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Thread: Is reconciliation possible in this scenario?

  1. #51
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Not speaking for TwT here, but what I saw in your update was some confusion about your motivations. And that's okay, as being confused is okay. A very human state. Sometimes we have to put ourselves in purgatory for a bit—as you seem to be doing—in order to figure out which direction to move toward.

    The impression I got, from your last post, is that the "support" alternative to romance was gauged as going well when it seemed to be leading toward romance: chats at work leading to drives to your car leading to a "significant" 1on1 in her place, where, some 90 hours after saying you were cool without romance, you considered making a move and regretted not taking action.

    Meanwhile, when this new "approach," to use a phrase that has come up a bit, lead to a familiar wishy-washy silence and her DM'ing with a co-worker, the wind left the sails a bit, the approach was questioned, and you found yourself needing validation and at least hypothesizing about changing jobs if this goes (more) sideways.

    Cliff's Notes: you were stoked when the spark seemed to be firing up, frustrated when it was not.

    Zoom out a bit and it's kind of like where things were a week or so back, no? You were stoked (if wary) to see what would come of the plus one at the bbq, frustrated when that didn't quite pan out. They you were stoked (if confused) to understand it all a little more, in a way that—going from the above—led to a week where something romantic seemed again on the horizon, though the horizon was fogged over by some wariness and confusion, as it often was when you were actually a couple.

    Which, hey, is all totally human. We get sprung on people, and ride the waves best we can. Tricky part here is what you know about her: a woman who is aware that she could use some real help, but who has a habit of coping by finding support in men whose motives are questionable, which has led to some unfortunate situations, which has made healthy romantic connections elusive. She's aware of that too, of course. But it's an awareness, right now, that's similar to someone who is aware that they could gain to lose some weight, but can't quite drive past a McDonald's without getting a Big Mac.

    That puts you in a tough spot, no? You want to be different than, say, a co-worker with a fiancé who is exploiting her most vulnerable sides by playing DM footsie—and you are, I get it. But if you're also a coworker threatened by that other male coworker, hoping that a drive to a car and invite to her house may lead to something like footsie—well, that's where the "support" stuff becomes a little porous, where those differences get blurry in a world with lots of blurred lines.

    I suspect what I'm writing is not the kind of encouragement you want, but I am on your side. I guess I'm just encouraging you to see this from a wider lens, so you can be brutally honest with yourself. I don't think you're trying to "trick" her into getting back with you by "positioning" yourself as the nice, supportive guy; but I am saying that it's worth asking if you can be a genuinely supportive presence while also wondering if this present juncture is a stepping stone toward another go at romance.

  2. #52
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TimeToGrowUp
    I'm convinced you're reading what you want to read, not what I wrote.
    Sadly YOU are not seeing what you wrote. Perhaps, Bluecastle, in his response can help you there.

  3. #53
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Not speaking for TwT here, but what I saw in your update was some confusion about your motivations. And that's okay, as being confused is okay. A very human state. Sometimes we have to put ourselves in purgatory for a bit—as you seem to be doing—in order to figure out which direction to move toward.

    The impression I got, from your last post, is that the "support" alternative to romance was gauged as going well when it seemed to be leading toward romance: chats at work leading to drives to your car leading to a "significant" 1on1 in her place, where, some 90 hours after saying you were cool without romance, you considered making a move and regretted not taking action.

    Meanwhile, when this new "approach," to use a phrase that has come up a bit, lead to a familiar wishy-washy silence and her DM'ing with a co-worker, the wind left the sails a bit, the approach was questioned, and you found yourself needing validation and at least hypothesizing about changing jobs if this goes (more) sideways.

    Cliff's Notes: you were stoked when the spark seemed to be firing up, frustrated when it was not.

    Zoom out a bit and it's kind of like where things were a week or so back, no? You were stoked (if wary) to see what would come of the plus one at the bbq, frustrated when that didn't quite pan out. They you were stoked (if confused) to understand it all a little more, in a way that—going from the above—led to a week where something romantic seemed again on the horizon, though the horizon was fogged over by some wariness and confusion, as it often was when you were actually a couple.

