Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Love Letter to "SpiderSolitaire"

SpiderSolitaire and I agreed to put all of our correspondance, with the exception of those things that identify us, online. Both of us have had difficult lives and hope that our two journeys to health may help others who have experienced the same things.

Spider scared the fuck out of me last night. I mean really scared me. (you can visit to witness the drama) I thought she had either killed herself or passed out from mixing alcohol and sleeping pills. I called the police. THANK GOD she is alive! And THANK GOD this didn't send her husband into a rage. Spider apoligized ALOT to me in an IM (I wish I would have saved it so we could post it and reflect on it...spider do you have it archived?) I understand she is sorry, but I am still very upset, so I have some things to ask of her here goes:

My Dear, Dear Spider,

It has been ONE WEEK since I "met" you here online. In that short time you have already touched my life. Your comments to my posts have been encouraging and constructive, and your kindness has helped motivate me to continue to blog, and to continue the difficult work of getting healthier, not sicker. I hope and believe that I am offering this to you too, I am hopeful that we can continue this same type of supportive, constructive, dialogue.

Part of loving yourself is not letting other people hurt you. You loved yourself enough to leave that son-of-a-bitch husband who beat you. I am loving myself enough that I am not going to let people into my life who hurt me. I am only letting people into my life who help me. The key to not allowing people to hurt me is to establish strong healthy boundaries. This has been a challenge for me my whole life. It is alot of work but it is absolutely neccessary. People with unhealthy boundaries are often targeted by abusers and sex-offenders, or they become abusers or sex offenders. My father taught me by example unhealthy boundaries as a child, which sucks. However, now I have to understand that that is the past, which I cannot change. But I own the present. I can't change the fact that I have made mistakes, but I can stop myself from making new ones.

I FORGIVE YOU, but, I am establishing healthy boundaries and saying I am not going to let you hurt me again like you did last night. I was so worried that you had killed yourself either on purpose or by accident by mixing alcohol with your new drug. I was also so worried that calling the police might have sent your husband into a rage. I stayed up late worrying, which made it harder to concentrate in class this morning. I also woke up my roommate by calling the police, that would have been worth it to save your life, or to help you cope. But it wasn't worth it, because you were not dead or in serious danger, but did nothing to let me know this.

What happened last night is in the past, so we can do nothing to change it, but we can learn from it. I am sad that you chose the unhealthy coping methods of cutting and drinking alcohol, but I am glad you were honest about it. If you ever post something like "I want to die" you must include something like "I wont do it, but the pain is awful" AND if I am saying IM me, IM me I am worried, at least acknowledge me, you may reject me, and say "I dont want your help bitch!" But remember, giving a shit is a two-way street. If I am going to give a shit about have to give enough of a shit about me to not put me in a position where I think you just killed yourself. Deal?

So here is my plan miss spidey pants. Both you and I have ALOT OF WORK to do in establishing healthy boundaries. I have let people into my life who would only take from me and not give back. I have also been a person who has only taken, and not given back. I imagine you, as a person who needs to work on developing healthy boundaries, can say the same. I am going to sit down and figure out what I can and cannot accept in inviting you into my life, and allowing myself to care about you. I am going to figure out some ground rules regarding healthy boundaries, you can choose to accept them, or you can choose not to, but if you choose not to, please understand that in order to protect myself I must not allow you in my life. I want you to do this with me too. I want you to decide what behaviors you will not tolerate from me, a friend HELPS your life, not hurts your life. I insist that you be willing to do this for me to allow myself to let a friendship develop, I have been hurt by people too much in my life, I just cant let it happen anymore.

Some examples of ground rules I will FOR SURE establish is this:

I will only let HEALTHY people in my life. This doesnt mean if you have diabetes or depression you cant be in my life. But it DOES mean if you dont take your insulin or medication, and dont go to therapy that you can't be in my life. Every second we make a choice: am I going to get healthier or sicker? I don't expect perfection, I slip back into choosing to allow myself to get sicker, and sometimes choosing to get heathier means taking EXCRUCIATINGLY SMALL but very difficult steps, but it is the direction that matters.

For a person to be in my life, they need not be perfect, they will make a million mistakes, but they have to pick themself back up and make the choice to be healthier, not sicker. My dad hurts me every single minute because he chooses to get sicker, not healthier. He never hit me or molested me, but by making the choice to get sicker, he taught me how to be sick. I protect myself now by not allowing him much access to my life. I refuse to let anyone hurt me like he did, ever again. Do you demand this of me too?

Another boundary I have to establish is time. At this point, I do not have any extra time in my life to add new "friends." By that I mean people you call every week, have lunch with and so on. I have a few awesome friends, and I have a pattern of making new ones instead of nurturing the ones I have, which has led to me neglecting them. I am comfortable with the level and means of correspondance that we have established in the past week. When I am at work I am often gone for 5 days out of the week, so the frequency will likely be reduced, but I am really happy with how our correspondence has gone so far (with the exception of last night) and would like it to continue.

