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Telling the difference between gut and fear in relationships

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  • #425690
    seaturtle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

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

     

    #425692
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle: I started replying to you a few hours ago, will resume next and answer your latest question.

    anita

     

    #425694
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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 🙂

    -Seaturtle

    #425699
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    In response to your Nov 28, 12:41 pm post: I wrote to you:” Or.. N appears to understand and has better social skills than your friend’s boyfriend“. and you told me about your friend’s boyfriend being “very immature and yes, bad people skills”, yelled at her, shoved her out of the house. One evening, your friend’s boyfriend was playing basketball in a bad area where there are frequent arrests and violence. He texted her at 7:30 pm that he was wrapping up the game and was on his way home, She called you terrified at 9 pm because he was still not home, gunshots were reported in that area, and there was no response to the texts she sent him. He did make it home at 10 pm, 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 you told this story to your boyfriend N, he said that when he was growing up, no one cared about his whereabouts and he knew that if he was stranded, no one was coming to help him: “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 friend’s 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?”-

    – 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).

    It is against his instincts (against anyone’s instincts) to unnecessarily be filled with fear or revulsion/ disgust. It is against N’s instincts to tell you about his whereabouts (where he was and when he’d be home) because it makes him feel either fear or disgust, or both.

    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.

    By being late, he keeps you.. in your place, so to speak, a place of depending on him to show up- or not- and when. He doesn’t shove you, like your friend’s boyfriend did to her, an overt act of asserting one’s power over another. N.. does it covertly by making you wait, never knowing when he will show up.

    N’s motivation to assert power over you was very evident at the grocery store recently, when he harassed you about having more cash in your wallet that he figured you should have. That was an overt behavior of asserting unfair power/ control over you. This is why that and the other example were game changers for me.

    Back to your yesterday’s post: “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”-

    -(1) “It is hard to be sure of this“- N’s controlling behaviors are usually covert. This is why it’s difficult to be sure. The example in the grocery was an exception. I suppose he was too tired to operate covertly at that time. Plus, N is a complex person: sometimes he considers what you say.. maybe he does. I don’t know and can’t know what goes on in his brain at all times. 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.

    (2) “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.. having these sociopathic tendencies is very serious to me“-

    – “sociopathic tendencies” sounds like an extreme term to a common behavior of trying to appear like a good person in public, so to be liked and to promote one’s interests. It takes effort. This is why it’s tiring. Then in private, when living with someone 24/7, let’s say, a person is too tired to execute an appearance 24/7.

    I just got your most recent post of a minute ago:

    “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!”- that’s fine.

    “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“-

    – (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.

    (2) “How do I know this for sure?“- you know for sure by his overt behaviors: the recent example in the grocery store and the one while driving are overt. There are people who never say the words and otherwise display the overt behaviors that he exhibited on those two occasions.

    “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…I have seen genuine authentic sadness in his eyes… He teared up as well and was wiping away tears as he saw me so sad. Is this not a sign of authenticity?“- it can be a sign that he is qualified to play Shakespeare on the stage with you. it is only recently that I criticized someone in real-life, someone who was repeatedly rude. 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.

    His motivation was to make me feel sorry for him because my opinion about him matters to him in regard to a certain self-interest he has (I don’t want to elaborate on it here).

    So the question is, is he being polite because he genuinely understood our conversation that words do matter? Or is he pretending he understands“- you are asking this about a man you’ve been in a relationship since Aug 2021, a man you doubted as the right man for you since Dec 2022, soon to be a whole year of doubting him and thinking about breaking up with him. For a long time- because of the gloriously positives you shared about him vs the .. minor-sounding dissatisfactions you expressed about him- 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)

    How can I be sure about this? I don’t want to incorrectly accuse him here.“- it is impossible for anyone to read his mind and know if at any one moment he means what he says. Rely on the overt examples and other overt examples you never shared about, if they exist.

    When we first met I was making a lot more money. I worked at Verizon and did very well in sales… N met this version of Seaturtle. I paid 50/50 for a lot of things we did…  we went to a Hawaiian BBQ place for dinner…  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… He did pay for the majority of things now… a day or two later…  he said it wasn’t about money, oh yea he said ‘I am not asking you to pay rent, it is not about money..”- it WAS about money.

