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Observer of the wedding lostsailor

Posted by leeran on April 25, 2003, at 20:27:42

In reply to leeran..., posted by lostsailor on April 25, 2003, at 19:22:03

"I also don't want to be "alone" for that week. In reality, like my analyst said it's his $$$ for the most part. I could be an as* and just promise without caring about the consequences and TRY hard but without guaranties."

Hi Tony/Me (and Aurora if she's around),

I want to write a little more later, but I've finally puked my guts out (in the literary sense) in another post after hanging around here for a month trying to figure out what the h*ll I'm doing here and I'm feeling rather drained (but in a good way, I think).

Yet another epiphany today - I'm not here to HELP everyone else (which is why I originally wrote the other post I'm referring to), I'm here to help myself - my least favorite person in the world.

Does everyone have a day when they stop being an observer here and become a participant? I've interacted - but I haven't participated until today because I've been guarding myself and my feelings. Today I let it all hang out. It feels better than going topless in Jamaica all those years ago (something I barely do in my own closet these days). How's that for a little tittilation, my (new) friend? It's true, I could bare my breasts to the world on a topless beach but could never bare my soul.

BUT, back to you - and what I copied and pasted.

Would I be going out too far on a limb to say that (from reading what you've written) it sounds like your best friend might need an audience for the wedding. I don't mean an audience in the traditional sense. Two out of three of my weddings had audiences, and most weddings do have an audience. Right/left - her side/his side.

By "audience" I mean that perhaps your best friend needs for you to SEE him get married. At first, when I pasted this I was thinking in more negative terms, when in actuality, a light bulb just went off. You said you helped him after a military discharge, and you're always there when he makes it into town to see his family, etc.

Could it be that he desperately needs you to SEE his wedding in order to somehow validate his happiness? It sounds like you've been there for him through thick and thin and perhaps he equates (or attributes) some of his emotional success to your ongoing support over the years.

Perhaps he likes himself better through your eyes than his own. I sure know I like my husband's version of me better than my own!

What I keep reading between the lines is a lot of pressure being exerted that makes you feel squeamish. It sounds like your role has always been that of a valve release for him, meaning, you're always there when he blows (his top, his navy career, etc.)

So, here you are: Flying across the country (or part of the country), having to negotiate airports, leaving your pet, figuring out what to take, spending more money than you anticipated, and just in general, going through a lot of rigamarole to "watch" him have fun, and in a way, pass over the torch of responsibilty that you've carried with him to someone else who sounds like she's very understanding of your situation.

I'm putting myself in your shoes based on what you wrote. This is how I would feel - but I debate about going to Big Lots.

I think your friend's needs for you to be there and your needs for self-preservation have kind of collided.

As someone who lives in the "Golden State" and has to fly to either the Midwest or the East Coast to see family I know how it is. Even my husband dreads all the extraneous "baggage" that goes along with traveling, and he's the King of Serotonin!

As I get older (sniff) I like my routines. I like my bed, my washclothes, my remote control, the stuff in my refrigerator and my own car. Even driving a rental car for a few days can disorient the heck out of me when I get back home!

Plus, I'm a selfish ***** and sometimes the anticipation of the trip can do me in as much as the trip itself. Then I feel all passive/aggressive, used, PMSy (poor me syndrome-ish), and I'm worn out before I ever get to the destination.

SO, after all that nonsense about how I would feel if I were in your shoes . . . how do you feel??? Perhaps most importantly, what are the stakes?

If you don't go, is it going to damage your friendship immeasurably? Is part of the weirdness of going accompanied by the unspoken knowledge that the dynamics of the friendship might change once he is married?

Maybe you're like me. You want to say to him (and even to yourself) that you're NOT going, then have the freedom to say, "Awww, what the h*ll - I think I'll go after all" if you're feeling better as the date approaches. All those six-week cheapo fares are hard on a hand-wringer like me. I "what if" myself right up until the rates go through the roof - then guess what, I'm too cheap to buy the ticket - LOL! What a clever web we weave when we wish to deceive.

What I'm "reading" in your post is that you're feeling like you don't have a choice or that you're feeling slightly pressured or obligated and maybe you would just feel better if you felt like you had some control back in this situation.

The last big IF is the one my husband and son remind me of constantly: Will you feel like you've missed something if you don't go?

So many times I've heard -

"Mom/Lee, you always SAY you don't want to go but when you get there, you always have a good time, and you would never have known IF you hadn't gone"

If your friend and his wife-to be are going on a honeymoon immediately after the wedding then you will be making a long trip to spend a good portion of it alone - or trying to drum up some action (and I don't necessarily mean that kind of action).

I can see why you're so torn. I go through this EVERY SINGLE TIME I know I have to go fulfill an obligation on the other side of the country.

In closing (maybe someone has already suggested this, or maybe you've mentioned it before) -

Could you somehow convince him that they could experience the joy of their wedding TWICE if you came out AFTER the fact. Then you could spend actual time together (not weird "wedding" time), i.e. riding bikes, watching the wedding video, toasting them over dinner, looking at the photos and hearing all about the honeymoon.

Just some thoughts . . . ?


p.s. I won't write later ;-) I ended up blabbing it all out in this post. Oh yeah, and although I understand the unique connection that existed between Elizabeth Shue and Nicolas Cage, I can never condone a movie that opens with a puke scene. It goes against my neurosis (smile)




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