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#67098 - 07/13/03 01:47 PM 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
Hi Folks,

Me again, back asking for more advice...

Remember my saga about "Geraldo"? Well, I have been doing really well for the past month in trying to put the whole thing out of my head, and concentrate on my clinical clerkships(which have been GREAT so far!)I'm finding the wolf pillow to be really comfy for "me" too! \:D

Anyway, as mandatory part of my Family Medicine Clerkship, I will be doing the second month at a rural location in a small town clinic. I signed up for the Bike Tour that I mentioned previously, as a way to have some fun while I am away (PRE-wolf-refusal). Now that this is only a couple weeks away, I am wondering what to do. The Tour begins and ends in the town where Geraldo lives and works. It is a very small mountain hamlet of about 600 people, so the possibility of running into him at the start or finish is rather high.

Previously, whenever I was going to be passing thru town, I would email him to let him know I was coming - both to leave open the possibility that he might thaw and want to do coffee/talk, and also to "warn" him in case he wanted to avoid me completely.

SO...now given the present situation I am wondering if I should
1)Not even let him know that I will be there, as he wants me to leave him alone, or

2) Take the risk and tell him as a courtesy so that he won't freak out if he sees me around town.

AND given the possibility that he might run into me, what do I do?
1) Ignore him unless he says something first?
2) Make a joke and keep on moving?
3) Just say hello and keep on pedaling?

I don't want to do the wrong thing, but by the same token I don't want to totally disrupt my life just for fear of offending him. I paid my money, it is a public charity ride and I have a right to be there.

Suggestions? Comments?

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#67099 - 07/13/03 05:56 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hi DF!

Since Geraldo has made his desires clear to you, I do not think you need to send him an email about being there, in fact, I expect he would resent it.

As you said, you have a right to be there, to participate and enjoy what sounds like an incredibly beautiful spot.

If you see each other, that can be awkward. But, you know what he wants. So, I think that acknowledging his presence and going on is the best. That is not being cold--it is honoring his wishes. If he sees that you are not going to go against his wishes, he may be more open, eventually to a different wishes.

Like you said though, you have a right to have your life today. You mentioned you have children, and hobbies, and a grueling task in your clerkships. Enjoy all you can.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#67100 - 07/13/03 07:36 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Hey DF,

I'm not very good in the type of situation you are describing......though usually I have been the person on the other side, sort of like your Geraldo.

In other words, I've been the one that's acting like a shit head and run into people who I have used and then cast aside.

I see now that I tend to repeat this dynamic in my life as it was basically what I learned from my father, who disappeared leaving my mom and us 6 kids, and then later from the 55 year old man who sexually abused me in the guise of a father role for several years when I was a teen.
He tossed me aside when I was no longer young enough (17 was too old) to suit his tastes.

All this to say, I've been on both sides of the awkwardness of these situations. The still infatuated, mildly obsessed and determined to try and please a totally unpleasable and truthfully rather unpleasant person.

If any of this rings true for you, good. If not, please consider that I am only describing myself here.

I cheated and pretended and lied so much in my sex life it never occurred to me that it was wrong. It was sort of like breathing--an automatic response to an anticipated lack of oxygen or love.

All this to say from my experience;

PLEASE DO WHATEVER YOU FEEL WILL LEAVE YOU WITH THE MOST COMFORTING FEELING.

SORRY TO SAY, BUT TAKING HIS FEELINGS INTO ACCOUNT IS SORT OF LIKE WONDERING IF A PIECE OF FURNITURE WOULD BE FEEL MORE AT EASE IF YOU SAT ON IT OR MERELY WALKED ON BY.


Hope this doesn't sound too harsh, or that I'm advocating any sort of punitive action on your part. Because I'm not. That would be once again putting all the focus on him.

Acting in a way to punish him would be like punishing the chair--not really hurting the chair bur maybe barking your shins or scraping your knuckles.

Since I don't know much about how to act correctly in these situations, I have to ask others I trust, just as you are doing.

Brava to you for being here and for asking! That is a big step for all of us who become enamored of those unable to love.

So, here's what my friends told me that I still use today.

1) When faced with a choice in my actions, I must choose whichever one will enhance my self-esteem. That is my primary responsibility to myself and to others. I alone am responsible for this.

2) Having realized that I have a choice and that my self esteem is valuable and necessary to my survival and also for the well being of others, which action do I feel will leave me feeling best?

