place when I go to town or the post office.

The last time we spoke on the phone (I reached out to her during my struggle with the hip replacement and Lyme's disease) she told me she noticed we put up a fence here.  I am angry that she would drive around my house to snoop, but not even call or text.  We live off a dead end road 2 miles from the county highway - she went out of her way.  I did not say anything then but it has been eating at me.  I know I will not reach out to her again.

I dunno, I should and will let it go.  M is really not someone I want to be involved with.  I can be such a damn people pleaser though, and regret not telling her how I feel.

Hopalong

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Re: Friendship Moments: good or bad
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2021, 01:34:50 PM »
Absolutely, Lighter.
That would have been the PERFECT way to convey how I felt. (Keeping it to I-statements, about my own feelings. Instead, I veered off into the blaming you-statement: "It must be your inner nun." (Presented as a joke but the edge was audible.) Ooo, hindsight.

I hear you about your M friend, Phyl. So disappointing.

Sometimes those with "inner nuns" are both agreeable, very group-focused, and bossy as hell. Do good works while driving folks nuts.

I'm going to try to focus on what's good/admirable and also on continuing to find the inner calm when somebody hurts (even little slights) or harms (BIG slights) me. And still forgive (my own inner Xian) but not forget. So I can have strong boundaries around them without anger.

I just hate anger. It sickens me. I'm nearly phobic about it, which ain't healthy either.

BTW, I wrote Nun a kind message owning my annoyance about feeling disapproved of, but also apologizing for my uncessary and inappropriate analysis of her motives.

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