Author Topic: Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)  (Read 2099 times)

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Offline try another castle

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« on: November 23, 2007, 02:27:09 AM »
Seriously, is there more potential for an absolute train wreck of a relationship than having two survivors date?

I go back and forth on this. Really, I do. Sometimes I think it would be workable, other times, impossible. Not like I am going out of my way to find any one, particular type of person to date, survivor or otherwise (unless she is an artist/musician... then I'm all hers... especially if she happens to be an A/V geek and now plays drums for a totally pretentious, overrated, musicians' collective. oh wait, she has a boyfriend. never mind.)

I think that, as a survivor, it can probably be anywhere from 2-6 times more difficult than dating someone who was not one. This is all speculation, however, since I have never dated another survivor, and my previous relationships were pretty annoying and fucked up anyway.

One thing I have found interesting about any situation where a group of people are thrown together for an extended amount of time and all suffer the same systematic abuse, is that we all share that common experience, and as such, will feel a connection with those people, even if you never would have even considered being friends with them had  you met them in the real world and neither of you had survived a program.

So... when you reconnect with someone years later, what is there? The program. And there is a guarantee that you both will share at least some symptoms. I always have to give myself a narcissism check when I am talking with another survivor. Am I seeing them, or my reflection? (I mentioned that in the other thread.)

It's as if you know someone intimately, yet not at all. You trust them, but you don't.

Which brings me to why I think this is harder than your average relationship. You are hooking up with someone, who, for most intents and purposes, is about as much of a stranger to you as a person you go out with on a date for the first time, which is fine. This is normal. The  not-so-normal part is that despite the lack of real insight or connection you have with each other, you know how to really get under each other's skin, push each other's buttons, and exploit each other's vulnerabilities, because you have similar issues and symptoms as a result of that abuse. I'm sorry, but nobody gets those car keys until they have been with me for quite some time.

Do I really want to be with someone who possibly knew me when I was at my ugliest and my psyche was the most compromised? Would anyone want to be with someone who had that kind of knowledge? That's fucking blackmail material right there.

As for that arbitrary 2-6 range that I mentioned earlier, here is how I broke it down in my mind:

2x as difficult: Dating someone from a different program than your own
3x: Dating someone from the same program, but who attended a different campus or different era
4x: Dating someone from the same program, who attended when you did, but you either don't remember them well or you weren't that close.
5x: Dating someone from the same program, who attended when you did and you were close friends or in the same peer group.
6x: Dating someone form the same program, who attended when you did, you were possibly close, and there was an authority dynamic between you two. (older/younger student)

5x and 6x I think are pretty neck and neck, for the most part. I think it was the authority dynamic that put that scenario as potentially the hardest in my mind.

I really do think that it is more difficult for a lot of us to see that other person a lot of times. At least it is for me. I always have to remind myself "I see you. I hear you." Because seriously, I *want* to see them. I'm sick of looking at myself. I see my ugly mug in the bathroom mirror every day.

I certainly don't think it's impossible, just difficult. And like I said, what the hell do I know? I've never dated another survivor. I'm still pining after drummer girl. (well, not *as* much.)

I think it gets better when the conversations specific to the program have tapered off, and the majority of your conversations are about what kind of day you had, this killer movie you just saw, what's for dinner, or how much of an amazing fuck you were last night, darling.

Anyway, I have officially overthought this issue.


As such, I have come to the following conclusion:
Fuck it, life is short. If you make each other happy, then it's all good.


...because if there is one thing the program drilled into our brains... is that we could die tomorrow.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2007, 08:18:29 AM »
Very interesting, Castle. I have to think about this for a little while before I can post an elaborate response.

I did date peers right after graduating and then again a few years later. I have also been dating someone this past year that was my "big brother" while I was at RMA. So.... again, I would think more about what you wrote. It's caught me off guard.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2007, 08:19:21 AM »
Very interesting, Castle. I have to think about this for a little while before I can post an elaborate response.

I did date peers right after graduating and then again a few years later. I have also been dating someone this past year that was my "big brother" while I was at RMA. So.... again, I would think more about what you wrote. What your wrote caught me off guard. The timing is erie....
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2007, 08:20:38 AM »
Sorry about the double post - don't know how that happened.
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Offline Anonymous

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2007, 08:29:15 AM »
I've dated two survivors. One from my program, one from another program.  The first one, we really didn't rehash our program. The second one we do when it comes up, and have had some interesting conversations.  With both, there is a commonality of experience and implicit understanding of certain things that really does help.  It still comes down to timing, compatibility and where the two people are at emotionally at the time of the relationship, but I would say that the shared experience helped.

But I've certainly enjoyed my relationships with both. One was a roller coaster, one a merry go 'round.  (level, consistent, happy, calm, drama free.)