3) Try to refrain from projecting imagined reactions, responses or eventual scenarios of results.

Instead try to focus on what is right for me--and then trust that is right for everyone involved. I also reserve the right to change my mind, as I follow my intuition, and to be gentle and forgiving if it doesn't seem to work out.

As an adviser once said, "Danny, you are not on the results committee. You are on the do what is best for Danny committee. Results will be determined by a higher authority."

The result is not really that important when compared to the wonderful growth that comes from me examining my motives, my ideals and my standards of behavior. Not theirs That's not my business.

It is good for me, as you are doing, to prepare myself for whatever may occur. But worrying and fretting about possible negative outcomes does not prepare any better for when and if they arrive.

As a matter of fact, they ususally leave me more vulnerable and confused.

Just one more suggestion, take some of us with you on your ride, if that's what you decide you want to do. Which that is what it sounds like.

Think of the loving, accepting spirit that is found here among the men and keep that with you.

We'll be here when you get back--waiting for an update!

I know it's hard and I know it hurts. And I'm sorry that you have to go through this mental anguish.

I am glad though that you have found a place like this where you can lay some of the burden down for a while.

Have fun, enjoy, take care of your emotional needs and leave him to take care of his own. Not just because that's what he has asked you to do, but because you know that it is the best thing for you to do for yourself and those you love.

Take care and thanks for posting this--gives me a chance to put some of my more shameful behavior to good use as experience shared with another.

Your brother in recovery,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#67101 - 07/13/03 07:56 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
DF
go on the bike ride, don't let him know that your going to be there, he's made his choice and walked away, respect that - but most of all respect yourself.
Why should you go out of your way to pander to him ?

If you see him smile, make it up as you go along, it's what people do. It might be awkward, but if you can pedal away with your head held high then you know you tried.

And what more can we do but try ?

Dave

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

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#67102 - 07/24/03 05:39 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
Thanks for the advice guys. I have two main goals here. 1) to not "threaten" his space, and 2) to maintain my dignity/pride. You all have reinforced that for me \:\)

I leave in just a few days, but I will have my school lap-top, so hopefully there will be an internet connection. I'll keep you posted.

Kathy

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#67103 - 07/24/03 07:39 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Kathy
Just to give you a goal to aim for ( or p**s you off ) I was talking to my nephew last Saturday night and I asked him how he was doing.
"Alright, but my legs ache a little bit" he replied.

Naturally I asked why, and it turned out he'd just done a 10 hour Triathalon earlier that day and came second !

So I don't want you slacking on this bike ride ;\)

Dave \:D

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

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#67104 - 07/24/03 10:12 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
Good LORD MAN!!!!

I appreciate your confidence (and congrats to your nephew, too!), but I fear you overestimate my abilities

The bike was my 40th birthday gift to myself this summer, so I am still getting the hang of the thing. Also, I am just now trying to transition from power-walking to jogging, and let's not even talk about swimming!!!!

My aim is to not pass out, throw up on my shoes, or meet some other equally ignominious defeat. In short, I want to finish and not have to be trucked back to the end of the course. \:D I might even stop to take pictures of the scenery!!

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#67105 - 08/06/03 11:19 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
Well, for those who asked, I survived the ride and even had a good time, but I have proved a failure at my efforts to remain silent where Geraldo is concerned \:\(

A night or so before the ride, I broke down and emailed him that I was going to be there participating in the event. I just really hated the thought of an unexpected surprise. (I'm sorry - I was weak) I got no reply as expected, but I felt better having "warned" him ahead of time.

For that decision I was rather glad, as although I did not run into Geraldo on the ride, he was a member of the troupe in the community play that was put on that evening. It was a very small building, and would be obvious if I were in attendance at the play. I made a point to not approach him, I sat in the back, and left immediately afterward.

My section of the ride (28 miles) was great and very scenic, with LOTS of hills. I stopped on a few with the excuse of taking pictures! Ha ha. But when I got to the finish, I heard the horrible news that a woman riding on another route had crossed the center line coming down the mountain. She was struck and killed by a car on a blind curve.
I didn't know her, and hadn't witnessed the wreck and aftermath as others had, but it still bothered me deeply. In fact I stewed about it for three days.

When I finally figured out why it bothered me so much, I emailed Geraldo again \:\( It was the feeling that it could have just as easily been me, and that life is short - too short to leave bad feelings to fester or leave things unsaid. This email has also, as yet, received no reply.

