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Thread: An old friend

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    Twist-Tie Spider iAnnAu's Avatar
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    Default An old friend

    • She is such a perfectionist that she will just keep working until she reaches her own finish line. She will not stop to eat or sleep, and even times when everyone else tells her “stop, it’s good enough” she will ignore it. One example of this is that she decided to build her fiancé a Tuscan Jacuzzi for a wedding present. It turned out to take much more time to finish than she first thought, so the week before the wedding, she worked 15+ hours a day on it, then 5+ hours on the wedding, and occasionally slept. She didn’t sleep at all the night before her wedding; instead, she was in the back yard setting concrete until dawn! Also, when she and I had an organizing business together, we had one job where after 14 or so hours, both clients were satisfied, and I was exhausted. She told us to sit on the couch while she ran around making everything just so – she even assured the clients they wouldn’t have to pay her for that time.

    • Anytime she’s not sunk into her perfectionism, she is an intensely devoted mother, going to great lengths to spend time with her kids and encourage them to be kids. She allows them to choose to do dangerous things, like climbing things you’re not supposed to climb, or doing skateboarding tricks, but will fiercely defend them if she thinks they’re not getting fair treatment by others. She also loves all children, and often if her own children go off on their own, she might be found playing with some random kid. I have a picture of her somewhere with hands to her mouth as she’s simulating a fire engine siren – and she’s surrounded by little children all doing the same thing. She often gets a far-off look in her eyes when playing with, or talking about, children that makes her look quite childlike in itself. One of my favorite memories is when she convinced me to go skating with her – she’s a devotee of old-style quad skates instead of inlines, and we went to the elementary school parking lot to practice. The lot had a big sign up saying “No skateboarding/skating” but even though her own kid was a student, she flouted the rules. Something about how free she looked reminded me of how I used to feel when I was a kid … and it seems as if I have a hard time achieving that feeling on my own, whereas it comes naturally to her.

    • She is always late. Friends have taken to telling her to meet anywhere from half an hour to even two hours earlier than they actually expect her to show up. She knows this, and will take pains to get out the door earlier, but it never happens. There were innumerable times that I would help her get ready, but even that didn’t seem to help. It was always something different that held her up, but that she was never ever ever on time made me eventually wonder if she just had some kind of mental block to getting places on time.

    • She loves to make plans, and once made she’ll likely go through with it, but she also loves to add on. Every new possibility, rather than suggesting a new course of action, instead suggests a broadening of the already-chosen plan. If she has to cut something out, she goes to great lengths to compensate for the loss, such as when we wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty and couldn’t, she apologized to her kids several times and made sure they still got to do things they’d like, such as visit a local skate park.

    • She has always been very independent. She took the earnings from her first job, put on a business suit, and got a dealership to sell her a motorcycle on credit when she was only 16. As soon as she graduated, she moved from Pennsylvania to Florida and built her life up from scratch. After her husband abandoned her and her first baby, she continued in her paralegal studies. When her second husband turned out to be abusive, she left him even though she had a baby and a small child and no place to go.

    • She tries to find creative expression in everything she does. In biology class, she would sketch the makeup of cells with exacting detail, and even color the sketches. When renovating a house, she resurfaced the floor of an entire room with a pattern of tiles and colored glass beads set in a spiral pattern. When it came time to paint the last wall and they only had bits of different colors of paint left, she made an expressionistic mural out of all the colors, simulating both birds in flight and flowers with simple shapes (her husband wanted to mix all the paint together and paint the wall one color, but she knew it would just be a pale shit brown!).

    • She loves to go dancing, she loves parties big and small, and she enjoys altering her consciousness. I don’t think she’d ever have a problem with alcohol abuse, but she did go through periods where she smoked pot constantly – several times every single day. She dragged me out dancing and I learned that I enjoy it, but there was always something about her that magnetized people – occasionally I’d have to fend off really drunk frat boys who thought they could just come up and grind on me on the dance floor, but she was constantly having to put up with persistent admirers of several kinds. At parties, she always seems to be in tune with the atmosphere – if it’s bawdy and raucous, she’s down with it, but if it’s quiet and laid-back, she’s happy quietly sipping from her wine glass, too.

