Posts Tagged ‘drama

16
Sep
13

Eschewing Drama

20130916-120643.jpg

Editor’s note: drama is something that I have been trying to weed out of my life but is a rather powerful force that is difficult to avoid. I started writing this particular blog entry in early August 2013, updated it in mid-November and mostly finished it in January, 2014. However, while loading a photo before posting, my computer crashed and all updates to my draft were lost. I got pissed & put it away again.  Now I’ve pulled it out because I feel the topic deserves attention, and because it feels weird to have written so much without actually finishing something. 

The fact is, drama can be exciting and engaging and blind us to the fact that what we’re really dealing with are toxic relationships. It’s often tremendously difficult to leave those and I could write an entire book about that!  I initially had planned to write three “chapters” that covered episodes of drama in my life that were currently troubling at the time that I started this draft. Particularly, I meant to address the “drama queens” that were actively seeking attention at the time – The Ex, The High-maintenance Friend & The Other Woman. I finally decided that I should make it three separate entries because the first “chapter” became quite long. But then something interesting happened. As I was finishing the first section today, I realized that the other two sections no longer hold much weight. In fact, they are barely worth writing about, let alone having their own entry. The ex hubby & I are getting along pretty well and I haven’t had a nasty-gram from him in months. The other woman barely exists in my guy’s life now  – largely because he has also been working on getting rid of drama and limiting unhealthy relationships. Perhaps setting boundaries gave me more strength than I realized. Maybe getting rid of one drama queen made the others fall away as well. –RD

It’s true. I’ve been accused if being a drama queen. I fully accept the fact that I’m loud, direct & I like to spin a good yarn. I wouldn’t have this blog if I didn’t enjoy sharing humorous & dramatic tales. But lately I’ve coined the term “save the drama for the opera & the end-zone.” It’s just not always a good thing.

Sometimes drama is engaging, fun, exciting and riveting. Sometimes it’s energy-draining, hurtful, negative, time-consuming, nasty bullshit. Too often we get stuck in a cycle of drama with friends and in romantic relationships and it can be really difficult to get out. I have a long history of taking on other people’s pain, tragedy, angst and worry. It’s great to have empathy and compassion, but the past few years have found me learning the boundary between being a supportive friend and being used as fuel in someone’s drama-fest. I’m also trying to learn to not escalate my personal conflicts into big, dramatic episodes. I try to avoid or at least not ramp up these moments of strife while at the same time, not allowing myself to be a doormat. I guess I’m learning to pick my battles. I’ve always been direct but I’m trying not to be aggressive. As for being passive-aggressive? I’m trying to do away with that altogether. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

THE FRIEND  Speaking of crap I don’t have time for, I recently cut a friend out of my life after what was simply the last straw for me in her constant flow of high-drama, self-absorbed, narcissistic incidents. Seriously. I used to refer to her as “my high-maintenance friend” and many of our mutual friends had already grown tired of her conduct and cut her off. When I first got to know her a bit I used to downplay her behavior by saying “she’s just young and has some maturing to do.” I cut her tons of slack. I felt like I took on a sort of nurturing role of confidant who was helping to thicken her thin skin. I reasoned that her hypersensitivity might actually help me learn to be more thoughtful and sensitive in my communication too. How often was my “directness” considered abrupt and insensitive? I was absolutely willing to examine my own behavior.

We often had fun together – she is very smart, lively and witty. But her go-to emotion seems to be butthurt, in conflict or going through some sort of drama with a client, employer, landlord, neighbor, lover, friend, parent, sibling, cashier, server, ex, other drivers on the road, etc. It was ongoing and exhausting. Her Facebook posts were full of angst and conflict disguised as intellectual conversation. Soon I realized that she tends to bully people with her feelings – requiring that hers be validated in a very specific fashion, while downplaying or dismissing those of others.

