Sunday, February 3, 2008

Official notice: The Januaries shall no longer intrude into February

*Update at the bottom*

I feel as though I'm still dodging little whirlwinds.


It's as though I am just getting my balance back again after being walloped by the now infamous strain of bad luck, and as I tentatively outstretch my arms and take a step, something kicks me sharply in the back of the ankles.

Not enough to make me tumble were I standing solid on two feet, as I normally am, but it is sufficient to make me topple when I'm just regaining my sense of stability.

It is my motto that "Life gets in the way sometimes", but right now, I wish life would just relegate itself to the sidelines for a few weeks and get the hell out of my way, and let me get my stride back.

As I said, these are whirlwinds, not tornadoes, and thus are relatively miniscule and trivial when contrasted to the overwhelming positive aspects of my life. But they feel like they are darting at me from under the bed, behind the door, from every each direction and I'm not so quick on my feet to be able to dodge them all.

For instance, still feeling a little raw after a night rendered complicated by miscommunications, yesterday evening, I eagerly set myself to preparing for an 80s night extravaganza for a friend's birthday, fishing out big earrings and leggings. In the midst of this, I stopped to check my email.

New message on Facebook. From the Ex's girlfriend.

A little background is probably needed to make sense of this whole scenario.

I spoke of the Ex the post before last... very long term relationship that died a slow, prolonged death that we both pretended not to notice. It was partially a process of negotiating interactions between two people who were likely close to opposites to begin with, and only shifted further to opposing poles as the years passed by. Me? A left-winged graduate student. Him? A blue collared type with more traditional ideas.

I've said before, when things are held to one extreme for too long, sometimes they need to ricochet.

As such, after the obligatory relationship grieving period, I found myself in the arms of a brilliant grad-student-to-be who wrote wonderfully and would spend hours in coffee shops discussing ideas, while he started seeing a bubbly, more traditionally oriented fast food worker 8 years his junior who was dedicated to him with extreme passion.

One of the advantages to a slowly dying relationship as compared to one that collapses in some sort of timely explosion is that there aren't a lot of hard feelings. They have had time to dissipate, especially when you both understand why you no longer fit. As such, while we haven't remained the tightest of friends, him and I have stayed on genuinely good terms. Coffee every three or four months, and a catch-up phone call every month or so. This struck a perfect balance for me-- enough distance to move on, but not so much that someone I had cared about deeply could be considered excised from my life.

But, for her? This wasn't a good balance at all.
Whenever him and I would speak, I would hear tales of her accusation and rage over our continued contact, and her cruel words directed towards me, a woman she'd never met.

A few weeks after coffee with him, in which he seemingly purged himself of all these doubts and frustrations about how he felt trapped in this relationship, leaving me confused as to why a nearly 30 year old man could be so ensnared, I received a message from her on Facebook. An olive branch, it appeared, stating that perhaps a little contact between the two of us might be a good thing. Granted, I was suspicious at first, but over the past 6 months, her and I exchanged friendly messages, simply recaps of what was going on in our lives. Though the whole thing seemed a little odd, it was a lot more pleasurable that the veiled animosity I'd been hearing of before, and I'd come to the conclusion that she was a sweet girl, albeit very naive, and insecure.

However, each time I spoke to the Ex, he would deny this sweetness, and regale me with tales of her jealousy and anger. Tales of them fighting on Christmas Day over me, for instance. And I would get so frustrated at being somehow in the middle of their flawed relationship when I wanted nothing more than for them all to realize that I had moved forward in my life. Eventually, when speaking to him over the holidays, having spent another hour listening to how miserable he was and how controlling she was, I told him, point blank, that he was a grown man, and I was tired of hearing only the negative about her. He had been with her for over a year, so there had to be something positive, some reason he loved her (which he then made a "meh" sound to, as though he wasn't even sure about that) that he was conveniently omitting, or else he was a fool to be in this oh-so-horrible relationship he described-- because each time we spoke, it was the same story, yet, months later, same problems, yet no change.

Last time we spoke, although it was clear they were still together, he didn't mention her, much to my relief.

Then, last night, I received a message from her.

