…even complete with slightly drunk poetry.
Friday, I met some friends at a new wine bar and got more than I bargained for, mainly a bit of an…I wouldn’t call it an intervention…more of a “we really miss seeing you and want to see more of you, also, our impressions of Lora are that she is a really unpleasant person, and we *really* don’t want to see her ever again, so how can we see you without her, and also please stop living with her” announcement.
I don’t know what to call that. Which is why I put it all in quotes.
One of the friends I haven’t seen much since earlier this year. As I’ve mentioned previously, Lora sometimes wakes Jon up to fight with him. This kind of behavior hasn’t woken me up in the last few months – well, actually, let me qualify that. I haven’t been woken up at stupid o-clock by it, though Lora has woken Jon up a few times sometime in the morning, if it’s a day that he and I can sleep in and she has to go to work. And those have seemed to be more intense talking, than fighting. Though I couldn’t find if I expressly mentioned it before, Lora used to wake Jon up and fight with him fairly regularly. Definitely multiple times a month. Anyways, I can safely say that I haven’t woken up for it in the last few months, so they’ve either gotten quieter, or she’s only doing it when they’re sleeping together and the door is firmly shut.
The point of mentioning that is that one of those fights happened when one of my friends that talked to me slept over. She had mentioned it to me a few weeks after it happened, but she didn’t mention to me how incredibly much it bothered her, and that that incident was directly responsible for her coming over less often. Completely disliking Lora was her other major reason for coming over less often.
The general consensus among at least some of my friends though is that they really don’t like Lora, and don’t want to see her any more than necessary (For the record, they do really love Jon, and love spending time with him, and are utterly confounded by what he sees in Lora). One of them invited me and Jon to the movies this week. Unfortunately, he forgot about the whole “When you invite people, you generally are also inviting their SOs” thing that most friends seem to have for casual get togethers, and when Jon mentioned inviting Lora too, my friend decided that he would go to an earlier movie, because he really didn’t want to see Lora. He expressly told me this, but doesn’t want to tell Jon. I told him that it’s up to him to decide what he wants to tell Jon; I’m not getting in the middle of that. I don’t think I should get into the middle of that.
Should I get into the middle of that?
Mid-way through writing this post, I had to get up to do some cleaning, and some interacting with Jon. I was cool and it was clear that I didn’t want to talk, and that something was bothering me, and that I was frustrated (at the least) with him, which obviously hurt and upset him. I don’t know what to say. I feel like I’d be betraying my friend’s confidence if I tell Jon that the whole reason my friend is now seeing the movie earlier than we can make is because he doesn’t want to see Lora. I also feel angry and resentful both towards Jon and Lora. More Jon than Lora, as I think that his downplaying of how awful she was for months, and his reluctance to push Lora to either get help or stop having a relationship with her contributed greatly to this situation (not to mention the part where he thought us all living together was a good idea). Naturally Lora too, as it is her abusive and completely deficient ability to handle social situations (while simultaneously refusing to get therapy) that also created this mess.
I should definitely save some of that anger for myself too, for continuing to act like this is going to end remotely well. I so often think of rabbitdarling‘s analogy of falling asleep in a hot bathtub, and waking up in an ice cold bathtub, in a powerless house that is full of bees. Though the situations have a large number of differences, that slow feeling of being gaslit (even though Jon’s was unintentional, and he is sincerely sorry) and led down a path into a truly fucked up living dynamic that came on so slowly that waking up from it seems to cast it into a totally unfixable nightmare. Because when Lora is not being outright abusive and horrible, she’s still extremely unpleasant to most people, and therapy isn’t going to fix general personality unpleasantness.
