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Old 07-08-2014, 06:37 PM   #1
BurningMonkey
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How do I break through to someone who's been hurt?

I've been exchanging IMs with a woman who came here looking for "something", i.e., some emotional connection that she's not getting at home (she's married).

I have/had no intention of "hooking up" with her, either online (which I don't think is real, anyway) or in person (maybe if she were willing, and close by...but she's not, and she's not, so that's a nonstarter). I just wanted to find a new friend to chat with.

Well, she got "involved" with another member of Lit who's idea of a relationship was different than hers. And she got hurt. I think she invested much more in that exchange than was warranted, but that's beside the point, really. She's hurt, angry, feels worthless and stupid, etc., etc.

I've felt that way before, and I truly sympathize. My question is: Is there any gentle, quiet way to get her out of the Slough of Despondency and Self-Loathing? I really like what I know of this woman, and I think she'd be a nice friend, but she's so prickly right now that nobody can approach her.

Is there any way to break through? Or should I just write it off and forget it?
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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Have you ever thought that maybe it's not your job to "break through." If you're her friend then stick it out and just be her friend. Otherwise leave her alone. She's not yours to pick-up. If she wanted you in her life in some way other than what you already are you would be.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:01 PM   #3
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Have you ever thought that maybe it's not your job to "break through." If you're her friend then stick it out and just be her friend. Otherwise leave her alone. She's not yours to pick-up. If she wanted you in her life in some way other than what you already are you would be.
Bolded for truthiness.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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Well, I guess that answers my question: I'll just write it off and move on.

We aren't really friends, yet. And won't be, now.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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Have you ever thought that maybe it's not your job to "break through." If you're her friend then stick it out and just be her friend. Otherwise leave her alone. She's not yours to pick-up. If she wanted you in her life in some way other than what you already are you would be.
No, it's not my "job", but as a person who cares about other people, I just thought I could help.
Guess I was wrong.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:22 PM   #6
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Unless you communicate with this person under a different username your post reads as a threat to your so called friend and not a question at all. "Get your shit together or I will dump you". Are you just feeling a little put out that she was more emotionally involved with another?

It may appear that she is better off without either of you in her online life.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:24 PM   #7
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Doesn't matter. She's not open to being a friend, so it's done.

You're misreading the situation. I don't care who she's involved with. I just hate to see someone hurting.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:25 PM   #8
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No, it's not my "job", but as a person who cares about other people, I just thought I could help.
Guess I was wrong.
I think it's a little vain to assume she needs your help.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:08 PM   #9
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I think it's a little vain to assume she needs your help.
And I think it's a little sanctimonious to assume you know my motivations.

She needs someone's help, and I was there. But if not me, I hope she finds hope somewhere.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:23 PM   #10
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And I think it's a little sanctimonious to assume you know my motivations.

She needs someone's help, and I was there. But if not me, I hope she finds hope somewhere.
I didn't assume I knew your motivations at all, YOU said you wanted to help her, those were your words. What I assumed was that she didn't need your help.

You also said you thought you could be good friends, which implies you actually aren't already. I would simply suggest that a person who is hurting might prefer to turn to his/her actual friends (or not) than a virtual stranger who fancies him/herself as her knight in shining armour.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:26 PM   #11
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Well, I guess that answers my question: I'll just write it off and move on.

We aren't really friends, yet. And won't be, now.
I don't really understand this.

Unless she's shut you out completely, has told you to leave her the f--- alone, then why do you need a strategy? Why try to step into some new role?
Now and then people just need consistency and someone around that they can rely on to go on being who they are when another person has disappointed them rather bitterly.
Unless you want to be another bitter disappointment I would say stay available, be that bedrock that is there when/if she chooses to turn to you.
Stop trying to fix things and just be content to know that you can be part of the solution without doing anything. Doing something may make you part of the problem.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:27 PM   #12
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*shrug* I don't see myself as a knight. I see myself as the person on the scene when I see a job that needs doing. But if she wants to be alone, I know there's nothing I can do. Had you been party to the exchanges, she doesn't have--or thinks she doesn't have--any friends.

