“Wounded Puppy” post script

As I was composing my previous post, I came to a disappointing realization about myself.  Even with all of my “preaching” on the topic of avoiding troubled men, guess what I did this very evening?!

That’s right.  I went straight on down to the check out a new puppy.  This is one that I’ve actually known for a few years.  I’d rarely seen him sober until recently.  And even when he was, he barely spoke two words to me at a time.  And those words were coaxed out by me. I was never interested in him.  In fact, I kind of had a lot of disdain for him.

Anyway, he was at the same event that I was at this evening.  He spoke more words to me – and more kindly – than he has in the whole time I’ve known him.  It was basically small talk about his job, going back to school, things like that.

Because he was being personable, I ventured to ask him whether he still smokes.  He said he doesn’t.  Okay, then…let’s take this a step further.  I asked whether he still drinks.  Also, stopped.  Why?  Because God doesn’t approve.  He said he’d stopped both five months ago.  He pointed out that he’d lost weight, as a result.  True enough.  He had.  And I do hope that he was being honest with me about the reason.

So, assuming that he was telling me the truth, he has been making efforts to be obedient to the Lord and seek healing.  That’s good.  Still, that doesn’t mean that I need to be all open-hearted-y and stuff toward him, does it?!

Of course it doesn’t!!!

Does that stop my heart from being opened-y?

Of course it doesn’t!!!

My heart is on its own schedule.  Occasionally, it checks in with me to make sure that I’m still there, but then it goes off and does its own will.  (I should start calling my heart “Old Testament Israel.”)

It is incomprehensible to me that I could be writing warnings against something, and at the same time be feeling the very things I’m warning against.

 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:21-25

I am pleased to see the change in this man.  Truly, I hope and pray that he was being honest with me.  For his own sake.  However, I know my heart.  I have little control over my heart, but I know it.  It’s doing that thing.  You know, that thing.  It’s that thing that’s telling me that I need to keep a safe distance from this guy until I know I can handle it.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of guys with whom I can relate without “that thing.”  However, when I recognize it, I know it’s time to take shelter.

Easier said than done.  Easier said than done, my friends.

I think what got me going tonight was that this is the first time I saw him as a person with an actual heart.  As I said, he never really talked to me before – and certainly not politely.  So, that was the entry point for me.  That was the point of “now I know you have a heart, let me know all about it!”  Fortunately, I maintained a semblance of self-control as far as trying to steer the conversation and ask him a ton of questions about where he is now, spiritually speaking.  No matter what the situation, with males or females, I tend to steamroll people who express to me the very slightest bit of interest in the things of God.  I did ask him a couple of questions, but I don’t think I went too far, nor did I become too preachy.  (that’s a bad habit of mine.)

So, back to the point: as aware as I am, I see how I can still be taken down fairly easily.  Maybe that’s why the Lord chose this very evening for me to finally write that last post.  He wanted me to see my conversation with this guy under the glaring light of what I already know to be true.

 

 

 

 

Let the (HSP) Buyer Beware: HSPs and “Wounded Puppy” Men (Part 3 of 3)

I’m thinking I can only eke out this one more post on this topic.  So, let’s get to it.

Most of what I’ve read about HSPs includes that we are very sensitive to other people’s emotions, as well. Very empathetic.  It’s mentioned that HSPs seem like we are psychic, because we can perceive others’ emotions so well.

I won’t go much into being “psychic.”  However, I can see why this would make us susceptible to these types of troubled guys, the “wounded puppies.”

First, we see the surface.  Ohhhh, this guy is trouble.  Then, we talk for a couple of minutes.  Or maybe more.  In between all of the rough, tough and rude, some little phrase or personal information slips out.

That tiny crack in the veneer is not a “tiny crack” to an HSP.  It’s a wide-open door, with a sign that says “look into my heart. Rescue me.”  It probably doesn’t actually have a sign, but we create that sign in our imaginations.  We want to know who hurt him.  When?  How can I make it better?

“Project!!!”

