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Author Topic: WWPD: What Would Pagans Do?  (Read 14460 times)
Moone
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« Reply #15: August 14, 2007, 10:37:17 am »

I would also add that since she is obviously not a strong person, if she gets more serious with this fellow you should  be prepared to be dumped as a friend by her. His views will become her views.  She may have been "toying" with paganism for awhile simply because you were involved.

Hm... my BF said the same thing. He doesn't expect her to be around much longer if she stays with this guy for any length of time. She would be too afraid to be herself for fear of losing him.

I had to smile when I read "water" person. She's a water sign, highly emotional and super sensitive. But she also seems to fit your definition. I don't know. She went back and forth with her religious ideas. She liked paganism, but said she felt funny about calling on a goddess. She once said she was afraid that maybe God was just like the Christians said and would punish her for worshiping a goddess as well. Yet paganism opened her up, made her feel more spiritual, she said, more connected.

When she discovered that there were Christian witches, it really excited her. She had joined a study group of some sort and was really getting into it, but I don't think it lasted after she met her BF. He pretty much consumes her life now and all she does revolves around him.
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« Reply #16: August 14, 2007, 10:49:08 am »

I think you're very right not to put your son through more of this. The rest of it is more complicated.

I told her my son wouldn't be spending the night any more, which upset her, but she understood my position. She and her kids are always welcome at my house, but as long as that jerk is still living with her, my son will not be around him. He can "save" someone else who is actually old enough to make decisions on their own. My son is not his new pet project.

Quote
No, it's not very nice for her - but she needs to decide if she's going to buy into his worldview (or set up their relationship that it really *is* okay for her to believe different things, not just get lip-service from him.) Going behind his back, on something she knows he feels strongly about, isn't doing anyone any favors. 

The thing is, she's been down this road before, not religiously speaking, but just trying to be what she felt the man wanted her to be. I mean, how can she believe he truly loves her if he doesn't even know who she really is?! It's hard keeping up appearances 24/7. Eventually, something has to give.
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« Reply #17: August 14, 2007, 11:01:19 am »

Honestly, that was rude that that man would do that to your son. He had no right to interrogate your son like that. Makes me blood boil, to tell you the truth.  Angry

Rude is a gentle description of this guy. He tried his better than you attitude with me at the BBQ. Nothing works my nerves worse than for someone to treat me like I'm stupid. He tried a condescending tone with me once and I called him on it. After that, he made a comment to BF about it, asking how he put up with my smart a** attitude. My BF told him I wasn't like that with him, but he would prefer a smart a** over a dumb a** any day. Then my BF said, "Ya know, I bet she just doesn't like you" and walked away. Cheesy
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« Reply #18: August 14, 2007, 11:15:24 am »

But what to do about this situation with my friend? Should I secretly remain friends with her? What would you do in a situation like this?

I understand exactly what you are going through at the moment...
I have been in exactly the same situation as your friend before (I was yougn and dumb and moved out at 16 *shakes head*)
and also been in the situation that you are in before. As they say 'the tables turned'.

In both of those situations I learnt that I pushed away my friends even though I desperately wanted them beside me and to just understand - just be a friend in thick and thin to say the least. But I shut myself off from those who were too demanding of the 'Look its me or him' situation, my partner 'won' and I lost my friends - and that hurt very deeply.

Then after experiencing someof my friends going thru what your friend is going through, I stood by them no matter what, I defended them when their bfs were being pricks and I was too demanding of my mates. I inadvertidally (sp) pushed them away by being too strong to them. Instead it made them trust their abusive partners because I was trying to tell them what to do being young, passionate and protective can have downfalls.

And through experience from many events Ive learnt that too be there for your mates no matter what.. be honest but not pushy... dont show your irritation when they go back to bad habits and just stick in there.
If she wants to see you in secret then perhaps you should just let her... your not doing anything sneaky by seeing her but if she is in her own relationship then thats her choice... it is her life after all. But again perhaps bring up your opinion but not in a demanding or judging way.

When it comes to abusive relationships - there is no definate 'right' or 'wrong' action of the victim.

But I am not there to see this nor am I you to know what your relationship with your friend is... and it is your decision in the end.
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« Reply #19: August 14, 2007, 01:00:19 pm »

At first she admitted to nothing, but later told him that yes, I was a pagan. He informed her that she was endangering herself and her kids by associating with me. He wouldn't even let her kids come along that afternoon because of this. HER kids, and she went along with it. She also lied when he asked her if she had ever been involved with witchcraft.

I was just floored. I really didn't know what to say. This was supposed to be my friend. Now she was telling me all this, offering me up like a sacrificial lamb to his judgment without so much as a word in my defense, but even worse, not defending my son. She told me she still wanted to be friends, but she would have to sneak around now to see or call me, and ask that I not be mad at her.

I see a couple of things here.

- Since she was aware that you were closeted and chose to tell this guy anyway, she betrayed a confidence.  This is an actual betrayal in your relationship, and something that she will need to face up to.  You likewise have to decide how major an issue this is for you, as well as whether you feel this is likely to cause you further problems that you need to protect yourself from.

