E-mail to Mike: processing my pain

I wrote to my pastor friend Mike on July 27,

My dear true friend and brother, I don’t want this to be a long e-mail, since I don’t want to poke my emotions too much.  But we’ll see how it goes….

I can’t believe nearly a month has already passed since everything went down.

I still get sad, but I’ve spoken to my priest and with some people on an Orthodox forum, and it’s been helping me get through.

One person on the forum said I’m experiencing what’s called “joyful sorrow.”

Instead of giving in to resentment, anger or despair, I’m trying to pray “Lord have mercy” whenever the negative thoughts start breaking in again, and it’s helping me to reach what seems to be serenity and a start towards forgiveness.  I’m told this is how to let things go and give my problems to God.

Of course, the negative thoughts do occasionally remind me WHY I don’t just run over there and try to patch things up.

They remind me how my friend was increasingly frustrating me, getting snarky and condescending on Facebook, refusing to see things from my point of view when he used to be more accommodating, refusing to apologize for anything without it being ripped out of him, when he used to say “sorry” for every little freaking thing when he lived with us.

They remind me how he seems to have been entertaining violent thoughts when he should’ve been praying them away.  I remember things he told me in the past year or so which made my hair stand on end.  I also found an e-mail he sent Jeff just a few days before the “Day”:

He had been sending me these e-mails with unsolicited advice, about something I didn’t want to talk about with him [NVLD] because he had this attitude that I was just being silly.

I felt like he was judging me and trying to change me, got upset, and sent him a blunt e-mail because he told me he wanted me to be blunt.

He got furious with me over it.  He told me he wasn’t judging me or trying to change me and that he misinterpreted my “sharing” as asking him for help.

He e-mailed Jeff, saying something about not wanting to dump us as friends but I “bit hard” and he was distancing himself for a bit.  Jeff and I were on two different computers and didn’t tell each other what was going on; I sent an apology,

while Jeff sent a terse e-mail about knowing what’s been going on, that my friend had been viciously snarling at me lately, and if my friend wanted to know, he’d give him his reasons.

My friend e-mailed back that he didn’t want to hear these opinions, that he doesn’t want to hit him with a brick next time he sees him, that he hasn’t felt so violently angry in many years, that he’s easily provoked to physical violence and will go jogging to get rid of it.

This made no sense to me because he has told me about several different things just in the past few years which must have inspired him to more violence than anything Jeff could possibly have said.

When I saw this e-mail, I stuck it an archive so I could remember why I shouldn’t just run over there and patch things up.

With his wife being a boiling rage-pot who WON’T LET THINGS GO and his own rage (which, when he lived with us, he gave me every reason to believe he had conquered)–Something is gravely wrong over there. 

I pray for him to realize before it’s too late that he has to take seriously the teachings of the Philokalia, the Ladder of Divine Ascent, and Jesus.

How can he become a priest or a psychologist with such things going on?  He used to be my spiritual counselor.  But now, I’d far rather go to my own priest for spiritual counsel.

I’m sending out e-mails trying to get together with people I know here in town, but haven’t seen much of lately.  I haven’t gotten a lot of response yet, but I know they like me, so I guess I just have to keep trying. These are NICE people. 

Like my friend was way back when he lived with us, by himself, before everybody else moved in and my serene house turned into chaos, before he started judging my personality as an “excuse” rather than just the way I am.

Last week, we spent Wednesday evening at SCA dance practice and then another hour or so with the [SCA] people at a nearby bar and grill.  I felt *happy*.  Then on Saturday, two old friends came over for a movie.  These are people I used to know, part of a larger group I used to hang out with.

For some reason–probably a dispute over one person–they stopped coming to my parties, so I stopped asking.  But I kept in touch with them by e-mail over the years, then found them on Facebook, where they’re friendly with me.

So I figure, what the hey?  Maybe I can get back into that group that I’ve missed so much for the past 9 years.  The group where one person is called Yoda and another one had his name legally changed to Merlin’s Welsh name.

Lose one friend, but regain several old ones whose loss I have always mourned…..

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children

5. My frustrations mount

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing