Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You've got a phone call baby

While I appreciate Fab's family calling often to check in with me and see how I'm doing, it's really starting to wear on me. Since they don't talk about what's happened amongst themselves at all (I don't understand how they could not - this is some good gossip, LOL!!), they all need to keep calling me separately to find out what's going on. Which means that I need to keep answering the same questions over and over again. It also means that just when I think I'm making some progress, I get dragged back into their family again. It hurts enough to think that I won't see them anymore, so every time they call, it's just one more reminder of what I've lost. But on the other hand, they're all being so nice to me, and I know they're just trying to help. Still. I can't wait until I'm out of Bretagne. I think I just need to make a clean break from all of this.

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Blogger Jennie said...

Ooh yeah that is annoying when people keep asking questions/talking about something that's obviously painful for you. I'm sure their intentions aren't bad though - they just want to know how you're doing - but still, it's better to leave well enough alone...

April 15, 2008 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger misschrisc said...

So glad to have found you here Sam. I love the idea of your staying and moving to the big city. This has happened to two other expat friends and both have stayed on in France because like you said its home over time. Now three and four years on things are going really well for them and they´ve really branched out. I bet the same thing will happen to you. You definitely need to surround yourself with friends. We´re moving to Paris this summer so hopefully we can finally meet up :)

As for the calls I´m sure they´re just shocked and sad about it. Maybe for your mental well being you should just not respond to their calls and text them that you are fine but you just need time to think.

April 15, 2008 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

I thought you were in England? Maybe you should set up a blog just for them. People have a way of causing more pain when they think they're helping.

April 15, 2008 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I would imagine that has to be rough. My parents love to constantly bring up my ex which I think sucks about the same. They care for you, so that is a good thing. Just hang in there and keep living your life.

April 15, 2008 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger purejuice said...

i'm with misschrisc on the phone calls.
consoling people for one's own bereavement is trap we don't need to fall into.

April 15, 2008 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Princesse Ecossaise said...

Since it was Fab who took the decision to end things and since it's Fab's family it really should be his responsibility to fill them in on what's going on. As if you don't have enough on your plate right now!

This reminds me of a story that goes a little something like this; my friend was driving one night in her home town when a car came whizzing around a corner on the wrong side of the road and collided with her car. There was a serious crash but despite her having broken ribs and being very shaken up about it, she lived. The driver of the other car didn't.

That driver turned out to be a boy she went to school with, they hung out with the same crowd. She had known his girlfriend pretty well at the time too.

While my friend tried to recover both mentally and physically from the crash in the weeks and months afterwards, the girlfriend of the deceased kept on phoning her. She, naturally, had her own grief and kept needing to hear the entire story over and over again. How it happened, why did it happen, what exactly went on. She needed to hear the story over and over and over, she needed to understand how this could have happened.

My friend was trying to deal with her own feelings of guilt, grief and confusion and going over the details of the crash time and again was not helping. She needed to get over it, to accept what had happened and to move on, she didn't want to have to keep going over each and every detail of the crash. It wasn't helping her. It was keeping her from moving on, hindering her. In the end she had to think of herself and asked the girlfriend to stop calling as she had her own grief to deal with and couldn't take anybody else's grief on too.

Ok, so it's really different from your situation, I know, but (and I know its difficult - they're French!) is there anyway you could explain to Fab's family that you'd rather not keep going over the same details as you have a lot on your mind right now and would like to take a step back from the Fabrice situation just to breath a little? Maybe you could tell Fab to tell his family whats going on instead of leaving it up to you. He shouldn't be pawning responsibility off on you anymore, he needs to step up man!

(Sorry if I'm sticking my nose in your biz, I'm not nosy, I just care!)

Good luck, I can't even begin to imagine how hard this has been for you but you are coping so well.

April 15, 2008 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Hi Sam,

I can totally relate to what your saying about making progress and then talking to his fam. and having to relive all each time... I am sure they are all just in shock and concerned and want to feel close to you/they don't realize it's difficult/painful for you to go over with each one every time they call. Maybe you can take the one you are feel the closest with and explain that while you sincerely appreciate everyone's care and concern... it's been hard for you to recount to each of them the same thing, that you are trying to get through it and you just need some time without thinking about it all the time... I think they would rather prefer to talk to you than Fab.. that's why they are calling you.. or maybe they call him, too.. Who knows... but at any rate... If you don't feel re-explaining each time to each of them is productive to you and your healing, please let them know so they don't do it.. Maybe you can talk to them about things non-related to this subject if they want to see what you are doing and if they want to tell you what's up with them, as well... Hugs, Leese

April 16, 2008 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Le Tigre in France said...

Would it be possible to screen their calls? Especially if different family members are calling, maybe you could just pick and choose which calls to take instead of taking all of them, it might be a better solution than cutting them out completley OR having to deal with their constant calls...

April 16, 2008 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Cold turkey is usually best. While it is Fab's responsibility to explain all this to his family, I don't think you should be the one to have to explain that to him--the less contact the better for your own mental health.
I also don't think you have to explain anything to his family--but then, this is coming from a very non-confrontational girl. Personally, I would just screen my calls and not answer his family as long as it makes me uncomfortable. You could text that you're fine, but I think a little distance would be way healthier for you and for them right now. The first time you don't pick up the call, they will turn to Fab and that will be that--all without getting yourself involved with him or them or telling anyone what to do. It's not your job to educate them--it's your job to care for and protect yourself. It's your job to heal. And, like I said, cold turkey is the fastest route to healing.
I was deeply involved in my ex's family--as a student in France, I actually lived with them for a few years and I loved them dearly. When we broke up, I did not talk to him at all for a year--I also did not speak with his family, though they did write me and attempt to contact me. It hurt, because we were so close, but eventually there was enough space and healing to re-establish an (albeit different) relationship with them. We now keep in touch, and nothing was lost--but I needed time and distance to move on as quickly as possible. The other route is just absolute torture and it only prolongs the heartache.

April 17, 2008 at 7:56 PM  

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