These guys very well may need help.  But guess who should not be the one to give it?  You got it:  the HSP female, who will fall in love with his wounded-ness.  In romantic love.  An actual canine puppy? No problem.  We can cuddle it, we can nurse it back to health, but we will never envision a relationship with this puppy. Because, well, it’s a puppy.  That’s why.

On the other hand, Puppy-Man should not be seen as a potential mate.  Puppy-Man may not even know that he needs/wants our help.  He will probably be resentful and push us away.  And what will that do to our tender hearts?

So, HSP sisters, back away from Puppy-Man.  You can’t fix him.  You can – and should – pray for him.  You can – and should – seek out some strong Christian brothers who might befriend him.  However, this must NOT be with the goal in mind that they will fix him, and you can date him.

This is not to say that Puppy-Man is 100% undateable.  It’s just that it can never be your goal.  If it ever comes back around to the two of you, that’s wonderful.  But please, PLEASE do not date him during his healing time.  And if you don’t date him, don’t sit in the waiting room, while he’s in the Puppy ICU.  I can’t decide which of those two actions would be worse.

I’ve realized that all of what I’ve said has come from a place of protecting your HSP heart.  Let me also talk about Puppy-Man’s heart.  IF he falls in love with you in this state, it will not be a healthy love.  It will be a selfish, needy love.  He’s too mired in his issues to truly love you in a godly way.  He may not even truly have a relationship with God, that is based in love, fear and obedience.  That’s why he’s in the state he’s in to begin with!

Anyway, there will come a point where you’ll discover the unhealthy nature of his love codependence for you.  You will decide that this is not what you desire.  And you will want to leave the relationship.  (Worse yet, you’ll be like me and stay, anyway.  Two years ago.  Not with this one.) If you leave, his heart will be broken.  Puppy-Man can neither give healthy love, nor respond to it.  So, when this love is withdrawn, it will cause him further damage.

What is the most loving (and healthy) way for an HSP to handle a Puppy-Man?  Kindly back away from even a friendship.  As soon as it becomes clear that he is in such a condition, and is not doing anything to seek help, you need to end the friendship.  Please trust me on this.  If you don’t, you’ll both fall in love for all of the wrong reasons.  You will not be able to be “just friends.”  Please trust me on this.  I’ve been through it too many times.  And no, it won’t be “different” for you.

Every, single person you will ever meet has issues, hurts, insecurities and sins.  No one will be fully healed and sinless until they are with the Lord in heaven.  But look at how the wounds are being treated.  They are being treated in one of two ways:

1.  He is licking his own wounds, using alcohol, drugs, fighting, and/or rudeness.  Or he may be licking his wounds with good old denial that they even exist. There are countless other “home remedies” that may be employed, but these are the ones I usually find in my Puppy-Men’s cabinets…

OR

2.  He is rushing to the only One who can bind his wounds.  He is giving up all of his “over-the-counter” meds and tossing all of his home remedies.  He is repentant and ready to follow the “Doctor’s orders.”

Only the men from the second category will be able to truly love you and receive your love in a healthy and honest manner.

Let the (HSP) Buyer Beware: HSPs and “Wounded Puppy” Men (Part 2 of ?)

When we last saw our heroine, (that’s me, in case you weren’t keeping up), she was feeling crushed at discovering this wonderful Christian guy, who had a sketchy past, well…let’s just say that he hasn’t put his sketchpad away yet.

So…in the interest of not writing this entire post in the 3rd person:

It happened to be about 4:00 am, when I made the discovery.  I woke up in the middle of the night, as I often do, and looked at my phone.  For some reason, I thought this would be the optimal time to check out his Facebook profile again.   As I scrolled down further than I had the first time, I saw the incriminating pictures.  You would have thought I was discovering information about a long-term boyfriend. I felt so betrayed and hurt, and started formulated how I would approach the subject with him. Surely, I was owed an explanation.  That’s 4:00 am logic for you.  Well, it’s my logic no matter what the time of day, given the right circumstances.

By the time I woke up for real the next morning, I felt a lot less upset.  This usually happens.  Sleep is one of the best HSP medicines I’ve found so far.  I was disappointed, but not in the same way.  I decided that I need not even seek out an explanation.  It was clear: he had lied to me.  So, no matter what excuse he offered, he was not the kind of guy I need in my life.

