Just as I was entering Starbucks, former friend X greeted me on his way out. He's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I really thought/hoped that he would be in India permanently, and perhaps contract some disease and die prematurely.
It was a momentary shock, but I just said hi and kept walking. In a sense, I'm glad I know that he's around. My pledge to myself is that I will not let curiosity motivate me to reach out to him, to learn why he left India (where I assume he was for some time), where he's living now, etc. That's because, no matter where he is, he is--as far as I'm concerned--trouble with a capital T.
It's uncomfortable for me here. It really sucks. Just yesterday afternoon I was walking in the sterile new development in my neighborhood. I don't know whether it was because of the wind or because of sadness, but I was practically in tears walking down the street. But I'll gladly have my tears over being played by some piece of shit, because I've been played as much as I'm going to be played in this life. And if anybody wants to yank my chain, they can get a taste of just how cruel I'm prepared to be in order to protect myself.
I know, from previous experience, that there environments in which I have had friends and allies. I know I'm capable of that. I'm just not as capable of that here as I have been in other environments. Unfortunately, it looks as if I'm probably going to be here for the long haul. Put another way, this environment forces me to focus on other things besides trying to establish a comfortable social environment.
During the time my mother was sick (and eventually, dying) I was particularly vulnerable to being played because--as I now see it--in order to be receptive to love, attention, whatever from her, I also had to be subjected to manipulation and--in some respects--to emotional and psychological abuse as well. As a result, I've had a difficult time telling the difference between love and manipulation.
Well, if I had had a respite from that kind of thing for several years prior to my coming here, I certainly learned within the last 10 years where that lack of discernment can lead.
I'm learning that there are times to be open and receptive, and there are times to be tough as fucking nails.
Om Kreem Kalyai Namaha,