    • She has a particular way of defending her sense of justice. She’ll stick up for the underdog, but if she sees herself as having the advantage, she will be rather unsympathetic to *that* underdog. She wanted to become a paralegal so she could do good things in the justice system, then gave it up because once she saw the reality of the system she didn’t think she’d be effective. But there were several occasions when her outrage was stirred that I tried to offer an alternative viewpoint that could reframe the other person’s motivations, and she resisted seeing things any way but her own. (damn, that seemed like a clunky run-on sentence)

    • She considers herself spiritual, and values it highly in others, but it’s a vague kinda Buddhist-themed variety. The second time we had a falling-out and then made up, she told me that it had always concerned her that it wasn’t a part of my worldview. One of the reasons she was attracted to the man who became her third husband was because he’d trained to be a swami in India (although he turned out to be one of the more hypocritical characters I’ve ever had the misfortune to personally interact with). In a counterpart to creativity, she tries to see spirituality in everything around her.

    • She’s very focused on health. Without her parents’ permission, she joined a gym to work out when she was still in high school. During the time that I knew her, she was a cardio kickboxing instructor and got her certification as a personal trainer (although she never actually hired herself out). She became a vegetarian, although she still eats seafood on occasion, and endured years of struggle raising two sons before finally allowing them to eat meat. Last I heard she is still raising her youngest daughter vegetarian (that one wasn’t resisting the idea last I heard, though). She’s also grown organic gardens, sprouted, and juiced. She loves rising to physical challenges, and even when I was in very good shape she could dust me, be it in biking, dancing, yardwork, etc. Her stamina is legendary – she once admitted that I was the only person who’s ever even come close to keeping up with her, and believe me, I felt my shortcomings keenly in this area.

    • Despite her independent spirit, she seems to have a hard time giving up on bad relationships. At one point she was dating a woman who was very abusive to both her and her sons, but even though I and other friends pointed it out to her, she wouldn’t cut the woman out of her life. That woman has come back into her life several times, and every time it always spells bad drama, but she won’t give up on the girl. She once told me it’s because turning someone in need away is against her spiritual principles, even though she acknowledges that it’s had a net negative effect on her and her family. Alternately, and ironically, the three times she and I have had a falling-out, she’s wanted to cut me *entirely* out of her life. The difference being that I’ve always been a huge boon to her, supporting her projects and pitching in with her family chores so that we could have more time to go off and have fun together. The only thing I can think of is that in the abusive woman’s case, she sees that she can help, whereas in my case, she feels like I don’t need her, and she can’t accept it. The times that my life has diverged from hers have been times that she felt I was abandoning her, as if I owed her something. And it’s probably the one reason I’ve held off trying to patch things up again – as much as I fuckin’ miss her.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what her IM could be for a year now; but it’s been even longer that I’ve wondered what it is about our interactions that seems so intensely positive and negative at the same time. I’ve had both the best and the worst times of my life with this woman. It means that even after two years of no contact with her, things remind me of her on a daily basis. I’m really frustrated at constantly telling myself “no” when I think that I could just drop her a phone call or email, but I’m also not willing to set myself up for another breakdown of our relations. The only other friend I’ve had who’s been on-again-off-again is the only other close female friend I’ve ever had, and that was all about her keeping things up; *that* one I *never* had much in common with, and those fallings-out seemed to have to do with having spent too much time in proximity than anything. The friend described above I’ve lived with for 7 months the first time and a year and a half the second time; she and I can take a lot more proximity.

    Anybody care to offer some insights?
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
    We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
    SLI

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    Twist-Tie Spider iAnnAu's Avatar
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    Well, I was kinda sorta maybe somewhat wistfully hoping that some forumites could offer insights, because after two full years of doing my best to not even think about her, I'm giving up my resistance. I sent her an email today; since she never used to check email more than once a month I might even break down and call her on the phone soon.
    Maybe I made the descriptions too long and nobody feels like reading that much. But there's so much about her that seems to contradict a single type. I did get one suggestion via PM: SEE. But I'd like other suggestions, and I'd love a more extended discussion of what pieces seem to point to what preferences/elements/types.
    I would really like to think that understanding her IM better might help us regulate our future relations so that we don't have another falling out. She gets so all-or-nothing about our friendship, and it really hurts me to realize that she's exaggerating the negative things she thinks about me in order to strengthen her resolve in shutting me out. There must be a middle path to tread?
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
    We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
    SLI

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    Twist-Tie Spider iAnnAu's Avatar
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    hmm. Just read ESI and ESE. Noticed that it's very likely that our relations were asymmetrical.
    Can anybody give me pointers in distinctions between ESI and ESE?

