Groupthink. I’d like some input on two different people, two totally different scenarios, in which I’m debating reaching out to people. I have a hard time sometimes meeting new people (um, who doesn’t? No, really. If you don’t, please share your secrets), but these situations are also not your standard “meeting new people” things.

Bridgette.

My mom had a piano recital last weekend for her music students. The recital took place at the local senior housing, as mom liked the idea of having the senior citizens attend a (mostly) children’s piano recital. BoyPenguin played a duet with mom: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, jazzified. BP also had a solo. Mom did a few pieces with a classically trained opera singer. Those pieces didn’t go over as well; feedback is that no one really liked the opera singer (whole other thing, she’s got a bit of a single white female thing going on with my mom. Mom’s too nice to this lady, despite some pinkish flags.) At the end, all of the senior citizens came up to BP to tell him how much they LOVED him. One said “he had me at hello!” Another said she’d marry him. So if it doesn’t work with us, BP has options at the senior citizen housing.

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However, one woman, Bridgette, who’s 93, really stood out. We talked. She’s so sweet. She told me about her live in South Carolina, her son who passed away, how she’s lonely, her flowers, and the branch her son found her where she’s put several bird’s nests. I walked her to her apartment, and we just talked. She said I could come back any time and chat with her. At the end of the visit, she sort of muttered wistfully that she loved me. It didn’t seem creepy, just...lonely, I think. Also, she’s a 93 year old woman. She didn’t seem creepy at all.

I keep thinking about her. I want to go visit her, but I’m afraid she won’t remember me, or it’d be weird, or she didn’t really mean it when she said to stop by. Any advice on popping in to visit this woman? Should I?

Jes. 

When I was living in Denver (this shouldn’t come as a big surprise that I lived/live in CO), a friend I’d known for years moved from Boston to Denver. He’d always had a thing for me, but it had never materialized due to lots of reasons. When he moved to Denver, we were both in long distance relationships. A few months later, we were both single. We started hooking up. He wanted more. He wanted a relationship. He probably even wanted marriage. He would have supported me; he made tons of money. If I’d gotten serious with him, I would have moved into his loft in downtown Denver, pursued my art and sewing and done what I wanted while he paid for everything.

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But it didn’t sit right. I knew a relationship with him would be off. He had a mean streak that scared me. I backed off, he got mad and it scared me. I gave him space. He started dating another woman, but he kept reaching out. Him and I sort of were able to be friends, but eventually we stopped talking altogether and I moved away.

I found him on facebook and he bought a beautiful, expensive home on a hill. He lived there with her, but it was clear that he’s single now. I checked out her facebook profile, where she lists her blog. I clicked on her blog, and found the blog entry where she details her relationship with him.

(I’ll take a moment to address this: I wasn’t stalking her. I was curious. I’d never met her, but knew who she was based on the comments in the photos. Her page is private, but her blog wasn’t part of that private information. I didn’t mean to stalk her; it just...happened.)

Her blog was like reading all about the bullet I’d dodged. I got chills and felt like crying. He was emotionally abusive; he destroyed things; he manipulated her feelings; nothing was ever good enough; he controlled their finances; and she felt like she was constantly walking on eggshells. As I read it, I got chills. It was many of the things I was afraid of when considering dating him. I believed every word she wrote. There was no doubt in my mind that she was telling the truth and not exaggerating. I could even, for a moment, hear his sneering, condescending voice in my head as he justified the things he did to her, as if he was saying it to me.

I want to send her a message and tell her I believe her. That I sympathize, and I’m glad she left. That she seems to be doing ok (I read some of the rest of her blog; she’s a great writer and has a compelling way of writing about the things she’s going through) and I hope she continues to do great in her life. I don’t know...I want to tell her something. Mostly that I totally believe her about the abuse that she suffered from him. Except, she never calls it abuse. It clearly was. But she never uses that word.

Should I reach out to her?

Conclusion

I realize these are two totally different scenarios, two totally different people, and two very different reasons for wanting to reach out to these women. But I’d like input, someone to discuss it with. In my life right now, that’s you folks at GT. Thanks.

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Footnote: When I finished reading the blog entry, I went upstairs and gave BoyPenguin a hug and a kiss on the head. I told him I loved him, that I was grateful he loved me, but that he was also a kind, supportive, caring partner. I told him some of the many things I appreciate about him, and hugged him again, kissed his head again. He seemed a little bewildered, but said he loved me too, and of course he’d be sweet/kind/supportive/etc. I haven’t told him any of this. I may. But all of this happened at 3:30 pm our time while he was working remotely, so not a good time to interrupt, let alone interrupt with an emotional dump.