Monday, June 13, 2011

Avoiding Emotional Imprisonment and Harassment

"And after all this time,
I just hope you understand,
Sometimes the clothes,
Do not make the man."
- George Michael, Freedom '90

I continue to be tremendously upset by the irrational things people do in the name of being in love. Yeah right, you might say... What does a guy who prefers not to be in a relationship have to say about them?
Well, you actually don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what a problematic relationship is.

The Stacy Situation
This past weekend, a close friend told me how his neighbor is having relationship issues that are largely self inflicted. We shall call this neighbor Stacy [not her real name] for the purposes of this story.

It so happens that Stacy has previously been cheated on, dumped for her best friend by yet another boyfriend and almost gave up on dating and relationships. Within a year of staying 'single and uninterested', Stacy chanced upon her knight in shining armor, a guy who despite her reluctance, was unrelenting in his quest to win her heart... As I listened to this story, Alanis Morissette's Precious Illusions was playing in my head...
You'll rescue me right? In the exact same way they never did..
I'll be happy right? When your healing powers kick in
You'll complete me right? Then my life can finally begin
I'll be worthy right? Only when you realize the gem I am.
Anyway, she soon realized that her new love life was indeed ironic, that life invariably has a not-funny-at-all way of sneaking up on you when you think everything is all okay and going right.
The biggest problem she had to deal with was her boyfriend's insecurity and its attendant issues. At first, she thought that he was being jealous and protective of his woman. In just a few months, he went beyond being over protective. He was rude to her friends, strongly suggested that she no longer interacts with her male friends and started bringing up arguments over petty things.

Unknown to her, Sam [let's give him a name too] had been snooping on her phone. He routinely checked out her phonebook contacts, call logs and messages.
He would be keen to ask her who was calling and why whenever she received a call from a guy in his presence. Stacy started getting worried, but decided to let it slide since he treated her like a queen in all other matters.

The incident that finally nudged her from a deep slumber happened last Saturday, while they both were in Sam's house. One of her male friends called and she picked, but said nothing. Assuming that it was a network problem, the guy called again and she did the same thing. He made one final attempt and Stacy rejected the call this time around.
While all this was happening, Sam was beside her in bed, silently burning in anger.

The Jude Situation
The following morning at about 10AM, the guy called again. She accepted the call but said nothing. Sam came to her and angrily asked her who it was that was calling her. Stacy said that was a friend. At this point, Sam grabbed her phone and checked out her call log, the last call was by a guy named Jude. Sam knew this guy had been friends with her for over three years. Stacy had assured Sam that she never dated Jude, and further said that they very rarely were in touch.

Sam started a war of words, loudly wondering why this Jude guy was calling. On her part, Stacy said she declined to pick the calls or engage in conversation because Sam obviously has issues with all her male friends. She politely requested him to stop chaperoning her.

At this point, Sam lost it and instructed Stacy to call Jude, and firmly put him off, reminding him that she had asked him to never call her. Interestingly, Stacy had never told Jude to stay out of touch. Hurting inside, she however opted to play along and called Jude. Her voice shaking, she "reminded" him that she had asked him not to be calling her.

Hours later when she left Sam's house, Stacy sent Jude and text and tried to explain the mid-morning situation...

Principles of Social Freedom
Listening to the above story, I wondered why some people do some things to people they allegedly love. In addition, I wondered why some girls let people deny them their rights of expression and interaction with those they opt to.

At the risk of sounding like an old record, I shall reiterate that people should learn how to let go and walk away from bad relationships. And fight the temptation to go back. Stacy is gradually setting herself up for assault and domestic violence should she end up with this bozo. He comes across as the kind of guy who can go and rough up his wife's boss. He might as well raise hell for Stacy's brother, asking him why he's calling his own sister. Damn!

What to Do?

I bet it'll sound better and perchance, be more compelling if what I need to say is conveyed by Victoria C. Woodhull, the very first US female presidential candidate who openly spoke and wrote about suffrage, free love and eugenics. I'll let her tell it like it is.

Carefully consider the following from her 1871 speech about the principles of social freedom.
What is the legitimate sequence of Social Freedom? To which I unhesitatingly reply: Free Love, or freedom of the affections. “And are you a Free Lover?” is the almost incredulous query.

And to those who denounce me for this I reply: “Yes, I am a Free Lover. I have an inalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long or as short a period as I can; to change that love every day if I please, and with that right neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere. And I have the further right to demand a free and unrestricted exercise of that right, and it is your duty not only to accord it, but, as a community, to see that I am protected in it. I trust that I am fully understood, for I mean just that, and nothing less!

I claim that freedom means to be free. And I claim that love means an exhibition of the affections. And therefore, in compounding these words into Free Love, I claim that united they mean, and should be used to convey, their united definitions. And when the term Free Love finds a place in dictionaries, it will prove my claim to have been correct,since it will not be set down to signify sexual debauchery, and that only, or in any governing sense.
Need I say more?


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