    Also, the wikisocion seems to have SLI-ESE supervision listed backwards ... unless I'm reading it wrong ...
    Last edited by iAnnAu; 11-07-2008 at 03:16 PM. Reason: typo
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
    We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
    SLI

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    redbaron's Avatar
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    Hmmm. she doesn't sound EII to me. So you're SLI? Hmm. Do you know the type of that other woman she's be on and off with? Maybe ESE. Seems rational in any case. Maybe LIE. There's a lot of determination there which almost seems like it might require some business sense to accomplish. despite the artistic content. LIEs can be artistic, can't they? lol
    IEI-Fe 4w3

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    Twist-Tie Spider iAnnAu's Avatar
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    Thank you to the people who PM'd me.
    As for SLE, upon reading the description and its intertype relation with SLI, I'd have to say I highly doubt that type for her ... however interestingly enough, her last husband sounds like the fucking poster boy for ESTp.
    Hostage Child, what does hxc mean?
    As for EII, I kinda doubt she has Se-polr ... and a few others things seem like mismatches. And the intertype relation of activity mentions both parties seeing "each other as separate entities with separate lifestyles and plans," but when she & I are together, it's like we're joined at the hip. She's the one with the daring, original ideas, I'm the one who tweaks them for maximum effectiveness, and we both work our asses off until it's time to go out and party our asses off.
    LIE - I only read the ego block and already I could tell this didn't feel like it was desribing her. I can sorta see where the suggestion came from, but it feels like she was doing things similar to that description for different reasons than an LIE would.
    I guess that's one reason why I made such a long OP - there's so many underlying motivations, so many nuances of perception. I have a hard time typing people from feeling like I don't have enough information, but in this case, it's that I know her so well! Ironic ...

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    JRiddy's Avatar
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    Sounds like an ESFj 3 to me.

    JRiddy
    —————King of Socionics—————

    Ne-ENTp 7w8 sx/so

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    Twist-Tie Spider iAnnAu's Avatar
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    She replied to my email. With her current phone #.
    Now I have no idea what to say.
    Update after I finally screw up my courage and dial the #.




    Oh, AND press "send."

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    tereg's Avatar
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    This description sounds very reminiscent of the image I have of dbmmama.

    I think EJ temperament seems to fit this description quite well. And I think my impression at the end was somewhere in the Alpha/Beta range, probably ExFj.
    INFj

    9w1 sp/sx

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    redbaron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAnnAu View Post
    She replied to my email. With her current phone #.
    Now I have no idea what to say.
    Update after I finally screw up my courage and dial the #.




    Oh, AND press "send."
    awww, good luck!
    IEI-Fe 4w3

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    Twist-Tie Spider iAnnAu's Avatar
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    OK. I called. After I asked if it was a good time to talk, I said, "So, how've you been?" I really couldn't think of any other way to open up the conversation. I was afraid that anything I said would bring up thoughts of how we had our most recent falling-out, but luckily she simply started with what happened after I left and brought me up to date - which is what I wanted.

    (Brief backstory on our falling-out: we had a business together and I rented a room in her house. But the business was failing and every time I tried to bring up the topic, she blew up at me, unwilling to talk about the situation in practical terms and insisting that I was going to "abandon" her "again." So I gathered that if I dropped out of the business, she would make herself intolerable as a roommate. I tried to talk sense into her for a couple of months, both of us getting more and more desperately in debt in the meantime, and when I finally found an alternative, I left quite abruptly. I knew it would leave her in a tough spot, but my attitude was that we're both adults and she was steadfastly refusing to see the reality and make decisions accordingly - I was perfectly willing to help her out, but we were bailing water in a sinking ship!)

    We talked (actually, mostly she talked) for about an hour and twenty minutes before she went to help one of her older kids with a school project. Which is one of the things I learned: after her divorce from husband 3 was finalized, she eventually started dating again, and after a single birth control malfunction, she got pregnant. So now she's got a fourth child, 5 months old. That girl is amazingly fertile.