My justification that “she’s just young” doesn’t really play either. My last straw happened on her 27th birthday. She had specifically requested a karaoke outing and I had enthusiastically accepted.  I asked if it was okay to include my niece who was visiting from college. She agreed but asked that it be “just girls” and no dates. It took a coveted Friday away from my fella, but I agreed. I shopped for a couple of small, personal, thoughtful gifts and a nice card. I also spent more than an hour on the phone with her that afternoon talking about her sister and her feelings having been invalidated because her sister cares more about her new baby than her (my ex-friend’s) feelings. Seriously, it was painful. An hour and a half of her saying how her sister having a baby was just one more thing for her to hold over her head. One more way that the sister is more successful. The entire conversation I never knew if the child was male or female or had a name. It was always “it” or “the baby” and occasionally “the damn baby” – gross.

Again, I give someone slack on their birthday in particular. I was kind and patient and I showed up that evening dressed nicely and with gifts in hand. She thanked me saying that I was the one person who always got her something for her birthday. They weren’t big or expensive, but they were thoughtfully selected for her. One was a nice, carved wood bookmark that she immediately put inside the book that she had brought with her. The other was a small, decorative pill box that you might keep safety pins (or perhaps Prozac) in. It was painted with a miniature of the Seattle skyline and she seemed very pleased to have received them. Ironically, the card read “Don’t be a Drama Queen – it’s just a birthday!” It proved to be quite prophetic.

We ordered drinks and food – I opened a tab with the intention of covering the bill for the three of us plus the two other friends that she was expecting. Meanwhile, I asked if she wanted to sing a duet, she said yes and I went over to chat with the karaoke host (a close friend of mine) and put in our song. I came back a few minutes later and told her we were all set and she said “No, no, no! I don’t want to sing that YET! I mean, I want to sing it, but I don’t want it to be the first thing I do.” Okay, I guess that’s why I asked you in the first place, but away I went to change the song (which the KJ had kindly put at the top of the rotation because of it being this gal’s birthday.) I chatted with him for a few more minutes about what to sing, what songs he’s been working on and general friendly chit-chat. Apparently when I was away the birthday girl lit into my niece saying asking what was wrong with me and saying she could tell that we were over there talking about her. My niece thought this was really crazy and it made her uncomfortable, but I didn’t know about it until later.

Food arrived and was virtually ignored by the guest of honor who was starting to get really spun up about the fact that her other two friends hadn’t yet arrived. She began texting to see where they were and encourage them to hurry up. When one of the friends messaged back that she wasn’t feeling well and apologized, saying she would take her out for lunch in a few days, but couldn’t make it out, the tantrums started. This 27-year-old adult human began whining “but it’s my birrrrrthdaaay! It’s only one day! She should have known better than to go to yoga and overdo it!” A text exchange then ensued wherein she blatantly guilt-tripped her apologetic (and apparently ill) friend. The friend, having said that her head was throbbing and she felt nauseous, apologized again and the birthday brat tapped in a response that said “you say that so frequently it no longer has any meaning to me.” She then turned her phone to me and said “what do you think? Should I send that? Is it too harsh?”

I responded very directly by saying “well, if you really want to escalate things, okay, but she’s not feeling well, offered to take you out another day and has apologized multiple times…”

Clearly, I had not given the response that she had wanted to hear, because she immediately started defending her aggressive retort. She got really shrill and said “but it’s true! You have no idea how frequently she apologizes – it’s just meaningless anymore!” Rather than engage further in what had become an absurd discussion, I simply said “well, you’re a grown-ass adult, do whatever you want.”

(Now, I feel as though I need to interject here – I use this phrase all the time to my friends. I feel like it’s a way to validate their decision to do what they want to do without asking me or anyone else for permission to do so. My niece, who was witness to this exchange, hears this from me often!)