What is it about Lora that is so off-putting? I’ve mentioned her extreme social anxiety before. Around other people, she acts…incredibly immaturely and is generally unpleasant. She can’t seem to handle reading social cues; around other people, she is either awkward to the point of seeming cold and completely disdainful to those around her OR she dominates conversations and talks entirely about herself. She constantly throws out references to her PTSD, her abusive ex-boyfriend, her social ineptitude. Oftentimes, when she doesn’t like the way a conversation is headed, she gets whiny. She behaves immaturely about alcohol, and will often loudly invite people to do shots, or loudly exclaim that everybody should be doing shots (with someone else’s alcohol, in someone else’s home). She doesn’t understand the give-and-take in talking and listening that most social interactions have. And she verbally…if not outright abuse Jon, she is unpleasant to him. She’ll tease him in a way that appears cruel to other people, and then when he teases her back (in a more social-acceptable way), she’ll loudly berate him for being mean to her.
I can understand why my friends are fed up with her to the point of wanting nothing to do with her. These are friends who I have confided in somewhat about our problems, but they know nowhere near the whole story. And they also let me know that it wasn’t the things I’ve told them about the situation that put them off. It was just the icing on the cake. Even without it, they just don’t like Lora and would have suspected her of being abusive (at most) and generally shitty (at the least) from their own interactions with her, and they don’t want to be around here any more than absolutely necessarily. And these are not exactly people who have hung around her anywhere near regularly. Even small doses of Lora are really, deeply unpleasant, it seems.
Making this all the more sad, Jon and Lora did go to their first therapy session last week, and they both said it went really well. They both really like the therapist. They both feel hopeful. Lora also acted less unpleasant this past weekend than lately. By “less unpleasant” I mean she acted more like a reasonable human being that someone could have a decent interaction with. Honestly, she acted well enough that I felt somewhat guilty about a lot of the negativity that I’ve felt for her lately. On an overall scale of “Would I want to be friends with Lora if it weren’t for Jon?”, the answer is still a resounding no, but it’s less of a “hell fucking no, she’s a horrible, abusive, shitty person who I revile” and more of a “no way, she’s high-maintenance and annoying as fuck, as well as shitty and sometimes abusive”. Which is progress of a sort, but like I said, we’re coming from such an absolutely awful place that it’s not really enough.
Overall, honestly, the weekend was nice-ish, and I enjoyed it. After going out with my friends, I stopped for a bit to eat on the way home, and started reading The Husband Swap, which is where my drunken quoting about love came from. At that moment, reading a book that started by talking about how polyamory is about love just make me feel pissy. I’m pretty sure that many people practicing monogamy also believe it is based in love. I know I did (and I thought it was the only “responsible” way to be loving until learning about polyamory). While I do believe that monogamy can be based in patriarchy and has been used as a vehicle of maintaining patriarchy, I don’t blame that on monogamy or think that it irrevocably taints monogamy. There is much room in the world for loving, consensual, non-coercive monogamy. I know I’m feeling negatively towards polyamory at the moment, mainly because of this miserable situation with Lora. Which isn’t polyamory’s fault anymore than monogamy itself is at faulty for every coercive, controlling mono situation in the world. It’s just an easy target when I get angry enough at Jon or Lora that I start seriously considering making changes that would really shake up our living situation and then become terrified of those changes. It’s safer to rail against polyamory (or anything, really) than go into the next room and rail at Jon for his blindness about Lora and how I’m going to feel increasingly angry and trapped every time plans with my friends fall through because Lora has decided that she can join us, and that announcement causes my friends to change their minds about seeing us.
I was going to mention a few more things that happened this weekend, but nothing was particularly major, and after mulling over this thing with my friends and Lora, I think I just want to let it go here. I don’t know what to do. Maybe appreciate that my friends aren’t going to let Lora’s behavior slide as much as I did, and appreciate that they spoke up to me? What happens if she truly improves? That’s one thing I mentioned to my friends (and honestly, I felt like I was pathetically grabbing at straws, doing so) – I hope if Lora improves into a reasonable human being, they give her another chance. They said they would, and I believe them; they’re good people. But for now…they’re more fed up than I am. And as they are people that I love and trust, I wonder what that says about exactly how awful this situation is.