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The Impulse to Help Others
November 11, 2005
2:03 am
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Philosuffer
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I am wondering what people think of this impulse we sometimes have to help others. I was in a brief relationship and things went awry very quickly.

Although the person I was seeing had told me that all her past relationships had fit a certain chaotic pattern, I was too naive at the time to believe that it would happen to us without some genuine catalyst or obvious warning sign. And I did my utmost to be respectful and appreciative and attentive and everything else, and guess what?? The relationship still blew up, and I was blamed for the ridiculous chaos that ensued.

I was very hurt, and I tried to communicate with her that she was wrong about what had happened between us, but she just wouldn't listen. Then a couple months after things blew up I read about women who had been sexually abused as children, and all of a sudden it was like a revelation--all of her behavior and anger that I could not for the life of me figure out suddenly had an explanation and made sense.

Since I knew that she was apparently in complete denial about what was going on in her relationships (her self-destructive behavior in sabotaging relationships and her complete inability to trust men in a relationship) and what had happened in ours, I tried again and again to show her that I was genuinely her friend, but to no avail.

In the end I never got the chance to tell her that I had figured out that she was sexually abused as a child, and that it was the lasting effects of that abuse that was causing her to sabotage and destroy her relationships with men, because I did not want to 'confront' her with it or upset her in case she had not already recognized/acknowledged the abuse herself. Despite seeing a therapist I think she was and probably still is in complete denial about what was going on with her.

Now a year and a half later I *still* find myself wanting to write her and tell her what really happened betwen us, because I know that eventually she will have to begin to face that fact if she is ever going to turn things around in her romantic relationships with men.

So my question is, why do you think we have this incessant impulse to help others in this way? I kept thinking "if only she would listen to me she would understand that I did not cause this, and that I was actually very good to her, and we might be able to be genuine friends and grow from this," but of course it never happened. Why do I have such a need to help her?

November 11, 2005
2:51 am
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Lass
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I think that some healing takes place only in relationship to or with another.

It is really hard to do: to stay and work on it when the other person doesn't want to.

So, we leave, and maybe find someone some healthier and try again.

I found myself trying to get the exbf to see his part and where he was derailed emotionally. But it really was not my place to fix him, or try to get him to see. I was nothing to him, really. I was not his gilrfriend, nor his wife. He was someone in my imagination more than anything.

Helping others to look at their stuff is exactly what we are doing here. It only gets frustrating when we can't express ourselves because we have been cut off.

That, and we are just born fixers. So what. That's who I am right now, and I accept that about me. I get to listen to my own advice, and it hleps me. Bingo.

LL

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