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#57584 - 01/19/04 04:35 PM Double Wobble - need support
kolisha54 Offline

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
OK. It's been another one of those bruising encounters... (Yes, SAR, I *did* have low & realistic expectations going into the skirmish, but I'm afraid the events "exceeded" them...)

Had been invited by N via e-mail to one of his gigs that I knew in advance would not be conducive to any real interraction between the two of us.

We hadn't seen eachother since before the Holidays, but had been exchanging a few e-mails: ususally he'd send 2 lines to my 18 & his responses would be written in that funny show-biz "warmth" that means nothing. I had sent several messages pertaining to my own PTSD - and they were met with complete silence, so either he absorbed the messages or was unable to deal with them at all. And - this is strange in & of itself, because one of the reasons for his iconic stature within our circles is that he can listen so sympathetically to other people's troubles, comfort & commiserate AND he remembers every single detail: except, it would seem, where I am concerned...

The responses I received to my e-mail messages were either about ( 1 ) where we would next meet OR ( 2 ) to spiritual/ mystical matters & references which I am studying & appear to fascinate him.

So. Anyway. You all get the picture...

I arrived a few minutes later at the gig to find him wading through the crowd & greeting people. (The other band members were off in their "green room." N. was the only one "working the crowd.")

I know he saw me immediately as I entered the room, but he persisted in greeting every single person who was in front of me, forcing me to wait on a "receiving line" to get to him. It was unnerving to say the least. (At one point in our "relationship" before we had our 6-yr. break-up, I actually thought I was delusional! If he treats me like just another one of his damned "party friends" where did I ever get the idea that there was ever anything between us??? Oh - I was in agony over this before the split: I thought I was insane! But subsequently, when we got back in contact again, I realized that the source of my thinking had come directly from N himself - I was not/ am not insane! I was not/ am not just another "party friend.)

Then it was finally MY turn (Maybe I should've kissed the hem of his robe????) & he did something COMPLETELY bizarre - even for an advanced wobbler like myself it was incomprehensible!!! He reached out across a small table, took both of my hands in his - with a touch so ghostly that I wouldn't have been sure it was there had my eyes been shut - he looked straight into my eyes and said, "Hello, Jxx-XXX-xx!" MISPRONOUNCING MY NAME by accenting the wrong sylLABBle! WHOA!!!! It's been over a year since he knew I changed it, and even though he has been saying the name with an American accent, it's been fine all this time! UGH UGH UGH!!! Talk about invalidation! This was horrible! (I figured out later in the evening that what he had been trying to do was to actually *perfect* his pronounciation of the name, but all the rationalization in the world can't undo the damage.)

The band's performance was wonderful - and all throughout, N looked ecstatically, glowingly happy. Although I stood in the back, I caught him looking into my eyes throughout the evening. And, good wobbler that I am, I kept that glazed smile on my face all night long. I was even able to relax a little bit to be able to dance - and for me, this is a big breakthrough because dance has been a trigger for my PTSD symptoms for a while.

So. After the performance, I ended up on another receiving line. Had to endure all of his show-biz hugs administered to another long line of well-wishers. Noticed that everyone he encountered was doing most of the talking & he was apparently soothing them with his smile. None of the other band members were being smothered with this kind of attention... AND when I was able to get next to them, they spent a lot of time with me - made it clear that I am "one of the family..."

I looked over at N going through his long lines of fans & suddenly realized: "THIS is how the man gets his 'love!!!!' THIS is as close as he can get! And then he has the nerve to complain to me about how 'superficial' it all is & how he really 'has no one???'"

I felt so sad for him! I felt even sadder for us!

I felt wobbly.

So. I got my show-biz hug. He kept looking into my eyes & saying my name - not as badly mangled as before, but still not really correctly.

And I returned several times to his side, had a few superficial words and, of COURSE, never gave any indication that I was hurting or angry!

Finally, we were completely alone for a few seconds. I motioned to him to come closer & whispered in his ear, which he seems to love like a cat being caressed under its chin: felt I had ABSOLUTELY nothing to lose & expected the worst...

"Can we have some 'quality time?'" I made sure to use a neutral, non-threatening tone of voice. I expected him to come up with some kind of protest or excuse about being too busy right now etc. (Even as wobbly as I am, I would think I could tell that if "it" looks like *rejection* "it* IS *rejection...*)

SO, was completely taken aback by his immediate, unhesitating, WARM, direct response: "When?" he asked.

And instead of coming up with something constructive, instead of saying what I wanted to say, which was "how about NOW????" I responded with: "I dunno - YOU'RE the one with the killer schedule..."

