Sunday, July 15, 2007

Irresistible Force vs Immovable Object

Since we broke up, everyone who knows me who has Internet access has been checking out Riin's blog from time to time, and there's one thing I keep hearing from everyone: "She wouldn't keep mentioning you on her blog unless she was trying to get your attention." Speculation as to why she wants my attention varies widely, but everyone, including one old friend in Mexico who's currently studying psychology, agrees that her repeated references to me clearly show she does want my attention for some reason.

Of course, that's not what she's been saying, and it did occur to me that maybe her mentions of me were only because of all my attempts to contact her, which undoubtedly kept me on her mind. I thought maybe, if I was not trying to contact her, that she would simply stop talking about me. So, I decided to do a little experiment. I decided to stop trying to contact her altogether for a period of a month.

I began my experiment on June 15th, which would run until July 15th. Throughout that time, I would make no mention of Riin anywhere, particularly on-line, and I would make no attempt whatsoever to contact her privately: no E-mails, no letters, not even any postings to this blog (which is, in large part, why there's been no activity here until now). In turn, I'd watch her blog for any mention of me, directly or indirectly.

If, by July 15th, Riin did not mention me, I would consider that proof that she had truly moved on. In that event, I planned to compose a farewell E-mail, telling her I still love her and wishing her well in the future, leaving the door open for her should she ever change her mind and come back. Then, I was going to say a final goodbye and back out of her life for good.

However, to my surprise, she did mention me in "Randomosity" on June 30th while talking about searching for a cheaper phone deal. She didn't have to mention me. She could have said she was looking for a cheaper phone deal without going into why, but instead she specifically made a point of sarcastically referencing "Mr. Ex-Boyfriend." I haven't said word one to or about her in over two weeks. She brought me up of her own volition.

It appears my friends are right: she is trying to get my attention.

She has it.

In her 42 years of life, Riin has managed to hurt and drive away every single person who's ever loved her, myself included. We can't all be in the wrong. The only common denominator in all of these relationships is her. Therefore, logically, the problem must lie with her, not all of us.

From what I learned of her in our over two years together, I think the problem is that, subconsciously at least, Riin expects perfection in the people who love her. People are never perfect. We are all flawed. In every relationship she's ever been in, as soon as she starts to uncover the Human flaws in the person who loves her, she throws them away like garbage.

She can’t just keep saying “oops, I don’t want this anymore” and walk away. If she doesn't learn from her mistakes soon, if she keeps doing this, she’ll end up alone in life. That's why I keep fighting. I love her too much to let that happen to her. She means too much to me.

From my point of view, it's the same as when she saw me drinking. She saw the harm it was doing to me, but I couldn't. The same thing is happening now, only now we're on opposite sides of the fence. I can see the harm Riin is doing to herself, and to others, but she can't.

She says she's happy now, but I think she's just trying to convince herself of that. I know Riin. I've been reading her blog. She's working yourself to the bone, churning out work for Happy Fuzzy Yarn at an alarmingly grueling pace (look at the size of that basket of yarn on the front page!). It's like she's trying to fill every waking moment with it. I think, subconsciously, she's trying to avoid stopping and evaluating everything that's happened because some part of her is afraid, if she does, it'll shatter her house of cards.

She once told me she wants to break away from me because she doesn't want to repeat past mistakes, but she is repeating a past mistake right now, throwing away someone who loves her. Sometimes, relationships get screwed up and they need repair. Sometimes that means going a painful route for a while, each person making changes in their lives to get things back on track. Riin, however, seems to want instant gratification, preferring to throw the relationship away to feel good in the short term, stomping on people's hearts in her wake.

Riin claims I would have become physically abusive if she had moved here. I would not have. I can't even kill bugs and feel guilty for every single bug I ever killed as a child. I cry every time I ever see anyone kill a bug. I can't help but imagine how I'd feel if some enormous creature reached down out of the sky and squashed someone I love.

The only time I've ever struck anyone in my life is when they struck me first. Even then, I could never make myself strike back with any force. The very idea of causing someone even the smallest injury repulses me.

I was in a fistfight once, trying to break up a fight, when I was 13. I knocked the guy down. I could have jumped on him and beat him down easily. I couldn't do it. Instead, I went over to him to make sure I hadn't hurt him too badly. He got up and clocked me. I punched him in the stomach, but I only used maybe half the force I could have. I just couldn't make myself hurt this guy. I was just trying to intimidate him into backing off.

Fortunately, he did, because he probably would have beat me senseless, despite the fact he was significantly smaller than me at the time. I just couldn't make myself fight back. Even after the fight was over, I followed him home to make sure he got home OK and that he didn't get too badly hurt...

This, mind you, was when I was 13, back when I had far less emotional control than I have now. Even then, I could never make myself hurt anybody. Unless Riin planned to come after me to stab me with her knitting needles or something, there was absolutely no chance I would ever have harmed her.

Even if she does have an irrational fear I'm going to harm her, the argument doesn't hold water as an excuse not to talk to me, anyway. I'm 2500 km away. I can't hurt her from here.

I'm not trying to get my original relationship with Riin back. That relationship obviously didn't work. However, after over two years together, I know there's something still there we can build on. Everything I've ever told her about me, the things that she fell in love with about me, are all still true. Yes, we've made mistakes, but we've been learning over these past few months as recent events have forced us both to reevaluate our feelings, and our lives.

I've learned a lot writing down all my feelings about this, but Riin gives me no credit for having learned anything. I get the sense that she doesn’t think I can learn. Remember, I stopped wasting money I should have been using to help Riin move (and started giving it to her instead). I stopped my drinking. I even cleaned up my apartment recently (it was a pretty disgusting mess before).

All this has demonstrated my willingness, and ability, to change. All of these changes were for my personal growth, and will stay with me regardless. I will admit, though, that most of them were inspired, at least in part, by Riin Gill.

I'm not asking for a magic, instant solution. For right now, I am asking only for us to open a dialogue. After that, it goes where it goes.

Riin and I are far more alike than she'd ever want to admit. I'm just as stubborn as she is. Regardless where this goes, I have no intention of giving up. Ever.

The irresistible force meets the immovable object.

On July 14, 2007 2:50:12 AM ADT, Sue wrote:
There is still something about your attitude here that I just don't get. I understand what you're saying about supporting someone through a situation which you know/believe they will come through to the other side appreciating your support. What I *don't* understand is how ignoring someone's direct request that you leave them alone and stop pursuing them isn't disrespectful.
It is disrespectful. I acknowledge that. Then again, so is throwing me out with the trash and ignoring me like a leper. Riin reaps what she sows.
It's not like they are a child and you get to decide when/whether they are competent to make decisions for themselves.
I don't get to decide when she is competent to make decisions for herself. In that, you're right. She's an adult. I can't control her actions. However, I can decide whether she is competent to make decisions because that is an opinion. I might not be able to do anything about it, but if I want to believe she's not competent to make a certain decision, I have a right to that belief.

Right now, my belief is that she's on a self destructive path. I don't have the authority to stop her in any direct way from making these bad choices. All I can do is keep trying to reach her. I'm at the mercy of her whims right now. I can help her only if she chooses to allow me to. My sole goal right now is simple: get her talking. Until that happens, there's nothing I can do.

But I won't give up trying to make that happen.
Think about this by way of example. Let's say you were a cigarette smoker, and you had a friend who was trying to get you to quit. As long as you appreciated their support, then all is well. Now let's say that at some point you decide that you no longer want them to try to help you quit. You ask them to leave you alone about it. Now, they are still correct that smoking is unhealthy, and if you ever successfully quit it is indeed possible that you might at that point decide you were glad they persisted in trying to help you quit. But in the meantime, you have asked them to stop their 'support.' How is it respectful for them to do anything but abide by your request?
Think about this as a way of example: I was a heavy drinker. Riin was trying to get me to quit. I decided I didn't want her to try to help me quit. I asked her to leave me alone about it. Now, she was correct that my heavy drinking was unhealthy, and now that I have successfully quit, I have decided that I was glad that she persisted in trying to help me quit. But, in the meantime, I had asked her to stop her "support." It was not respectful when she did not abide by my request.

Ironically, I guess you could say that my way of dealing with this situation now I learned from Riin herself.

Once again, she reaps what she sows.
On July 14, 2007 10:38:15 PM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
Have you ever heard of blaming the victim?
Absolutely. Riin blaming me for the fact she's no longer a cyclist is a good example. I may have inadvertently been responsible for some of her pain, but I am not responsible for the fact that she chooses not to deal with it like an adult.

If you're saying I'm blaming Riin for my actions, I'm not. I could choose a different path. I simply choose not to. My actions are my own and I take full responsibility for them. I'm simply explaining the rationale behind them, as Sue had requested.
Even you say Riin is a victim, though of her own self-destruvtiveness [sic], rather than your manipulation. But you don't blame yourself. "logically, the problem must lie with her..." No. Logically, the problem lies with a man who lives in an abusive polyamourous relationship in a cruddy apartment in Nova Scotia focusing all his attention on a woman in Michigan.
I'm not saying I didn't cause some problems. Of course I did. We all do. Problems are part and parcel of the Human relationship experience. My point is that Riin is painting me as the entire problem. I'm not. I'm only a small fraction of it. Riin had relationship problems long before she even knew my name. She's abandoned five people in her life so far. I'm only the latest casualty in her wake.

I never said I was perfect. In fact, I specifically said I was not. That's the problem. Riin gives up on people when she comes to the realization that they're not perfect. That's what she's done five times so far, with relationships that predate me by decades.

I'm simply reacting differently than the other four. Unlike them, I'm standing my ground and fighting for her. That's my choice.

BTW, I have a life outside this computer. Plenty of my attention is on other things besides Riin. As a rule, I'm not much of a blogger. You can even ask Riin herself. At first, I really didn't see much point in having a blog. It wasn't until this situation that I even had any urge to "blog."

So of course most of the entries here are about Riin because, when I have a thought about Riin, this is where I tend to put it. Other thoughts, on the other hand, I either keep to myself or talk to friends and family about. I don't put them here. This blog is not a sum total of the thoughts in my head.