The “Religion Won’t Save Him” Edition

Listen to this episode

S1: You produce your prudence here, prudence. If it is your proof here, prove these things that I should contact him again. Help, help. Thank you. Thank you.

S2: Hello and welcome to another mini episode of Dear Prudence. I’m your host, Danny M. Lavery, and the show is for you are plus subscribers. Our guest this week is Lane Moore, the creator of the hit show. Our guest this week is Lane Moore, the creator of the hit comedy show Tender Life, where she swipes through Tinder profiles onstage, where she swipes to. Where she swipes through Tinder profiles on stage in front of a live audience. Moore is also the author of the bestselling book How to be Alone. If you want to and even if you don’t and the front person in the band, it was romance. And now he’s our first letter.

S3: Oh, I’m so excited that I get to read this idea. There’s others. Again, there’s a lot and there’s also some stuff that I left in here that I felt like was important because it gives us some insight into the letter writer state of mind, which is exhausted and and way out of proportion. Totally. No one in this situation is good at this. I shouldn’t get exhausting both. What I mean, it’s one of those things we like. Yes. I get why you were frustrated to begin with. But my God, you have no perspective. Yeah, throw perspective away until it’s no longer visible. Well, and it’s like it’s just sounds like emotions are emotions are running hot and maybe I could change the subject to be emotions are running high. Yeah. All right. Here we go. The subject lease and friendship are up. Dear Prudence, I am gay at the end of my breakup. My old friend Ryan liggy. It sounds like I’m gay, like I’m exhausted. Who’s that? Well, who exactly? My old friend Ryan asked me to take over the lease from his roommate, who agreed because I have known Ryan for five years. I am not officially on the lease. That’s your problem? Yep.

S4: OK. A month in. Ryan started dating Caitlin. She and I didn’t get along because I wasn’t sleeping with her, so I didn’t care about what gobbledy gook came out of her mouth. It’s a lot ways that I offended Caitlin, refusing to let her have a spare key, refusing to let her eat my groceries, refusing to let her and her friends spent hours in the apartment without Ryan refusing to give up my Disney +0 favorite light. That was not my favorite line. And lurking in the lake, none of you should watch her dessert bar. This is my and everyone. Like, yeah, I just love that. I just love the Disney plus it because it’s so topical. I’ll never let you watch motocross on my dime. All right. Ryan works a lot. Caitlin doesn’t work, but feels entitled to the fruits of other people’s labor. She stole my homemade labled brownies. The majority of the common area staff couch TV, all the cookware, etc. are mine. My pictures are on the wall. Caitlin decided that she hated them and wanted to put up her, quote, art. I said no. She flipped her hair and told me she would tell Ryan. I told her she doesn’t live here and my stuff isn’t moving. Caitlin through my posters into the dumpster and put up her stuff. I came home from work and freaked out. Ryan swore he didn’t know. I told them I need to leave. I have other options for housing, but felt disloyal for bailing on Ryan since he can’t keep up rent by himself. But frankly, those posters were the canary in the coal mine. One was a gift from high school, from a dead best friend. If I see Caitlin again, I might rip out her extensions by the roots. Ryan will not break up with her, but feels I am, quote, threatening him unless he does so. I don’t want to screw him over, but I’m sick of this girl told Ryan I would cover until the end of the month as all the drama happened over the holidays. I’m staying with friends and plan to move the majority of my stuff by next week. Ryan keeps texting me that he thought we were friends. Help.

S5: I.

S4: Yeah. Yeah. It feels very arbitrary to think about where to start. Yeah. So I’ll just start.

S6: Like earlier, which is like we didn’t get along because I wasn’t sleeping with her. So I don’t care what bullshit she says like. Yeah, I think you know that that’s both sexist and cruel. Totally. That was exactly how that read to me. Like I hate the you could have absolutely said we didn’t get along immediately. We didn’t like each other. And Ryan is highly conflict avoidant with both of us, which only made it worse. Right. That’s all totally appropriate. You have absolutely legitimate complaints here about the way as CAITLYN. Yeah. You. But saying like, because I’m not fucking her, I’m not willing to pretend she’s a worthwhile human. Right. Exactly. Which is a gross way to talk about women. Yes. Even if you’re gay, it doesn’t like exempt, you know, misogyny. And there’s also so much of that already within gay men where it’s like where there’s just there’s like it’s a sneakier misogyny because it’s like, oh, I’m I don’t hate women cause I’m gay. And it’s like, actually, there are a lot of gay men who have a lot of problematic views on women. This is a good example. Unfortunately, there’s just like misogyny is in the air. It’s just there’s not a category of person that’s automatically exempt from it.

S7: No. And it’s not good to kind of delight in it, which was the read I got from this letter, which is kind of like this makes me kind of fun and an interesting and maybe a little dangerous. The way in which I like don’t respect this woman.

S3: And it’s just again, CAITLYN sounds I was going to get a good guy. She’s a legitimate jerk. We’re with you. So, like, don’t cede the moral high ground when you don’t have to know. So that’s number one. Number two is your problem is Ryan, man? Yeah, your problem is Ryan, who sounds like the most spineless motherfucker on like at least Caitlin seems alive. Yeah. I mean, this is a guy, Maggie, the cat is alive situation. Ryan’s there. Ryan’s just like, hey, move in. You’re not on the lease, but I do need you to make rent. So like you are running a risk because I could kick you out at any time, but I’m not willing to like put in writing the things that we owe one another. I’m just going to like leave the house all the time and not set appropriate boundaries with either you or my girlfriends of the two of you, just fight when I’m not around. Yeah, but like, don’t get me involved with your personal drama. I’m just trying to, like, work a lot. Man Yeah.