Well, y'all, he didn't take that too well & THAT's when the grumbling started.

"OK," I said, "I will just wait. You are worth waiting for."

He leaned over to pick up an electrical cord & said very quietly, "I'm glad you feel that way."

So I went home alone, angry, hurt, confused.

Left him a message from my cellphone suggesting that we go to the beach for a long meditation walk. Sounded wistful but not upset when I added that it seemed like we might not be in touch with eachother for a while & oh well...

Just KNEW I wouldn't get a response, so did something to help myself "save face" & bring me some closure. Left him another message later that said, "I don;t think this will be a beach day... I have some thinking to do - I have to figure out what I am thinking & I have to figure out what I am feeling. So, when I am finished, I will be in touch..."

And that's where Y'ALL come in:

I think we can safely say that this whole situation is not healthy for me, is not validating for me, is not going to get better any time soon... (I think that any progress we made over the last year was significantly undermined when N's apartment began to be gut-renovated & he couldn't find a better alternative than to remain where he was the entire time. Having your home dismantled around you would be a horror for anyone, but for trauma survivors like us, it is 10 times worse.)

At any rate. My biggest frustration in being pushed away like this is that I feel de-valued by not being given the chance to be heard. I need to discuss this with him & he will not let me get anywhere near him right now. But I also feel that we cannot just let this go without clearing the air: if he is important to me, heck, if *I* am inportant to me, I need to be able to let N know my feelings. I need to be honest with both of us. But I also need to protect myself from this hurtful dynamic. I may have to just do the unthinkable (the *unfeelable???*") & just GIVE IT UP!!!! But HOW????

SO. Would LOVE to have explicit step-by-step advice from y'all: what, exactly, do I do next???

I am wobbly to the point of paralysis.


And thanks!!!

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

#57585 - 01/19/04 08:00 PM Re: Double Wobble - need support
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
I know you are on here to help understand him.. but he does not want to be part of your life.. and this quote above sounds like your relationship was pretty emotionally abusive (if you feel like you are going insane then that is a big clue). I have been in relationships like this before where you are showered with attention then later on they act as if you are not even a big part of their life even though you LIVE with them!!!

Trust me I dont think you'll get much farther trying to seek ANYTHING from this guy.

You are wobbling.. indeed.. the situation with him is causing severe anxiety...

I guess you have to figure out what about it is a) causing so much anxiety (what does it remind you of? What memories/inner beliefs is it triggering and b) are these beliefs/memories accurate to the current situation??

Really, this sounds harsh, but from the sounds of it being with this guy is such a losing battle.. it upsets you so much.. why bother. You deserve better than that. SA or no SA when the survivor does not take his responsiblity to NOT allow his abuse to continue to abuse others.. forget it. There's no room for that kind of compromise from any of us partners. You cant have a one-way relationship.. and you can look at it in a sympathetic way that his abuse is preventing him from being a full part of this relationship.. but you will still have to accept the truth which is that his abuse is preventing him from being a full part of this relationship!!!

I think you need to be around people who will value your thoughts and words.. instead of trying to seek it from people (N) who just can't or won't do this. Remember this is NOT you.. he is not doing this because YOU are somehow defective or anything.. it is simply because he can't or wont. This is totally in HIS court.

If you are looking for validation to uplift and support dont seek validation from people who are crappy at giving it.

Your situation is how all of my relationships ended.. it sucks.. it is awful that you cant get closure. i know I have been there many times.. eventually you WILL get closure for yourself. I just figure if someone was so unable to emotionally provide DURING the relationship as if he's going to provide that AFTERWARDS!!!!!!!

Dont give him the power over this situation. You cannot get close to him alright that is his call but you dont have to seek this from him. You have power here.. you dont have to rely on him for pppphuckkk-all!!!

How to end this...take the nike approach.. just do it.... yeah sounds easy and for sure it is not.

What you have to do is:

Make the decision that this is over.. (ouch)...

THEN the hard part, cuz that decisoin is SO painful.. and no doubt you are wobbling knowing that you will have no choice but to go to the totally UN fun part...which is to:

grieve grieve grieve and grieve.. cry until you can't cry any more, do all kinds of good bye rituals, cry on your girlfriends shoulders, eat ice cream, seek therapy, write him good bye letters, etc....

It is sad, scary and hellish, but get your support system together, line it up, get your girlfriends on-side, take some time off work if you can... and then do some INTENSIVE grief work.

Grief is the only way through this.

THEN you will have space to start building things into your life that are good for you and reaffirming and positive.. which will attract good, reaffirming and positive people.

