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    Dear Anita,

    Last night, I spent the evening with my roommate M, and I told her about me and N. When she first moved in we spoke a little about my relationship but I didn’t want to tell her things that I wasn’t sure about, that she might judge me or N for, and because she will be around N. I still now hope it was the right choice, I have just felt like you are the only person I can talk to about this and I needed to open up to someone vocally about it. Our conversation ended with me saying it was going to end soon, but I am not sure when and that I don’t feel ready. But will I ever? My concern right now is that Christmas is approaching and I wonder if I should do it before then, so that I can go to see my family alone and they can be of support for the first week. However, that means I would have to be ready to end things in the next couple weeks and that is scary.

    This morning I wrote a poem, I’d like to read you, and see what you think of me giving this to him either after we end things or in person and use it as my way of ending things.. not sure I just want to do what is best for both of us, causes the least pain and also leaves us both understanding what just happened and, at least vaguely, why.

    To N

    I don’t want to leave my bed,

    it’s warm under the covers

    and it’s cold out there.

    Plus, there’s a man called

    Nathanael who melts into

    my skin & like the ocean

    it binds like one.

    His hair is smooth and soothing

    to touch, as is his back,

    warm to the bone.

    In bed we play games, throw

    pillows and suck face,

    we even get to talking

    and gaze into space.

    The way he sees the stars

    is a melody new to my ears,

    I think “yea” I could listen

    to this song for years.

    * * *

    But help me Universe I feel


    is it possible the love here is


    I can’t tell what I feel but

    I do not like it,

    “it will all be ok i am going

    to fight it.”


    Day after day coming home

    from battle

    Nathanael tells me what

    I worry about

    does not matter.


    I ask him please come to

    therapy, or let’s take a small


    He says not, suck it up it’s

    only an ache.



    Dear ache, why do you

    bother? is it all because

    of my father?

    Oh yes! perhaps i can

    solve all of it myself!

    take responsibility for my part.

    But wait…in the mean time,

    this growth, this battle…

    he doesn’t even start?


    I am fighting alone in

    the world of connection.

    Confused and alone while

    he’s right by my side.


    We argue about nothing,

    the c-word, the cash.

    But not 10 minutes later

    when i ask,

    “how do you feel?” (as we

    had just fought)

    All he says is “are you

    bothered??? I’m not?”

    I don’t understand this

    lack of awareness,

    “I have to be the constant


    *enter unfairness*


    “I’ll be there all day.”

    “no 12”

    “actually 2”

    Calls me “see you at 3:30”

    Enters the door at 4.


    As he sits on the couch like

    nothing is wrong,

    I feel exhausted, for I am sick of

    my own; communication song.

    I sit and I wonder, do I bring

    this up?

    Or will he be annoyed..there’s

    no way to win.


    I love this bed, don’t get

    me wrong

    It’s comforting and beautiful,

    what could go wrong?


    Do I worry about nothing?

    No I do not.


    This next one won’t be so easy

    to proceed,

    I’m also assuming it won’t be easy

    to read.


    I know you so hate to be


    Yet ironic to not be you must

    have it hold.

    See here’s the thing about a


    If you can’t rely on one half

    the other must control it.


    At some point you started to

    see me as weaker,

    “you care about things that

    do not matter”


    If I “waste my time” you

    can’t think much of it.

    You think my strengths a

    weakness but you’re wrong.


    I see, I feel, I touch, I


    to certain things I am


    You think it’s fear, but it is


    I can sense when an area is



    As much as I love this bed

    we are in,

    it is starting to smell deep


    I tried to pick up the pieces on

    my own,

    but I was not strong enough



    You claim it is not about

    the money

    But you see, it is, it controls

    you, honey.

    I do not mean to sound


    But admit it, you think I owe

    you something.


    Your lack of trust in me

    has lead,

    You to rely on only you in

    our bed.


    Since you can’t rely on me

    your head spun you lies, and said

    “control her or your future

    will be the one that dies.”


    But it was a lie don’t you


    The truth was only to trust



    I want to be believed

    in, seen as strong,

    Not just someone who “worries”

    about nothing” all day long.


    I ask you “am I special?”

    you want to know why?

    Cause I want to see if you

    see me, not just

    with your eyes.


    I talk to trees and spirits

    and rocks,

    how dare you tell me not to

    speak with the crystals…

    See, you don’t see me, you



    This world has more depth

    than you give it credit,

    It is not just dirt and

    things you can build with.

    There’s a spiritual world,

    that I am in-tune with.

    If you can’t see the value,

    then we are too different.


    It is now at the point

    where I value myself more

    than you do me. which is

    why this must end

    Because I am stronger,

    just me.


    This is the hardest thing

    I’ve ever done…

    Gave up on a friend who I’ve loved

    since day one.

    I know it’s a cliche to

    say “let’s be friends”

    But personally I’ll tell you

    it doesn’t feel like the end.


    I know they say “everything

    happens for a reason”

    but I don’t know I believe this,

    can’t the world just be random?

    However, I wonder, if meeting online,

    messed with our hearts, our meeting


    Who knows what’s to come

    but I’ve cherished you SO.

    This end will be painful please

    take care of yourself.







    Dear Anita,

    “No need to rush now. I think that what you need most at this time is to distract yourself from this question and to relax, best you can.”

    I think you are right about this, I was starting to feel the toll again this morning.

    “did you ever tell him that you were considering breaking up with him, and if you did, how did he respond?”

    Back in February I admitted I was having relationship doubts. I think he just saw it as my own problem, said things like he understands me more than I think. I once said he might not be emotionally available enough for me and he said “I am more emotionally available than any of your past relationships” I thought that was weird, how would he know that, I haven’t told him those details of past relationships. And I don’t appreciate the manipulation tactic of, you can’t find better. Which I have felt from him before, and quite honestly felt from society, what people often say about the dating world.

    “Here is an idea in regard not knowing with certainty what you need to know: can you put together 10 questions for him, hand him those questions asking him to answer them (typing his answers)?”

    Yes I could do this, I will think more about it.

    Thank you Anita,

    Seaturtle ❤️


    I want to respond more to your reply eventually but don’t let this prevent you from responding, I think your reply may help me get to some clarity, I feel a bit blocked.



    ” I thought it was all your projection of F into N. After your two recent examples of his overt major misbehaviors on his part, I changed my mind. (I say major as in the difference between the way you described him before and his behaviors in these two examples is MAJOR)”

    “Rely on the overt examples and other overt examples you never shared about, if they exist.”

    You also wrote: It’s been almost a whole year, if I count 8 months back from the time of your first thread, July 29, 2023: “Please help me, my mind hasn’t rested in 8 months“, that you’ve been considering breaking up with him. I don’t think that you are currently ready to break up with him, are you?

    I thought there was potential that it was all about my projection of F. It is hard for me to even recall other moments of covert controlling. Something I am insecure about this though, my dad did this to me for so long and I couldn’t spot it, and just took responsibility. I don’t want to do that again, and if that is what N is doing then I am ready to end things.

    The tricky thing is, when I am with him, I feel that comfort again and want to stay with him. But when I am away, especially lately, and even more so ever since you pointed out his controlling nature, I do want to end things. I just doubt my ability to express why to him… I feel he will have excuses that sound valid in that moment, or he will blame me, for example if I say he has been controlling I am almost certain he would tell me that I gave him that control. He has spoke about this before about how we have opportunities to take control and give it and he makes sure not to give people control of him. He will tell me I gave him control and as my mental state stands currently, I will believe him.

    I do not want to waste time with someone controlling. If there was a button to break up right now and move on I would press it, but it’s more complicated because there needs to be a conversation and he will say all the right things. Or maybe I did give him the control? by letting him pay for things, I just feel like I am blinded a bit. I feel like I have something blurring my ability to see that he is controlling, because I love so many things about him. He says that if one day I was able to financially care for him he would be so happy, not saying that I needed to but he has expressed that would be his dream… So if I was able to be that for him then our relationship would be good? We have had so many good moments, and I am struggling to see the controlling as overpowering those.

    I will respond more later, my mind doesn’t feel the clearest right now.



    Dear Anita,

    You wrote: – You caring about his safety made him shudder, his word. To shudder= to tremble convulsively as a result of fear or revulsion/ to violently shake in horror or extreme disgust (online dictionary).

    -I should clarify here, I don’t think shudder was his exact verb, it could have even been more annoyed than fearful, but I suppose annoyed falls under the category of disgust. I don’t think it changes your assessment of his response, that he is repelled in some way by telling me his whereabouts.

    Actually now that I phrase it this way my dad was the same, but I think his reasoning for not telling me where he was were different. N seems to respond in a way as if he does not recognize care. My dad would purposely not tell me when he would be home, thinking he would catch me doing something bad, which he never did. I did lie to him in the past to get around his strict rules and since that point treated me with distrust, grouping me with my mom. Anyways not sure if this is relevant.

    You wrote: This is one explanation (in addition to him being a workaholic) why he was late to the first date with you and why he didn’t show up at all to your third date (“he was late for the first date… our third date he..  stood me up” (7/29). And why he has been repeatedly late since (“Last weekend he was an hour late to my house and him being late is a pattern in our relationship“, Oct 11). I figure that in his mind he is resisting being controlled by you when he is late or a no-show.

    -He has been controlling since date one? His lateness is always an act of controlling? I have excused so much of his lateness because of how many hours he works and all his very valid sounding excuses, such as he loses track of time while he is working and he falls asleep …etc.

    “It took the two OVERT examples of late to lead me to understand a part of him that he usually keeps in a Covert State.”

    -How intentional is this on his part, controlling only/mostly covertly? I wonder why he does this, it makes me wonder if I made him this way.. When you first meet someone, there is no control dynamic yet, what lead us to the place we are now? Or did he establish it at he beginning and I was unaware..I feel as though he lost belief in me somewhere along the way and since he decided at some point he couldn’t rely on me he began to control me. What do you think of this?

    “– (1) I wrote the above about him being late as a way to control you BEFORE you submitted the latest post. Isn’t it amazing. So, yes, being late is his way to keep you anxious (waiting for him) and therefore, under his control. Another way he controls you is to express being upset when you bring up a topic he doesn’t want you to bring up. A person walking on egg shells is a controlled person.”

    -If a person walking on egg shells is a controlled person, haven’t I done the same to him? When I felt triggered by his giving of attention to our roommate for too long I would feel so abandoned. A feeling that was not equivalent to the situation, but as you expressed in a metaphor before, an abandoned baby fawn is facing fear of death, as a child who was left by a parent. My point is I was clearly triggered there and got so upset with N, to where the next times he was talking to our roommate out there he was on egg shells? Although I have always felt like he has resisted me controlling him in our relationship, cause although he was on eggshells he just stepped all over them. It is confusing though because there are times I think it is getting better because he will let me know ahead of time, and communicate his whereabouts. And I think if I just get rid of my triggers he will no longer control me in those ways… Like if I just stop caring that he is late sometimes and fully take responsibility when he doesn’t communicate about dates and just suck up my pride and do it myself for the relationship, then everything would be fine?

    Your story about your situation, “He was sitting in front of me. He started sort of crying and saying that he wants to be a good person. He looked very upset. I think it was an act. And I was wondering the morning after, remembering the scene, how he appeared so genuine. I figured that in his act, he brought into his awareness some real, genuine sadness that he felt before.. so he really felt sad, but not about my criticism.”

    -Interesting. So a memory I had after reading this post (I read it all at once and am not individually responding) was of my dad. In my teen years my mom did some things that were quite shocking. One was about their divorce: The final time my mom cheated and my dad ended the relationship was after a boathouse family trip. It was my parents, and uncles and one of my dads employees. My uncles were friends with him. On the the trip, I was 16, and needed to use my moms phone. I found inappropriate and “I love you” texts between my mom and my dads employee who was on the trip with us. There’s more to this trip story, involving my mom going on the adult booze cruise with my uncles and aunts, my mom fell off the huge inner tube that was not suppose to flip, and she was passed out in the water. To this day I have been told it is cause she hit her head but I think she was also way past drunk. They left for the hospital, I can’t remember if my mom had regained consciousness at that point. But they headed to the hospital and my sibblings and I, plus THE EMPLOYEE were left at the house to pack and he drove us home. I had her phone still. When they came home from the hospital my mom was having seizures in the other room with my dad, the employee and other family members. I held the information I saw on her phone for two weeks telling only one person I knew wouldn’t tell. A couple weeks later I lied to my dad about a party I went to, but my new car was damaged in the process and he ended up finding out the truth. He knew the truth as he asked me and I continued to lie. After a long conversation we had come to a place of me apologizing and him settling down, in that emotion is when I told my dad about my moms messages on her phone. When I told him this he had tears in his eyes, I can’t remember what happened after this.

    The second memory also applies to my point here and I will explain after. My mom slept with a guy that I had a date with, he was about 4 years older than me. She didn’t tell me until years later, all that time I thought he just stood me up. It was at a “housecleaning” with my dad that I felt so hurt by his accusations and so defeated, that I decided to tell him this about my mom. I think I was trying to alleviate some pressure and explain why I had been so “messy” lately. When I told my dad this he teared up and hugged me.

    N tearing up at my play when I was so sad he had made plans for literally right after my play (still now this bothers me, he was really planning to come to this play this special night of mine and go somewhere else that night? I just don’t understand, I would never do that to him I would want to be a part of his whole special night). Anyways, when you said “so he really felt sad, but not about my criticism” it made me wonder what then was N sad about in that moment for real?

    The reason it is relevant to those stories is because when you questioned N’s genuine tears, it reminded me of how I felt when my dad had tears. I felt like he cared. So maybe that is what I wanted to see in N’s tears. But knowing how my dad is, his tears don’t change who he is, they are not a redeeming quality is what I am saying. Also I just found it interesting there certain scenarios I decided to bring up information that would cause genuine emotion… so that I could see it? I don’t know if this is relevant to N but they came to mind while reading your reply.

    I am sending this reply now, as I am halfway through your last reply, I will begin the rest now, but incase you are online now and had time to reply again.

    With love,

    Seaturtle 🙂



    Dear Anita,

    Here I reply to your last message more thoroughly. Usually to quote your messages I put “quotes” and bold but for responses that you bolded parts yourself I am going to leave them as is so I don’t change the message, let me know if it is as all confusing!

    “(2) There is someone I knew whose usual very sweet state was dishonest and manipulative. On the other hand, her less frequent angry state was her honest state: she was honestly, authentically angry and vindictive.”

    wow, it is scary for me to imagine that his honest state is authentically angry. How do I know this for sure? There are times I want to bring up a topic, regarding something in our relationship, like him being late or a lack of something in the relationship, and I have to walk on egg shells to speak about it cause it will upset him. I don’t feel like it was always this way though. When we lived together and I told him something that bothered me, he felt sad that he hurt me. Then this sadness turned to irritation in the last couple months, annoyed if I have a problem or worry about something “that doesn’t matter.” I have seen genuine authentic sadness in his eyes..like when we miscommunicated about him staying the night and spending Saturday with me after the opening night of my play (I tell the story here on November 4th). When I was having my panic attack, trying so hard to hold back tears in order to not ruin my play makeup. He teared up as well and was wiping away tears as he saw me so sad. Is this not a sign of authenticity?

    “– I wonder if his initial apology was sincere or if it was part of his effective social/ people skills, a social lubrication strategy. He may have good people skills, apologizing not because he regrets something he’s done, but because apologies work.”

    This would not be the first time I thought his apology was insincere. I have literally told him that the word “sorry” means nothing, tell me what you will do different and how you see that it affects me… My parents raised us with these rules around saying sorry, my dad would tell us what I just said, if we needed to apologize to a sibling there was always a “why are you sorry?” “What will you do differently next time?” N did not grow up this way clearly. I have often felt he deflects, he blames other things or uses insincere wording when it comes to apologizing and I do feel it is, what you said, “because apologies work.”

    However he is genuinely sad to see me sad…

    “Saturday night: We sat on the porch and I brought up the argument where he said words don’t matter. I said… He listened, but his responses told me he did not understand“- appearing to listen may be a social skill that he is good at.

    -There are certainly times he responds to me in a way that said he did not actually hear what I said. But sometimes I think it is because I can get very abstract with how I speak, especially when it comes to spirituality and religion. I think “we just miscommunicated.” But these miscommunications hurt my feelings because I wish we could hold a conversation like that about certain topics that I sort of lose him on.

    “– on the surface, the balancing idea reads like a good thing.. except that if he often says – not what is true to him, but what works for him, the problem is bigger than incompatibility in regard to spiritual understanding.”

    Hmm, saying what works for him, rather than what is true to him… Unfortunately this doesn’t seem far off. When we are alone out in nature, there have been several times here where I have felt his authenticity and it makes me remember why I love him. The problem is he thinks being that way comes later, after he works hard and makes money, then we will move to the forest and be authentic and just do our arts together. This vision sounds great, but it is hard for me to grow when I have his inauthentic self in the real work city world. I have been able to talk him into what is true for him in contrary to what he has claimed (what works for him) these are nice moments cause it feels like he is tracking what I am saying and seeing who I am as a strength rather than a weakness. Like perhaps (unless this is a projection of F onto N) while we are in the real world with people around and “the grind” is happening around us N sees my strengths (sensitive to my environment, particular about what I allow my surroundings to be, prioritizing rest over money) as weaknesses. By “the grind” I mean the very American lifestyle of Live to Work rather than my more European motto of Work to Live.

    – Or his motivation in saying sorry and correcting his wording was to say what a nice person would say, and he was in a much better mood to say what a nice person would say. It is only when he is angry/ or tired or in a bad mood that he says what’s true to him…?

    -Interesting, I am not sure exactly if he was in a bad mood if he would have done the same. So the question is, is he being polite because he genuinely understood our conversation that words do matter? Or is he pretending he understands… If I ask him about this, like ask him “So how do you feel about words now?” I imagine he would still agree that they matter since the last I heard from him was that he agreed that they do in fact hold weight and he was wrong about that.

    2nd post: “(N) has avoided taking responsibility and has a pattern of deflection. However when he has calmed down and we discuss a few days later, he is able to see where he went wrong”- or when he is calm/ in a better mood, he is able to do a better job at making a good use of his people skills: appearing/ effectively pretending to see where he went wrong.

    -How can I be sure about this? I don’t want to incorrectly accuse him here.

    “* I wonder: are you aware of him reading or having read certain books or watching You tubes about people skills, such as on how to resolve conflicts/ arguments, how to bring about desired outcomes via social manipulation?”

    No I haven’t noticed or suspected this before.

    “– well, it was different because he didn’t repeatedly tell you that the d-word offends him, and he didn’t repeatedly ask you to not say the word. And you didn’t tell him to get it through his head (which is what he told you) that words don’t mean anything and to therefore to not get offended.”

    This is true, I only wish I was able to say this when he tried to deflect the responsibility on to me trying to say I did the same thing as him so it was ok…

    -Being as driven as he is to make money.. I wonder why he is with you: a question you asked him yourself, something like why are you with ME?  He gave you only superficial answers, repeatedly saying that Love is a Choice. I wonder why he doesn’t choose to love a woman who makes a lot of money, a woman who is the best with money. Did you ever ask him this question?

    He has straight up told me before he doesn’t trust me with money“- maybe he wants to have full control of money, so he doesn’t want a woman/ wife who will take any control over where any of the money goes, and a money-driven woman who is good with money.. would want such control.. Hmmm.

    -So, here’s the thing. When we first met I was making a lot more money. I worked at Verizon and did very well in sales, I was the top in stores worked in, I enjoyed it for a while as well. Until the selling of a phone became mundane to me and I wanted to provide something more meaningful to people’s lives than a nicer phone. At the time I was also selling a lot of furniture online, as I was moving apartments. N met this version of Seaturtle. I paid 50/50 for alot of things we did. Then we move to another state and I quit Verizon. I was not happy there, I was being drained and my coworkers were not as fun as my last store in my home state. However the way I quit was perhaps not the best, I just started to call out of work alot. I would call out to stay home and paint. Living with N and the roommate, plus working at a place that didn’t feed my soul, I was absolutely drained. I called out so much that when it came Christmas of 2022, I said I was going home for 10 days. I could also afford to take alot of time off because of how much I made there, at the time I was paying rent to N for about 3 months. Anyways, my manager said I took so much time off that I had no more days off and couldn’t go home for more than two days for Christmas. Realizing my priorities…my family or this job I didn’t like? Obvious answer, I went home for 10 days. When I came home they set up a call with me, they said I was fired, I was over-joyed, phone call literally ended with me saying “I completely understand you guys have a good day,” with a smile on my face. I then applied to unemployment. This paid only groceries, not rent, but N said it was ok, he encouraged me to paint. (something I love about him, encouraging me to paint and act). January-April of 2023, this was the dynamic. Even though I cut Verizon out of my life, living with both those boys drained me more. When N would stay up late with C as I was in bed waiting for him I would get intense panic attacks and take them out on N when he finally came to bed. These same occurrence happened so many times in a row, and it was the fact it happened even after I told him I was bothered, that made me so sad, I wondered if he cared. But something you, Anita, once told me was that N cannot be nice enough to make up for your uncles and fathers treatment of you, when you said this it reminded me of this time. In these arguments, N would say sorry, I would not believe him cause he would continue to do what felt like the same thing to me over and over. It wasn’t until the last couple months living with him that it started to get better and our communication got better so I knew when to expect him to come to bed.

    However, we had dinner one night, can’t remember if I have brought this up before, perhaps it is time I re-read through all these posts, I have only re-read some. Anyways we went to a Hawaiian BBQ place for dinner. He was off, and I asked him what was wrong. This was about 2 months before officially moving out. It was like a “house-cleaning” I had with my dad. He told me he felt taken advantage of, he said I lived in a fantasy world “believing that things just work out.” I felt awful, but I took it and really tried to see it without emotion, was I taking advantage? He did pay for the majority of things now. Was I lazy? I did so many paintings I was so proud of though I wouldn’t take that time back for anything. I don’t fully remember the conversation but it ended unfinished because I didn’t know how to respond. We re-brought the conversation up a day or two later and I honestly don’t remember how I responded…But it was resolved? I have a feeling I said I would try to be more helpful, as he said it wasn’t about money, oh yea he said “I am not asking you to pay rent, it is not about money but then help out in other ways by making me lunches or something along those lines.” He did not feel demanding when he said this, I remember feeling similar to how I felt at my fathers “house-cleaning,” I would feel like “Wow I could definitely be doing more, why don’t I make him lunches?” I would get inspired to do all the things to just be the perfect daughter/ girlfriend. Then the actual week happens and I do it sometimes but not consistently, I just forget or don’t have the energy for that every day, I wonder if that makes me lazy. Have I just not contributed to this relationship enough and pushed N to his limit of feeling taken advantage of? Because that is exactly what I did to my dad, he felt taken advantage of by me. So is it me? As I am making two men feel the same way… I just feel like their giving comes un-asked by me and with strings that I don’t agree with, but maybe that makes me in a la la land that life should be easier than that?

    “I now see this in N. One of my questions of if I am projecting or if he is genuinely similar to my dad“- It can be two things at the same time (both, not one or the other): projecting F into N AND reacting to who N truly is, which is similar to your father. They both use good or excellent people skills, don’t they?

    -My dad for sure yes. N, I don’t know… When he doesn’t feel like talking to someone he won’t, N is okay with silence and doesn’t put on a show for others. At thanksgiving he did this, I could tell he was tired and anti-social but it didn’t bother me cause I want him to be authentic to how he feels, especially in my/his home. Both F and N are good with adults… hm. Neither are the best with kids though, both a bit ignorant to the child. My dad though is more open about being off put by little ones, cute at a distance but only an opportunity for his house to be messed up (by all my little cousins). When I was at N’s parents once, with his brother and sister-in-law and their 1 year old. The kid was about to hit his head and N, his dad and N’s brother were all oblivious, me, N’s mom, and sister-in-law were all very alert. The kid almost fell out of his brothers hands as we was talking to N and his dad. This was off-putting to me. He sort of treated the kid as if he was older than he was, not realizing how vulnerable the little one was to the corners of the table and being upside down drinking his bottle.

    ““until he doesn’t anymore and I have to explain again”- until he is too occupied or tired to invest in appearing..  rinse and repeat.”

    Unfortunately this doesn’t feel very unfamiliar..

    “N does this very often in arguments. It drives me crazy why he asks me what’s wrong, it genuinely makes me angry and makes me (hatch) want to hit him… he is not understanding me and almost as if he is not even trying. I just want to shake some sense into him like ‘open your eyes!’”- imagine a person invested in appearing this way or that way: they are invested in Style, not in Substance.

    -It is just hard for me to imagine N being someone who is more invested in style. I guess what do you mean by style? N is off-put by people trying to tell him what he wants to hear. He is actually constantly alert of others not being authentic with him….hm

    For example at my cast party dinner after opening night, we sat at a table with several cast members. I saw him staring at this girl that I worked closely with, she was only 16. He wasn’t looking at her with attraction though, I could tell he was in thought and wondered. A few days later I asked him when her name came up about something random. I said “oh yea, that night you were staring at her like you were trying to figure something out, what were you thinking?” (this is the kind of thing i wish he just volunteered information to me that night, like on the drive home or something. He does not tell me what he is thinking very often). He responded “I was trying to tell if she was acting a certain way to impress us.” I responded to him “Well she is only 16 and the rest of the cast is older I think she was trying to fit in and be her mature self,” he nodded in agreement. If someone can spot someone not being 100% authentic, does that make then authentic or not?


    I am feeling appreciative of your support right now Anita 🙂



    Dear Anita,

    Can you help me come up with a post-breakup plan? Or is this something between Seaturtle and hatch only?



    Dear Anita,

    I am finding myself wondering what to say to N. I wonder if I should end things before Christmas so that we can separately see our families and mine can help me through it a bit. I am wondering if this is actually it? If he can never understand me the way I want to be understood. I fear he will try to convince me otherwise or either shut down, not sure what his response will be. I fear it will catch him by surprise and hurt him deeply. I fear I am making the right choice to be or not to be. 



    Dear Anita,

    I am reading your response now and have alot of thoughts but will have more time to respond later. For now there’s a portion I want to reply to now.

    ““I don’t want to accidentally show him in a darker light than he is… he usually eventually understands, unlike my friends boyfriend who completely dismisses her”- Or.. N appears to understand and has better social skills than your friend’s boyfriend.”

    This is interesting and perhaps this scenario can shed some light on this thought. So my friends bf is just very immature and yes bad people skills, he didn’t show up for our thanksgiving cause he was supposedly tired then my friend went home to find him absolutely drunk out with his friends. He has also yelled at her and shoved her out of the house, their relationship is very unhealthy and she is working on getting out of it and I am making sure she is safe, she does not feel he would be physical but anyways she needs out. Anyways, this bf of hers has done alot of things I have brought to N and N has very much understood him and explained his behaviors to me. For example, my friend called me one night panicked, saying her bf went to play basketball in a bad area, he had recently been stolen from there and wanted to confront someone, there are frequent arrests and violence in the area. He texts her at 7:30pm that he is wrapping up and on his way home. She calls me at 9pm terrified that something happened as gun shots were reported in the area, she calls and texts him and no response. Eventually he made his way home at about 10pm, saying he got caught up with another basketball game. She was absolutely furious and crying, she told me he had no idea why she would be upset, he said “I was just hanging out with my friends why are you freaking out.” When I told N about this he sort of laughed and said “oh [bfs name, he’s just a scared little boy. when we were younger no one cared where we were. I would leave home unnoticed, and if I was stranded no one was coming to save me, I had to figure things out on my own. Once you are stranded with a broken truck your dad got you and realize he is not coming to help you, you learn that in life no one will save you.” He went on to say “In our relationship I had to make the decision to allow you to care about me, and tell you where I was and when I would be home. My initial reaction was the same as [my friends bf], I would shudder at you caring about me and my whereabouts, but I learned you just cared about me and so I still to this day work on telling you against my instincts.” I found this all very interesting but psychologically made sense to me. What do you think about this?

    Speaking of N, knowing how to act as a good person and when he is tired is his more real self is very concerning and I want to make sure I don’t accuse him of this (in my head, not to him) and it not be true. Because accusing someone of having these sociopathic tendencies is very serious to me. My dad has many sociopathic tendencies and I definitely want to avoid this in a future partner. But perhaps it is the reason I have had such doubts about N, yet it is hard to be sure of this.



    Dear Anita,

    I just wanted to respond more fully to your last reply.

    You quoted me here:

    I roughly said, it is more than a word it has a misogynistic historical reference and it held weight. He rolled his eyes. He lectured me about how he doesn’t let anything outside of him have control over him and how I should do the same and not let a simple word ruin our evening. He said ‘you get upset about things that don’t matter and I am tired of it.’”-

    There is a little more to this. After I told him the “c” word was offensive he said “ok well you have called someone a d*ck before why is that ok?” (apologies for the crude language here it is making me feel like I should clean up my words cause I do sometimes say that when a man is being childish and straight up rude) I said it was different and he just sarcastically laughed.

    And one more detail to him saying, ‘I get upset at small things that don’t matter and ruin our time together’. Saturday night at dinner as we were talking about self growth and I was telling him the journey that I am on, I said “I have been thinking alot about you saying I worry about small things that don’t matter” and he said “oh good” then I said “and how I don’t think that is true” then he laughed (true, not sarcastic) because he had jumped to the conclusion with “oh good” that I agreed with him when infact it was the opposite. Anyways just thought this detail would help you see that this has been something he has thought for a long time and made comments like this before.

    “he referred to your feelings as such that “don’t matter“.”

    N thinks that he is superior to me in that he doesn’t let his feelings bother him as much as I do. He thinks I have growing to do in that way. For example, feeling uncomfortable. When I am uncomfortable I am quicker to leave, whereas he just withstands pain, sometimes he is right and accepting what is is all you can do, other times I feel like he sits in pain longer than he needs to. For example our work schedules. I am on the end of calling out of work too much, drivin by hatch, I want to be comfortable and go with my artistic impulses or give myself rest if I feel the slightest tired. N is on the opposite N, never called out a day in his life, says he will get the week of thanksgiving off but can’t say no to customers when they ask him to do “one more thing.” Often when he is late it is because he got stuck in a lengthy conversation with a customer or they asked him to do “one more thing.” This upsets me because I prioritize my time with N over such things and would simply start leaving and tell them no, or that I need to go. N does not take care of his needs unless I force him to and literally get upset with him for working so he stops, then enjoys it. His ability to do this on his own is not developed. What I think, is that my hatch has been running the show this year so far, she has been displaying her discomfort, throwing tantrums and I am not attending to her and taking the reigns back. N has his hatch in a cage. We have talked about this concept before, I can only approach him about deep things like this at strategic times, sometimes he doesn’t believe it and other times he is receptive and admits to ignoring it. Is this a male thing? cause I do wish he was more able to talk about this stuff. Anyways he said in football he went through extremely uncomfortable things and had to shut any other voices in his head up in order to focus. He prides himself on this, but I think he just threw hatch in there. Him being out of touch with his hatch, is affecting our relationship. Clearly me not paying rent bothered him, but he spoke to me like his customers “yes of course” as he rejects his own needs. I cannot predict what his hatch needs and I will only anger it if he doesn’t speak up. He doesn’t tell me how he feels unless I do my best to pull it out, which I think I could do this with just about anybody, maybe he needs me? He swings back and forth out of different realities. When we are away from the city and on vacation alone in the woods, he is receptive to feelings, he is everything, we connect and he is attentive. Then we come back to reality and he has absolutely left that space while I am still there. He has told me I live in a fantasy world because my life “plan” is much more abstract than his. I believe the world will support me and I will support it, I just believe if I continue on my artistic expression, I will find my contribution to the earth, lately I have been considering yoga teacher training, I could put my art up in there even, just combine my passions of art and mental health. I just believe if I keep my eyes open opportunities will flow. But then he just says I am in a la la land not saving up to buy a house and working more hours to do so, just like him commenting on me and my roommate lifestyle, he asks “how do you guys just live paycheck to paycheck in an apartment you don’t own, how does that make sense, that’s what you want?” He doesn’t quite understand what I am doing with my life and how I am evolving and I can’t tell if that is a deal-breaker, do I need his approval? no.

    – He had no valid reason to be suspicious of you. His invalid suspicion of you is a controlling strategy meant to make you feel guilty and therefore in need for his correction, of his moral superiority to fix your .. moral faultiness. And he succeeded because in the paragraph right above, you wrote: “He looked at me in absolute distrust, which I guess I deserve“. 

    When I typed “which I guess I deserve,” I remember thinking hard on that part and wanted to omit it because I can see how it is not true, but it was honestly how I felt in that moment. I am not the best with money, I have spent the last of my paycheck on a christmas decoration before, I have been getting better for sure, I haven’t spent nearly the money I did in college, but my habits still are not the best. He has straight up told me before he doesn’t trust me with money. And I just took it cause I don’t trust myself with money either but I always make it work, I trust myself to figure it out. I feel guilty for how much N has spent in comparison to me in this relationship, but it would not be that way also if this wasn’t the least amount my paycheck has ever been, I am actually looking for a new job as we speak.

    “– When a person wants to control you, he/ she is not interested in promoting your spirit or soul. When a man repeats the C word, he does not see a woman’s spirit or soul.”

    He goes back and forth between these two things. Sometimes he sees my value with me and understands how I see things and the work I am putting in. Other times he forgets and I feel I need to defend myself and explain. However is this projecting F into N because my dad often made me feel like I was lazy and didn’t trust I would be able to fully provide for myself. My dad would literally tell me I better make a lot of money or I wouldn’t be happy.

    you wrote:

    You ended your original post with: “Idk maybe we are perfect for each other and I am self sabotaging, or maybe its the inner voice of my higher self telling me it’s not right“- I now agree with the latter part of this sentence. N is promoting your lower self: your self-doubt, confusion and invalid, unjustified guilt.

    This voice goes back and forth alongside his back and forth of believing in me. When I feel his belief we are great and I feel my best self, other times he makes me feeling my lower self. My dad (and maybe mom too) made me feel my lower self quite often growing up. My dad making fun of my style saying I copied it and was unoriginal, and my mom doing so many things for me that I didn’t get to become my higher self by accomplishing some things and earning my self esteem.

    You brought up something from my post on oct 13th:

    “My dad to this day still very often misinterprets what I do and who I am and it hurts every time, he thinks I am selfish and is probably why I have fears of being selfish or narcissistic”

    I now see this in N. One of my questions of if I am projecting or if he is genuinely similar to my dad. I feel misunderstood, but once I explain myself he will then understand me, until he doesn’t anymore and I have to explain again. My need to defend and explain myself is strong but could just be a survival mode I was in for so long?

    “(2) One can easily tell that N freeing himself from ANY responsibility for the words he repeatedly chooses to utter is.. part of a dishonest manipulation. And then asking you what’s wrong?.. taking no responsibility for any wrongdoing or wrong saying when he was clearly in the wrong.”

    N does this very often in arguments. It drives me crazy why he asks me what’s wrong, it genuinely makes me angry and makes me (hatch) want to hit him, but it is not cause I want to inflict pain it is because I get a huge amount of energy and just need to get it out, our arguments do not get physical other than me slapping his shoulder (doesn’t cause harm) as I write this I hope it is not abusive, I have not felt like it was before, but it isn’t out of anger is frustration that he is not understanding me and almost as if he is not even trying. I just want to shake some sense into him like “open your eyes!”



    Dear Anita,

    I just read your last post and wanted to respond with my immediate thoughts and feelings.

    Both moments of arguing have been caused by N’s behavior. He has avoided taking responsibility and has a pattern of deflection. However when he has calmed down and we discuss a few days later, he is able to see where he went wrong, still struggling to actually apologize. I don’t want to accidentally show him in a darker light than he is. I am not perfect either, I blamed him for a lot of feelings I had that were do to my projection of F, I think this caused him pain he now holds and is resentful for, I think this is where stems the response of “you worry about things that don’t matter.” We do well at communicating about previous arguments, I bring them up and have to very clearly articulate myself but he usually eventually understands, unlike my friends boyfriend who completely dismisses her.

    What concerns me more than those arguments are his inability (from lack of spiritual experience)  to have spiritual conversations with me about the spiritual world. On the porch when we spoke about words having meaning and then I began talking about the spiritual aspects of words. I wanted to keep talking about that kind of thing, but he got exhausted and said he was tired of talking about it. That is what makes me disappointed more so than the arguments we sometimes have.

    I have caused my fair share of arguments, when I would get upset with him for things he did because I projected F’s intentions onto N. So for this reason I feel he is allowed some arguments and some immaturity, we aren’t perfect. However the difference here is with the “c” word instance he was trying to get a rise out of me which I would never purposely do to him. That was definitely not okay, and although we talked about how words do in fact have meaning, he hasn’t sincerely apologized for how rude he was. And then with the money issue I suppose I excused him, as he didn’t apologize for that either. Darn. He is suppose to come home with me this Christmas and I almost wish he was going to spend it with his family, not to be away from him but so he doesn’t miss his family Christmas for mine, if we are not meant to be.

    Losing his friendship absolutely breaks my heart to think about.

    Seaturtle and Hatch


    Dear Anita,

    I read your whole post, from November 25, 2023 at 10:21 am, this morning, I let it resonate and continued to ask myself the question you asked me to ask hatchling about what makes her feel safe. Now I will respond in order to one prompt at a time.

    How am I supposed to truly know the difference between manipulation/dishonesty and truth?“- identify in detail F’s dishonesty.

    -I will attempt to journal more about this.

    Everything you said about an unequal transactional relationship resonates with me. And your solution to my question “Seaturtle will need to validate hatch having been right all along” is something I can visualize doing and look forward to.

    “– So this was one of those other arguments I was wondering about.. I am getting to know an N that I do not like.”

    I would like to elaborate on this and tell you about how our evening and day together, went this weekend. I brought up both circumstances, saying the word I did not like, and then when he asked me where my money came from leading to a f*** you.

    N’s natural sate is not rude, he is usually very sweet and I feel like his recent rudeness has been acting out of some resentment towards me… where exactly this comes from is unclear to me. My prediction would be that he resents me not paying him rent while I lived with him for a year. Another prediction is that he doesn’t think I contribute enough to the future of our relationship.

    Saturday: So originally, and up until last Wednesday the 22nd, our plans were to spend this whole weekend together, since my play had taken up most of my weekends and prevented us from spending consecutive days together. On Wednesday he tells me he actually has to work Saturday morning. I was sad for obvious reasons as this is a pattern in our relationship. He apologized, said he felt badly that his work week was bleeding into Saturday and that he was still trying to learn how to schedule clients for his company and what not. When my mom was in town (I will tell more about this eventually) I told her how I struggled when N was late or postponed/shortened our time together. My mom told me that my dad was often late and sometimes did not show up to a dinner, he previously said he would, at all. She said he would often go to the country club to either play poker or golf, causing him to skip dinners with us. I realized then that my dad did not want to be home and would choose things to procrastinate being with us, I made the connection to projecting this on to N. I react to his tardiness as if he does not want to spend so much time with me, but that is projecting F into N. Having said all this when N said he was working Saturday morning I was not nearly as triggered and I believe it was because I relieved the projection of F. However the followed as such; He texted me Saturday morning he would actually be over around noon, I said ok. Then noon hit and he called me and said actually it was going to be around 2 or 3, I said ok. 2:45 approaches, he texts me that he is leaving and will arrive at 3:30pm. 3:30pm occurs, no N. He gets to my apartment at 4pm. I was crafting and decided not to let his lateness harm my day of self care. I cared more about the fact he said 3:30 and showed up at 4pm, this final act of disrespect? effected me more than the rest of his time changes, especially that he didn’t acknowledge this one. was slightly stand off-ish when he got there, just physically I was not able to let him hug me, I smiled but I needed space. After about 10 minutes I approached him for a good hug.

    Saturday night: We sat on the porch and I brought up the argument where he said words don’t matter. I said, “I have thought about this a lot and I do agree that I do not want other peoples words to affect me so intensely, as to avoid being swung in different directions all the time. Although words/ as in literal letters, are irrelevant, what is behind them carries weight.” In the conversation he was understanding and we both came to an agreement that words are like vessels for something that does carry weight, happy we found a middle ground there. He revoked his absolute comment about words not being meaningless, and agreed that they often do. I then started to speak about how words mean alot to me, I told him about my experience with the nicotine and how I was spiritually attacked, I told him about how I recognized which enemies I was facing, intimidation, fear…etc. I said “They lose their power once you name them and dismiss them” This is a good example of a conversation he doesn’t fully follow because he doesn’t see the world as I do, in that there is a spiritual warfare going on where there is darkness and lightness all around us. He listened, but his responses told me he did not understand, but he did not seem to judge. He said “as long as you don’t start speaking to crystals and such” I didn’t love this comment because it felt like he was making fun of me slightly but I don’t think he was I think he just doesn’t understand. Which I don’t know if it is important to be compatible in this area or we can just be different here and him being more earthly and grounded can balance me? not sure.

    We went to dinner. He often tells me he works so hard for us with long hours and stuff like this. I kept this in mind while he worked during the day, I told myself, don’t be upset with him he is doing this for us and still learning. When we were getting ready for dinner I asked if we could go bowling after dinner, he said “if you can pay for it,” I then said I could not. I then decided to say exactly what came to my mind, calmly and with genuine curiosity and a desire to understand. “You say that when you work so hard, and it takes you away from me, is because you want to work hard so that we can do cool things. So when you work hours into our time together today, that is not so we can do things like go bowling?” This question made him think. My roommate M then got home, the three of us had to return some chairs we borrowed from the apartment complex for thanksgiving, so when she arrived we figured we should get that done. Carrying the chairs over, N was very silent, I was just talking with M. She is a nurse and said she was happy to get her fourth day in a row of 12 hour shifts off, she was saying “three 12 hour shifts are just my max, I am so glad they let me take the fourth day off, I might go visit my mom this week now!”

    Fastforward to now me and N getting in the car to leave for dinner. He was still very quiet, I asked him if he was tired and he said he wasn’t. I asked him what he was thinking about, he said he didn’t understand how me and M don’t work more hours. Her comment about not wanting to work more than three 12-hour shifts confused him, he as he has worked 24hr shifts and multiple 12’s in a row. He said he didn’t understand, “I would not be okay with only working three days a week while living in an apartment I rent” as opposed to a purchased home. I explained that M and I were different, she planned on her income being the same for years to come, but I am still in a place of finding where I am going. We got to the dinner spot and realized it was a place we had already been and he said the place was expensive, hungry and now getting annoyed I told him to help me find a place if he wanted to be particular. I found another place, he is not good with finding restaurants as he doesn’t pay attention to store hours and reviews like I do. After we ordered food at the counter, he paid and I hugged him and said thank you, it was an impulse not a plan. He got weird and did not hug me back. We got to the table and I asked him what was bothering him, he said he didn’t need a thank you from me and it bothered him for some reason. Our car conversation came back up, I asked him if he felt I was contributing to our future. He said “I just wish you knew what it was to sacrifice in the now for the future” I responded telling him all the work I am doing on myself. I explained how consuming this process is, my inner child work and also trying to find out my place in the world and how I am to contribute. I told him I sacrificed in the relationship by being the one to bring up conversations that needed to be had and he didn’t speak about unless I brought it up or it was seriousness enough in his eyes. He still thought I worried about things that didn’t need it. Again I explained to him all the inner work I am doing and how that benefits us both, as I am no longer blaming him for my feelings and my patience with his tardiness has increased. When I told him my dad would avoid being home, he admitted that is what he felt he was accused of when I would get upset with his lateness, he understood this was part of my inner child work. By the end he seemed to understand where my effort was going and there was not a lack of effort on my part in the goals of our relationship.

    Sunday: We had a nice day, it was a fun breakfast and we went to an art store for the sales and I enjoyed that alot with a gift card I recently got. Actually on our drive he said the “c” word again, but this time in a much better mood he caught himself and said “oh sorry” and corrected his wording. I appreciated this, confirming to me he had been acting out of a bad attitude before it is not who he is. We then went home for some art, leftover thanksgiving food and cartoons. We smoked a bit of marijuana, I hadn’t in a while and he wanted to, plus I have enjoyed art while doing that before and it sounded enjoyable. I enjoyed parts of it, but I did not feel at peace. I felt self conscious about the art I was doing and I felt judgmental of what he was doing, an icky feeling I couldn’t shake, I blame the marijuana on this and feel I should only do it alone right now because it only makes me feel further from him. He left naturally and the day ended well. It was fun, but it was not very relaxing for me I felt overly aware of the environment and not able to just completely relax and BE. It was one of the few days we have gone through without a single argument, yet I didn’t feel in full expression of myself, so perhaps that is why? Or am I projecting again, since F did not understand me.

    “Ask Hatch what makes/ made her feel safe through the years, will you? Ask her to speak to you as you type away whatever she says here on your thread (no wrong answers). Let her speak to you in her own child-like words…?”

    The tv show friends, being alone, dark rooms when I am panicked, friends who understand my humor, my friend Paris, My sister Alia, My aunt Lashawna, plans, my uncle Korban, trips to Hawaii to see my Oma, pool days, feeling confident about my clothes and that they match who I am, soccer, my mom when she would solve things for me, when my dad would play crossword puzzles with me before bed and accidentally fall asleep in my room, my grandmas house, my grandma, plants, music, being not seen…but also being seen, adults that I trusted (in past), when my dad wasn’t treating me like I was suspicious/doing anything wrong, when I am trusted and believed, loved, when N communicates with me about timing of seeing eachother and any changes, I feel safe with a slow communicated pace of change, When I take care of myself. Warmth as opposed to cold. 

