A problem I keep struggling with..

A confusing problem I’ve run across several times. I wanted to share it with you, because it has me occasionally in mental agony and every once in a while you send me responess that are pure gold in clearing my confusion or building me up.

Let’s say you have person A and person B. Person A is a friend. Person B might be their parents, their spouse, another friend, or any number of possibilities.

Person B tells you not to talk to person A. They might tell you to delete their phone number from your phone, or to never email them again.

In the past, I have always complied with these requests from Person B. Today, I decided to respond to a email from a Person A who has been friends with me for years, despite the Person B request six months ago that I not talk to Person A because Person A was having delusions about who I was and what I represented.

Now, I have a specific case in mind here – although I’ve seen this pattern many, many times in my life – and I want to talk more about this case. I don’t agree with person B. If Person A was confused and thinking I was going to marry them and solve all their problems, I think I *should* talk to them.. to kindly and gently explain that that’s not my path right now.. I love them, I hope they get what they need, but I can’t be that person for them. I wouldn’t want that person to just cut me off with no explanation. But, I complied with Person B’s request because I was afraid of what person B might do.

Now I agree if Person A says please don’t contact me, I shouldn’t contact them. I have a hard time with these some times for a long list of reasons that I’d love to go into with you at a later date, but, I at least agree that I shouldn’t be contacting them.

My struggle is this: The aforementioned incident left a Person-A shaped hole in my life. Person A is my friend, and we share many common interests and I didn’t want them gone.

The angry part of me is saying, What business is it of Person B (their parents, in this case, but Person A is of age) whether me and Person A are friends. They may feel that my friendship is hurting person A, but if so they should explain that in enough detail for me to understand how, not just say “Don’t talk to person A”

I think I hear a threat where there isn’t any. My irrational fear side sees.. weell, are they going to take out a restraining order against me, have me arrested, come gun me down.. all sorts of things that in the real world do not seem to happen to me.

It’s just upsetting. I don’t know the “right” thing to do, and I am conflicted between that part of me that says complience with any request is the “right” thing to do and the part of me that says treating Person A in the way I would choose to be treated is the “right” thing to do.

9 Responses to “A problem I keep struggling with..”

  1. Clint Says:

    For one who wants a new universe with a new set of rules that include having to give permission to be born, or having to give permission for someone else to touch you … it would follow that you would not have trouble with the concept extending to one’s [spouse|child|parent].

  2. Sheer Says:

    Well, with one example (spouse) it wasn’t a big problem because I trusted them (the spouse) to have everyone’s best interests in mind. I tend to generically distrust parents until they prove trustworthy, because of my own history. I don’t trust my parents to control who I talk to – I would *hate* to have them in that role, because I feel they would abuse their power to apply their morals to me.

  3. Sheer Says:

    I undoubtedly have unresolved parent issues that I need to overcome. I feel my parents were overprotective to the point of denying me experiences that would have been good for me and forced me into a religion that I wasn’t ready for and did not understand. I have forgiven them for abusing their power but I would never want to put them in a position of power over me, and I think my attitude is to assume that parenting does this to people and that everyone’s parents are like this. I have had personal experiences that indicate this attitude is in error, and I am trying to change it, but some changes are harder to make than others and this one has been particularly hard for me.

  4. Sheer Says:

    Ironically, in the case of the spouse, I had *already deleted the number* when they asked me to. 😉 So they were asking me to do something I had already done. Hence, obviously I didn’t have trust issues there. The only similarity between that and the parent case is that in both cases, person B was telling me not to contact person A. (Actually, the spouse did not say to not email, facebook, etc, so they weren’t saying “don’t contact this person” just “don’t contact them via voice”.

  5. Sheer Says:

    I also note that if we were in a permissions based universe.. and we might be.. that I would have pretty lax permissions until it comes to things like being shot at or stabbed. I would not, for example, want to block friends from randomly stopping by my house or calling me – I wish that sort of thing happened to me *more* often.

  6. JL Says:

    This is not a lot of information to work off of. However, if person B instructs you not to communicate with a person, I don’t see why, at a minimum, communicating to person A that this is happening is out of bounds. If there is a medical reason, then I would ask to speak with the shrink, or whoever made the medical diagnosis.

  7. Clint Says:

    compiler error: unclosed parenthesis

    But yeah… flushing the actual details out from your original general statement to these more detailed, uh, details, definitely makes it harder to know which of 2 or more course of actions one should take…

  8. sheer_panic Says:

    What also makes it difficult is that I have a cyclical mental illness. So 95% of the time I’m a more or less normal person.. maybe even a bit smarter than the average.. but 5% of the time I wouldn’t trust my judgement as to whether to feed a goldfish.

    Historically, this isn’t something I’ve revealed or talked about on my blog, but I’ve decided that trying to hide it is probably just making it worse, and besides, due to a combination of factors, I think I may have finally figured out the right drugs to keep it from being a problem.

  9. Paul Says:

    I’d tell person B to mind their own business. That said, if this is a reoccurring issue, you might be better off focusing on the behaviors that provoke this response.

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