There's a good book that I used for my last breakup - it is called "Dont call that man" by Rhonda Findling. Sounds funny I know.. but it really helped, especially if you have a tendency to continue to seek out your ex in order to find "closure" (which I do).

"[Don't Call That Man!] offers many useful ways to handle separation, grief and rage; and casts such a revealing light on the tendency to pursue the one who has left you that it is impossible to continue begging and arguing for what will not be given."

A psychotherapist shares the secret to resisting the urge to call a recent ex-boyfriend, offering encouragement and practical help in the form of exercises that will help recently dumped women get over their relationship in a healthy way, without clinging.

With its pre>

#57586 - 01/20/04 06:33 PM Re: Double Wobble - need support
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA

What do YOU want? What, realistically, can you gain from whatever actions you take next? How can your relationship with N be influenced by what you do now?

If you are going to spend the energy thinking about the situation anyway, I would do it in the most practical and literal terms possible (of course, I am a big list-making nerd, so take it with a grain of salt ;\) )... write it down. Cause and effect. If you do X, here are 4 possible Ys that might happen. Figure out what the livable possibilities really are for both of you.

I get the feeling that he is reading and thinking about what you email him, even if he's not responding. If all you want is to be heard, and you really won't be bothered by not getting a response, email him again and tell him what you are feeling. At the very least, you'll feel slightly more heard than you feel now. But a lot of times, what we mean by "discuss" is more mutual than that. If a one-sided discussion is going to devastate you, then don't give yourself the chance.

I looked over at N going through his long lines of fans & suddenly realized: "THIS is how the man gets his 'love!!!!' THIS is as close as he can get! And then he has the nerve to complain to me about how 'superficial' it all is & how he really 'has no one???'"
That rings true to me too. It is sad, for him and for you both. I'm sure that he also experiences that sadness and lack, but doesn't know how to frame it (and if he feels that he can't change it, why would he want to?) And you thought that YOU had low expectations ;\) :rolleyes: This is a two way street too. If he really has no one when loving people like yourself are making themselves available, then it's not because there is no one. It's because he's not able to turn his superficial relationships into more meaningful ones, in his own mind. Saddest of all is that no one else can make that turn for him.

I think that if and when he is ready to relate to people in a deeper way, he will miss your presence in his life as much as you miss his now. After all you don't love and befriend someone for years and then forget they existed. So even if you decide to give up for now, I would prepare for that possibility. I'm not saying put things on hold for him, I'm saying just be prepared.

When I found out my boyfriend had been having an affair, I didn't know if I was going to stay with him or not. I told him that whatever I decided, I wanted him to know that I would always care about him and honor the committment of friendship and trust that I had made to him, because even if he didn't take that promise seriously, I did. I told him that even if we split up, and I didn't hear from him for years, if he called me one day needing help, I would do whatever I could to help him, because I had promised to be his friend and that had nothing to do with whether or not I could live with him. I don't think I will ever forget his reaction to my saying this. Because I don't think he knew it until I said it. I thought that my actions and beliefs over the past 6 years would have shown him that this was true before I had to say it, but the idea that someone would really always be there for him, even though they knew and responded to what he had done, was so unbelievable to him that he had never heard or seen it right in front of him.

I think these two things are important together--friendship and support, but also appropriate recognition and response. If what he's done has made it so that you can't be around him, then that's what he's done. It's important for him to know that YOU know how you've been hurt, that YOU know how to protect yourself from more hurt, if you're going to keep talking to him. It's less important for him to know how than it is for him to know that you know.

good good good luck

#57587 - 01/20/04 06:51 PM Re: Double Wobble - need support
kolisha54 Offline

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
I told him that whatever I decided, I wanted him to know that I would always care about him and honor the committment of friendship and trust that I had made to him, because even if he didn't take that promise seriously, I did. I told him that even if we split up, and I didn't hear from him for years, if he called me one day needing help, I would do whatever I could to help him, because I had promised to be his friend and that had nothing to do with whether or not I could live with him. [/B]

This is sooooo beautiful, loving, & respectful!!! It captures your compassion as well as your anger.

I am going to take all your words to heart & will see what I come up with.

After I have calmed down a little bit, after I can once again be a friend to both N & myself, then I will be in a better position to respond.

AS for the list-making: what a great idea! It reminds me of something I recently read: "If you don't know where you are going.... you will surely end up somewhere else...."

I am still feeling sad & unable to focus - but I am beginning to understand that the pain I feel goes a lot deeper than the interaction between N & me. Maybe it's not such a bad thing that this is forcing me to confront other issues - primarily, the dynamics in my family-of-origin AND the role I play as one of the prayer leaders in my ( somewhat dysfunctional) congregation. I have my own "charisma" issues to work out - and am beginning to suspect that I could be projecting some of them on to N.

