July 8th, 2003

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Understanding

When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.

Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience.

If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.--Thich Nhat Hahn


Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.--George Soros


The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather what he does not say.--Kahlil Gibran

-the redhead-
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Friends?

Idea and questions stolen from my friend Victoria.

\Friend\ (fr[e^]nd), n. [OR. frend, freond, AS. fre['o]nd, prop. p. pr. of fre['o]n, fre['o]gan, to love; akin to D. vriend friend, OS. friund friend, friohan to love, OHG. friunt friend, G. freund, Icel. fr[ae]ndi kinsman, Sw. fr['a]nde. Goth. frij[=o]nds friend, frij[=o]n to love. [root]83. See Free, and cf. Fiend.]

1. One who entertains for another such sentiments of esteem, respect, and affection that he seeks his society aud welfare; a wellwisher; an intimate associate; sometimes, an attendant.

2. A person you know well and regard with affection and trust.

3. An associate who provides assistance.

4. A person with whom you are acquainted.

5. One not inimical or hostile; one not a foe or enemy; also, one of the same nation, party, kin, etc., whose friendly feelings may be assumed. The word is some times used as a term of friendly address.

6. One who looks propitiously on a cause, an institution, a project, and the like; a favorer; a promoter; as, a friend to commerce, to poetry, to an institution.

7. One of a religious sect characterized by disuse of outward rites and an ordained ministry, by simplicity of dress and speech, and esp. by opposition to war and a desire to live at peace with all men. They are popularly called Quakers.

8. A paramour of either sex. [Obs.] --Shak.

Word History: A friend is a lover, literally. The relationship between Latin am cus 'friend' and am 'I love' is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos 'friend' and phile 'I love.' In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, fr ond, the Old English word for 'friend,' was simply the present participle of the verb fr on, 'to love.' The Germanic root behind this verb is *fr -, which meant 'to like, love, be friendly to.' Closely linked to these concepts is that of 'peace,' and in fact Germanic made a noun from this root, *frithu-, meaning exactly that. Ultimately descended from this noun are the personal names Frederick, 'peaceful ruler,' and Siegfried, 'victory peace.' The root also shows up in the name of the Germanic deity Frigg, the goddess of love, who lives on today in the word Friday, 'day of Frigg,' from an ancient translation of Latin Veneris di s, 'day of Venus.'



What defines a friend? How many people do you trust? How do you handle being rejected?

What defines a friend?

A common bond. A desire to know and learn and grow with a person. A person with which you both have something to offer and something to gain, whether it be teaching, learning, insight, or just a shoulder to lean on. Someone who can give you both support and criticism, and offer both with equal love. Someone who weathers the bad times as well as the good with you. Someone who will randomly contact you just to touch base, to see what's going on, to see if you are doing well. Someone you have the ability to communicate with. One who respects your failings and limitations, and you theirs. And you can work within those limitations. A voice of caring in the darkest hours of the night when the demons come. Someone who listens. Someone who cares. Someone who understands.

How many people do you trust?

No one, completely. *sigh* Been there, done that, got *bapped!* on the nose or worse. A small few people mostly. Several people superficially. Not a very big total, compared to most. It's a hard thing for me, and a precious gift when I do even partly. But no one seems to get that.

How do you handle being rejected?

Depends on the situation, the people, the reasons. This one will require more thought.


-the redhead-
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(no subject)

Then, I turned around and walked to my room and closed my door and put my head under my pillow and let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be.
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Then, we were quiet for the rest of the song. She held me a little closer. I held her a little closer. And we kept dancing. It was the one time all day that I really wanted the clock to stop. And just be there for a long time.
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower

So, I decided to find another place to go and figure out why people go there. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of places like that. I don't know how much longer I can keep going without a friend. I used to be able to do it very easily, but that was before I knew what having a friend was like. It's much easier not to know things sometimes.
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower

You can't just sit there and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love.
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower

-the redhead-
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(no subject)

"Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you--especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you,--you'd forget me."

~From Jane Eyre
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Instinct is usually right

Instinct is a tricky thing. That gut level reaction. The voice in one's head which speaks to you unexpectedly regarding a situation. Often it's the warning that something is not right, somehow. Usually it's right. But if one operates off of instinct, then the details may not be right even if the overall reaction is correct. Hence the... form of the reaction may be wrong or incomplete. Hasty, perhaps. Appearing to be ill considered, reactionary and selfish, even.

