Last weekend, I had a friend come from 4 hours up North and go to Macbeth with me. He stayed at my place afterwards, sleeping in my son’s bedroom as my son was away with his dad. I had made him dinner the night before and breakfast the morning after. At the breakfast table, my venturing a suggestion about something going on in his life resulted in him getting really angry and then worse still, blaming it on me afterwards. He quickly retracted his words and substituted “it (the subject), made me angry” for “you made me angry”.
I felt so uncomfortable with his anger that I said a quick goodbye to him after breakfast and walked away. Yet, mixed in with the discomfort, there was also a sense of familiarity. This is what used to happen in my last relationship. My boyfriend would get very angry very quickly if a conversation didn’t go the way he wanted it to and then he would start putting me down for endlessly talking or telling him how to suck eggs.
Thinking about the experience afterwards, I realised what a risk I had taken the night before. This friend I am talking about is a guy I met online a couple of months ago. We had only met once before as he lived so far away, but had kept in contact regularly. He was keen on a romantic relationship, but I didn’t feel comfortable in his company in a physical sense. He actually remarked that I had flinched the first time he casually put his hand on my back as we were walking. He was also in the middle of a long drawn out custody battle for his three children and this was the topic that made him so angry on Sunday morning. I had already sensed the churning anger and bitterness inside him and had said to him I didn’t want to be anything more than friends.
After we got home from the play, I realised he was very subtly coming on to me; perhaps with the hope that I would weaken my resolve and sleep with him. I was quite clear in my response by walking to sit on a adjacent sofa when he moved to sit next to me.
The Empath in me could see the truth, but I still persisted in inviting such a person to stay at my house. The question was why I did it. That afternoon, I went to a Meetup with a group of Empaths, Intuitives and Highly Sensitive People on the North Shore. It was my first time there, but I sensed a few welcoming energies in the room and their quiet acceptance helped me unpack my motivations in allowing such negative energies into my life.
I think I still desperately crave my father’s approval. In failing to keep my husband, I think I caused him huge disappointment and now feel I have to do everything I can for every man that comes into my life. Strangely enough, I have grown up enough to be quite selectively about who I let in in terms of quantity, but quality is still an issue and it is at an emotional level that I fail to discern hidden faults like excessive anger or chauvinistic attitudes. I stay with people who persist in being right over being kind when I am far too gentle to exist in such a world.
Last night, my “friend” messaged me to update me on what happened with his visit to see his children on Sunday afternoon and also to thank me for my hospitality. I decided to write back and tell him that I was not in a good place to cope with a friendship with someone who had anger issues. I was careful to make it all about me and not point any fingers in his direction though. I didn’t want to get drawn into a debate on the topic. His reply this morning was to say he was sorry to hear that and he hoped we would one day be able to resume our friendship. And the reply didn’t contain an apology for his outburst. He continued to blame it on me and the topic in question and did not accept responsibility. I think I dodged a bullet there and don’t see myself resuming that particular friendship ever again.