But the question is moot. It's over.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:16 AM   #13
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Well that was one hell of a friendship....
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:25 AM   #14
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:26 AM   #15
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:17 AM   #16
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Most men, and I include myself here, have this driving need to fix things. Sometimes things can't be fixed, only endured. I've been in almost the exact same situation the OP describes, and I've learned to just drop a line now and then to say "hey, I'm still here if you need me." and leave it at that. Sometimes, that's all you can do.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:26 AM   #17
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Most men, and I include myself here, have this driving need to fix things. Sometimes things can't be fixed, only endured. I've been in almost the exact same situation the OP describes, and I've learned to just drop a line now and then to say "hey, I'm still here if you need me." and leave it at that. Sometimes, that's all you can do.
^this^

sometimes that's exactly what's needed
you said it better than I did, I think

When you've been disappointed by someone you had trust in, just knowing that there's someone there who isn't asking for anything, isn't trying to fix stuff but is just THERE means a lot. Maybe even if you don't access that person it's the knowing that there's that one person who is NOT bailing on you that helps.
(at least it's what helped me when I was in that situation--I couldn't really talk about it and I knew there wasn't any way to fix it. The person who was just consistently THERE was worth 10,000 times more to me than the one that tried to find a way to fix what couldn't be mended. I actually pushed the fixer away because I felt misunderstood and hurt by it. That idea--that something so hurtful could be fixed in some way seemed to minimize the way I felt.)
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:32 AM   #18
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Most men, and I include myself here, have this driving need to fix things
and occasionally other men want to control things...
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:52 AM   #19
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That idea--that something so hurtful could be fixed in some way seemed to minimize the way I felt.)
And this is, believe it or not, a deeply painful lesson for us men to learn. For those of us with what I call the paladin complex to sit by and watch our loved ones, friends, and associates (particularly a woman, and no, I am not being misogynistic) deal with a hurt is almost impossible. We truly don't understand that in wanting to slay the dragon we sometimes make light of their own strength.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:54 AM   #20
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and occasionally other men want to control things...
And there is that, too. I'd like to believe, stuck in my John Wayne ways, that MOST men do what they do in these situations out of caring.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:19 AM   #21
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And this is, believe it or not, a deeply painful lesson for us men to learn. For those of us with what I call the paladin complex to sit by and watch our loved ones, friends, and associates (particularly a woman, and no, I am not being misogynistic) deal with a hurt is almost impossible. We truly don't understand that in wanting to slay the dragon we sometimes make light of their own strength.
That one, actually, took ME a while to learn.
I went through most of my life believing that most men believed I was so simple minded (or just so emotionally shallow) that my greatest hurts could be mended with the ease of fixing a lawn-mower.
Finally getting that it came out of not being able to watch the hurt--not simply failing to comprehend it--was one of my tougher lessons.
I'm better able to deal with that urge to fix and repair now than I was, better able to communicate what I need rather than just shoving away the one that is truly trying.
One of the advantages of having a few years behind me, I guess is that I've learned a thing or two.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:21 AM   #22
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One of the advantages of having a few years behind me, I guess is that I've learned a thing or two.
Sucks don't it? We curse the years, yet treasure the wisdom. If only we aged backwards.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:22 AM   #23
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Well, if I see someone stuck in a ditch by the side of the road and I have a 4x4 and a tow chain, I'm going to stop to offer help.

If the help isn't taken, that's okay, but I have to offer. It's just how I'm made.

Thank you all for your comments. I think it best if I just maybe drop an IM every now and then to say, "Hi. Hope you're feeling better," and leave it at that. Like JAMESBJOHNSON says, if she wants to talk, she'll talk If not, well, at least I left the door open.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:25 AM   #24
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Sucks don't it? We curse the years, yet treasure the wisdom. If only we aged backwards.
I'm sort of proud of mine (years that is.)
I never once believed I'd be saying that I did something 20 years ago but the fact is that 20 years ago I was sort of an idiot. I also wasn't having any fun.
Now I'm smarter, I'm braver, and I'm beginning to stand up and do the things I wanted to do then but didn't dare because I felt like I didn't have the power.
Now I know how to ask for help without feeling helpless.
Doesn't hurt that I still look pretty good.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:34 AM   #25
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I'm sort of proud of mine (years that is.)
I never once believed I'd be saying that I did something 20 years ago but the fact is that 20 years ago I was sort of an idiot. I also wasn't having any fun.
Now I'm smarter, I'm braver, and I'm beginning to stand up and do the things I wanted to do then but didn't dare because I felt like I didn't have the power.
Now I know how to ask for help without feeling helpless.
Doesn't hurt that I still look pretty good.
I dunno, I guess I have a lot of regrets. I try not to let things I can't change bother me, but damn, I did such monumentally moronic things in the past... If I'd only known is a common thought.

I envy you. I wish I could come to terms with my years as well as you have with yours.
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