In a nutshell, she asked for my "professional" opinion about the dreams she'd been having. In particular, she'd dreamt that I was in a room, with my Ex, holding a lobster (which was a long standing inside joke between him and I that he'd apparently told her about), mouthing the words "I love you" to him. She then apparently woke up crying and was late for work as a result. She went on to say that she knew that him and I had moved on, but why does she still have these awful dreams, and what should she do about it? She ends off by saying "Please help me Dr. Princess."

What.
The.
Fuck.

I'm not sure what kind of a crazy game I'm being dragged into, or even how I am supposed to respond to something like that.
I know she just wants my reassurance, under the guise of my psychological knowledge, but it is not my job to give it to her.
I don't want to be a pawn in their ongoing relationship drama anymore-- but I think I am morally incapable of writing a mean spirited email to this girl, who is just so very young (in demeanour) and insecure. I don't quite know how to check myself out of all of this.

And these are the whirlwinds nipping at my feet.

*Update-- Although I agree that ignoring may have been the best strategy from a Princess-centred approach, I am unfortunately a sucker at times, and thus chose to reply. Basically, I just told her that there were better people for her to explore this with than me, especially given the Ex's and I's history. She quickly replied and apologized, but with a splash of guilt trip (essentially "I really don't want to have any more of these dreams, so I asked you because you study these things."), and a complement about my appearance thrown in at the end. Hopefully this is the end of it.

45 comments:

Deutlich said...

WOAH. That sounds incredibly triangulated. I'd run, not walk, in a different direction.

I've been in a pickle where I got stuck in the middle (ha, that sorta rhymed..) and I just don't advise it. You know?

Best of luck, either way. Hopefully that chick will get her wits about her.

Psycgirl said...

Oi! I would tell her you're not qualified to give that kind of advice. That's it - don't go there! Plus, she probably made the dream up.

pbandrazz said...

oh that just doesn't sound like a good situation to be in...eesh.

distractedspunk said...

I don't think you can even do anything. As hard and mean spirited as it might seem to ignore it, I think that's all you can do in this kind of a situation without further placing yourself in the middle.

You could also just write back and say, "I'm not qualified to answer this kind of question, sorry," if you don't want to take the ignorance approach.

PrincessPolly said...

what a strange strange girl. i wonder what she possibly hopes to achieve by contacting you for advice. it seems to me she is trying to make you feel guilty or something like that. ignore it!

Jamie Lovely said...

Wow. I'm going to have to agree with Deutlich. Run..DO NO WALK.

Yoda said...

Oh! the drama!

I blame your ex for this whole situation, if you ask me. If he's had prolonged contact with you despite being in a relationship, it was incumbent on him to make sure that his GF felt comfortable around you. If the person you're with is not comfortable with your past, its a sure way to build up jealousy and possessiveness.

Anyways, too late for all of that. Do what duetlich sez. RUN! Run Princess RUN!

Psychgrad said...

I agree with Yoda. It was your ex's responsibility to make sure that his new partner was comfortable with him maintaining contact with you. He didn't do this, it seems, because he doesn't care enough about his relationship with the woman to begin with. This girl is probably jealous because she's trying to cling on to a unsuccessful relationship and cannot see a mismatch between her and this guy as the reason for its failure....so what better to do than look for external reasons (you) for the unhappy relationship.

My response to the girl, if any, would be "my professional opinion is that this it wouldn't be appropriate/ethical for me to even venture a guess about the significance of your dreams".

The Duke said...

I disagree, as you know, she is neither young nor insecure.

Do good people do bad things? I know I break a few eggs to make my omelets (not true, of course).

Or just say, "if we're gonna to actually be friends, I don't think it's helpful to talk about our respective relationships and relationships past. If that doesn't work for you, I understand, but these our my requirements."

Or try "Yah trick yah!"

brandy said...

Yeah... I have to agree with The Duke. I think just being honest and saying that it would be uncomfortable to talk about past relationships wouldn't be so hot is the best thing to do here.

Fingers crossed this woman has better dreams in the future- or stops asking you for advice on them.

nicoleantoinette said...

I can't believe she would do this. Who is that... shameless? I agree with psycgirl, seriously, don't go there. I'd be nice and polite and say that while you'd like to help her, you don't think you're qualified to do so given the circumstances. Gah. It's a sticky one though, and I'm sorry you're in the situation.

