About Communication

I hope this will be the last post I share that contains personal feelings about my struggles in life. I prefer to look at things from an idealized perspective, much like a road map to where I want to go. But in this instance, I have found it difficult to share any spiritual growth posts without first venting because the following thoughts are at the forefront of my mind. I expect that purging these passions will pacify my pain.

If you’ve read my previous post, About Mental Health, you know that I was recently dumped by yet another friend and love interest. I briefly touched upon the backstory of that relationship and will expound slightly upon it while still trying to protect her privacy and identity.

After not hearing from her – again – for nearly a month, she finally found the time and words to grace me with her digital presence. Apparently, she always had concerns about me, even before she suggested we get married. She doubted I heard from God and that my dreams about her were “dead wrong.” And I allegedly said some things that scared her and her daughter.

Makes perfect sense, right? Cold contact a guy you have all these doubts about and haven’t spoken to in over a year, then suggest marriage after just a few conversations.

*Sniff* *Sniff*

Yeah! Pretty sure you can fertilize your lawn with that steaming pile.

In hindsight, I can see that while I was 100% accepting of her, she was quietly judging me. She never expressed any concern about anything I said or the dreams I shared. By the way, all of those dreams I had came true exactly as they predicted and in the order I interpreted them. That fact seems to escape her, but hey. When you’re being self-righteous, no amount of reason will counter your stance. She probably thinks the same thing about me, but I’ve got the evidence to back up what I’m saying, so her opinion on the matter is really quite irrelevant.

I can’t prove any of what she said, I can only say that I have emails, text messages, Facebook Messenger messages, videos, and voice messages from her as far back as 2014 that refute her claims. She never gave any kind of indication to me that she had doubts about my ability to hear from God, my dreams, or that anything I said ever scared her or her children.

In fairness, I do have a video of her talking about how she waivers on the idea of marriage. In that message, she said she was telling her coworkers that I was her fiancé (because she didn’t want them getting too flirty), she told her kids that I was mommy’s friend (because she didn’t want them to tell her ex about me), but told me that I was definitely a serious boyfriend she was 80% sure of marrying and that she “loved me so much.” All of that instability was in one 64 second video.

I honestly thought she was trying to be funny because what she was saying made no sense to me at all. Remember, I didn’t suspect I had Asperger’s until after she left me. I told her she was hilarious and cute and adorable because I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t think she was serious until the night before she left me.

In the days prior, she had told me her ring size and I even sent her a link to a custom ring that I had in mind. She told me she wanted me to propose in person (when the time came to do so) and that asking over chat doesn’t count (She lives 1800 miles away from me).

What the heck was I supposed to think; that this wasn’t going anywhere? If I had acted as if it was never going to happen and that she was just yanking my chain, then I’d put money on her having been on my doorstep within a month. She had talked a few times about using her air miles to come visit me, so it’s a safe bet she might have.

I didn’t see any reason to doubt her love or our future together. I’m still astounded that things turned out the way they did, which is part of the reason why I need to vent about it. It helps me rationalize and process what has happened.

If any other guy in the world had a “serious” girlfriend who was talking about marriage, rings, and being 80% sure, they’d take those odds any day of the week. But I was supposed to treat her as if the future was always in doubt? Give me a break!

All my life I have heard women complain about guys who wouldn’t express what they felt or that they were afraid of commitment. Well, I was determined to never be like that with anyone. So, I have always said exactly what I meant and what I felt. I never held anything back because I thought I could trust her. She had the freedom to tell me anything, no matter how offensive – and trust me, there was a lot that should have offended me, but I didn’t care. I thought we could work through those things as they came up. I loved her and I thought she loved me.

I let her know in no uncertain terms that I was 100% sure and ready to commit. And, since she never shared her “real concerns” with me, I could only assume that they were the same as every other woman’s and tried to quell those doubts by reassuring her of my resolve every chance I got. I found out only yesterday, however, that she thought I was being too pushy. She may have felt like she was being pushed, but I was just trying to affirm everything I had said by being consistent which I had hoped would balance her instability on the issue.

