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tarantella64
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19 Aug 2014, 4:05 pm

So it's about a month, now, since I more or less stopped talking to my ex-bf. And I'm surprised by how much more pleasant things are -- I don't expect my days will include awkward conversations where nothing I say is right, and the person I'm talking to is perennially bitter and miserable, and I can't even tell why, exactly, he's on the line with me in the first place, since he sure doesn't seem happy about it. I guess I'd just gotten used to it and the tension surrounding approaching him. I still feel a bit guilty about it, but I'm not inclined to talk to him again. Which is terrible, because I don't dislike him -- in fact I like him very much. But it's perennial, this angry bitterness and "I have no future" and the rest. And he's already fighting with me in his head (so he says) and calling my emails coercive. Best to stay away.

I was watching 56Up the other night -- it's that Michael Apted series where he interviews the same set of Brits every seven years; started when they were seven years old, and they're 56 in the most recent movie -- and there's a man in the film uncannily like my ex, in his way of moving, talking, interests, living arrangements, everything. Neil, his name is. At 56 he's employed, shakily, as a roaming small-town Lib-Dem politician, which by itself is awfully odd -- the minority party bit isn't odd, but smalltown politics are usually run by locals. And he does stick out sore-thumb in the meetings. It's hard to watch.



AspieUtah
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19 Aug 2014, 4:11 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
Best to stay away.

Yep. There are a few people in my life I would like to re-friend, but I have tried before and it ends up even worse than the first time. Sometimes avoiding others is the best thing you can do for them.


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cberg
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19 Aug 2014, 4:22 pm

AspieUtah wrote:
tarantella64 wrote:
Best to stay away.

Yep. There are a few people in my life I would like to re-friend, but I have tried before and it ends up even worse than the first time. Sometimes avoiding others is the best thing you can do for them.


In my experience, I only ever avoid people when miscommunications go south; time alone is good for most of us anyway and sooner or later most humans remember they wish to continue their lives in better social standing, we can always learn ways to help them in the meantime.


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20 Aug 2014, 4:47 am

Ummm...I know LibDems - that in itself is indeed odd. :D



tarantella64
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20 Aug 2014, 3:51 pm

elkclan wrote:
Ummm...I know LibDems - that in itself is indeed odd. :D


:) I'm sure he's more than usually confused about it. I understand there's been some identity change but I used to think of them as the Fancy Sweaters party.



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20 Aug 2014, 4:28 pm

I like Neil. He came from really far down. He was almost a bum when he was 28, and wandering around the Scottish isles. He's been a politician since he was at least 42. He seems rather Aspie to me.



tarantella64
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20 Aug 2014, 6:58 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I like Neil. He came from really far down. He was almost a bum when he was 28, and wandering around the Scottish isles. He's been a politician since he was at least 42. He seems rather Aspie to me.


yes quite. He talks with some degree of desperation at 56 about how he does it partly because he can't seem to make a living any other way, but the meagre council stipend plus welfare benefits lets him survive. It must be hellish going around pressing the flesh every few years hoping enough people will turn out and vote to let him keep his job, and I wonder if he's moved on partly because someone more popular arrived and took his job. I see no shots in which he appears to be actually enjoying himself -- sticks out in the town-event sort of things where people are running around having fun, looks odd and anxious even when smiling and talking with people.



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22 Aug 2014, 1:16 pm

Good news that you are somewhat liberated from that situation, Tarantella. It sounds like the current situation is better for both of you.

It's funny to read about the 56up series here. I haven't seen the most recent set of films, but I saw all the earlier ones. That was when I was still ignorant about autism. I did identify with Neil though--I thought, "there is something I understand in him, something that seems familiar" but I did not understand why. There were parts that I found difficult to watch because of that.



em_tsuj
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22 Aug 2014, 9:31 pm

congrats on your decision



tarantella64
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22 Aug 2014, 11:48 pm

thanks. I admit, there's a certain loneliness that goes with it, but increasingly I see that much of it's to do with being in the wrong place, geographically. My trip back to NYC was a serious eye-opener. I mean no, I won't be living in NYC -- it's strictly for rajahs and old ladies whose husbands bought apartments when you needed only to be rich to buy a place...my grandma's little twin in Queens went for nearly a million recently, ffs. (They sold many years ago, was having a google tour of the neighborhood. It's scruffier than I remember, but not bad.) But I was home. And home in Philly, too, and the ex-bf is a slice of home. I think the reality is I just need to go home.

Where I'm going to find a quiet place I can afford, I don't know. That's the great thing about the midwest, quiet's dead cheap. But around here there's nobody like me except a couple other Jewish women from the same area-ish. I gave up on dating for a bunch of reasons, but a big one's that the cultural gap's just too, too big. I made the mistake of believing, for a long time, that if people aren't all up in your face with God, they're pretty secular. Turns out I'm quite wrong, around here, anyway. A sort of fervently spiritual progressive-Protestant way of existing is the dominant mode. People build their lives around it and are not...how shall I say...cosmopolitan about the existence of other ways of living in the world, except they know some people are frothing evangelicals and are pretty dismissive of that. It's sort of like if Laura Ingalls Wilder's family was all around you, only the population density was modern-suburb. They're very nice, and all. But a great deal is unbridgeable and I don't want to date their menfolk, who -- in my age bracket -- are mostly too old to find exoticism appealing anyway. They want, you know, casseroles made with cream cheese or something. I did move back east once, for a few years...not quite home, southern New England. But I was surprised to find how much I'd missed the sense of humor.