Later that day, or maybe a couple of days later, I peeked in on his Facebook page again.  He had posted a couple of statuses about being all alone, looking for someone to share life with; looking for someone who won’t leave him.  Heart.  Melted.

“I want to share my life with you, Wounded Puppy Man!!  I will never leave you!  I will help you through all of your emotional woundedness!”  Rest assured: that was an internal dialogue only.

This sent me into a melancholy tailspin.  I just wanted to rush to him and take care of him and love him.  Of course, once my emotions went there, there was no coming back.  Fortunately, I was at work, so I had some sort of distraction.

Later that same day, he sent me a message out of the blue.  I talk about that here.

We have not had anymore contact since that evening.  I have looked at his page a few times, but I have no hopes at this point.

The thing that is so confusing is that he was so sincere in expressing his faith.  And we did have an amazing conversation, as I speak of in Part 1 of this saga.  Also, we had talked at great length about our past experiences.  I told him about a period of time during which I was egregiously lied to – by another Wounded Puppy, no less.  So much for the HSP’s ability to practically read other people’s minds and discern whether or not they are being sincere…

So, what are my takeaways from this silly, yet disappointing, waste of time and emotional energy?  We’ll get to that next time.

Let the (HSP) Buyer Beware: HSPs and “Wounded Puppy” men (Part 1 of ?)

I acknowledge that there are men with the Highly Sensitive Personality trait, but as an HSP woman, I’m going from that point of view.  However…if an HSP man stumbles upon this blog, I would be very interested in his point of view.

I’ve had my fair share of disappointments in the relationship department; and being determined to honor God in my dating choices and behaviors has greatly limited my options.  Of course, that’s a very small price to pay when it comes to being obedient to my Lord and Savior.

Because of some recent heartaches, I decided to make a list of things I need to know before becoming too interested in a man.  To be clear, things like salary, car make and model, or education are not on the list.  It’s more a list of questions I need to be able to answer about him and his faith, situations I need to observe him in, and how to behave and how not to behave while waiting to gather all of my information.

Here’s one of the biggies.  Well, they’re all big, but this one is most relevant right now:

Observe where unresolved issues may lie.  What is he doing to resolve them?  Are they issues that will get in the way of a healthy relationship? 

The Lord has been so faithful to have brought so many of my own issues to my consciousness in recent years, and has given me the heart to work on them.  Surely, I’m not done, but I’m taking steps to keep moving forward.  So, how wise would it be for me to become involved with someone who isn’t doing that same thing?  Anyone?  Yeah.  Didn’t think so.

Anyway, I recently met a guy who is about my age, a Christian and single.  I knew he had noticed me, so I was curious to get a chance to meet him.  When we did meet, we had a great conversation.  We agreed on several points about our faith.  That’s so rare, because I’m quite conservative with my beliefs.

He told me about his past.  He talked about jail, drugs, alcohol, told me about major fights…  But it was clear that all of that was in his past.

We had such a nice time talking that evening.  Ultimately, he asked me to see him again the next day.  That evening, I floated home in an HSP-induced haze of premature, blind love.  Then, I slept for a full two hours, waking up 7 hours before I was scheduled to meet him again.

Guess what I did for all that time?  I lay, alternately, on my bed and my sofa with my stomach tied in awful knots.  My brain knew that there was nothing about which I needed to be that anxious; but my body was hearing none of it.

The visit was mediocre, compared to the previous evening.  So, I left feeling sad and defeated, overthinking all the way…

During that visit, we did add each other on Facebook. Here is a good time to mention another item on my list:

If available, have a look at his Facebook, Instagram, etc.  What kinds of statuses, pics, jokes does he post?  Does he have lots of “hot girls” on his friend list and/or in his pictures? 

A couple of days later, I decided to follow my own rule; I decided to give his Facebook profile more than a cursory glance.  I’m so glad that I did!!  Closer “inspection” revealed a series of pictures and status updates that proved that he wasn’t really past his past..

This new information left me crushed.  I wish I could say that I just abandoned all notions of him right then and there.