Sunday, July 17, 2005

Reality in large doses

On my way to work I thought about a former friend who is the female incarnation of my ex. I'd known her for about 8 years and for a while, we didn't talk, because I pushed her out of my life, but she returned apologetically and I let her back in. The reason I pushed her out then and gave her the heave-ho before moving to Seattle is that everytime we were together, it ended in an argument and I always had the feeling that she held hostility towards me. I didn't think there was competition, because we were equals in terms of ability, intelligence, etc. so, I never really thought that was the issue. But there was always something and she always started arguments and was really nasty. She always cracked jokes and tried to make me the butt of them, but there was always a sharp, seriousness to them that made me believe that secretly she really hated me or at least didn't like me too much. So, just before I moved here, I let go of her. She started this huge argument during a two-day stay at her house and I said, to myself, hey, that's it. I can't do this anymore. She never apologized and I'm sure just assumed that everything was the same.

Now, this is what my ex did when I first came to visit him upon returning from France. He hurt me deeply by lashing out at me and refusing, on my final day in Seattle to spend time with me after he had promised. He wasn't feeling well, it turned out, but instead of making clear exactly how sick he was, he was mean and didn't stand up as a man to tell me A) he just didn't feel well enough or B) he just didn't want to spend time with me. As I look back, I think that he, as was the case with my former friend, just didn't really like me. There is something there that maybe even he could not articulate if asked. I say this, because in both of these cases, there was more arguing, disagreeing, and withholding of affection on their parts than could be explained by anything else. So, I have accept the cold, hard truth, I guess.

It was over with my ex and I before I moved to Seattle. I was not over him but I was over all of the possibilities I had created for the two of us in my head, if that makes any sense. With my other, former friend, I knew it was over long ago.

These are all the right steps in the right direction, I am convinced. I'm just sad things had to happen this way. It wasn't necessary, they both could have just told me and I would have left them alone without all of the strife, you know?


n.v. said...

I had toxic friends like this, Rachel - one of these boyfriends, too. They are incapable of either caring about you without pretension, or facing up to the fact that they either cannot or do not want to be good to you. What cowardice.

n.v. said...

I posted this reply to your comment on my blog. I hope you don't mind me posting it here, but I thought otherwise you might never get it:

Rachel, what exactly forced you to leave teaching? It can be very hard work, with low rewards -- but, when the reward comes, even if it's small tiny tiny, it makes up for all the horrible shit you have to go through. My ex-boyfriends are all as memorable as dishwater. I need a real man in my life now, even if he just stops in temporarily to destroy me emotionally (which I am not capable of, since I have walls up like you wouldn't believe).

Some women aren't waiting to find the "right person." I think having kids with someone is important, but that idea of finding The One is so unattainable. What to do?

mmmm...that's delicious said...

yes, dena, i agree it's cowardice. weakness. but it took me awhile to figure out, that these sorts of people don't just have issues, that they have issues with you, you know?

certainly, people treat total strangers like shit for no apparent reason, but when you are close to someone, i.e, their lover or close friend and you treat them badly habitually, there's something to all of that. at that point either you or they need to take a step back and ask why and then either fix it or part ways.

in the cases i've mentioned here, i think that these were definitely love/hate relationships on their part, and i could speculate all day as to why, but i don't feel like it anymore. :)

n.v. said...

Rachel, you're so right. And the problem that they may have you with is never as simple as jealousy or any other facile emotion. It's something deep-seated and angry -- I've felt that in the criticisms a very toxic friend used to hit me with over casual dinners and evenings out. It's pure malice.

I think the only love/hate relationship I've had so far is with my family. I'm either jaded or naive, but when I fall in love (again), I want it to be just love.

Speaking of which, I'm insanely horny, but I'm too tired to speculate as to why :P