Surfergrrl said...

I agree that this is your ex's problem. He isn't making his current GF comfortable with his behavior. YOU know there is nothing going on between you two, but SHE is having a hard time with it because...for obvious reasons, the ex doesn't seem to really like her that much.

I would seriously consider limiting my contact all together with the ex, and do what OP are saying about answering the email. Just don't go there.

Honestly, unless there was a healthy amount of time between my current bf and his ex, I wouldn't like it either if there was still contact. Maybe if it was a three month relationship or something, but yours was a long relationship.

r.xo said...

Wow, that is a lot of drama and more than I'd want threatening my stability, that's for sure. It's amazing how we hold on to our exes because we don't want to think all those years/months/days were for naught, and yet this arrangement always seem to somehow bring forth drama. When I find myself in this situation, and I have often, I wonder why I keep trying to remain friends... because I should be able to predict by now what follows. Good luck.

Beth said...

I think you are "a pawn in their ongoing relationship drama" and I don't think it's healthy for all concerned.
If you are one of "the issues" in their relationship, that is a problem they have to work out. You are not obliged to offer assistance - at all.

Libby said...

wowww. i'm with you - what do you even SAY to that? how...odd! that being said...i'd say don't even go there!

WiscoBlonde said...

Boy, this sounds like drama that I'd distance myself from as soon as possible. I can't believe you put up with a former BF complaining to you about his current GF. That's just a trainwreck waiting to happen.

Jess said...

What the eff. What a crazy relationship they have and how bizarre that they are dragging you into the middle of it. I'm glad you told him that it needed to stop. Can you tell her some version of the same thing?

Maxie said...

Oh wow. If that was me...I'd get the hell out of that situation. I have a hard time believing the girl doesn't have ulterior motives for messaging you. So strange.

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

women are crazy. She is an over-achiever in that category. Run.

Jocelyn said...

Crap.

This is a time for high diplomacy as you run for the door. She's scary needy, and if you play into that at all, her well of need will suck you dry. You need to send her a very nice, very firm email, telling her you can see how she's trying to make sense of things in her life, and you appreciate that she would respect your opinion, but since you've been involved in the situation, you really need to not weigh in. Maybe even tell her that dream analysis is something she could do with a real-life friend over a cup of tea...and then wish her well.

willbraden said...

dreams are just your subconscious creating a narrative as your thoughts are compartmentalized in your brain. synapses firing, moving the memories to different locations. we think in stories and narrative thought, so your subconscious creates dreams as an attempt to add structure and meaning to a purely physiological process.

tell her that...

Clueless Cat said...

Eek! What a tangled web we weave...!

If I were you I would slowly back out of both their lives - I don't know why they keep trying to keep you in it. It's like you're unwillingly part of a twisted love triangle there...

but in the meantime, maybe you should just tell her that you don't know anything about dream interpretations? ;)

Good luck!

Ant said...

Sanctimonious advice time: get the hell out of this circle. No matter how much it irks you to think that you've excised a loved one.

I still maintain that friendships between former lovers are nearly 100% impossible, and if I'm being brutally honest - the Ex sounds like a bit of a tool. Based on this post, I think he's still maintaining the friendship with you as "let's wait and see" scenario (i.e. when his current relationship ends, which it will, he'll start reminding you of the good times you had etc.) Being "just friends" for it's own sake doesn't really fit with his character.

She's clearly driven by jealousy and bitterness, and I think the two of them are feeding off each other's insecurities. Plus she's anything but sweet and naive - contacting you in this dependent way (for the dream-interpretation) is actually a pretty sly move. But she's not as clever as she thinks - that last line is the barb that shows she still loathes you, and is just trying on some kind of mind-fuck.

As I said at the top: get the hell outta this circle. Nothing but grief and headaches lies within.

lspoon said...

She wants your professional opinion about a dream she had about you and her boyfriend? That's a tad over the line. I think I'd advise her to go out and buy a dream interpretation book if she's that curious.

SMARTBuddy said...

Swearing! Must be serious! She sounds very young- as you describe. Tell her to eat the Lobster and stop bothering you. Tough Love.

the fanny said...

