I wanted to answer a few of your questions in the 1st part of "continuity in a relationship"...
I believe Alan was VERY baldy hurt by the divorce of his parents. The only indication he ever gave me of this was a story he told me once about when he was in 5th grade. His Dad was a trucker when he was younger & one day when his Dad was gone, the step-Mom, step-Grandmother, step-sisters, & step-brother had Alan come into the kitchen, have a seat with them around the table & they proceeded to tell him how much of a (excuse my language) "******* & son-of-a-*****" his Dad was (they were upset with Alan's Dad because he was trying to place rules on the step-brother) & that Alan was going to be just like his Dad. Of course, Alan cried the rest of the night. OUCH!! I actually cried when Alan told me that story...
I have had therapy - was meeting with a therapist from Sept. 2008 - Jan. 2009. I honestly didn't feel like she helped me much & she never mentioned a diagnosis to me. I have read up on depression & I do believe I have bouts of it
(I did have suicidal thoughts back in 2006 after the mess with Joe, but haven't had them since). I've read up on things with Alan's behavior & it seems to me he may be passive-aggresive. I also read quite a bit on "emotionally unavailable" men.
It just amazes me Alan is STILL sending me emails about once a week - just news tidbits. I don't answer them. But it makes me wonder if this is his way of trying to reach out to me to maintain that contact since he just can't seem to completely let me go...
I’m not much of a betting man, but if I were, I’d lay you odds that Alan is having, and has always had, a lot of trauma in the most general sense, conflict around his own manhood, and difficulty making peace with the entire concept of FAMILY. The divorce itself may be only part of this effect.
How could it be otherwise? His touching story might or might not be emblematic of his conflicts, but even if it is relatively minor, as portrayed it’s a big deal.
In the story, he’s put in an impossible position: the very man he wants to emulate is supposedly the bad guy. And Alan himself is told he’s just like him! How can you get an identity as a man with messages like that? Even if the father really was somehow a bad guy, it’s a setup for extreme conflict – and then for the inability to be a grown up, straightforward family man. No wonder the friends are so important.
My fantasy (and it can’t be more than that with so little information) is that he is today’s equivalent of THE TRUCKER his father was. He delivers the goods to Susan, then moves on to the next delivery house. Moving on, moving on. . . can’t stay in one place, because it would mean risk of getting hurt once again. If there’s anything to this, his continued involvement with you makes good sense: he can’t stay, but going permanently utterly drains him. He’s got to get what nurturance he can, from you or anyone, as long as doing so doesn’t threaten the PRIME DIRECTIVE (keep on truckin’ - pun intended!).
Ok. But what about Susan? Is there some part of her that keeps her from really, really being able and willing to accept a man who will accept her, who will STAY?
If we’re right about Alan, it’s a critical question. Your thoughts?
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