Well, instead of laughing it off, considering my response or taking it as validation & moving on, she changed the focus of her attack to me. She sneered then looked stricken, asking me what was wrong with me and asserting that I had been in a bad mood all evening. Well, I kind of lost it. Years of her neediness, absurd demands and constant dissatisfaction and dissection of even the kindest comment had piled up to break this camel’s back. I finally said something. It’s been months and I would be hard-pressed to accurately quote exactly what I said, but it was something like “hey, you asked for my opinion. Just because you didn’t like my answer doesn’t mean that I am having my period.” I said that she was so busy bitching about her friends that hadn’t shown up that she was ignoring those of us who had actually bothered to come. What happened next what the straw that broke our friendship for good. Frowning, she silently stood up. Slowly, she took the bookmark out of her book, the birthday card & pill box out of her purse and laid them down on the table. She then turned to my niece and said “Olivia, it was nice to see you again,” before standing up and shuffling to the bar at a glacially slow pace while occasionally glancing back to see if anyone was going to chase after her and beg her not to go. Nobody was. She paid her portion of the tab and walked out.

I had given this person multiple chances – far beyond what others in our mutual social scene were willing to do. I was patient, calm, honest, kind and willing to listen and examine myself. I was the only one of her friends who actually managed to show up to her birthday celebration where she chose to complain, demand, tantrum and whine instead of having fun and enjoying the people and the present moment. It was the straw that broke this camel’s back for good. I literally got up and took a picture of the abandoned card and gifts on the table. I save it as a reminder NOT to get drawn back in. NOT to forgive and cycle through the same toxic crap.  Somewhere in my “nice” Judeo-Christian upbringing, I was taught to “forgive & forget” and to “be the better man” and resolve conflict (or at least ignore that it happened and never speak of it again!) I was taught to be loyal. That marriages, friendships, relationships last forever. I was never taught how to walk away. How to disengage. How to not care. How to essentially “give up” on something that wasn’t worth doing anymore. My “play through the pain” parents never gave me an example of how to say “no” or how to say “no more.” I’m teaching myself how to set boundaries that make me feel empowered and sane instead of guilty and bad.

With “the high-maintenance friend” I feel that I wasn’t really her friend. At best, I was a bit player in her ongoing drama but usually I was just set dressing or audience for her little show. The night that she walked out of her birthday party I unfriended her on Facebook. Not as a dramatic gesture and not even as a punitive gesture. As a finality. As a very real means of cutting off the feed of something unhealthy that was draining me with its demands and not really feeding me in any way. Funny thing is? For as much as I am sarcastic and snarky? I’m a good and loyal friend who is willing to forgive a lot if the other person is willing to consider their behavior and their treatment of me. Had my former friend sent me a message saying “hey, I’m really sorry how things went down on my birthday. Can we talk?” I may have responded positively. Instead, I got this message:

Wow. Seriously? Not even a message or a text?

It was my BIRTHDAY and you were giving me a hard time. Wtf.

I didn’t feel comfortable taking your gifts. It didn’t feel right.

Your complete lack of interest in conflict resolution is so opposite from my experience of you, thus far.

 

Yeah, screw you and get used to it. No more blaming me. I’m no longer willing to be anyone’s whipping boy. I ended a marriage that was nearly as old as you are and with far less drama. I’m done.

It doesn’t hurt. I don’t miss her. Why? Because even though I was a friend to her, she wasn’t a friend to me. It’s not like giving up salt or chocolate or wine – those things feed you and make you feel good. I gave up the equivalent of emotional rice cakes. Something I felt like I ought to like but I really didn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
29
Aug
13

Upcoming topics

Yes! There will be some! My schedule changes next week and I have quite a few blogs backlogged in my head right now. Here’s what’s coming up:

  • “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” the ex drops a bomb that would have wiped me out not too long ago. I discover I don’t give a shit anymore.
  • “What Are You Afraid Of?”a very good question, posed by my boyfriend. Worthy of consideration and thoughtful contemplation.
  • “Butt Stuff” we haven’t talked about sex in awhile, have we? Let’s.
  • “Purging Drama” part of separating, divorcing & building a new life is letting go of the drama, co-dependency and unhealthy associations that drain you. This includes “friends” who demand too much.
  • “Overthinking vs. Thinking”something I struggle with.
  • “Bring Your A Game” does being in a poly relationship pressure you to be your best self all the time because you are always sort of “competing” for time & attention? Should it? Is this a bad thing?
  • “The Return of Little Pirate Bear” he’s back. Sorta. Not sure if he’s staying.
  • “Crossing the Streams” the pros & cons of knowing your lover’s other loves.
14
May
13

The Rest of the Story…

This is the continuation of the story about “Suave” (S42) and what happened after I accepted his indecent proposal.

I had indicated that I was getting a pretty strong sense of “too good to be true” from this guy, right? He had displayed some hesitations and reservations that I had simply chocked up to our newness with each other, our “arrangement” and his particular interest. But we I wasn’t imagining the part where we really got along. Or that he enjoyed our interlude, for that matter. He messaged me afterwards thanking me and saying that he couldn’t wait until “next time”. In turn, I messaged him thanks as well and said that while I was all for his plan to spoil me and make me more selfish that I would also be willing to have finished him by other means. Immediately, I received a text on my phone saying:

What other means? Just curious.

Well, I think about 2.5 more minutes in my mouth would have done the trick and that’s where I was headed with it, initially.

Would have been quite content to fuck you too.

Or, I suspect…given your enthusiasm for curves…that you might have liked to come on my tits.

Or, you know…I’m open to suggestion. 😉 

Oh wow. Yes. All of the above. Ha

Damn

Damn what? Damn it’s too bad you didn’t take a different option or damn those are good suggestions?

Or damn something altogether different?

Damn…that’s hot. Tonight was exactly what I wanted

Good. I liked it. It’s good for me to practice selfish therapy.

Yup. Anytime

Reeeeee-ally? Because I could *so* see you being part of my regular playlist! 😀

Ha. Cool

I mention needing to get something to eat and I go have dinner. An hour later he messages me again:

You’re very good at that, btw

At what? 😉

Giving head

Good. Glad you approve.

Ha. Of course. 🙂

And may I say? Back atcha!

Good. Thank you

Oh no, thank YOU

You were sooo wet

Heh. Yeah, that happens when I am suitably persuaded. 🙂

And so we messaged for the next few weeks. Yes, about my needing to learn to spoil myself & be selfish (as well as his interest in doing the spoiling,) and about work, friends, life, TV, gambling, games. He asked me about what kind of wine I like and what kind of coffee is my favorite. We talked about the sorts of “bachelor dinners” that we make for ourselves. I send him some pictures of Star Wars lithographs that I saw, he tells me how he recently got naked at the gym & realized that he was wearing Star Wars boxers. We talk about getting together again, but he reveals that he’s been kinda sick, but he keeps messaging, so it’s not a “we fucked and now I’m going to tell you I’m sick to blow you off” kind of deal. We messaged for about a week. He apologized for not being able to follow up. Messages are steady every day or two until the 12th day after we’d hooked up. I sent a brief text asking if he’s still alive. He replied “Yes, barely.” I rambled on a bit about the flu going around and how I’m going to hear a friend’s Jazz combo. He doesn’t reply. But it was Friday night and I figured he was probably otherwise engaged. Given the number of texts that we’d been exchanging and the regularity of them, I wasn’t concerned about getting dumped and I was certain that he liked me. I also wasn’t concerned about the notion that he was seeing other people. I certainly was and we’d been pretty clear about that. In fact, I was seeing quite a few people. Which makes the rest of the story even funnier.