Wow, she's got nerve. I agree with Deutlich and think that mayhaps a quick sprint in the opposite direction is the best line of reasoning. The fact that both of them are dragging you into this is a little suspect, if not completely immature. I feel for you.

Sheila said...

Her insecurities and jealousy have nothing to do with you or your ex.

Perhaps you need to establish a new *position* with the both of them. Be blunt and tell them that although you would like to remain friends that you will not referee their relationship and do not want to be drug into it anymore.

Remind them that they are adults and need to take responsibility for their decisions.

In the meantime, I am sending some sandbags your way to help block the whirl-winds!

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Run Forrest run.....

Hope said...

The Duke is absolutely spot on on the best way for you to deal with her. Terrible situation to find yourself in. Here's to a more grounded February! :)

t.b.f.love. said...

It's not fair of her to place you in that position; this is *her* issue, not yours. You have every right to not respond. If she needs constant reassurance, that would be her boyfriend's prerogative. Try not to let her get to you (but I can see why that would be difficult...).

EF said...

Hole. E. Shit.

Run, don't walk, to the other side of crazy street!

Diplomacy would be that you gently place that ticking time bomb back squarely in her lap and suggest her discussing this with her boyfriend, and not you...

Now being mean, you could just respond back, "Dear Britney...

Who? Me? said...

I don't think I would say anything. I think I would break off contact with both of them. He's clearly talking about you WAY too much for her comfort, but that's between them. Good luck.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Oh UM. I would NOT know how to deal with siuation.
Fuck. Ex's and ex girls and new girls and the whole fucking basket of shit you deal with when it comes ot love is fucking confusing.

I think its pretty ballsy of her to e-mail you, and I think I kind of don't like her. at all.
Maybe cause I dont like any of the ex's, ex's or whatever....theyre sneaky bitches.
I wouldnt write her back.

Eve said...

Whoa. Back away quickly.

That is really creepy. I'd tell her that you don't feel comfortable being involved in her relationship and that these feeling of jealousy and anger come from within her, and that you aren't in a position to advise her on it.

Also, maybe you can't be friends with him? It sounds like a really weird situation. Maybe she's picking up on some weird vibes from him about them (perhaps even about you?), and the whole "meh" feelings he's expressed are just plain bizarre. Sounds kind of fishy to me, actually.

What did you decide to do?

Eve said...

Wait - I agree with Yoda and PsychGrad.

Barrie said...

Holy Toledo! How complicated.

Could you just say something along the lines of: Sorry. I can't help. Not my area of expertise.

brookem said...

Oh, YIKES. What an awkward position for her (and HIM) to put you in. I agree with others on just trying to be as honest (in as much of a short and sweet way as possible sort of way) with her. And him. I would say something to him too, if it were me.

Geesh!

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I suppose you just need to point out thee is a conflict of interests and it would be inappropriate for you to comment.

Point out that you can only reassure her in a personal capacity, not a professional one.

fort knocks said...

wow. psycho much?

If I were you, I'd make up some really complicated explanation for how the Ex has daddy issues and she may or may not be harboring bestial impulses. But that's just me.

Wendy said...

What a psycho. I say you ignore her, whatever thing you'd say to her, she would probably take it the wrong way.

ana said...

I agree RUN. Before the whirlwinds get any more twisty....

My advice to you : ignore her.

thestoryofagirl said...

I agree that it's not your job to help her. I don't know, I would probably be honest with her. Tell her that "I'm sorry, but I can't help you. You obviously know where we stand about our relationship and our friendship, but I can't tell you anything to make you feel more secure with your relationship with him."

But you need to do what's right for you...

Meesh-elle my Belle said...

My question to you is this: what are you still getting out of the relationship with him? I mean...it sounds like when you talk/see each other, he's just one big Downer Deb. So what's the point of maintaining the relationship with him if it's just bringing all of this drama in your life? And if you're not friends with him, then you don't have to deal with psychotic her. Right?

But you might have plenty of reasons for wanting to maintain the relationship in which case I would stop communicating with her completely...and request that he deal with her on the subject of you. As many others have said before me, it's HIS issue to deal with...it shouldn't be your problem.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

My opinion is that she is bat shit crazy.

Although I doubt you'll find that highly advanced terminology in any of your textbooks

Eve said...

Compliments? Weirdo!!!