    Which, hey, is all totally human. We get sprung on people, and ride the waves best we can. Tricky part here is what you know about her: a woman who is aware that she could use some real help, but who has a habit of coping by finding support in men whose motives are questionable, which has led to some unfortunate situations, which has made healthy romantic connections elusive. She's aware of that too, of course. But it's an awareness, right now, that's similar to someone who is aware that they could gain to lose some weight, but can't quite drive past a McDonald's without getting a Big Mac.

    That puts you in a tough spot, no? You want to be different than, say, a co-worker with a fiancé who is exploiting her most vulnerable sides by playing DM footsie—and you are, I get it. But if you're also a coworker threatened by that other male coworker, hoping that a drive to a car and invite to her house may lead to something like footsie—well, that's where the "support" stuff becomes a little porous, where those differences get blurry in a world with lots of blurred lines.

    I suspect what I'm writing is not the kind of encouragement you want, but I am on your side. I guess I'm just encouraging you to see this from a wider lens, so you can be brutally honest with yourself. I don't think you're trying to "trick" her into getting back with you by "positioning" yourself as the nice, supportive guy; but I am saying that it's worth asking if you can be a genuinely supportive presence while also wondering if this present juncture is a stepping stone toward another go at romance.
    The trip to her house threw me off. Never in my mind did I expect that kind of invite I mean remember our interactions had been contained to work, phone, and text. I thought ok, maybe there's something more going on here than just me being supportive.

    Ironically she called me early in the evening on that same day I was feeling like crap about her and that other guy DM'ing at work. She was being really sweet, telling me she was sad she couldn't find me at our work's Halloween costume party. Of course she had had a few drinks too. She sent me some great pics of her in her costume and teased that I needed to get an iPhone for Facetime. I threw a bunch of flirty compliments her way in what was a really great interaction. Later that night I sent her a text letting her know I'd pay for a ride to come meet me and my friends out for Halloween, but I got no response.

    The next day our text interactions were stale. I asked her to sit with me at lunch and she was clearly in one of her moods. Upon sitting down it was immediately "I hate everyone right now - everyone always tries to screw me over." I don't know what got into me, but I asked her if she still felt that way about me. She said no, I've been putting in a lot of effort and making amends. Then she proceeds to go on this rant about how she hates the city I hang out in and all the people in the nightlife - that she's over it and it's a trigger for her. Ironic, because one of her issues with me was that I never brought her out again after the incident this past summer. It's just another illustration of these mood/emotional swings that I can't keep up with.

    She walked off after about 35mins. When I got back to my desk there was a text waiting for me explaining she's not trying to be mean, but that she's bitter because she felt so judged by me when we dated. She also said she notices the changes I've made over these last two months, but that it's upsetting her because she wanted it before. I stopped the conversation there and waited to talk to her later that night on the phone, but still the mood persisted to the point where she's actively saying she doesn't care what anyone thinks right now. I reminded her one more time that the past is the past, but that I regret leaving her to feel judged. I apologized, I said I was naive to how her traumas and things going on in her life affected us, as well as my ability to allow things to progress. I reminded her I still want to be the guy to make a difference in her life. Eventually the conversation got a little more lighthearted when we switched gears to other stuff (classes she's taking, etc.) One interesting tidbit is that apparently one of her friends confronted her about the escalation of her dependency on smoking weed.

    Then of course to continue this craziness - she DM's me on Instagram on Sunday after seeing a video my cat. She reminded me that she's still his mom, which is something she'd say when we were dating. Conversation has been next to non-existent for the most part since. Any interaction has been a real brief text where it seems like everything is funny to her (lots of extended LOL's and Haha's). Basically quasi-NC and I'm preparing myself to go full NC if I can't get my head straight. I just really didn't like how she came at me on Friday. I can't keep up with her mind states and not take them personally. Of course someone at our work just HAD to text me today that "Your girl looks good right now." I told the guy don't text me about her right now.