On another topic: you know what really su**s??? We are all such AMAZING people here on this site!!! To think that we are all is so much pain & turmoil just breaks my heart...

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

#57588 - 01/20/04 11:24 PM Re: Double Wobble - need support
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
If N has a succesful band and the adoration of his fans, and the hangers on that inevitably follow them around, then he's getting a whole pile of needs fullfilled.

As a survivor he'll have plenty of needs, and even if the rock & roll lifestyle doesn't actually fulfill those specific needs, then there's probably enough of the others left over to spread around.
We're good at substituting 'needs' - it's a basic defence and survival tool.

It might be a huge generalization, but how many people do we see who have the adoration of fans / hangers on come apart emotionally after a time ?
It's so much easier to accept that adoration as a fulfillment of needs rather than gain a 'real' fullfillment from a 'proper' relationship - the second one requires work and committment. The first is for free.

Think about yourself, and where you fit in. He's doing just that.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#57589 - 01/20/04 11:39 PM Re: Double Wobble - need support
kolisha54 Offline

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY

Dave - I just KNEW you'd come up with something rrrrrreally "spot on..."

I've been thinking on similar lines lately about myself - have begun taking on some quasi-liturgical responsibilities at my Congregation lately & will probably apply to rabbinic school within the next few years...

Have begun to get a taste of the same kind of adulation & I find it very scary & alienating: we don't have "icons" in Judaism, so it feels really funny to be the focus of other people's mirror-like projections. I KNOW I am not perfect! I KNOW that what I am doing is simply helping others get in touch with what is already beautiful inside THEMSELVES. I find it kind of lonely when other people confuse (1) what they derive from their interraction with me vs. (2) who I really am...

So, yeah, I can certainly understand what N goes through - but I've seen & experienced him viewing it through a more realistic lense. I have a feeling that he's been beset by some pretty deep triggers this year: he's reconciled with his family (prominent attorneys who are not real comfortable with what N has been doing) AND, his apartment has been undergoing renovation while he's still in it... As both PAS & I can tell anyone who's interested this is a HORRIBLE violating trigger experience.

So. Yes. I can certainly understand why N would turn to all his old unproductive coping mechanisms to help him through this. I think our having become closer is more than he can bear right now.

But his wobbling is more than I think I can bear right now...

So, Dave, did you ever go through a period like this? If yes, what brought you out of it? Just time????

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

#57590 - 01/21/04 06:37 PM Re: Double Wobble - need support
Caetel Offline

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Hey Sister !

I read your letter and I thought is she going out with the same guy as me ???? I mean this is exactly what I have to face every time I see V in public. And yes the problem is the avoidance of quality time and emotional commitment.
Fear is behind all this. I don't think that having love for free is the problem. The problem is getting love (or what looks like it) without emotional commitment. Quality time means letting go of control over oneself, allowing magic to happen, surprises, relaxation, emotions...
I realized that V was stuck in that kind of behaviour after having experienced 2 dates with me where he came close to "losing control" in two different ways: the first time he later admitted he was about to break down in tears in the bar where we have been chatting for hours. The second time, he was holding me so close he was about to kiss and...he run away.
Since I am a survivor, my own fears and ways of protecting myself have certainly pushed us both in the "stuck zone" and just seeing each other in public has turned the situation even worse, in a dead end area.
V. is currently going through BIG wobble and regression. He has started an affair (see my post on that) and he is just letting himself be manipulated and be miserable.
So what have I done lately, I focused on two things: my own recovery (trying to know my fears and fight them) and working even more on the trust issue with V. I told him he hurt me BUT I told him I still love him and my feelings are unchanged. I told him about some of my fears due to my new responsabilities (we will have to talk about that, I will be going to another kind of rabbinic school ! lol !), how I feel at the moment: sad, disappointed, lonely and in great need of being loved and protected...
I have shown him consistency and stability. I remain the same, I don't use double language and I am always clear about what I want, what I need, what I do.
I have gone through big doubts lately but at the end of the day, my heart knows where to go. I am holding on and I am showing him the light. My love is unconditional. Love cannot be negociated. Love just IS !
I have experienced a very painful break up with a guy I love, W. also a survivor. I can say I still love him and I will always love him. He is in my heart everyday, he is part of my life, in the sense that he is part of my journey on earth. He has changed me in very deep ways. The hardest part was to understand that I could not help him because he did not wished to be helped.
There is a big difference with V. because he is getting help, he made massive progresses in the last few months and that's why I remain hopeful.
I remember the effect a few weeks ago when I woke up realizing he loved me and the panick I got from that. My God, it was awful, I felt so vulnerable, I felt someone would come to murder me. I have never been so afraid, I was shaking and crying, I did not know where to hide or what to do to feel protected again...and I was alone in my appartment, technically pretty safe I assure you ! So now I can understand how it can be for N. or for V.
Follow your heart and you will know for sure.