- She is giving over the responsibility for her own children to this guy.  "He wouldn't even let" is letting her off her responsibility to parent her own children; this guy doesn't have a custodial relationship over them.

- She is lying to this guy.  This is, as others have noticed, a really bad foundation for a relationship; not just because a good relationship has people who are honest to each other, but because when this guy finds out she's been lying to him, things may get Messy.

- She let this guy interrogate a minor child who was temporarily in her protection.

- She wants you to be complicit in her continuing deception and betrayal of this guy who, while he appears to be a Grade-A Twerp, has reasonable expectation of not being lied to.  (He has the unreasonable expectation that what he says goes, but that brings me to ...)

- She has reverted to her previous saved version as an easily abusable doormat.

Quote
I'm not so much mad as I am hurt by all this. I still consider her my friend, but I can see she has reverted back to her old ways, giving her own self up, pretending to be something she's not to placate the man she's with. She begged me to forgive her, not to cut her out of my life. Hopefully, in time her BF would learn to accept me, she said. How that will happen if she plans on sneaking around to see me I don't know, but she insists she will not give up on our friendship.

I've already decided that I won't subject my son to this anymore. He will not be put through that again. But what to do about this situation with my friend? Should I secretly remain friends with her? What would you do in a situation like this?

What I would do is sit her down and do a point-by-point.  A draft of which goes something like:

I'm worried about you.  You were working on being a better, stronger, happier person, and now you've given that all up for this guy.

You're lying to this guy, and you're wanting me to help you.  I've already decided that I'm not willing to expose my kid to this person; you may think that he'll warm up or get over himself, but it's my responsibility as a parent to keep my child safe from him.

I'm not going to cut you out of my life.  However, if you choose to remain with this person, I will not help you lie to him.  I think this relationship is very bad for you; you are cutting yourself off from everything that made you yourself to pacify this guy, and that scares me for you.  Cutting people off from their friends is one of the ways abusers behave.  If you ever decide you need to get out of it, I will be here for you.


I have a bunch of harsher things I might say, too, but that's sort of as close as blunt old me gets to 'moderating cranky for the fragile flower', so I'd probably settle for merely wanting to say them.
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« Reply #20: August 14, 2007, 09:31:41 pm »

I've already decided that I won't subject my son to this anymore. He will not be put through that again. But what to do about this situation with my friend? Should I secretly remain friends with her? What would you do in a situation like this?

Mostly I agree with Darkhawk's idea, though as someone less likely to get cranky I would word it a little more softly Smiley . Just a simple "I will always be here for you, but I am not going to help you lie to him. If you ever need me you know where I am." I wouldn't even bring up the I am worried about you part because it sounds like she won't want to hear it, not yet, but she will remember that you said you'd be there for her when the relationship does crash.

Mind you, this advice does not come with a background of many years experience so take it with a grain of salt.
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« Reply #21: August 15, 2007, 04:14:47 am »

I've already decided that I won't subject my son to this anymore. He will not be put through that again. But what to do about this situation with my friend? Should I secretly remain friends with her? What would you do in a situation like this?

OK so there are a couple of ways you can take this.
  a. Either turn a blind eye toward her, or cut her off.
  b. DO NOT cut her off or turn a blind eye: in which case you HAVE to interfere in some way.
I think it is safe to say that b. seems like a much better option. If you try a. this will get worse for her, and for you. I don't know about you but I'll feel like shit if I deserted a friend in such a situation.

There seems to be a LOT of guys who are like your friends BF, controlling, manipulative etc. You have to understand this from HIS point of view, he probably did NOT have the religious freedom your son seems to enjoy as a child. And probably taught that all of these "laws" of christianity are as true as the fact that the sun rises in the east everyday, or as real as the earth we stand on. This being said and done, he now believes it whole heartedly of course. He might actually be trying to care for your friend, and her son in some way. I don't know, he might actually be a genuine jerk but those ARE actually very rare in my experience, so I am assuming this is not really true for the moment.

Like I was saying he seems to be in some way caring for your friend, cause to him paganism, witchcraft etc are evil, and associating with them will make you miserable since "god" will now be angry with you. It would of course be unreasonable to expect him to change this poinit of veiw, if it were true. Maybe you can ask him why he thinks witchcraft is evil. And you COULD try and clear some of the misconceptions he has (or better yet get your friend to do it). My expectation is that it would fail, if he were wise and mature enough to accept the corrections, you would not be in this mess to begin with.

Next of course comes your friend. Talk to her, get to know what she sees in this guy. And why it is so important to her to keep this relationship up. I'd say, at first don't give her the idea that you are trying to get her out of it. Ask her as a friend, why he is important to her. I have had a couple of friends in abusive relationships  like this (including my own mother) and have got varying answers. Some just love the guy for no reason (true love is funny like that), my mother stayed with my dad for us (the children), another friend of mine stayed with him simply because she did not know how to get out of it, and yet another girl I know stayed simply because she was tired of being alone, of seeing all those happy couple in the streets, of waking up on an empty bed, of going through the trials of life alone. I think your friend MAY be of the last variety (I don't know, this is just my "educated guess"). Find out what is important to her, make her outline a couple of things that she wants in life, what is important to her. You will be surprised how many problems can be solved if we all just knew what we wanted out of life, and where our priorities lie.