    F’s motivation during those “house cleaning” sessions was to control you through guilt. I don’t know if N wants to control you through guilt about spending money on you. What is clear to me is that N really dislikes or hates spending money on you for some time, by now.

    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?“- by style I mean appearances, trying to create a favorable impression of oneself in others with no care for the connection or lack of connection between the appearance/  impression and authenticity.

    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“- it is common for people to get annoyed by other people doing what they are doing.

    “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.. He responded ‘I was trying to tell if she was acting a certain way to impress us.’“- she was doing what he is in the habit of doing. He doesn’t like to see/ be confronted by his own motivation and behavior, is my guess.

    “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,'”- N is invested in appearing mature.. Same motivation as hers.

    “he nodded in agreement. If someone can spot someone not being 100% authentic, does that make then authentic or not?“- if one gets angry at another’s behavior, a behavior that is not rude or abusive or destructive in any way, it’s likely because they see their own behavior in that other person and feel shame about it, or some kind of other distress.

    “I am feeling appreciative of your support right now Anita”- you are very welcome.

    As to your question: “Can you help me come up with a post-breakup plan? Or is this something between Seaturtle and hatch only?“- no, I can help you, Seaturtle.

    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?

    Whether you break up with him or not is .. or should be totally up to you and not at all up to me. So, I will help you best I can in putting your mind to rest following a year of unrest in whatever way it takes: breaking up with him or… (don’t know the option, I mean, if there is an option)…?

    anita

    #425700
    anita
    Participant

    * Adding to my commentary on the following sentence said by N: ““you learn that in life no one will save you“- one learns that you can’t rely on anyone.. so there is no team work between two people of equal standing. The one who cannot rely or depend on the other, has to control the other.

    anita

    #425718
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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 🙂

     

    #425719
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle: I will wait for the rest of your reply before responding today, less complicated this way.

    anita

    #425720
    seaturtle
    Participant

    ” 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.

    Seaturtle

    #425721
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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.

    Seaturtle

    #425722
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle: I am in the middle of putting a post together for another member, and will be back to you after I am done with it.

    anita

    #425727
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle;

    It’s been almost a year that your mind hasn’t rested much from the question: to break up with him or to not? (for the relationship to be or not to be?). 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.

    Also, I can’t read minds and there is no way for me to know what he meant when he said X, Y and Z, especially not having the context around each time. It is too complicated. I can bring up possibilities, as I have done.. but few certainties.

    I wonder: did you ever tell him that you were considering breaking up with him, and if you did, how did he respond?

    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)?

    (I will be away and back to the computer in a few hours).

    anita

     

    #425729
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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 ❤️

    #425733
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    You are very welcome and red heart emoji back to you! Please do take a break and get back to me after you are rested.

    anita

    #425744
    seaturtle
    Participant

    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

    conflicted,

    is it possible the love here is

    constricted?

    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

    break?

    He says not, suck it up it’s

    only an ache.

     

    “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

    communication?”

    *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

    controlled,

    Yet ironic to not be you must

    have it hold.

    See here’s the thing about a

    dynamic,

    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

    smell.

    to certain things I am

    repelled.

    You think it’s fear, but it is

    not.

    I can sense when an area is

    rot.

     

    As much as I love this bed

    we are in,

    it is starting to smell deep

    within.

    I tried to pick up the pieces on

    my own,

    but I was not strong enough

    alone.

     

    You claim it is not about

    the money

    But you see, it is, it controls

    you, honey.

    I do not mean to sound

    condescending,

    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

    see?

    The truth was only to trust

    me.

     

    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

    cannot.

     

    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

    timeline.

    Who knows what’s to come

    but I’ve cherished you SO.

    This end will be painful please

    take care of yourself.

     

     

     

     

     

    #425747
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Seaturtle:

    It’s a beautiful poem. I am putting together a reply based on what you shared previously as well as your most recent post. It will take a couple of hours, I am guessing.

    anita

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