    I will continue to ask myself this. Are these the type of answers you were talking about?

    I will read your next reply and I am hoping to respond this evening, but maybe in the morning.

    Love, Seaturtle



    Dear Anita,

    “People are complex.. not much is simple and straightforward all the time. So, part of a conflicted person expresses itself at one time, another part expresses itself at another time.. Not because of deceit but because of complexity.”

    This seems like it would be a good affirmation for me to have close by when I am treating N like a suspect.

    “– When I read that N said that he loves that you are sensitive, I viewed it positively, as in him expressing that he loves you just the way you are.”

    This feels nice to read, because it is my exact fear in reverse, that he doesn’t see or love the real me.

    I’ll ask you: F actually doesn’t think things are really his fault, does he? – oh absolutely not…

    “– I know that you did not read ANY of it wrong when it came to your Father. You are re-experiencing your father through N. It feels like it’s about N.. doesn’t it? That’s the nature of (inaccurate) projection, it feels real, it feels accurate.”

    If I read it correctly before then why can’t I read it correctly now?

    “When the part of you that believes your father … sides with the part of you who knows the truth… you will no longer project F into N.”

    In order to do this do I need to remember all the times I believed him? My memory of exact moments are not very clear and I remember feelings much more. How do I do this, do I need to be around F to re-experience it and correctly label it?


    “But notice this: he felt TWO genuine feelings at the same time (dislike of part of the costume and caring about your feelings). To authentically express one, he had to inhibit the other. This is what I mean by complexity.”

    I appreciate you helping me to re-see the genuineness of N, I feel unfairly blinded from it.

    With love



    Dear Anita,

    Happy Holidays 🙂 I love your effort with the heart emoji haha the effort means more than the heart.

    Thank you for taking the time to think of me on your thanksgiving.

    I read your whole post first, and feel like we are on the right track, I think I have entered a new stage of facing this trauma and projection of it onto N. The beginning of this year started with me blaming N for my feelings, then I became aware that not all these feelings were warranted for the present situation, confused/frustrated/triggered I came here. Talking all these things through I feel I am at a stage where I am taking responsibility for feelings that are not mean to be directed at N, but F in another timeline. Taking responsibility is my new stage.

    “– Only part of you knew that he didn’t mean for you to feel transactional and abandoned. The other part of you.. is not so sure, is it? I am quite sure that he didn’t mean it, and I know that he is not at all responsible for you feeling transactional and abandoned. Part of you holds him responsible.”

    Yes, part of me holds him responsible, but I do not want to. The illusion of the projection of F into N is very convincing and often hard to argue, I am suspicious and find little things that points an arrow/projects something F did into N. It is hard for  me to tell if it is a projection or if he is actually behaving similar to my father. But I am having a hard time trusting myself and the distinction between the two, because the part of me that would fall for my dads dishonesty scares me that it will just as easily happen again. How am I suppose to truly know the difference between manipulation/dishonesty and truth?

    “To stop getting triggered by him, you’d have to take full responsibility for feeling transactional and abandoned, a feeling that dominated a significant part of your growing up years. Way before you met N for the first time.”

    Yes exactly, however I think here is a space where I get confused; to stop being triggered by F I had to take full responsibility for feeling transactional (a new word that has popped up in the vocabulary about my dad and very accurate) and abandoned, this feeling of taking responsibility has a very specific feeling to it. It is humbling, it makes me feel weak, and it makes me feel like a little kid being scolded… So when I take responsibility for feeling transactional and abandoned by N, it cues the same feelings of humility, weak, and scolded like a child. This feeling reminds me of how my dad made me feel, and the familiarity is confusing because it used to indicate me being manipulated, doubt in my own instincts that he was right and my feelings were wrong. So when I need to take responsibility for a feeling such as feeling transactional by N, how do I get the validation that I did the right thing and that he wasn’t in fact transactional? and validation that I didn’t compromise who I am in order to just stop being triggered?

    I actually have a recent example of taking responsibility and feeling this way. The night before thanksgiving we went to get groceries together. We stopped for dinner first, then on our drive to the grocery store he was angry at a bad driver and called them the C word. This word makes me very uncomfortable, I have told him this numerous times. I told him again that it made me uncomfortable and to please not. He proceeded to say it again… he kept saying “oh the word c*** bothers you? I am not calling you and c***” just kept saying it. I called him an asshole for doing that and said the fact he continued to say it even though it made me uncomfortable was not loving and how you treat someone. He said “words don’t mean sh*t, get that through your head or you will be controlled by them the rest of your life” I don’t know why he was being so harsh, he was really annoyed at me for being impacted by “just letters.” We had a whole argument about it and one familiar feeling I had with him right then, familiar from F, was that I couldn’t explain to him why the word made me uncomfortable. I roughly said, it is more than a word it has a misogynistic historical reference and it held weight. He rolled his eyes. He lectured me about how he doesn’t let anything outside of him have control over him and how I should do the same and not let a simple word ruin our evening. He said “you get upset about things that don’t matter and I am tired of it.” By now we were in the store parking lot and he was trying to get out to go in and I could not bring myself to get out of the car with him, I felt completely repelled by him and wanted to shop separately if he was gonna be this way. He softened his tone and said “do you want to be controlled by a word?” I don’t want to be, but in that moment I felt similarly to when my dad would manipulate me into believing my feelings were invalid. Confused I just agreed that a word/letters should not control me. I do actually still agree with that. But reflecting back I do not agree with him that “words don’t mean anything” what is prayer then? It is not the letters and words, because language does not matter, it is the backing behind the words that DOES hold weight. I just don’t have the energy to bring this up cause I am tired of arguing with him about these things, we have been arguing more than usual the past couple weeks.

    Yesterday morning I took him to a got yoga class, it was very nice and puts me in a good headspace, but I was pulled right out of it by an interaction with him. We went into the grocery store because he wanted some electrolytes following our class. He also grabbed a case of glass water bottles he liked and when we got to checkout looked at me cause he didn’t have his wallet. I am not in a place of spending $20 on water but I felt obligated because of how much he has paid for me over the past year, and also felt he was looking at me like it was completely within reason that I owed him, after all, and I regret, I was not able to pay him rent most months I lived with him and I fear it has set us on a rocky financial road. He said at the time it was so absolutely okay and he encouraged me to quit my Verizon job, then when I was on unemployment I could only afford groceries and the rest he encouraged me to spend on my art. But now it is as if he resented me doing that, which I feel is unfair. Anyways, at the store for the $20 water I pulled out cash from my wallet, I sold some furniture online and had some cash from my last paycheck. He looked at me in absolute distrust, which I guess I deserve, he said “um where did you get all that cash?” I answered “from the offerup furniture” he did the math and realized I had $20 more than that, he said “no that’s not all where it came from where did it come from?” honestly his suspicion made me anxious and I forgot that my boss payed me in cash for a portion of my paycheck, so I said I couldn’t remember. He got so suspicious of me! I was so uncomfortable it reminded me of my financial relationship with my dad where I was co-dependent and questioned. I said “I don’t remember” he said “that’s suspicious you never have money and now you just have cash?” It was right then that I remembered it was from my last paycheck, but his tone was so off putting that I responded “I am not going to tell you, you are asking me with so much distrust, you cannot demand that from me, you can just trust me.” He was very irritated. When he is irritated he puts on this act like nothing is wrong, it’s incredibly annoying but I am getting used to it. He asked if anything was wrong and I was like “yea I don’t like how you are talking to me, accusing me of doing something shady, asking me questions like I am untrustworthy” I told him his energy was bringing me down and he was being negative he then said “you never have money and now you do and me asking makes me an a**hole? You know what, f**k you.” This immaturity just put me so off. We didn’t speak the rest of the drive but I wasn’t even upset I was just confused and disappointed. We got home and I took a long shower. I came to the conclusion that he probably saw my finances as affecting him as well and that is where the concern came from. I also concluded that I had a bad relationship with money from my father so that is probably why I had anxiety and forgot. Him getting so frustrated and me not telling him was all just immaturity and miscommunication. I was no longer upset about the situation but I am just tired of these little arguments chipping away at our days together and both of our daily energy.