  4. #54
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TimeToGrowUp
    I reminded her I still want to be the guy to make a difference in her life.
    I am, I admit, running out of things to say here. Not losing patience, mind you, just struggling to string together words that I think can be beneficial. Still, I'll take some shots in the dark:

    This is all just more of the same, no? You're describing a flighty, flaky, immature woman of 30 who is attractive, moody, and into sexualized male attention—not exactly a unicorn in the pantheon of human archetypes. You can continue chalk all that up to trauma, elevating it, but the hard fact of the world is that she is hardly alone in experiencing trauma and that every human has experienced what she has is not flighty, flaky, moody, and so on.

    There are also plenty of women around her age who behave much the same way, without the horror stories, and I do sincerely wonder if you'd be as drawn to them as you are to her—if part of the fundamental dynamic here is that, next to her, you get to feel mature, valuable, which, let's just be brutally honest, is a cakewalk when you're communicating with "lol" and "haha." Put me on a basketball court with a bunch of elementary school kids and I'm Michael Jordan, but that doesn't actually mean I'm good at basketball, if you catch my drift.

    Hence my highlighting of the above sentence for a reason. I think that sentence has less to do with her, her trauma, or your feelings for her, than what you want to see when you look in the mirror: a guy who is making a difference in a woman's life. Good stuff, that, in vacuum. Pure gold that doesn't go anywhere, wherever this goes. But in this paradigm? Is that gold being polished, or tarnished? Is she the best vessel to continue trying to become that man? I can see your asking those questions—and, it seems, approaching some answers. I'd even go so far as to say that if a gun was put to your head, forcing an answer, you'd be pretty quick to provide a firm "no."

    And yet, the "cat mom" text comes in over IG and the game is back on...

    Because we don't go through life with guns to our heads—which is, of course, ideal. Still, we do look in mirrors, time never stops passing, and it's important to make choices that allow us to like what we see in the reflection. The bare bone facts here are that you, at 40, are kind of still angling for some kind of action with a much younger woman who has been severely twisted up by men angling for action. That's you, alongside her—not her and her issues, and I really think it's worth looking hard at those "optics" and asking yourself who you want to be.

    I'm not saying that with a tsk-tsk of the pointer finger, but kind of trying to get you to turn up the volume a bit more on internal "humble dial." She's cool, compelling, attractive, tender in her own scattershot way, and you've attached some hopes, ideas, and hormones to it all—I get it. Totally human. But is this whole thing healthy, for either of you? She might be a lot further from answering that question than you, and it might be that the reward for your maturity comes from answering that than getting a gold star for the difference you made in her life.

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  6. #55
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    Is reconciliation possible in this scenario?

    All this back and forth is only reinforcing this hold she has over you. It’s like you have to tiptoe around her to avoid setting off any triggers. She appears to be extremely unstable. Whatever you try will not work as it’s impossible to work through anything unless she is aware of her actions and their impacts. I think establishing NC will give you time to look at this objectively and realize just how deeply entrenched you are in this emotional roller coaster. You would also benefit from counselling to address your deep seated need to “fix” people.

  7. #56
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Chloee1988
    All this back and forth is only reinforcing this hold she has over you. It’s like you have to tiptoe around her to avoid setting off any triggers. She appears to be extremely unstable. Whatever you try will not work as it’s impossible to work through anything unless she is aware of her actions and their impacts. I think establishing NC will give you time to look at this objectively and realize just how deeply entrenched you are in this emotional roller coaster. You would also benefit from counselling to address your deep seated need to “fix” people.
    Clear, concise, honest breakdown right here, with an emphasis on the last two sentences. Something is drawing you to this flame, and I think you'll feel something shift in you when you know what that something is. I know you say you don't want to "fix" her, but "making a difference" is a version of that, no?

  8. #57
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    Thanks blue castle!!

  9. #58
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    Originally Posted by Chloee1988
    All this back and forth is only reinforcing this hold she has over you. It’s like you have to tiptoe around her to avoid setting off any triggers. She appears to be extremely unstable. Whatever you try will not work as it’s impossible to work through anything unless she is aware of her actions and their impacts. I think establishing NC will give you time to look at this objectively and realize just how deeply entrenched you are in this emotional roller coaster. You would also benefit from counselling to address your deep seated need to “fix” people.
    You said it best - you really did. That is what is really starting to come to light for me right now. She shows little awareness or remorse for how her behavior impacts others right now or for others who are going thru hard times in life. Like in my case she thinks "I'm not trying to be mean, but ....." is enough validation.

