C-PTSD, child abuse, complex ptsd, fawning, fighting, freezing, friendship, Love, post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, relationship, relationships
So my friend and I had a big fight and my head is reeling from it. I don’t do ‘friends’ with people and, to tell you the truth, in 60 years this is the first real friend who I’m starting to try to be real with in my life. That’s how much abuse I’ve had to deal with. I’ve been real with my husband but then we’re like two ships passing in the night with each other. There’s very little of anything between us and, to tell the truth, it’s been that way since we got married. Almost right away, he changed after we got married, but that’s another tale to tell for another time.
So my friend and I had a big big falling out and I just wanted to write about it and maybe get some advice from anyone out there who has had some friendship experience along with dealing with child abuse issues of their own.
My friend and I met in Al-Anon. She’s also an alcoholic like me with a lot of years sober. Before I go into what our problems are, I want to say that we have a lot in common and that there is a basis for some good connection between us. We are ‘reading buddies’ in that we read and study together. She likes to learn new things as much as I do which is rare these days. We just finished reading a book on western philosophy and now are tackling one on eastern philosophy. After this were going to go to work on doing a little physics. We both have no children for the same reasons and we both come from very abusive backgrounds. There is more between us too but that’s enough to say right now.
But I’m a ‘fawner/freezer’ and she’s a ‘fighter’ type in our responses to our abuse and to life’s realities in general. I hide (freeze) and people-please (fawn) while she just plain gets mad and yells for all she’s worth. This kind of makes me scared of her. I’m already scared to confront people and her fighting me makes it even scarier. One time I mentioned that she never hardly picked up the phone when I called and I always had to leave messages (which was true). She went ballistic. Told me it wasn’t true. How could it not be true? I’m the one who should know, after all I was the one leaving all the messages. But she fought me and I backed down. Eventually she decided it was because she was on the phone with other people and that’s why she didn’t answer it. It wasn’t the truth but I let it go, I wasn’t going to fight with her.
About the actual fight. It was more my fault – I think (but actually I have no idea since I’ve so confused by the whole thing). While we were reading our book, we got into a discussion about where babies come from. I said they essentially came from dirt. That plants grow from dirt, the mother eats the plants and grows the baby from the plants she eats. My friend went ballistic. She said that babies come from God. I said “No, they come from…” and re-iterated my point thinking that it was so obvious. Suddenly she said “I think you should go. I’m not going to be abused.” So she kicked me out of her house. I think I was being more dogmatic than I realized at the time. When I got home I called her and managed to get her to pick up the phone with a little coaxing on her message machine. We went around and around but I eventually saw that I was probably ‘channeling’ my father with his dogmatic attitude on her and that that wasn’t very nice. If she wanted to believe that babies came from God then that was her prerogative to believe that way and it wasn’t for me to ‘straighten her out’ like my father did to me.
But our relationship is progressing and I’m finding out that it’s getting more and more impossible for me to be as ‘nice’ as I’ve been when some of the things she does irritates me. Now she knows that I’m not her ‘perfect’ friend that she says she ‘loves’. The truth is that she doesn’t even know me so how can she love me? And she doesn’t seem to be interested in finding out who I am either. We share our ‘history’ with each other but it’s not really ‘with each other’, it’s more that she shares and I listen (I’m a fawner and fawners are good listeners). I hate when someone says they love you but are not interested in finding out who the person is that they say they love.
So I have this friend who I very much like to hang out with (I don’t love her – that word is sacred to me). But who is a fighter and not that interested in finding out who I am but likes the ‘perfect friend’ who is me.
What do you think? I’d be very interested in some advice.
I’m not sure If I could be much of a help but I would say this much that if you cherish this relationship with her and most importantly if it’s not toxic, then maybe you should keep fighting for her. I know compromises have to be made in certain situations and maybe this time it may require a compromise too. I totally understand your perspective about the word ‘Love’, I wonder how easily people use the word in general sentences. so you are not wrong in that part. I hope you figure out a solution, I know I couldn’t be of much help just wanted to chime in.
Also I came across this quote today, I thought it might help:
“never give so much of yourself away, that you disappear” 🙂
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Yes, I do give myself away – too much. Thank you for your kind comment sent in my direction. It’s so appreciated even though you don’t think it’s much help, the quote meant a lot to me. Also, It’s nice to know someone who holds the word love in as high esteem as I do. It’s a sacred word for me and should be used with great care. I like to say I value someone, or I like someone, or I care about some one. I say I love someone only when my heart ‘moves’ for them. I feel a movement in my heart muscle. And this is a rare occurrence for me as my heart has almost turned to stone from the harshness of my childhood. I feel it for my twin sister but for no other human beings that I know of. I know God loves me because He showed me on that night I became a Christian, but my heart doesn’t even move for Him back because He betrayed me. I begged for rescue every day as a child and He ignored my pleas. Back then He left me to twist in the wind and now all I do is spend the entirety of my days dealing with, and trying to recover from, what I went through back then.
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Hey A. lifeconfusions gave a great answer. Fight for her if she is worth it. But don’t if she is not. However you 2 came together it is worth remembering you CAN find another friend. I know it seems impossible but it always does until you do it and then say ‘why didn’t I just do that before?’
I don’t know where you are now in this relationship as this was written 5 months ago, but even if it’s all sorted, it doesn’t preclude you stretching out into the wilderness a bit and adding more friends to bring more varied colour to your life.
I’m a little less forgiving than you and if I’m not loving every minute (or at least 90% of the time) with someone, for me there is no reason for them to be clogging up my pathway. On the other hand she may need you to be there for HER, bearing in mind HER background also – and the nonsense arguments might be her way of articulating that.
I hear you clearly with your God comment, your love comment and child abuse comment.
Hopefully things have resolved themselves for you re: the argument.
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Thank you for you comment no matter how ‘late’ it is. It’s never to late to respond I don’t think. I went back and re-read this post and remembered that fight like it was yesterday. It left a big impact on our relationship. I’m still with this person as my friend but it’s still a difficult friendship. The truth is I don’t know how to end it. She lives right down the street from me and we are way out in the middle of nowhere from town where all the other people in Alanon and AA reside. We drive together to meetings.pretty sometimes although she’s sick a lot so that’s not too often. If she lived in town I don’t think I’d have much to do with her anymore. As it is, we don’t talk to each other on the phone very much anymore like we used to. She hardly ever picks up and doesn’t call me back like she used to when I call her. I don’t know. Maybe she’s trying to end it on her end too. Maybe she’s trying to dump me in a nice way. But no matter how ‘nice’ that is, being dumped is hard to take even though you want it yourself. Weird huh?
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