Here’s the point of my post, if you claim to love someone and you aren’t communicating as openly and honestly with them as you want them to with you, then that is hypocrisy. And yes, I am being judgmental – meaning I weighed the facts in evidence and determined between right and wrong. I am not judging from the standpoint of condemnation, which is what we are commanded not to do.

I am not condemning her for anything she’s done, but she threw me away like trash instead of trying to work things out, and THAT was judgment of condemnation.

She talked openly to others about her concerns more freely than she talked to the one person on the planet who could actually have done something about them: me. She shared facts about her life with me, but not a peep of concern about me except my weight, health, and finances. For a single mother of two, these were genuine concerns. I understood that, so I shared everything with her and updated her whenever I saw my doctors.

She communicated her expectations, and I was more than happy to work on meeting them. That’s how a healthy relationship is supposed to work, right?

I see now that as long as I made her feel happy and accepted, I was her best friend. And, honestly, making her happy made me happy. That being said, I’m not sure it was enough to qualify as being friends. If she truly had these concerns, why would she not speak up? Why would she leave me to wallow in error if I was wrong about something? That’s not how I define being a friend. So, with that, I honestly can’t say she ever was.

I wish she would have been as forthcoming with me as I was with her. All I see now is seven years of lies and manipulation. I should have known what kind of person she would reveal herself to be when she kept referring to me as her best friend while married to her ex-husband. He should have been that for her. But instead of talking to him about her concerns, she shared them with me.

How did I not see that coming? The seeds we sow will always produce a harvest. Guaranteed.

Lord, forgive me for any part I may have unintentionally played in ending a marriage. And forgive me for being foolish enough to believe that I would be treated any differently than he was. She expected us to be angels but dismissed us as devils when we were revealed to be less than immaculate. Oh, the burden that perfection must be for her. Woe betides the next fool who wanders into her web.

What kind of person walks back into someone’s life after ignoring them for over a year, starts a fire, and runs away when it gets too hot for them to handle, then has the nerve to blame the person whose life they just set ablaze for the inferno that followed? Are you freaking kidding me? The arrogance and self-righteousness are off the charts! I wish she would have just left me alone and not messaged me.

In closing, I fully acknowledge that this has been an unholy rant. This was just me being human and saying all the things I was denied the opportunity to say when they could have mattered the most, and it is my deepest desire that it be the last such post I ever share. Only time will tell.

If I could redeem this post even a little bit, allow me to do so by saying this:

Simon and Garfunkel were right: “Fools,” said I, “You do not know. Silence like a cancer grows.”

Choosing to remain mute about the things that really matter in a relationship will eat away at it like cancer. And it is the silent one who bears all the burden of its demise. Facts are just facts. They are done and over with and cannot be changed. But fear, concern, worry, doubt; these are all just suppositions of the unknown and can easily be abated by talking to the only person who can do anything about them.

Failure to speak up for fear that it might ruin the relationship is a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are opposite sides of the same coin. Whomever the offending person is that you love, they deserve a chance to explain, correct, understand, and grow from the revelation of your feelings. If they choose not to do so, then you have done your part and are free to go your merry way.

Was I perfect? Obviously not. I know I have a lot to learn, especially about people and relationships, but I have sought help in learning how to deal with my newly assumed autism (Asperger’s). I communicated my thoughts, fears, concerns, desires, and opinions as clearly as I possibly could (sometimes rather verbosely – like turning on a firehose) and I can say in good conscience that I tried to be the kind of person I thought I should be for her. I treated her the way I wanted to be treated. I followed the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

As always, I hope that sharing my pain will help someone else. If so, it was worth it.

Now, having completed its closure by exorcising my enmity, I bid another failed friendship farewell. Thank you for the learning experience and I wish you well. Goodbye.

Published by Paul Jason Wilhelm

I want to live out the Truth of God's Word and inspire others to do the same through the publication of stories and articles that will ignite Faith, Hope, & Love.

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