A Pleasant Exchange

August 22, 2015

I had a pleasant exchange with one of my exes today. No, not one of the crazy ones. Pikro would have you believe all my relationships were toxic. But that simply isn’t true.  I still keep in touch with a couple. This particular one is married with kids now and I couldn’t be happier for her. I met her when I was in a long distance relationship with Andrea Rae. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong woman. I chose the one with man-hating issues.

But I have no regrets. I’m glad she is happily married. I don’t know if I could have offered her that (at the time). And I let her go because I knew that. Because she was such a decent person, I wanted her to be with someone who could give her all that she wanted. It was the most unselfish thing I’ve ever done. We drifted apart but she would continue to call me to see how I was doing.

Time passed. But one day, I saw her on Facebook and I decided to send her a friend request. There was no hostility, awkwardness or resentment. There was no bizarre accusations or threats of calling the police. She accepted my request and we caught up. It was refreshingly normal and mature. I knew part of her was hurt that I didn’t feel the same way about her as she did about me. But she didn’t hold that grudge against me.

There was no drama about who broke up with whom. There was no absurd suggestions that I was having a hard time letting go or trying to get her back. I was reaching out to someone I shared intimacy with. And she was happy to share her life with me again. We may not be the best of friends, but she remains friendly. Every now and then, she comments on my posts and vice versa.

I wish I could have this ending for all my relationships. But not all the women I dated were as normal as this one. Although, she was not without her own issues. She was one of the first to admit to me that her father was an alcoholic. You could tell it affected her negatively, but somehow she got her shit together. She became a better person. We shared an interest in self-improvement books and I could see that she had done the hard work it takes to get to where she is.

Despite her past, she was not a man-hater and that is why she is happily married. That is why we stayed friends. 

Ghosting is Now a Thing

August 9, 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/26/fashion/exes-explain-ghosting-the-ultimate-silent-treatment.html?_r=0

I ran across a NY Times article on “ghosting” that claims Charlize Theron ghosted Sean Penn. I don’t usuallly concern myself with celebrity gossip, but this story resonated with me. Ghosting is what happens when a significant other disappears from your life, blocking you from all contact:

Many of those who have ghosted are contrite, citing their own fear, insecurity and immaturity. Jenny Mollen, 36, an actress, avid Twitter user and the author of “I Like You Just the Way I Am,” a collection of essays, had been dating a man for three months when she told him her grandmother died, and froze him out of her life.

Her grandmother had died — months earlier. “He came to my house one night banging on my door, and I pretended I wasn’t there,” Ms. Mollen said. “I didn’t know how else to extricate from relationships. It was me being young and not knowing how to disappoint.” She theorized that people who fade away do so out of a desperate need to be loved, even after a breakup. “If you disappear completely, you never have to deal with knowing someone is mad at you and being the bad guy,” she said.

Joe Stahl, 25, a shopper for Instacart, a grocery-delivery service, had been with his former boyfriend for nearly a year when a painful argument erupted between them. “I knew that there were things that I couldn’t fix about myself that were making him angry,” Mr. Stahl said. “I felt like I was powerless and ashamed that I couldn’t be this person I wanted to be for him, which is why I deserted.”
Mr. Stahl had already been contemplating a move from New York City to Boston, and the fight spurred him to finally leave. He cut off contact, blocking his former boyfriend on his phone and unfollowing him on social media.

For those of you who have experienced this bewildering moment, this provides some answers and insight. At the core of this behavior is extreme insecurity and immaturity. Running away from a relationship is like abandoning a child when you realize you can’t take care of it. 

To say this is an act of irresponsibility is an understatement. The well-documented trauma, that results from such a seemingly benign act, confirms its abusive nature. There is also a good deal of self-hatred involved. This is a person who lacks the ability to handle intimacy, a person who avoids rejection and abandonment by initiating the act of rejection and abandonment. This person is (passive-aggressively) lashing out at you for perceived rejection.

It should not surprise you to find out that movie stars also deal with relationship  runaways. Most of the actors I’ve encountered are extremely insecure. They spend their whole lives creating an outward persona to mask their insecurities. Relationship runaways are also actors. They like to post photos of themselves in happy relationships, madly in love. But this is an act, meant to fool the public. 

Behind the hype and the romantic photos, it is a very different story. The actor struggles to keep up the act throughout the span of the relationship, fighting insecurity and the fear of abandonment at every moment. This is a hard act to keep up. When the mask finally slips off, it’s like being caught naked. Their instant reaction is to run away with shame.

Critics, like Pikro, think that shame comes from this blog. But he doesn’t realize that shame has been with the runaway since childhood. Pikro too will have to learn the hard way. Right now, he’s too busy taking romantic photos and playing the white knight. Most likely, a damsel-in-distress has pulled the wool over his eyes. A master manipulator is hard at work.

Running away and blocking your phone number is the least of your worries. Rare is the case where the runaway admits to her shame and insecurities. If you’re dealing with a real asshole, she will blame you for everything. She will demonize you, project her shame onto you, destroy every good memory you had with her. That is her toxic side finally revealing itself as she hits and runs. 

If you think this is where the story ends, then you give the runaway too much credit. This is not a responsible adult who realizes that she is the source of her own shame or that she is perpetuating the shame that plagued her childhood. This is a damaged child masquerading as an adult. She will move onto her next victim. She will put her mask back on as if nothing ever happened. And she will continue this act over and over again because her selfishness knows no bounds.