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Telling the difference between gut and fear in relationships

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  • #425593
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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)

    Seaturtle

    #425594
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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

    Seaturtle

    #425599
    anita
    Participant

    I will get back to you Sat morning, good night, Seaturtle!

    anita

    #425601
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    Thank you for appreciating my (failed) effort to incorporate an emoji as meaningful nonetheless.. and you are welcome!

    Again, a reminder of how I normally (and here, today) read and reply: I read, quote and reply to one part of your post before reading what comes next.

    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“- excellent!

    The beginning of this year started with me blaming N for my feelings… Taking responsibility is my new stage“- more excellent and so very well worded, I am impressed!

    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“-

    – Problem is that N is actually behaving similar to your father at times: every person, and particularly every man actually behaves similar to your father in many.. male-human ways. Add to it that both N and F speak the same language, the words they use are the same English words,  But in certain ways (words and behaviors), N does not behave similar to F.

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

    Picture working in the garden. It being Fall, leaves are everywhere. All you see is leaves. You can’t see the ground. You then rake the leaves and place them in one pile. Now you see a pile of leaves in one area, and the ground everywhere else.  F’s dishonesty is like the leaves covering everywhere. Identifying them (seeing exactly what he did t you) is like gathering his behaviors in one pile so that you can see the ground (N’s/ others’ behaviors).

    “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“-

    – Your father is responsible for causing you to feel transactional in the relationship with him because of the words, expressions and behaviors.  I want to take time out and quote from a website I just came across (goal cast. com) regarding Transactional Relationships:

    “Transactional relationships are built on the idea of reciprocation. Both people in the relationship are focused on what they are getting out of it and they expect the other person to hold up their end of the bargain… In family relationships, transactional elements can come into play, too. Typically you’d see this between parents and children when parents bring up the idea of how much they’ve done for their kids and voice an expectation of what they believe they should receive in return. (Love, affection, respect, more phone calls or visits and so on.)… While typically we don’t want our relationships with people we know and love to be transactional, there may be times when transactional dealings with loved ones are a necessary evil. For instance, when new parents are in the throes of caring for an infant… one person cares for the baby for two hours while the other person takes a nap. Or one person takes on kitchen chores while the other handles laundry. Dividing up household and caregiving labor this way can help couples make it through this challenging time. The Bottom Line on Transactional Relationships: What it all comes down to in transactional relationships is intention. In the new parents scenario, for example, both people need to be clear that the intention for having a temporarily transactional relationship is to help each other out and be able to attend to their needs, and their baby’s needs. In the workplace, colleagues might intentionally team up to help each other out with favors so that they can both benefit and reach their career goals. When these transactional-seeming relationships are collaborative instead of competitive, and mutually beneficial instead of self-serving, they cease to be purely result-oriented and toxic. As partners, colleagues and loved ones work together in a healthier way they can achieve common goals and strengthen their bond, rather than strain their relationship.”-

    – Between your father and you (as it was between my mother and me), the transactional element was not between equals, as in between adult work colleagues, or between two adult parents. It started as and was between two very unequal people: a father (an adult in a position of total power over a young child) and a daughter (a child, a subject to a father’s power)). Therefore, the transactional relationship between parent and child cannot be collaborative and mutually beneficial: it is not something both sides (parent and child) decided on together for the benefit of both sides. Instead, it was something imposed on the weak child by the strong parent, with the intention (in the parent’s mind) to benefit.. the parent. Also, unlike in other contexts, it is never clear to the child what is expected of her day in and day out, how much and .. for how long.

    Back to your quote: “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?”-

    – Your father did indeed make you feel transactional by his words, expressions and actions. He was wrong in doing that day in and day out, year after year, and he significantly hurt you. For you to no longer feel “weak,  and scolded like a child” in the context of N, you’ll need to become a strong, equal adult in the context of your father. If the price of having a relationship with F is that you remain a weak child… don’t have a relationship with him anymore.

    The validation that you need will not come from F: he will not tell you that he was wrong all these years (unless he wants to manipulate you through an insincere admission of guilt), and that you were right. You have to .. well, Seaturtle will need to validate hatch having been right all along.

    “I actually have a recent example of taking responsibility and feeling this way. The night before thanksgiving…  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… He said ‘words don’t mean sh*t, get that through your head…”-

    – This is the first time that I read about N being crude and rude.. a surprise to me. Unlike what he said, words to mean a whole lot.

    “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”-

    – The word he repeatedly used, offensive to you (and to many) was not something outside of him: he uttered it from the inside of him.

    “He said ‘you get upset about things that don’t matter and I am tired of it.’..  in that moment I felt similarly to when my dad would manipulate me into believing my feelings were invalid“- N indeed invalidated your feelings in this instance.

    “Confused I just agreed that a word/letters should not control me. I do actually still agree with that”- N shouldn’t utter a word/ letters that he knows are offensive to you (and to many others).

    But reflecting back I do not agree with him that ‘words don’t mean anything’ what is prayer then… I am tired of arguing with him about these things, we have been arguing more than usual the past couple weeks“- (1) I agree with you (2) I wonder what those other arguments were about…

    “Yesterday morning… We went into the grocery store… 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… Anyways, at the store for the $20 water I pulled out cash from my wallet.. he said ‘um where did you get all that cash?’ I answered… he said ‘no that’s not all where it came from, where did it come from?’…  I said ‘I don’t remember’ he said ‘that’s suspicious you never have money and now you just have cash?’… 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….I am just tired of these little arguments chipping away at our days together and both of our daily energy”-

    – 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 wrote to you: “I know that you did not read ANY of it wrong when it came to your Father“, and in response, you asked: “If I read it correctly before then why can’t I read it correctly now?“-

    – a child closes her eyes to what is too threatening to see, so to not be afraid all the time. A child makes believe things are not so bad so to feel safer. It’s too threatening for a child to see that she is indeed stuck for what feels like an eternity with.. a guilt-tripping, transactional father, so she closes her eyes best she can, as in seeing-but-not-seeing.

    I wrote to you: “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.“. You asked: “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“- no, you don’t need to remember what you don’t remember.

    How do I do this, do I need to be around F to re-experience it and correctly label it?“- no. You need to be around Hatch.. or better say, invite her to be around you. Hold her hand, make her feel safe enough to open her eyes all the way and tell you what she sees.

    Telling the difference between gut and fear in relationships“, is the title of your thread. Think of Hatch being in your gut. Think of Fear being in your gut as well. There needs to be a feeling of safety for Hatch, so that she is no longer stuck with fear.

    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…?

    anita

    #425628
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    Your Nov 24, 10:45 am post provided me with new information and it is a game changer for me in regard to understanding N and your relationship with him. First, I will attend to what you shared on the matter 3 days ago; second, I will re-read and comment on some of what you shared in the past in light of the new information of three days ago.

    “The night before thanksgiving…  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 (a) 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..‘”-

    – (1) He used the C word repeatedly AFTER you told him on that occasion and in past occasions that the word makes you feel uncomfortable. (2) If the word he used was.. let’s say weasel when referring to the other driver and you complained about him using it, maybe he’d have a point about you being oversensitive to words used-  because a real-life weasel was not present in the car, and even if it was, it wouldn’t understand the word (or any word), and therefore not possibly be offended by it.. but the C- word is a word known by almost every English speaking human to be an offensive word, and ANY and EVERY girl or woman familiar with the word understands that the reference is to a private part of her body, and that the reference is very negative and derogatory. (3) If words “don’t mean sh**“- should you (if it was possible) not hear his words.. put on headphones all the time? (4) Let’s say he was referring not to ALL words, but only to the C-word. In this case, he is saying that your feelings of discomfort..  don’t mean sh**.

    “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‘…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.'”-

    – (1) He was the one to repeatedly utter a very known offensive word for women (because he was angry and wanted to offend), but he handed you the responsibility for being offended by a word he chose to repeatedly utter. His attitude was as if the offensive word had an independent existence… as if the letters of the words materialized out of nowhere. (2) His attitude is also that of a man superior to you, saying: get-it-through-your -head, as if you are dumb. He dismissed your feelings as weird or unacceptable (rolling his eyes), and he referred to your feelings as such that “don’t matter“.

    “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?…”-

    – (1) Again, he is talking as if the words he repeatedly choses to utter are not his responsibility, as if they have an independent existence, floating out there as independent entities, and you shouldn’t allow those independent entities to control you. (2) “Confused I just agreed that a word/letters should not control me“- he successfully confused you: you confusedly thought that words existed independently of him. (3) He softened his tone because you were repelled by him and didn’t want to shop with him.

    “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… 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 offer up 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 paid 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”-

    – 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 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.'”-

    – (1) After the very wrong, controlling interaction with you that he initiated and executed, he asked you: what’s wrong? Again, freeing himself from personal responsibility for behaving wrongly and handing you the responsibility that belongs to him. (2) “You never have money” negates sincerity in what he told you previously about him being okay with you not paying rent.

    “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…  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”-

    –  He successfully confused you as you took responsibility for his bad behavior, downplaying his dishonest and abusive behavior as “immaturity and miscommunication“, when the truth is that he communicated very well to you what he wanted to communicate to you.

    Second, some of what you shared about him early on: “If you read my last post you will see my partner is a stand up man, no question” (Oct 6)- Indeed, I didn’t question it (based on what you shared about him) until three days ago and this very morning.

    “I want to explode and just be like ‘DO YOU SEE ME like do you actually see my spirit and soul over here exposed to you and walking in the world'”-

    – 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.

    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.

    You wrote to me on Oct 13: “This is so hard, dealing with a parent with trust issues… I would cry every time my dad would go on this tirade, because I am someone who cares so deeply for people, so that he accused me of the opposite made me feel so lost, made me wonder if I knew myself at all. I wonder if this created self doubt in you? and how you overcame/ are overcoming this self doubt? 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. It is scary when someone tells you that you are coming across a certain way that is unbeknownst to you”-

    -N’s behavior the other day at the store indicates that he has trust issues, having misinterpreted you having cash in your wallet and accusing you of having lied and pretended before to not have the money to pay rent. As a result, you doubt yourself.  N went on a C-word filled tirade with you only the other day.

    Back to Nov 24, you wrote: “It is hard for  me to tell if it is a projection or if (N) 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?“-

    – (1) The examples you gave, his behavior in the car and in the store the day after, are indications that N is not the One for you because of who he (N) is, not because of who F is. (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.

    “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“-

    – N is similar to F, unfortunately…

    I don’t know if you are reading this and if you do, how you are feeling. I am feeling quite badly about my new understanding. I am sorry, Seaturtle.

    anita

    #425635
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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

     

    #425636
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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

    #425641
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    I read parts of your two posts and will reread thoroughly Tues morning. For now, I’d say:  it’s been quite an experience to get to know N through you.. You’ve been presenting the best of him for so long.. Good night Seaturtle and hatch. Please tell hatch that she is a good little girl, a very good person!

    anita

    #425661
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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!”

    Seaturtle

    #425662
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle: I am in the process of replying to you.

    anita

    #425663
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    1st post: “N’s natural state is not rude, he is usually very sweet and I feel like his recent rudeness has been acting out of some resentment towards me“-

    – (1) it makes sense that anger precedes rudeness. Imagine feeling angry and not acting rudely. (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.

    He apologized, said he felt badly that his work week was bleeding into Saturday… He texted me Saturday morning he would actually be over around noon… He gets to my apartment at 4pm… 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“-

    – 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.

    “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.

    “He said ‘as long as you don’t start speaking to crystals and such‘… 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”-

    – 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.

