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.