Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Questions & Answers: Why Does Lighting Strike? It's Over, But I Want To Understand

I am a 19 years old university student. I am not very experienced when it comes to relationships or people.

This  I met a girl in the library who seemed to be a lot into me. Early on she did most of the "pursuing" side of getting to know me, and early on I wasn't super attracted to her but as we went on and kept meeting and talking I realized I was intently looking forward to meeting her in the intermediate times and developed an intense connection to her.

This coupled with a degree of physical escalation that also felt unusually natural  and positive signs from her that felt completely obvious, I was sure I'm gonna get in a relationship with her.

 A few days after this escalation, she suddenly out-of-the blue rejected me. I still do not completely understand why it happened but it did, and as I said I was 120% sure the relationship will happen for good reason.

We agreed to stay friends. In retrospect this was a big mistake, but I really didn't want to lose her and at the time this feeling was mutual. I guess I figured I'd be powerful enough to handle it and it was worth it but I overestimated my capabilities in this regard.

The following months were very drama ridden. By early december she attempted to broke ties with me and threw some rather ugly stuff in my face. I took the blame for it fully and spent two months wallowing in guilt and self-loathing.

  In mid- january, she "came back" to me. We reconciled, pretty much both apologized for what transpired and decided once again to be friends.

 Our friendship was very up and down. Sometimes she just "froze out" for what I perceived as completely petty reasons  and during these times she went full passive-aggressive, refusing to communicate and refusing to say anything clearly.

 This went on and on, and it slowly slowly destroyed any stability and force of will I had left until early june after a smaller freeze-out of her I got to the point where I completely honestly think I was nearing a mental breakdown and snapped at her, which meant after she refused to answer to me.

I had several talks with her after this where she once again refused any sort of normal communication but the ties were severed from here on. She said she didn't hate me or anything but this whole "friendship" was "pointless" and she did not want to deal with it.

She didn't believe in love and sometimes told me how she didn't really love anyone at all in , this was tied with significant self-esteem issues, like she often felt insignificant, useless and worthless, didn't really believed she needed anyone in her life to the point where she often refused to deal with people's annoying habits  and just ran away from them.

 But this is the part where I am really in doubt. I rarely drama with my other friends and I have never ever lost anyone like this besides her. 

 I totally have no idea what perspective should I have on this all. Sometimes I am angry at her. Sometimes I feel resentment. Other times I just miss her despite her being so...toxic. She was right though that this friendship was "pointless" since if I stayed in it, I would have just withered while she lived her life, but I still do miss her. 
I also tried to get to know other people and do something with people that interest me, but none of them ever gave back any similiar feelings I have experienced with her.
I cannot decide if she was a bad person or not. I mean, she did all this, but also she kept struggling a lot with guilt, even for reasons she should not have felt guilt for. Sometimes in her weaker moments she admitted many things, how she felt she was a bad person, and how she desired the love/caring of others but she felt she could never give back any of it, so she sort of "manipulated" other people to make them love her. Sometimes I just feel for her and wish I could help her.

So what do you think of this all? Was this really an abusive thing? Is she a bad person? What after-perspective should I have on this all?

I'm glad you wrote.

We've talked before about people like this. It's very easy to get sucked into their lives and very hard to get out. Interestingly, they aren't always romantic partners. They can also be friends, family members, or co-workers.

It's not your fault. This type of person (men can be like this too) are very good at what they do because it's all they know. They have a way of making everything feel like it's your fault, that if you'd just done, x,y, or z differently you could have saved the friendship or relationship. Just as you think you're out they'll often come back and leave you thinking you have a chance at salvaging things.

You find yourself doing things you wouldn't normally do. You feel ashamed for it.

But as much as it feels like your fault, if you aren't having these problems with others in your life...well, that's a sign that the problem isn't all with you. You might be a participant in it and you may have to do some soul-searching as far as learning new boundaries and managing your own feelings and behavior, but it isn't your fault.

These types of people tend to love inspiring strong emotions in people and they don't care what emotion it is:.anger, frustration, lust, love-they'll feed off it until the other person is depleted, hollowed out and empty.

But they are also exciting. Not only that, often things were great in the beginning and sometimes there are still moments when you feel close to a genuine connection.  You just need to try a little harder or work a little more...and the temptation is to keep going back to them because of the memory of those good times, the belief that you can be the one to change things, or the thrill and excitement of not knowing what's going to happen next.

Faced with all that intensity, it's hard to move on,. Not just because we're invested, but because other people don't give us that same rush; they seem boring by comparison. 

And parts of our brain get addicted to it, because we're constantly trying to figure them out. In my experience, it feels awful, but it's really hard to pull away. We may  not even LIKE the person but we keep going back. Even after they're gone they haunt us.

We may not want them back in our lives but still we want to UNDERSTAND.

But sometimes understanding is not possible.

Sometimes it's better to be okay with not understanding. Because when we're still expending emotional and thought energy on her after she's out of our lives...well, she still has power over us even if she isn't around.

For our own sanity, it's best once we recognize this type of person to cut them out of our lives as completely as we are able. No Facebook. No returning texts. No Contact.

This is a hard thing to do. They know our weak spots. Or we feel 'rude' if we don't answer their texts.

Resist the urge.

It's sometimes helpful to remember these people do not really see you as a human being. You're just a source of emotion for them. Which means they have no problem dropping you when you've served your purpose and coming back when they need more.

As you mentioned, there are times when they are aware of what they're doing. They feel bad about it. They feel guilty and it's easy to want to support them or help them fix themselves.

Ultimately though, it's important to remember their feelings are not our problem.

As for the feelings you're describing, they are totally normal. After things are over, or even in the thick of things, it's totally normal to be filled with self-doubt, frustration, shame, or self-loathing. It's normal to be questioning yourself. These feelings do pass though once you're free from the person's influence.

Think of what you're experiencing now as withdrawal symptoms. They are hard, especially when you don't have a lot else going on, but they will pass the more quickly and completely you cut her out of your life and the more you can find things to do that get your brain thinking about other things.

As for why she latched onto you or why she did the things she did...I don't know. It's like asking why lightning strikes one house and not another. There may not be an answer.

The questions to focus on are ones where you have some control: How can I recognize these sorts of people sooner and avoid getting drawn into things? What can I learn about myself? What are ways I can figure out who is safe to trust and who isn't? What about me is drawn (or attracts) these sorts of people?

Good luck. The big takeaway I would leave you with is 'this isn't your fault.' At the same time, the more you learn from it, the better able you'll be able to recognize such people and keep yourself away from them.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

1 comment:

  1. I can relate a lot with the individual asking the question. I recently broke all ties with my ex girlfriend - and it wasn't easy to get over her, As you mentioned - the ties have to be cut entirely (Facebook / Phone / Text Messages).

    Prior to that, I found myself trying to work things out so we could remain 'friends'. But you nailed it when you mentioned that what we're feeling is relevant to 'withdrawl symptoms'. And it's incredibly damaging to keep that person as your main focus.

    You're totally right. Take this moment to learn and develop- take time for yourself and keep the mind pre-occupied.

    :) Thanks for sharing.