Now I'm starting to worry about myself and this "need" to clear the air with him. I bought a book today on Obsessive relationships, and I am reading desperately hoping that this is not what I have lowered myself to. Most of it doesn't seem to apply, but there are a few points that do bother me about the whole thing.

So anyway, that is the report. Thanks for your replies and encouragement.
Kathy

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#67106 - 08/07/03 08:15 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
Freedom Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 164
Loc: US
Kathy,

I am glad you made it ok. I am sorry about the bad incident; that is unsettling.

I want to make a comment before you beat up yourself too much. (Too late? \:\)

It sounds like there was some history before you were tuned out. That is unsettling and completely insensitive to your feelings. That you have a need for resolution is not a surprise. Especially, if you were manipulated onto believing there was something there and then were left out in the cold.

I understand SA's do that. I do not know what to do about it. I think you handled the situation of the bike ride well. Sometimes you need to cater to your own needs as well. I am glad you are working on understanding where you are. Take your time; you did not get here overnight. It will take time to heal from this.

Peace,
Freedom.

_________________________
Life is moving on. AM I?

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#67107 - 08/07/03 10:00 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Kathy,

You were headed to a small town where you might very easily have bumped into Geraldo. Emailing him was not obsessive.

You were a kind of witness to this terrible accident, in that you were local to it and participating in the same bike ride. No wonder you were stressed. Again, emailing him about that wasn't obsessive. How many other people do you know who know that town, the bike ride, and would have heard about the accident?

But you're away from there now. Continuing to email him would be a different story. He's not doing anything to help develop a relationship. His loss. Move on. You're worth more than what he can give.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#67108 - 08/08/03 01:01 AM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
ditto to what they say! I think you reacted in a normal healthy way -- both the concern about his feelings based on your continued caring about him (he is the one shutting you out, that doesn't mean that you are capable of just turning your feelings off like a light switch) and your natural reaction to the tragedy that occured on the ride you participated in.

Don't obsess about not obsessing either -- I mean, it is equally unhealthy to focus on 'what is wrong with me' as it is to worry about 'what is wrong with us'. There is nothing necessarily dysfunctional about a normal reaction to an abnormal situation (I think I am quoting my therapist here!) Dealing with someone who behaves irrationally is what my therapist calls 'crazy-making' and it is not an indication that there is something wrong with you, just the situation you find yourself in. Taking healthy steps forward is important, reflecting on the past hurt, present hurt can also be a healthy part of moving forward & honoring your feelings.

I think when my bf shuts me out I end up 'obsessing' because I feel that I am being accused & need to find logic in the situation. I want to understand what I did that created the problem. This can be an empowering way to look at people's reactions to us, but in this case it ends up putting perceptions of dysfunction in the wrong place.

You have gone through the process of realizing what happened between you & Geraldo. You did realize some things you wish you hadn't said. You have tried to extend the olive branch on several occasions. Now you just dealt with a situation where he was present & handled it by showing concern & respect toward him beyond what anyone on the board advised, and these guys are looking at it from the point of view of survivors. Don't beat yourself up for caring! Just try to realize that your own hurt is as deserving of respect and caring as anyone else's, especially from yourself.

Congrats on doing the ride -- it sounds like it was a great experience in spite of the tragedy.

-BB.


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#67109 - 08/08/03 10:37 AM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by stpbb:

I think when my bf shuts me out I end up 'obsessing' because I feel that I am being accused & need to find logic in the situation. I want to understand what I did that created the problem. This can be an empowering way to look at people's reactions to us, but in this case it ends up putting perceptions of dysfunction in the wrong place.
I can totally relate to this. After growing up with a parent who also operated on the "shutting me out" (through some pretty horrible ways - drinking, drug use, violent behaviour) I am very attuned to wondering "what did I do to cause this"? and it is fairly safe to admit that I definitely get obsessive when someone is shutting me out (on account of my dad/family history)ESPECIALLY when it is my BF.

However I've just recently realized that I sometimes just cant make logic out of illogical behaviour, and its just my brain protesting the acceptance of non-logic (isn't there a psychological term for this - cognitive dissonance?).

The only way I find peace about this situation is to say to myself "fuck it - it IS the way it IS no matter if I could figure out why it is happening or not" and go on with my life acepting that and not exhausting myself trying to find a rational or reasonable explanation where none exists.