Four days had passed since I last heard from him. This was a bit unusual, but I just assumed that he’d had a busy weekend, like me. Late Monday night found me messaging with a new romantic interest. We had just made the leap from messaging to exchanging phone numbers and he wanted to talk on the phone. About a minute into my first phone call with a delightful & interesting new guy, I got a text message from an unknown number in an unfamiliar area code. The message said “U don’t know me. But I found out about u the hard way –sent from Textfree.” Bummer. Crappy spam at 12:45am. I ignored it. Fifteen minutes later, my phone blew up with texts. Seven in a row.

In summary, the woman who messaged me explained that she had been dating a man for over a year that I met online. They had been intimate and he told her that they were monogamous. She loves him, he confessed & is going to therapy. She’s known him since 7th grade. This is devastating. He says he’s done. When was the last time he contacted me? She’s not interested in revenge or drama. He’s deeply depressed & she’s worried about him. Some of the things he told her about our encounters (note the plural,) “ysh! I’m not going to go there!” She wants me to answer yes or no & when. (Um, what?)

Meanwhile, I should remind you that I was on the phone with the new guy. Obviously our call was being disrupted by these multiple texts from this randomly ranting lady. Being the honest person that I am and not wanting to be rude to the new guy, I told him what was going on. He was amused and generally nonplussed, which was good. We talked about stalkers and weirdos that we had encountered during our online dating and I admitted that this was a first for me.

Back to the “no revenge, no drama” lady that’s been texting me. I finally responded.

Ok. Not sure if I believe you aren’t after drama when you send me 7 anonymous texts at 1am, but you have my attention. Who are you talking about?

This is followed up with 24 additional texts – and I only responded once saying that I didn’t get the photo that she claimed to have sent. I had to laugh when she told me the first name of the man she was talking about because I happened to have been involved with four men with that name during the previous three months. I was able to safely eliminate two of them from possibility. She confirmed which of the other two I suspected she meant by mentioning his being a Star Wars fanatic. Yep, I know that guy, but still I say nothing as she spews. Generally, the messages were about holding him accountable & his deception. She loves him, she forgives him, she wants him to get help. She appealed to my sympathy and changed tactics a little bit, and mentioning that she was a mom who had been going through cancer the past three years. She said that she was concerned for her safety and wanted to know if we had had unprotected sex. I guess she was expecting to make me mad or jealous when she told me how the other women had been so nice and cooperative. She told me he’d been sleeping with men. I guess I was supposed to be shocked and also feel betrayed and to suddenly become her compatriot in fury. Me? I was mostly just laughing and trying to talk to the new guy on the phone.  I still hadn’t responded and she started getting a bit nasty – making snide remarks about how SHE wasn’t the one with anything to HIDE. (Oh yes – she’d started using all caps.) Then, responding to my earlier message that she was texting anonymously, she messaged me her full name and phone number. Well heck, that’s interesting, right? She accused me of texting him instead of messaging her back. THEN she got personal – sending me a screen shot of one of the many private conversations that “Suave” and I had shared. Particularly the one where he had said that he liked that I sort of looked like a wholesome soccer mom and he loved the idea of driving me wild with passion. I had debunked that by sharing some very private information and she happened to have captured a good chunk of it in the pic she sent me. Then she said “well, good luck with the soccer mom thing then.” I was getting pissed. Then she said how unpleasant it was to see my naked pictures. Well, I knew for a damn fact that the only way there would be any naked pictures of me was if he took some without my knowledge. I didn’t think this was likely, but I realized that it was possible.

Meanwhile, trying to talk to my new friend while 31 texts chimed their arrival was getting to be silly. I apologized, asked if he was going to be up for awhile and said “I’m bout to go END a bitch.” I confirmed that it was okay to call him later and he said that I had better call him & tell him what happened!