    “You’ve been suspicious of him for a long time. No wonder you had such a difficult time when you lived with him.. Living with a Suspect, always on guard..?”

    This is what it felt like, but I also knew I was being suspicious and tried my best to not be, but I couldn’t help but pick up on things. I started to put my headphones on when I went to our room so that I couldn’t hear him talking with our roommate, because for some reason if he was just taking care of himself and that made him later to bed I wasn’t bothered, but the second I heard him talking to our roommate and realized that was why he wasn’t in the room with me early enough to talk before bed, I would get triggered. So having the headphones stopped me from knowing and getting triggered. But they both have very deep voices I could hear if they talked loudly so even that did not always work.

    (I will respond to the rest of your post in my next reply)



    Dear Anita,

    “– If it happened before that he took a phone call 10 minutes or so after the two of you had sex, while you were still naked, and you told him that it bothered you, and then, he did it again, maybe you’d have a legitimate complaint the 2nd time it happened.”

    Something similar did happen the weekend before, right after sex he looked at his phone at the time and clicked out of intimacy mode and began speaking as if we were talking business and said he actually wanted to leave earlier than planned as to get more things done with his day. It made me feel transactional and abandoned. It initiated emotions that I exposed to him, I told him I knew he loved me and did not mean that but that I was feeling very sad. After about 30 minutes I came around to him leaving earlier, realizing it was what he wanted and I understood, but I still felt raw from the interaction. So the fact it happened again the very next time we had sex I think played into my response of his phone call within 10 minutes after.

    “(2) because depending on how long the list of his behaviors that bother you, it can be too difficult or impossible to remember all on a regular basis. If the list is long.. it’s a walking on egg shells experience for him.”

    I certainly do not want to make N feel this way, how F made me feel.

    “- you place way, way too much weight on what he said.. reads like he was having a light moment, having some fun following a couple of drinks.. nothing rude or offensive.”

    “It seems like what you found offensive was not the words he uttered, but the words that silently crossed your mind about what he said.”

    Yes I can see how it was not offensive or rude, it just made me feel suspicious, he went from feeling disconnected into the car to suddenly sweet puppy dog eyes and admitting that he didn’t enjoy seeing me in a role that was sexualized, something he struggled to admit soberly. Yes the offensive part was what crossed my mind here, that he was being inauthentic before saying he was “fine” with everything and didn’t think much of it, when I asked him soberly he seemed surprised as if it was casual.

    I could certainly be reading to far into things, but a part of who I think I am is that I can read people and whether it is authentic or not. This scenario felt that way to me. I am afraid of being told that I read the situation wrong because for some reason it feels like it confuses me on who I am if I cannot correctly read when someone is being inauthentic..

    “Seaturtle is the part of you who- from some distance from Hatchling, with some objectivity/ looking at the bigger picture- is thinking about what’s best for Hatchling considering hatchling’s feelings and closely associated thoughts, as well as considering past experience and overall goals in regard to healing (the bigger picture), trying to come up with a logical, sensible long-term solution to the conflict that Hatchling is experiencing. An example would be, Seaturtle thinks: Hatchling is conflicted, let me have a talk with her (similar to a parent talking to their scared child) .. And she decides what best for Hatchling based on that talk. Maybe what’s best for Hatchling in this case would be to have N come over for only an hour, a predetermined amount of time.”

    -Okay so all the conflict is hatchling, I see, and this aligns with a previous post about Seaturtle being the observer of this conflict between hatch and hatch. My temptation was to cancel on N, but I decided in the end to have him come over for a certain amount of time and not stay the night, which is what you suggested as well and was best. However, when he got there I was in a good mood, we set up the food and cuddled for a minute first, all was well, then something happened and I journaled about it this morning:

    “Last night N made me feel like F did when I would feel like I was being manipulated but didn’t have the memory to relay to them exactly what they had done to lead me to feel mistreated. We were eating at the table and he spilled a glass of wine and it went on the table cloth, a Christmas cloth I put out thinking it was mine, but it was actually the one his mom made him. Both startled I wasn’t upset because it was an accident, although sad about the cloth. He then looks at me and says “why is that there!” “Why is my Moms cloth here” I said I didn’t know that was your moms and then he proceeded to tell me how to clean it… he was like “ok so you have to soak it………” this rubbed me the wrong way I said “you assume I will just clean your mess and you don’t even ask me?” He then says “fine I’ll do it I just didn’t  think you would let me” (he is referring to when we are together and I don’t like when he works or gets distracted with things that are outside of our intimate space( I felt this was very manipulative and also putting this stupid wine spill on me and maybe I am thinking too much into it but when he said I wouldn’t let him, was referring to the other day when he took that phone call 10 minutes after sex, proving that he still feels a way about that. He refuses that anything is wrong. After the whole wine spill I let it sit for a minute then it was brought up again and I said I felt there was some passive aggression in his response and also just trying to blame me for something? He refused and said “you’re just sensitive and I love that you’re sensitive” this was so incredibly patronizing and felt the same when he was trying to kiss me on Sunday when clearly there was something in the air. My dad would do this, make me feel like I am just too sensitive and feel things that aren’t necessary. 

    N wasn’t always like this, although he has always definitely had a refusal of responsibility response to confrontation, perhaps that is because his mom blamed his dad instead of him when he got in trouble young so he actually doesn’t think things are really his fault?

    The passive aggression has been something I have ignored countless times when he says he was joking, but now saying I am just so sensitive and reading into something that is not there…no no that felt patronizing and like he was putting me in a cage I did not like that at all. I can sense energy shifts and he makes me feel crazy for it and that makes me want to run for the hills.

    Did I push him to be this way? To patronize my sensitivity and just try to give me kisses and smiles to make me feel like “oh just a cute little girl you are being silly” that is what the undertone of what he said felt to me. Do you think I am reading this wrong? Because if nothing is wrong and it is all actually just me, that is the familiar feeling F left me with very often, it was always my fault but it was ok and he’d give me a hug. 

    I feel he gaslit me just like F did when I tried to express to F how I felt about housecleaning. I have not often felt like that with N but last night and the drive to my play on Sunday I did, like he tried to make me feel crazy and over-reading into things but I really don’t think I am. 

    ” (2) there is a close correlation between taking drugs and having spiritual experiences: this is what the 1960s counter culture generation was about”

    Interesting, I would like to learn more about this. The next morning when I googled nicotine and spiritual attacks, I ran into an article about native Americans practicing something similar.

    “Don’t seek more spiritual awakenings by vaping more.. it doesn’t work on the long-run.”

    I think it would be helpful for me to do some research here so to avoid a temptation of seeking a spiritual experience through it again. However this time for the second time having such terrible dreams, feeling spiritually attacked I feel that is enough to keep me from it. My only concern would be that I get to a point of wanted to feel spiritually connected again, but that has never been my reasoning for wanting it the other times it was always to just relax, now I know that is not it’s true purpose. But I don’t want to get addicted to the most addictive drug, so perhaps I need other ways to feel spiritually connected so I do not crave it for that reason.

    “– (1) reads to me that you were afraid of losing me/ my support here.. to the overwhelm factor..? No worries, hatchling. I like you!  You are not too much for me!  (2)You are both welcome, Seaturtle and hatch!”

    thank you for saying this, I was feeling afraid to lose you. This made me smile 🙂 thank you ❤️ (I just look up ‘heart to copy and paste’ on google haha)

    Seaturtle and hatch

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