Some of it, too, is attitudinal...it was so wonderful, flying over that sprawling night-sky-destroying orange glow of the megalopolis. Scale is important. To grow up in a dirty, romantic place where ambitions are very large, and it's within the power of men to make...oh, empires, and art palaces for citizens, and scientific revolutions, and novels that matter, and of course money, and it's expected that if you're a talented young person you'll throw yourself at art because why would you waste such a talent...it turns out this is important. I live now in a place where people are suspicious of ambition, afraid of it. It turns out to matter.

Anyway. Yeah, eventually I'll move back again and will more easily find companionship. There'll be other problems. The gender issues hit a lot heavier, there's the weight of rich and poor, everyday life is more difficult. But...well this is already long. I just need to go home.



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23 Aug 2014, 1:58 pm

Where I live, as a young person I'm fully expected to throw myself headfirst into the engineering realm - seems we really aren't as different as we probably believed.


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23 Aug 2014, 1:58 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
thanks. I admit, there's a certain loneliness that goes with it, but increasingly I see that much of it's to do with being in the wrong place, geographically. My trip back to NYC was a serious eye-opener. I mean no, I won't be living in NYC -- it's strictly for rajahs and old ladies whose husbands bought apartments when you needed only to be rich to buy a place...my grandma's little twin in Queens went for nearly a million recently, ffs. (They sold many years ago, was having a google tour of the neighborhood. It's scruffier than I remember, but not bad.) But I was home. And home in Philly, too, and the ex-bf is a slice of home. I think the reality is I just need to go home.

Where I'm going to find a quiet place I can afford, I don't know. That's the great thing about the midwest, quiet's dead cheap. But around here there's nobody like me except a couple other Jewish women from the same area-ish. I gave up on dating for a bunch of reasons, but a big one's that the cultural gap's just too, too big. I made the mistake of believing, for a long time, that if people aren't all up in your face with God, they're pretty secular. Turns out I'm quite wrong, around here, anyway. A sort of fervently spiritual progressive-Protestant way of existing is the dominant mode. People build their lives around it and are not...how shall I say...cosmopolitan about the existence of other ways of living in the world, except they know some people are frothing evangelicals and are pretty dismissive of that. It's sort of like if Laura Ingalls Wilder's family was all around you, only the population density was modern-suburb. They're very nice, and all. But a great deal is unbridgeable and I don't want to date their menfolk, who -- in my age bracket -- are mostly too old to find exoticism appealing anyway. They want, you know, casseroles made with cream cheese or something. I did move back east once, for a few years...not quite home, southern New England. But I was surprised to find how much I'd missed the sense of humor.

Some of it, too, is attitudinal...it was so wonderful, flying over that sprawling night-sky-destroying orange glow of the megalopolis. Scale is important. To grow up in a dirty, romantic place where ambitions are very large, and it's within the power of men to make...oh, empires, and art palaces for citizens, and scientific revolutions, and novels that matter, and of course money, and it's expected that if you're a talented young person you'll throw yourself at art because why would you waste such a talent...it turns out this is important. I live now in a place where people are suspicious of ambition, afraid of it. It turns out to matter.

Anyway. Yeah, eventually I'll move back again and will more easily find companionship. There'll be other problems. The gender issues hit a lot heavier, there's the weight of rich and poor, everyday life is more difficult. But...well this is already long. I just need to go home.


I know how you feel. I just moved to the Midwest. For me it was an improvement. At least I don't have to worry about everybody hating me because I am black/not a fundamentalist Christian/intellectual and artistic. At the same time, people here are really conservative. I plan on moving to one of the coasts when I can afford it, probably out west. There is nothing for me in the inland U.S.

On a national level, this phenomenon of worldviews being so different based on geography is why politics is so divisive and non-functional on the national level. It is literally like living in two different worlds if you move from one part of the country to the other, and people of like mind tend to clump together, not interacting with people who think differently.



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27 Aug 2014, 1:56 pm

I absolutely feel your sense of isolation, tarantella. I'm experiencing a lot of that myself these days. I'm looking at a plethora of different places as retirement options in a few years. For living, I like the countryside, but for socializing, I think I need to be within easy driving distance of a big city. Where I live now is a small enclave of liberalism, in an environmentally-active, super-fitness-oriented way, in the middle of hundreds of miles of farmers and ranchers, and the ultra-conservative mindset that goes along with that.

I'm a liberal, but unfortunately I'm not a fitness junkie. Around here, if you don't participate in half a dozen different extreme sports, you don't fit in. I'm a "keep busy to keep fit" kind of person, and I have no interest in risking life and limb for the sake of entertainment. Also, the population here is very strongly skewed to the under 30 end of the scale - the area's a little too remote and wilderness-y to be highly popular with retirees.