    “We went to dinner. He often tells me he works so hard for us with long hours and stuff like this… 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… ‘You say that… you want to work hard so that we can do cool things… like go bowling?’… he said he didn’t understand how me and M don’t work more hours… 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… We got to the dinner spot and realized it was a place we had already been and he said the place was expensive…he paid… He got weird and did not hug me back”-

    -he doesn’t want to spend money he doesn’t have to spend and that’s fair, he doesn’t have to. Problem is that he may be saying things that sound good (ex., I am working so hard for us), so that people think well of him, not what is true to him.

    “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“-

    – 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…?

    “We then went home for some art, leftover thanksgiving food and cartoons. We smoked a bit of marijuana… it was not very relaxing for me… Or am I projecting again, since F did not understand me“- (1) I don’t know what part the marijuana had on how you felt (2) F did not understand you, but I am suspecting that N does not understands you either, that he is good at people skills: at appearing like he understands.

    I wrote to you: “Ask Hatch what makes/ made her feel safe through the years… Let her speak to you in her own child-like words…?”, and you answered: “The tv show friends, being alone, dark rooms when I am panicked… pool days… my mom when she would solve things for me, when my dad would play crossword puzzles with me… my grandma… when I am trusted and believed, loved…  I will continue to ask myself this. Are these the type of answers you were talking about?“-yes, except that I would like it if Hatchling elaborated on one of the items on the list, expanding on it while in a kind- of meditative state of mind: very relaxed, uninterrupted, typing away whatever comes to her mind.

    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.

    * 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?

    “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.

    “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“- You don’t owe him to be with him for the rest of your life: you made no such official commitment: the two of you are neither engaged nor married.

    3rd post: “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…I said it was different and he just sarcastically laughed”-

    – 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.

    “And one more detail to him 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 in fact 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”-

    – You worry about things that matter, important things that don’t matter to him. Such as being authentic with him, talking and acting in congruence with who you truly are (and with who you are truly becoming, as you are not static).

    “N thinks that he is superior to me in that he doesn’t let his feelings bother him as much as I do… For example our work schedules. I am on the end of calling out of work too much, driven by hatch… N is on the opposite N, never called out a day in his life...  I am not the best with money“-

    -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.

    “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?

    “I feel misunderstood, but once I explain myself he will then understand me“- or.. appear to understand you by the expressions of his face and the words he uses..

    “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.

    “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.

    anita

    #425664
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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.

    Seaturtle

    #425665
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    A comment and then elaborating on the last thing I wrote in the post. First the comment: it’s not (!) about the C-word (or the D-word). It’s about him repeatedly repeating the word after you repeatedly expressed to him that it offends you. It’s his get it through your head wording, and it’s about him not taking responsibility for the simple fact that he uttered the word, talking as if the word appeared out of nowhere.

    Elaborating on Style vs Substance: you can’t have an honest discussion about anything, let alone spiritual topics, with a person who more often than not APPEARS to be listening to you. You (Seatutle and Hatchling) need a man who is primarily a man of substance: a person who is about being and becoming true to himself and to you.

    A Style that mimics Substance can feel true here and there, but long-term: it cannot replace substance. This is why, I think, part of the title of your July thread is: “my mind hasn’t rested in 8 months“.

    I just noticed that you submitted a new post. I will read it and reply Wed morning.

    anita

    #425673
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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. 

    Seaturtle

    #425677
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    In regard to your latest post: I think that it’s the right choice for you to end the relationship but I don’t know when would be the right timing. You’d definitely need emotional support to go through with it because it will be difficult. I will support you here every day but you need a PLAN to go through a breakup successfully, a detailed plan that will include doing hot yoga which you like so much, every day or every other day, meeting with friends every evening for the first couple of weeks of the breakup, and more. Also, the plan will need to include what not to do.

    You definitely need substance in a relationship because there is so much to you, so much intelligence, wonder, depth, curiosity, an adventurous spirit.. way more than superficial style/ appearances can satisfy.

    anita

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