Having done this, get her to know look at her life as it is now. Get her to look at it not from her point of view since that is too "obstructed", get her to evaluate her life in terms of the things she says is important to her. This will probably solve the problem, if she still thinks that her boyfriend is more important, there is simply nothing you can do, except ask her to try and coax the guy to be a little more understanding of you and to see you are after all a not evil or bad or something.

I know this is much easier said than done. Some people will listen to you readily, some are harder to break. If your friend is of the second variety, do not talk to her as if you are giving her advice, talk to her more as a friend who is interested in her, and as someone who is simply curious or something. Well you are probably wise enough to handle the talking. Also once this has come to some sort of a rest stop, get her to evaluate her spirituality. She may be pagan but she seems to be different from you. Tell her not all pagans have to call a goddess etc. Or she may be a christian at heart, that only she can truly tell. It is a hard thing to do (evaluate ones beliefs), at least for me it was. But I think she will be a much healthier, happier person once she does.

I for instance have gone through a LOT of those "dark times" as I call it. The "I will kill myself" phase. I came out of it, much like you came out of your dark phase. By finding paganism and philosophy etc. Also for me I too am uncomfortable with the words "god" and "goddess", to me the world is full of spirits, and the all have a common essence (mother nature or Tao as the chinese sometimes call it). So this may be the path for her, I am still in all ways pagan, just different from some, but that's OK. Anways I should stop now, I can go on for pages, and I am getting sleepy again.

-Tj

P.S: Any comments are welcome. If you feel like you don't get something from what I have said, since my writing doesn't always flow very nicely - just reply to this thread, or PM me or even MSN me!
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« Reply #22: August 15, 2007, 05:44:13 am »

I've been taking everyone's comments into consideration of how to deal with this situation. I've vented my frustrations to my BF and to you all (bless all of you for your patience and understanding), and have let my anger cool and my hurt feelings mend enough that I think I can now sit down and talk with my friend without getting overly emotional. I know this will be a bone of contention between us until we can both say what we need to say and listen to one another.

Last night my friend called and asked if she could come by for a visit today. She said she hasn't felt right about the whole thing since it happened and knows that it won't be right until we talk. She said she knows she let me down as a friend and wouldn't blame me if I didn't want to be friends anymore, but she hoped I would give her the chance to make things right between us.

We have been friends too long for me to just cut ties with her now. Yeah, she hurt me, but she has also been there for me when I needed her, has always been a good friend to me and she never turned her back on me, and I really don't feel like she's turning her back on me now. If she was, she wouldn't be trying to make up for what happened. She made a mistake, but we all do, so I can't expect her to always be perfect. Me and her, we got history together. We have seen each other at our best and our worst, yet we've always accepted each other's imperfections and loved each other regardless. She's family to me.

So, everyone send up good energies for us, please. And thanks to all of you for helping me out! Smiley

Love & Blessings~
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« Reply #23: August 15, 2007, 09:24:52 am »

((hugs))
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« Reply #24: August 15, 2007, 09:37:49 am »


That she wants to talk is a VERY good sign.

I hope you two can find a workable solution!
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« Reply #25: August 15, 2007, 09:43:46 am »

So, everyone send up good energies for us, please. And thanks to all of you for helping me out! Smiley


Good luck, Moone! Like Shad said, her wanting to talk is a good sign. I hope it all works out for the best.
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« Reply #26: August 15, 2007, 09:46:11 am »

So, everyone send up good energies for us, please. And thanks to all of you for helping me out! Smiley

{{{Moone}}} I hope this all works out well.
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« Reply #27: August 15, 2007, 02:24:21 pm »

So, everyone send up good energies for us, please. And thanks to all of you for helping me out! Smiley

(((((HUGS and Positive Energy))))))))

Gina
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« Reply #28: August 15, 2007, 07:15:08 pm »

So, everyone send up good energies for us, please. And thanks to all of you for helping me out! Smiley

Love and prayers! *hugs*  Smiley
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« Reply #29: August 16, 2007, 12:00:28 am »

Last night my friend called and asked if she could come by for a visit today. She said she hasn't felt right about the whole thing since it happened and knows that it won't be right until we talk. She said she knows she let me down as a friend and wouldn't blame me if I didn't want to be friends anymore, but she hoped I would give her the chance to make things right between us.

Talk is good, but it's meaningless if her actions don't back it up. It is *possible* that she wants to talk to you in order to assuage her guilt, but doesn't plan to change behaviors if the situation arose again. If it were my friend, I would tell her that I accepted an apology, but what would be even better is if she stood up to the guy next time. Showing that she knows she screwed up by making sure it doesn't happen again is better than her apologizing every time it happens, kwim?

Sasha
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