If you think you are going to cut yourself or hurt yourself, I want you to try IMming me, even if it doesn't show me online (I am usually invisible.) I am not a dependable person to turn to, since I am gone so much, so you should have other safety nets set up, but thats an option to try. With the exception of serious times like these I prefer to keep our correspondence on the blog (you can of course e-mail things that you dont feel comfortable putting on here) I like it in the blog because 1: I have time to think about what I want to say and 2: It can help someone who might be reading it. BTW this is SOOOOO not personal, I would say the same thing if Oprah started posting on my blog! LOL What time constraints do you have? Do you have time expectations?

One more for sure. I have already set up a rule in my life that I will never again allow anyone in my life who abuses drugs or alcohol. Well I know you abuse alcohol because you used it to try to forget your feelings last night. I am going to bend this rule slightly with you because I think you are working to get healthier. I will probably need something rock-solid from you like a promise that everytime you drink or take a drug you record on your blog: 1. How much you had, 2. Why you had it, 3. Was it a healthy or unhealthy choice. This may sound wierd but I need it. People who abuse drugs and alcohol have hurt me too much. I would be willing to do something like this for you so If you arent willing, just to make me feel a little better, then I am sorry but I can't bend my rule any farther.

I am sure, since you have been hit alot in your life that you will have a rule with me that I cant hit you. I think its a good rule, and easy to follow since I am so far away LOL But I think you should think about some sort of rules about blaming you for things that you dont have control of. For instance, because I was up late last night worrying, I had a harder time in class today. I think I have a right to say "I feel angry because you posted something that looked like you were not okay, but you really were" but I don't have the right to sleep in and say "I missed class because of you" or to let my mind wander in class and say "I didn't learn a thing because of you" It's my choice whether I go to class or not, or whether I pay attention or not, even if the events of last night made the choices harder.

Also I like to tease and poke fun. I hope you will set a ground rule of what kind of teasing is okay and what kind of teasing isnt.

Last night sent up a HUGE red flag making me think you might not be a healthy person for me to have in my life. I also think you should be wary of my immediate involvement in your issues. The desire to "save" someone else is profoundly unhealthy not to mention impossible. I think its a good idea if we set up ground rules to protect ourselves. Boundaries and ground rules need to be revisited often, as peoples lives change and new revalations are discovered. If we can establish and respect each others boundaries I think its a good sign that our correspondence is a healthy choice in both our lives.

BTW maybe right now you are thinking I am a huge fucking geek. Well I am LOL but heres the thing: Healthy boundaries com second nature to people with healthy up-bringings. The average healthy person would say he hit me? I don't want to date him anymore. She disrespected me? I dont want to be friends with her anymore. Easy. Done. Its a little more challenging for me because I was taught such unhealthy things by may fathers example. So I don't think of this ground rule thing as geeky, I think of it as "remedial learning"


P.S. I have time to get this done today, but I imagine you have more pressing things at the moment. (I hope you see a counseler today) Do you think you do some research on healthy boundaries and could throw something together by the 15th?

I don't care if you look at these, they just look cool to me (please however read below the links)

Fucking awesome site: Its like my whole life on a page LOL

"remedial learning" HA HA

I wish my dad would read this page LOL <--- I cant stand "victims" if you ever catch me being this way, please tell me!



Appropriate trust

Revealing a little of yourself at a time, then checking to see how the other person responds to your sharing

Moving step by step into intimacy

Putting a new acquaintanceship on hold until you check for compatibility

Deciding whether a potential relationship will be good for you

Staying focused on your own growth and recovery

Weighing the consequence before acting on sexual impulse

Being sexual when you want to be sexual--concentrating largely on your own pleasure rather than monitoring reactions of partner

Maintaining personal values despite what others want

Noticing when someone else displays inappropriate boundaries

Noticing when someone invades your boundaries

Saying "NO" to food, gifts, touch, sex you don't want

Asking a person before touching them

Respect for others--not taking advantage of someone's generosity

Self-respect--not giving too much in hope that someone will like you

Not allowing someone to take advantage of your generosity

Trusting your own decisions

Defining your truth, as you see it

Knowing who you are and what you want

Recognizing that friends and partners are not mind-readers

Clearly communicating your wants and needs (and recognizing that you may be turned down, but you can ask)

Becoming your own loving parent

Talking to yourself with gentleness, humor, love and respect

mood: inspired, relieved, introspective, tired, busy, gifted, accomplished, energetic, fired up, excitet

SpiderSolitaire said...

Response in blog...
And I love my my sailor friend!
5:44 PM
B.L.O.G. said...

Holly Cow Diana!

That be a list of rules for sure...hehe.

What I suggest is a 3 strikes your out rule. After the 3rd time of whatever drama, bullshit, spazing you just cut it loose. It's hard but heck if you can't learn after the 3rd time you never gonna learn you know!?

Anyway, sorry for busting in on your comments but was reading your blog too and saw this and was wanting to comment! =)
6:05 PM
Diana Crabtree said...

Blog your not busting in! If we wanted this drama to be private we would have kept it private. your comments are really constructive and appreciated!

I like the 3 strikes out idea. A purist might say a one strike your out is better (as with batman) but people slip. But consistancy is important.

Thanks for commenting (not to mention making it through the whole post)
6:10 PM

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