So I called up Ms. Angel Rodriguez* (*you know by now that I don’t use real names, right?) She answered and knew my real first name. I barely got a word in before she launched into her life story. It seemed like she was riding on a huge adrenaline dump because I think that she talked for about 10 minutes solid without stopping. I asked if they lived together. She said no, she’s been living with her parents because one has cancer & the other has kidney disease. She’s been going through cancer treatment too. I stop her. I tell her that if she and other members of her household are immuno-suppressed or have low white count that she needs to be really careful and to protect herself. I mention “Suave” having told me that he was sick. She admits that she thinks she gave him the flu. (Hey – he was telling me the truth about that – cool.) After she admits that they aren’t exclusive, she says that they have been having unprotected sex for about 15 months. I suggest that she’s smart enough to know that she shouldn’t be bare-backing with someone that she knows is not being faithful to her. Particularly if she is at-risk. She agrees. As a courtesy, I tell her that we have not had unprotected sex but that we have “fooled around” and that I’ve never been to his place (which is where the naked photos that she found were set.) When she asks when the last time he contacted me was I say “recently, but not the past few days.” Apparently the shit hit the fan with her two days prior to her messaging me. That explains the “dead air” from Suave.

Ultimately, I tell her that she needs to take care of her own shit and that Suave was never dishonest with me. He told me that he had other lovers. Her relationship with him really isn’t my business and I don’t need to be further involved with any ongoing drama. She apologizes for imposing on me, thanks me for the talk. Tells me that I will find someone because I’m such a great person! She calls me “hun” and “sweetie” and tells me to take care of myself.

I was ready to go hardcore on this chick 10 minutes earlier and by the time we’re done I feel like she’s about to invite me for coffee. In fact, she messages me the next afternoon thanking me again and telling me that I need to kiss a few frogs but she knows I will find my prince! Aaaawwwww….okay, fuck off now. 🙂 She thanks me for my compassion and tells me that I saved her sanity. Yeah, well, glad I could help I guess. So weird, right?!?

Meanwhile, I have been considering whether or not to contact Suave and let him know about this. It certainly sounds like he knows, but I’m a bit pissed that he’s allowed my private information to be compromised and used in this fashion. On the other hand, as I said, he didn’t lie to me and gave me exactly what he said he would – lots of orgasms and lots of spoiling. No harm, no foul. Finally, I come up with the perfect way to both fuck with him and check his honesty & humor at the same time. I send him the following message:

So, Angel seems really nice. Suppose she’d be down for a three-way? 😉  Man, that was sure interesting…

His response was immediate and I can almost hear him sputtering through the text:

Who? No. Please. I’m sorry but I have to stop emailing with you. Ugh. I’m sorry.

I like how he tried to deny it for about a half a second and then just gave up. I also like that he said “I’m sorry” often. I opted to let him off the hook. Seriously? If this gorgeous, generous, attentive man is a sex addict whose kink is pleasuring “soccer moms” and “women with curves” who the hell am I to make him feel bad about that? He deserves a fucking trophy! I respond:

It’s all good. Apology accepted. It was a little weird at 1:00 am but you were honest with me and I personally bear no responsibility for your relationship with her. That’s on you, man. Take care, be well & best wishes. 🙂

I regret that I didn’t say something relating to Star Wars. Just to remind him what he’d be missing, right? 😉

He agreed, thanked me, apologized again & that was three months ago and the last time I heard from either “Suave” or his “Angel” and my new guy was highly amused – particularly about the follow-up text that I sent! 😉




Categories

Quickies with the Risqué Divorcée!

  • Facebook "It looks like you're at Burger King. Check in to share with your friends." Me: shut the fuck up, Facebook! 2 years ago
  • RT @amyisprettycool: Ok, who wrote the Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer #SNL sketch because they just made America great again 2 years ago
  • RT @LuvPug: My husband thinks it's so cute when I speak to him with terms of endearment like 'honey' or 'cockblocker' 2 years ago
  • RT @SondraDeeMe: I've always had a soft spot in my heart for female T-Rex because the tampon insertion must've been really difficult. 2 years ago
  • RT @joss: To everyone who keeps saying "Go back to making jokes/films/etc", WHAT DO YOU THINK WE WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING 2 years ago
Advertisements