It was the right thing to do.

So I believe that my instinct about A*** being unhappy and needing space was correct. That last email was the piece that shoved me off the cliff of low level denial into the abyss of reality. In speaking with V*******, she affirmed that I am not crazy, that there are serious things going on there, and that A*** really isn't in a good place to deal with C**** and I having a relationship right now (tho she may not conciously acknowledge it - she may not be able to do so). Or C**** having a relationship with *anyone* right now. It's not just me. I knew that, but it's nice to hear anyways.

It was the right thing to do.

Regarding it not being me personally, in some ways that makes it harder. Nothing I can just 'fix'. Nothing I can say I will change. Nothing I can *do*.

It was the right thing to do.

I can only imagine what Alex is dealing with - unhappiness, stress, loss, grief, sorrow, feeling isolated and out of control, lonliness, wanting and needing more emotional support, more control, to feel special and loved, watching C**** easily picking up girlfriends, needing to revert to simpler times V** pointed out. Grief takes time - up to 18 months is perfectly reasonable according to V******* who has more personal experience with women losing children than I. Needs space. So my instinct to provide that was correct, even tho the way I went about it was... difficult. But I also have to make allowances for my upset as well.

It was the right thing to do.

No, I'm not always perfect and yes, I get emotional as well. This hurt me, hurt me badly. I invested a lot into this relationship emotionally. I could love this man. Probably do to some degree that I cannot admit to even myself. He is *that* special, we have that strong of a connection. His acknowledgement of the same simultaneously rocked my world and crushed my spirit completely. He said that to me on Saturday and I wanted... to weep tears of blood, it made me so unhappy. Disconsolate. Desolate. Devastated.

It was still the right thing to do.

But I could not in good conscience continue hurting someone that I *wanted* to care about to some degree. I may not know A*** at all, but she would still be a crucial part of the equation. Backing her into a corner was just *not* acceptable. That's just... wrong. Could have been handled better. Bad communication is just that. But I had tried and tried to talk to C**** about it, and it just wasn't working. He wasn't listening to me. Every time A*** was negative in a correspondance the feeling got a little worse. And a little worse. And the voice in my head got louder. And I tried to explain why I was concerned. And it didn't work. Finally it was just too much. I experienced physical pain - the pain in your guts that says do something NOW. Fight or flight. Base level stuff. I spent a good period of time thinking about it at that surreal, accelerated speed which comes with dangerous, frightening, crucial things. Until I was blinded. The decision point came and I made it.

It was the right thing to do.

So I was thrust into a no win situation. *Anything* I did was going to hurt someone, and they were all going to hurt me. Even continuing and pretending that everything was 'okay' would. So do I hurt C**** or A***? Make myself and C**** happier in the short term, moving towards an inevitable crash? Injuring an innocent party in the process? Or do I hurt C****? At once a mind-bogglingly difficult and yet easy decision. A*** won. The right thing won. That load of noble, honorable hooey that I HATE in myself sometimes. Self-sacrificing bullshit. I HAD NO CHOICE in the end.

It was still the right thing to do.

So C**** will blame it on my insecurities. Inability to trust. Lack of faith. I'm the bad guy. He said all it needed was time, but I don't think that's so. Even if they cannot see it right now. Merely backing ioff for us would be incredibly difficult. It's *that* intense. We tried, and slipped back into the familiar ways within a matter of days. I hope, I wish, I dream that we can do this again. Later, when the time is better. When it won't make people nervous and concerned. When it isn't 'wrangled'. I know the feelings will always be there...

It was still the right thing to do.

-the redhead-
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This is part of it

I believe that negotiations made in love are likely to seem to exist in a different universe from those made from need or a fear of loss. In love they are likely to be fluid, suggestive and a source of new delights and discovery and enriching to those involved. In need they are likely to be more rigid, well defined, requiring the patrolling of boundaries and constant judicial reviews of definitions. Now, who wants to dance? Who wants to go on trial? - greengrower

-the redhead-
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Yummy

Had a big ol' piece of cheesecake with raspberry sauce, microwave popcorn and a Coke for dinner.

Because I can *nod*

-the redhead-