    The dickhead most-recent ex-husband has been staunch and unfaltering in his attempts to make her life a living hell. This much everyone expected, but as she told me about things like having to defend herself from Child Services inquiries, including charges of one of her older children molesting one of her younger and bullshit like that, I was horrified. The man is truly evil. From what I know about him (and I lived with him for over a year), he *knows* he's lying through his teeth. A lot of talk was devoted to describing the nasty, malicious, manipulative, dishonest shit he did, and it all sounded merely like exaggerations of behavior he exhibited while I was interacting with him. Ick.

    She told me she's still doing the organizing business, which filled me with guilt at first. "She was right, we just had to wait it out until word of mouth brought customers to us. I lost my confidence and dropped out too soon!" But it didn't take long for the fact that the business is not her primary source of income to come out. She's picking up organizing jobs catch-as-catch-can; she mainly works as a waitress and has some income from renting out rooms.

    She also had some interesting tales to tell about renters she's had. One of them was the ex-girlfriend of her ex-girlfriend (the one who was so abusive, addictive personality, couldn't hold a job, etc.), which turned into lots of drama. One of them was my ex-husband, which literally made my jaw drop. You mean the guy who told me on a nearly daily basis that he didn't like living there? But he got caught without a place to stay due to a house deal falling through, and she had a room to let. It turns out her second oldest took a liking to my ex, and they became such good friends that after the ex finally did buy a house, her son often spends the weekends there. That really blew my mind, but it doesn't bother me because they gained a friendship - that's actually really cool.

    (She also told me that he's still the same as ever - only plays WoW with his spare time, won't go out and do anything or meet anybody. Sigh. Another reason to be glad for the friendship he gained one bedroom over. I recently tried to check in on him, on his birthday, and he didn't return my call, so it was actually nice to hear he's OK ... from the person I hadn't spoken to in even longer than him, ironically, but w/e.)

    The really funny thing is that it put a lot into perspective for me. Being around her has always been a whirlwind. She's not a drama queen per se, but she's always in circumstances that lead to enormous complications. I see her as a good person, and I'll always treasure the fun we had together, but I shouldn't forget how much work it always was - and how much it always will be.

    We didn't talk at all about "old times" we had together, bad or good, so I can't make any assumptions about whether she's still mad at me. But maybe I can soothe my mind (and heart) that's she at least willing to speak to me. And not feeling like I have to correct myself any time I get the impulse to call her is a huge weight off my mind.

    Given that we live 700 miles apart, I don't have to worry about being drawn too far into the drama even if I occasionally visit. It'll be nice to have my friend back - she truly is like no one else I've ever known, read about, heard about, or could have imagined. (And it might just be special to me that she thinks the same about me, too.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
    We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
    SLI

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    redbaron's Avatar
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    wow, that was a great update. I'm glad you got a chance to talk to her. You know, I've been wading through the loss of a friend lately and every so often I feel myself romanticizing the friendship, thinking how great it was, how much fun we had, bemoaning the loss and wondering if I'll ever have another friend like him, blah blah until I force myself to remember, as you said, the bad along with the good. He wasn't a great communicator--he left me guessing far too often, he was wishy washy, emotionally confusing at times and often I was disappointed. So... all of that to say that I find it's easier to let go when you can force yourself to remember the relationship realistically (and it sounds like you're doing a great job of that). In my case, the "friend" is someone I have to see once or twice per week so we're still casual friends/acquaintances but it's not the same. I have to just remind myself that it wasn't perfect.

    Good for you for calling her. I'm impressed.
    IEI-Fe 4w3

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    Twist-Tie Spider iAnnAu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbaron View Post
    wow, that was a great update. I'm glad you got a chance to talk to her. You know, I've been wading through the loss of a friend lately and every so often I feel myself romanticizing the friendship, thinking how great it was, how much fun we had, bemoaning the loss and wondering if I'll ever have another friend like him, blah blah until I force myself to remember, as you said, the bad along with the good. He wasn't a great communicator--he left me guessing far too often, he was wishy washy, emotionally confusing at times and often I was disappointed. So... all of that to say that I find it's easier to let go when you can force yourself to remember the relationship realistically (and it sounds like you're doing a great job of that). In my case, the "friend" is someone I have to see once or twice per week so we're still casual friends/acquaintances but it's not the same. I have to just remind myself that it wasn't perfect.

    Good for you for calling her. I'm impressed.
    Thanks. It did take some courage. Maybe one reason why I made this thread; to further my motivation to stop avoiding the issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
    We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
    SLI

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