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#67110 - 08/08/03 10:51 AM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Ok just for kicks I looked up cognitive dissonance. It is defined as discord between two personal beliefs or cognitions.

Apparently being in a state of cognitive dissonance makes people uncomfortable, therefore people tend to change one of the initial cognitions in order to relieve the discomfort.

i.e. in this situation:

Cognition a) "I have done nothing to deserve being shut out"

Cognition b) "my partner is really a nice guy"

---- DISSONANCE!! Discomfort! These two thoughts together do not make logical sense!

Possible ways to change cognitions:

"I HAVE done something to deserve this because my partner is really a nice guy" (wrong!)

OR

"I have done nothing to deserve being shut out but right now because my partner is in so much pain he does not have the capacity to act like the nice guy I believe him to be". (more plausible?)


Just a theory from PAS the amateur egghead. \:\)


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#67111 - 08/08/03 11:05 AM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
Ok just for kicks I looked up cognitive dissonance.
PAS,

Just for kicks, huh? \:\) Yeah, I get my kicks like that sometimes. Maybe the real obsession is in trying to figure out what's going on inside as if I were myself outside.

Quote:
It is defined as discord between two personal beliefs or cognitions.
If I have more than two, mêlée rather than battle, is that cognitive cacophony? \:D

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#67112 - 08/08/03 01:24 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
cognitive cacophony - I love it! I think this is exactly the issue I struggle with in dealing with all of the changes in my relationship with my bf/ex/bf/ex/bf.... My poor little brain can't keep up through the cacophony of multiple realities screaming around me! He loves me, he loves no one, I am the source of his discomfort, I am the source of his comfort, I am wonderful, I am an evil sexual temptress, I should be the mother of his children, I should be a mother & he can't have a family, I should mother him, I shouldn't expect to be included in family activities, I am like memeber of the family, I am more family than his family, I should run from this horror show, I should be more in control, he needs to be in control, I shouldn't call, why didn't i call, etc.

And that is just the messages from him, not even entering into my OWN feelings & thoughts on any of it.

Thanks PAS for looking that up -- sometimes a simple clear definition is a big help in mentally organizing the chaos.

-BB.


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#67113 - 08/08/03 02:28 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada

Quote:
Originally posted by outis:
Just for kicks, huh? \:\) Yeah, I get my kicks like that sometimes.


I'm not shy to admit that I have geeky egghead tendencies! :rolleyes:


Quote:

If I have more than two, mêlée rather than battle, is that cognitive cacophony? \:D
Good one!!! THAT I too can relate to!!




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#67114 - 08/08/03 02:37 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by stpbb:
cognitive cacophony - I love it! I think this is exactly the issue I struggle with in dealing with all of the changes....

My poor little brain can't keep up through the cacophony of multiple realities screaming around me! He loves me, he loves no one, I am the source of his discomfort, I am the source of his comfort, I am wonderful, I am an evil sexual temptress, I should be the mother of his children, I should be a mother & he can't have a family, I should mother him, I shouldn't expect to be included in family activities, I am like memeber of the family, I am more family than his family, I should run from this horror show, I should be more in control, he needs to be in control, I shouldn't call, why didn't i call, etc.

I have been there. In the early stages of my relationship with my BF it was like this. For about a year we were here-then-there, up-then-down, plans were made-then-broken, he was like go away-come here, I love you-I hate you, let's get married-I'll NEVER marry your sorry ass, you're great-you are a freak, come over to my house-get out of my face... it was awful!!!

After awhile I was so confused, down and beaten, jerked here and there so many times.... my brain was just going "aaaaaaaaahhhhhhgggg maaake it stopppppp!!!"

Total cognitive cacaphony!


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#67115 - 08/08/03 08:50 PM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Kathy
I think you should climb on your bike and ride - in the opposite direction to Geraldo.

I firmly believe you can't drag us survivors along the path of recovery kicking and screaming, we have to walk that path because we want to. It's good to have company and support along the way for sure, but we won't be dragged along.

So, you're faced with a stark choice I think, but one when you look carefully leaves you with one good alternative. Look after number one.

He knows where the support is, he knows where it WAS. If he needs it in future, he'll have to go looking again.

Dave

PS.
Joe, I think "cognitive cacophony" should become a recognised term straight away. After all, we've all had it for years ! \:D

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

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#67116 - 08/09/03 12:03 AM Re: 'Nother question from the Pain in the Butt
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
I like Cognitive Cachophany -sp?
Very de>
_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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