    In regards to "Fixing people" that isn't really my thing. But I'm being honest in saying that I've spent quite a long time being a distancer and someone who could use a little of putting other people first for once. I've never been malicious about it - it was moreso because of how drained I was from lots of interpersonal failures.
    Last edited by TimeToGrowUp; 11-07-2019 at 01:45 AM.

  10. #59
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Clear, concise, honest breakdown right here, with an emphasis on the last two sentences. Something is drawing you to this flame, and I think you'll feel something shift in you when you know what that something is. I know you say you don't want to "fix" her, but "making a difference" is a version of that, no?
    There's two things that battle in my mind aside from the fact that I genuinely have feelings for her.

    1. The judgmental cycle that does persist in my dating life. It's symptom of self-preservation, as well as a reflection of how hard I am on my own self.
    2. The regret I have that she really did try - she never did anything malicious to me - and I left her hanging out there feeling very vulnerable when she was longing to change the tide of her dating life with a guy like me.

  11. #60
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I am, I admit, running out of things to say here. Not losing patience, mind you, just struggling to string together words that I think can be beneficial. Still, I'll take some shots in the dark:

    This is all just more of the same, no? You're describing a flighty, flaky, immature woman of 30 who is attractive, moody, and into sexualized male attention—not exactly a unicorn in the pantheon of human archetypes. You can continue chalk all that up to trauma, elevating it, but the hard fact of the world is that she is hardly alone in experiencing trauma and that every human has experienced what she has is not flighty, flaky, moody, and so on.

    There are also plenty of women around her age who behave much the same way, without the horror stories, and I do sincerely wonder if you'd be as drawn to them as you are to her—if part of the fundamental dynamic here is that, next to her, you get to feel mature, valuable, which, let's just be brutally honest, is a cakewalk when you're communicating with "lol" and "haha." Put me on a basketball court with a bunch of elementary school kids and I'm Michael Jordan, but that doesn't actually mean I'm good at basketball, if you catch my drift.

    Hence my highlighting of the above sentence for a reason. I think that sentence has less to do with her, her trauma, or your feelings for her, than what you want to see when you look in the mirror: a guy who is making a difference in a woman's life. Good stuff, that, in vacuum. Pure gold that doesn't go anywhere, wherever this goes. But in this paradigm? Is that gold being polished, or tarnished? Is she the best vessel to continue trying to become that man? I can see your asking those questions—and, it seems, approaching some answers. I'd even go so far as to say that if a gun was put to your head, forcing an answer, you'd be pretty quick to provide a firm "no."

    And yet, the "cat mom" text comes in over IG and the game is back on...

    Because we don't go through life with guns to our heads—which is, of course, ideal. Still, we do look in mirrors, time never stops passing, and it's important to make choices that allow us to like what we see in the reflection. The bare bone facts here are that you, at 40, are kind of still angling for some kind of action with a much younger woman who has been severely twisted up by men angling for action. That's you, alongside her—not her and her issues, and I really think it's worth looking hard at those "optics" and asking yourself who you want to be.

    I'm not saying that with a tsk-tsk of the pointer finger, but kind of trying to get you to turn up the volume a bit more on internal "humble dial." She's cool, compelling, attractive, tender in her own scattershot way, and you've attached some hopes, ideas, and hormones to it all—I get it. Totally human. But is this whole thing healthy, for either of you? She might be a lot further from answering that question than you, and it might be that the reward for your maturity comes from answering that than getting a gold star for the difference you made in her life.
    I'm recognizing that it's likely to become very unhealthy and my own instincts are telling me to protect myself.

    I can't speak for other trauma survivors, but she is on an island right now. There's no support system around her. She's left to her own devices, self-medicating, and posting self-reflecting meme on Instagram. Meanwhile it's pretty clear her triggers are everywhere. I don't get a sense that she knows how to help herself.

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