Much love

Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

#57591 - 01/24/04 06:58 PM Re: Double Wobble - need support
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts

You'v ebeen there for me, and although I'm pretty shaky, wobbly, etc., and don't know if I can be insightful, I felt I had to say that you deserve better.

I don't care what this man has gone through in his life, it is NO EXCUSE for him to treat you the way he does. Nothing is worth being treated like a second-class citizen, when you are surely more than that.

My boyfriend (can I really call him that anymore?) still checks up on me via e-mail, but he hasn't called and I know he feels I've got too much to deal with right now, but I need him and he isn't there. So what am I going to do? Probably have "the talk" and see where he sees us going. I'm worth more than the crap he puts me through.

You are too, so much more than that.

Sorry if this is so disconnected. Feeling out of my mind lately. You've helped me, so I guess the best thing I can say is I care and I value you.

Peace and love, Kolisha,


There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#57592 - 01/25/04 12:30 AM Re: Double Wobble - need support
RICK57 Offline

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Kolisha -

I was in a rock band until I was around 30. At that point I decided that I had better start looking for a 'proper job' and start using the brains I had left behind.

I realise now that the band was 'My Castle' (not the name of the band, but what protected me..hope that sounds as funny to you as it does to me...sounds a bit Spinal Tap, like I didn't know what band I was in). When I was playing, the music & the adulation was everything - it filled the gaps in my life and it never ever hurt me! That helped me to avoid real relationships that always hurt (1 abuser & 3 female users). *Thats a bit contradictory really because I went out with those 3 while I was in the band, but the band somehow protected me from their actions.

It's when I left the band that reality started to strike me... I got very busy with work, I just got very busy. Did OK with work and here I am 14 years later doing therapy for the first time and starting to find out who I am for the first time in 34 years. If I give it another 6 months or so, I might actually be at a point where I can start a relationship again - I am at least reading the personal adds at present.

What I am pointing out here is that there are some parallels with what you appear to be going through. Until your boyfriend or ex starts to deal with the issues, there's really not much hope!

Sorry for being a gloom monster, but you sound like you know the score any way.

Go buy yourself a red rose (even one of those velvet ones)and place it where you can see it ....let it remind you of the people here that care.

Spring will soon be here ...Rik

*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

#57593 - 01/25/04 01:16 AM Re: Double Wobble - need support
kolisha54 Offline

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
I think I understand the "adulation" thing: when I started leading services in my Congregation, I noticed that people started treating me diferently - my religion forbids "idolatry," so it's hard to sort it all out: as a prayer leader, you feel gratified if people rise from prayer with a deeper sense of the holiness of life, but you also need to recognize that the function you play is that of a mirror: congregants already have holiness inside of themselves & have their own unique ways of interacting with G-d. Needless to say, it's important not to, um, "abuse" the unique position in order to gratify your own ego.

I guess that's the difference between "my stuff" & "N's stuff:" his music is very spiritual, but he appears to be allowing it to obscure his need to be humble with himself. Yet - his "persona" is one of joy & humility, so it can get very confusing.

Nevertheless, as has been pointed out NUMEROUS times on F&F, we "partners," ex-partners, pseudo-partners, whatever we are... CANNOT heal for our loved ones!!! They have to be ready to do this themselves.

None of us are stupid or foolish. But what blinds us to the dynamic is that our loved ones will often appear to make significant strides toward wholeness... only to let us down again when we are even more vulnerable. "I CAN'T believe I fell for that!!!" we say to ourselves. "I CAN'T believe I didn't see that coming!!!"

So. At first I was thinking that I needed to communicate to N just how deeply he has cut me. But now, I must say, I am feeling really gun-shy. Does it really matter if he knows how this has hurt me? He won't be able to hear until or unless he is able to listen. So what constitutes "support" at a time like this? What constitutes "abandonment?"

The piece of the puzzle I don't understand is how many wonderful men here in our little community have behaved just like N - heck - I myself behaved just the way N does at one time when my own SA was just too raw. And at the time I was misbehaving, I truly thought my boyfriend at the time just did not love me enough! Every time he asked me to tell him that I needed him, I pushed him further away. So how have we all managed to stop this kind of behavior???

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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