Both happened organically. I don't think its something to seek out.  It just happened.

No drama need apply.
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Offline try another castle

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2007, 04:11:56 AM »
Quote
One was a roller coaster, one a merry go 'round.


I'm kind of looking for something in the middle, like a derby racer.

wheeee.



25mph, motherfucker. And they play metal while you ride.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline stina

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Re: Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2007, 08:59:33 PM »
Quote from: ""try another castle""
It's as if you know someone intimately, yet not at all. You trust them, but you don't.


Castle, you're so right. It's weird, like there's a closeness that's not really there... it's quite a quandary. I dated my little brother when I got out, he had made me a promise that he'd walk me to the stage for my graduation, and then he left (parents pulled him). He came to stay with me for a few weeks and we actually had an amazing time. We were in love, but he lived in Michigan, I lived in California, life was crazy after graduation (as we all know), and it just didn't work out. And by the time I saw him again, a year or so later, we were just so much different. But I think the reason it worked (even though it was short term) was because we really got to know eachother at school, it wasn't just about the program. Anyway, over the years I've randomly met people from CEDU schools and some of them I felt an instant connection with and some I was completely repulsed by.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2007, 06:29:23 AM »
I think it makes a difference if you date immediately after the program or years later. Immediately after, you might be a comfort to each other... its hard to be thrown in the Real World with altered frames of references.

But youth and sustained mind fuckery is almost a guaranteed relationship killer.

Later on, if you have the maturity to process your CEDU and other life experiences, and you've established good relationship skills as well as an awareness that CEDU's interpersonal paradigm is not an ideal model for a healthy partnership, then.....

I think the potential for a deeper understanding of each other exists than might in other relationships.

It's possible, too, that many people were placed in programs in part because their constitution and world view is a little more autonomous than desired in the mainstream... they weren't sheep and were put in programs to become more sheep like.  More creative, independent spirits gravitate toward each other.

But as Castle puts it, Life is short, wtf cares, whatever makes you happy. Or something like that.
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Offline dniceo7

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2007, 08:43:25 PM »
I know 3 married survivor couples, they all seem to be doing pretty well...though I see where you're coming from. I dunno, i feel like it's as likely to be a trainwreck as any other relationship. I personally wouldn't want to date a survivor because the girls at cedu didn't tend to be very attractive...no offense....hey, prove me wrong!
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I don\'t look at myself in the mirror because I\'m a narcissist, I simply like to watch myself exist...

Offline dniceo7

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2007, 08:49:27 PM »
Quote from: ""dniceo7""
I know 3 married survivor couples, they all seem to be doing pretty well...though I see where you're coming from. I dunno, i feel like it's as likely to be a trainwreck as any other relationship. I personally wouldn't want to date a survivor because the girls at cedu didn't tend to be very attractive...no offense....hey, prove me wrong!


for the record, I "dated" someone at cedu for about 9 months and it was an obscenely dysfunctional trainwreck of a relationship. and yet as twisted as it was, it still doesn't compare to some of the girls I've dated over the 6 years since....

by "dated" i mean we pretended we hated each other in front of everyone (secretly I think we really did) and then snuck off to creative places for quick, usually unsatisfying encounters (unsatisfying as in every minute or so one of us going "did you hear something?").
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
I don\'t look at myself in the mirror because I\'m a narcissist, I simply like to watch myself exist...

Offline try another castle

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2007, 03:27:15 AM »
Quote
But as Castle puts it, Life is short, wtf cares, whatever makes you happy. Or something like that.



Yes. Definitely something like that.
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Offline Anonymous

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2007, 01:57:35 PM »
I dated someone form my program after we both graduated.  It was a trainwreck of a relationship, but it had it's pluses.  It was 5X's harder than the average relationship.  I don't think we would have ended up dating if we hadn't met in a program.  Many aspects were made more difficult as a result of treatment, but I think that's because both our minds were fucked.  We would hold each other accountable a lot, use guilt as means of control, tried to be each others sponsers.  They understood why I was crazy though, and all the program bullshit which was nice.  However, I will never date a survivor or person in AA, sober, or anything along those lines again.
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Offline lorrispickelmire

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Dating other Survivors
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2007, 04:16:55 AM »
I think it would be easier than trying to explain your nightmares and trust issues to someone who cannot understand and looks at you as if you had just grown another head when you try to explain it.  At least another survivor knows that you aren't full of shit.
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Offline Anonymous

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2007, 01:19:24 AM »
Too true.
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Offline dishdutyfugitive

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Dating other survivors. (insert scream here)
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2007, 02:01:00 AM »
I dated myself. We've just gotten back together for the 443rd time.
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