Monday, April 04, 2005

04/03/05 Sunday -- Broke

Wow... took an informal poll today, and if it weren't for a final surprize call from Jess, it would have been unanimous: today, all my female friends appear to be broke. That's broke as in "in need of fixin'", not "out of gas"! Luckily, Jess broke the "life=ick" streak that seemed to be pouring out of my web of fellow gatherers and ended our day with a few grins and a much more pleasant segue to a conversation that started elsewhere earlier this weekend. Thanks! :-)

What do you do when your friends are broken? Sometimes it's obvious, of course -- commiseration, TLC, medical care, a helping hand, a stiff drink, a hug, a vacation, a few laughs, a kick in the ass, a good cry... each in its own time, but one of these things usually does the trick. (Note: men may have alternate remedies - feel free to share!) Several of my friends tonight, in fact, seemed to be much cheered by one of more of the above, and I know they'll be fine very very soon.

What about when nothing seems to be working? When those little "fixes" are just bandaids over a supperating wound and even large life or lifestyle changes don't seem to clear the melee of confusion swarming about this person you care about? When it almost even seems impossible to identify & diagnose the actual problem(s)?

Who heals the healer?

Key symptoms, you ask? Instant, automatic and vehement (verbal) defense of self / self worth / self identity / opinions to an extent inappropriate to time, place, subject, and company. Mild paranoia? Sporadic loss of train of logic leading to gross creative leaps from legitimate debate to only loosely related topics of personal attack. Brutally swift swings regarding future intent. Short temper. Intolerance. Aggression. Did I mention a disturbing deterioration of logic?

Yep... it appears that's what I've got in my friend pool. A crisis of infinite personal proportions. Any suggestions? Maybe it's just a midlife crisis (please God, save me from one of those!) ... but that's such a banal term, and does nothing to help. I believe pretty strongly in giving the self the opportunity to heal the self, knowing that some things really do heal "by themselves". But I noticed this issue with my friend a couple of years ago when it seemed to be only a symptom of a known problem. A precise surgical incision / major life change (a divorce) seems to have eliminated the known problem, but rather than healing, this awesome person is only getting worse.

This is an extremely bright, talented, dedicated, phenomenal, strong, stunningly beautiful woman we're talking about here. Had some pretty crappy things happen early on in life, but drew on inner strengths to succeed, has done so beyond the wildest dreams of the idiots who couldn't see beyond their own noses, and should by all rights now be on top of the world. Instead, she's screaming and clawing her way out from some hidden hell inside herself, and I don't know how to help.

And yes, I have to help. Remove myself, you suggest? Yeeeaaahh... um.. can't do that just yet. GREAT theory!: Don't like something, ya got two options: 1) Do something about it or 2)Shut the hell up; Deal with it. I love the simplicity of that theory - works on damn near every situation you encounter. But that #2 option just ain't cutting it right now -- there are some people in your life that you just should not... cannot.. abandon. Besides that, people who live in glass houses should NOT throw stones! I know I'm no social diva, I've needed to be bailed out of social faux paus more times in my life than I'd like to admit, hate chit chat, and am embarrassed at my poor performance in chit chat trivia. But I can't just keep shutting up any more. As of last night, this friend's behaviour has officially crossed the line from a little embarrassing now & then into openly rude and .. umm... delusional?

We spent what was on the early balance a very pleasant evening. My friend and her significant other, a friend of his and myself had dinner, drinks, a show, great music, friendly conversation, good company... a short walk, more drinks, some very bad, very loud music (karaoke), and then.... fight#1 (jealousy). I was both relieved and pleased when my date wholeheartedly agreed with a 1/2 teasing suggestion that when fight #1 failed to fade away, how 'bout we simply vacate the premises for something quieter? (He'd been suggesting quieter for awhile by then, but... you know... you're with a group.. we women try to keep the group toGETHER! It's a gatherer thing.) Back to his place, and lo and behold, fight#1 followed us back, both of them not even fully in the door before it branched out into accusations #1 and #2 (both painless, just inappropriate and annoying). I wasn't playing that game & neither was our host... so those died off with just a grieved whimper. But before our bottle of wine hit half mast came fight #2.. and somewhere in there was a fight #3 as well. What the hell? And one of those was a doozie. I'm a watcher, and I have to say of that debate that it was a debacle. A debatacle?

My friend was obviously out for a fight last night... she was a gonna get one if'n she had to go seven ways to Sunday to get it. She thinks she got it. The really sad thing is that she really didn't -- she was the only one in the room who was fighting.

Now she feels aggrieved. Still pissed off. Doesn't want anything more to do with our host / my date / her other's friend. What is with these all or nothing ultimatums she's tossing around these days?!!? This guy was the one person in the room who tried everything he could think of to derail her destructive mood and finally gave in to her need to verbally spar with someone because he simply ran out of options! (Yes, more to it than that.. gave into temptation, too, but it was a grand struggle before he lost to the cause.) Even then he kept the focus between the two of them and kept the damage to a minimum - hmm... tossed himself to the lions?

Dammit... I like him. So far, at least. Interesting, good conversationalist, socially fascile, intelligent. Great taste in music. I suspect he's brutally honest and yet as I have witnessed, well able to hold his tongue. Cognizant of when it might be best to do so. Very attractive, too -- didn't have much to do with my appreciation of the company for a change, but it's always a nice bonus ;-) I suspect he has a good grasp of his good qualities as well as his notsagood ones, and isn't afraid to point them out and accept them as part of the package. I have an appreciation for that special brand of self-awareness. He was very easy to be with, and dammit, I want to do it again. Without the debatacle!

So let's see.. I know I'm not in good form tonight, but I believe I have the following: 1) A very old, valuable friend with some serious inner issues desperately needing some release I can't seem to identify but must find a way to address, and soon. 2) Another newer friend caught in the eddies of that struggle & in danger of becoming debris beached from the storm. 3) A new acquaintance I'd really like to learn more about who's just been summarily and unfairly banished from the potentiality of our foursome. 4) A headache. ('cause I was dumb enough to stay up til 5am two nights in a row, and dumb enough to drink tequila, southern, wine, and beer all in the same evening) 5) a crapload of work on my desk that was supposed to be done before a meeting tomorrow 6)

Wait... don't forget a few of the good things. Always remind myself of the good things, too: 1) Some very old, very valuable friends. Period. And newer ones. And potential ones! 2) An awesome life. Could be more exciting here & there, but I can effect that, right? 3) B. Always B. 4) An iron constitution that will rebound quickly from my abuse of it. 5) Dates! I usually hate dating, but damn, before the debatacle, I was having just a little bit of fun. I will, therefore, look forward with less trepidation to the others already on my calendar, shamelessly troll for more, and enjoy every one! Who's cookin' breakfast?


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