Some of the more positive attributes of this part of the country, however, are things like very minimal overt racism and sexism (not to mention the natural beauty). So there are definite trade-offs, but, as you say, finding companionship (even in the form of close female friends) in a "closed" place, is difficult for the average person, almost impossible for someone with an innate aversion to social activities.

Too bad you're not closer to me, or vice versa. I think it'd be fun to hang out with you. :)



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04 Sep 2014, 1:39 am

Oh, definitely! And I completely understand the "geared to a younger crowd" thing.

I heard a few days ago from the ex-bf -- he's gotten a decent yearlong government job, which is great. Very good news. But it was amazing how urgently I just wanted to get off the line with him, both because it was clear he wasn't going to have any kind of interesting conversation with me and because I found I was just enraged. Here he was, suddenly pleased to talk, feeling okay to talk to me, because he felt he was worth something again and could measure up to me. And I finally hung up feeling like -- what the bloody hell. Treat me like crap for a year because why? Because some stranger hasn't seen fit to employ you, give you a title and what you think of as responsibility. So what happens in nine months, then, when there's no permanent job on offer -- you turn into a jerk again? Because everything is a contest and you don't feel you measure up to me unless someone else gives you a badge that says "worthwhile human being"?

I wish it hadn't taken me so long to recognize that this is the usual thing when a guy's deeply insecure, and that it really can't be overlooked. And that I need to not bring people into my life when they don't really know who they are, don't like themselves, avoid adult responsibilities and commitments. I totally get why it's taken this long -- neither of my parents managed to model that sort of commitment, and now it looks as though my brother's abandoned his young son, moved far away, which shocks and deeply disturbs me. But oh, what a waste of time.



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04 Sep 2014, 6:08 pm

tarantella64 wrote:
So it's about a month, now, since I more or less stopped talking to my ex-bf. And I'm surprised by how much more pleasant things are -- I don't expect my days will include awkward conversations where nothing I say is right, and the person I'm talking to is perennially bitter and miserable, and I can't even tell why, exactly, he's on the line with me in the first place, since he sure doesn't seem happy about it. I guess I'd just gotten used to it and the tension surrounding approaching him. I still feel a bit guilty about it, but I'm not inclined to talk to him again. Which is terrible, because I don't dislike him -- in fact I like him very much. But it's perennial, this angry bitterness and "I have no future" and the rest. And he's already fighting with me in his head (so he says) and calling my emails coercive. Best to stay away.

I was watching 56Up the other night -- it's that Michael Apted series where he interviews the same set of Brits every seven years; started when they were seven years old, and they're 56 in the most recent movie -- and there's a man in the film uncannily like my ex, in his way of moving, talking, interests, living arrangements, everything. Neil, his name is. At 56 he's employed, shakily, as a roaming small-town Lib-Dem politician, which by itself is awfully odd -- the minority party bit isn't odd, but smalltown politics are usually run by locals. And he does stick out sore-thumb in the meetings. It's hard to watch.


You elaborate further downthread but I can only tackle so much at once, otherwise my brain will overload.
You touch on a number of things that resonate with me, some that differ to a degree.

It's been 3+ months since I broke up with my last bf, it was long-distance thing (he came to see me a few times over the course of several months).
The other day I was reading something in my journal from when he & I had just met, and I wondered to myself
"who the heck was I discussing "whether he could call me his girlfriend or not" with ? I haven't had a bf that recently."
Took me a minute to realize-oh, right-*him*.

I'd clean forgotten about that, on some level-guess I didn't consider it as "real"
as my previous relationships (which were local, not long-distance).
Strange as it may sound, emotionally I don't think of him as having been my boyfriend-
though intellectually, I know that he apparently was (because we went through the motions).

And then I felt happy, relieved, that I'd been able to forget about even having been with him.
Because while he was "a good person"-he didn't do XYZ, etc.-
the downsides of our connection began to increasingly outweigh the upsides, and it was no longer worth it to me.
It was making me more anxious and unhappy instead of helping me to feel nourished and cared for.

I was afraid to break up with him because I fear (realistically) not being able to attract someone else (whom I'd also be attracted to).
And because the msgs. we'd exchange all day every day helped to fill up my life.
Without the constant presence of his words on the screen my life was suddenly very empty again.
That has been difficult, but I don't regret ending the relationship,
because there'd be frequent misunderstandings and aggravation between us, and I don't miss that a bit.
It was a surprise & almost a thrill (though I felt guilty about it, too)
when I finally had that moment of having forgotten ever having been involved with him.

On the other topic: I enjoyed the "(age)UP" series of films,
been watching them since maybe 28UP (and of course each one has clips from earlier ones).
Yes, I feel bad for those who seem to be having tough time "fitting in" or being taken seriously by others in community-
I always wish for people to be able to find their niche.
I feel uncomfy witnessing their awkwardness, makes me afraid for that person (esp. if I fear others judging me similarly).


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