S6: And then also don’t move out because I can’t afford to not live with you. But I’m not going to live with Caitlin either. And I’m not going to put either of you on the lease like this man.

S3: Right. Essentially like mistreating the both of you and you’re taking it out on this feels actually like a very classic like totally like gay man. And the woman here should be in alliance again. Yeah, he’s the enemy here. So, Drew, he is the one creating the majority of your problems. You don’t have to like one another, but you have more in common with each other than you do with. Oh, really? Yes. So in terms of what do you do? Definitely don’t respond to Ryan’s like shitty, manipulative look. Hey, I thought we were friends because none of this is friendship to me. This isn’t a real friendship. Read. Yeah. You’re not bailing on Ryan. Ryan created an untenable living situation, took no responsibility for the fact that he created it, and then acted surprised when it didn’t work out.

S8: And it also like it really hit a fever pitch for me when like. All right, you guys are going to fight whatever, but like if somebody came into if some if a woman I was fighting with came in and like threw away my things. Yeah, like that’s the point where, like he has to get involved. Well, he has to reimburse you for them or whatever. I know some of these were things he couldn’t reimburse. But like it’s his obligation to get involved in this. I can’t just. I understand. Not getting involved in like a girlfriend. I mean don’t get along fine. I get like.

S9: But then you have a real conversation with both your roommate and your girlfriend and say, like, we need to figure out what a reasonable like visitation hours and like. Right. Time spent together in common areas and just like rules, if we’re gonna share a space, even if one of these people isn’t officially paying rent. Like, totally. You know, he. He owed you all that conversation. And again, like, there has to be something.

S10: But it was like I mean, I’ve had a lot of crappy roommates and it was like I guess like I guess what I was saying is like, you’re absolutely right.

S8: I think it’s just that, like, I’ve been beaten down by how many horrible roommates I had where I was just like f I could understand, like, crap, you’re McRobbie roommate, but like the line that is crossed when that person throws away your things is like, I came here like Brian won’t break up with her over it, but it doesn’t even sound like he had a conversation with her about it.

S9: Like who’s going to say like, hey, you need to not do that? So our conversation with you about it, like it’s just it sounds like this woman’s allowed to do whatever she wants. Yes. You can’t move out because he needs you financially. Yeah. Again, none of this is friends, not your problem. And so move out. Take your stuff with you.

S3: Tell Ryan that you are not interested in the kind of friendship that he has to offer. He did not treat you well or with respect. Make sure you never have to see CAITLYN again, because don’t rip out her hair like that. Don’t commit violence. No, no. I would not be good for you. That would not be good for anyone. It would not bring your old stuff back. So if what you need is to never be in the same room with her, make sure you never are. Yeah.

S11: And then just, you know, learn from this. Seek out living situations where there is a lease agreement that you have to sign and commit to. Yeah. You know, figure out ways to.

S3: Resolve conflict when it’s like you took some of my brownies and I’m frustrated before you get to like I’m going to rip out your hair levels by the roots and like you, because you cannot always control how reasonably other people behave. You know you know, you can’t use that as an excuse for.

S9: Well, I reserve the right to, like, go nuclear if somebody else is really unreasonable. You have to have a standard you can hold yourself to regardless of how unreasonably other people act. And like a.. I get it again. I’ve had really terrible roommates and like I get it is the hardest thing to have somebody who is in your home. Right. Like it’s the worst form of conflict. It really is. And to realize, like the person you thought of is not the problem because they’re low conflict and quiet like right now is, in fact, the person who’s creating the problem and who’s willing to let you all exhaust yourselves dealing with the mess. He totally. Yeah, I know. I’ve I’ve experienced that where it was like somebody who just like doesn’t want to doesn’t want to.

S6: Oh, I don’t want I don’t want to get in the middle of it. Yeah. Like that’s still a little heavy. You are the middle of it because you have brought a problematic person into somebodies life who’s like causing them pain.

S9: I’ve experienced this more times than I wanted, which is like twice and that’s way more than I wanted. But I. Yeah. Yeah. Any problem is absolutely him, even though you want to be like. But he’s not the one who’s hurting, you know. Yes, he is. Yeah. So it’s. Yeah. It’s not always the person who’s the most visibly awful who’s the real problem. So I also feel like I was very hard on you. Letter writer.

S3: I do still think that the way that you’re talking about CAITLYN here is misogynistic and not okay. Yeah, but I don’t want to make it sound like you created this situation. Caitlin’s a good person and you’re a monster. Really? No, Hato. I mean, I just think you need to re-evaluate the way that you go to that place in anger.

S9: And also sometimes, I mean, this is just absolutely a things. Sometimes when you have a conflict with somebody, you realize like your internalized misogyny or internalized racism, you’re internalized homophobia because like that’s what you that’s where you go. That’s a very human thing. But yeah, but this can be an opportunity to be like, oh, shit, I have some stuff to work on and I can chip away at my misogyny like opportunities like that when they come up and you’re like, oh, I have some hatred in me for this, how can I read it? And that’s sort of like lateral. I don’t necessarily always want to use the word violence when I’m talking about conflict, but that kind of like lateral like resentment or hate like from gay men towards women or from like straight women towards gay men is like it’s. It can maybe feel personally satisfying because that person feels like a safer target. But that kind of lashing out doesn’t actually help build like meaningful connections or solidarity or even result in like greater personal peace, which I want for everyone. Even if you like fuck solidarity. I just want to be left alone.

S3: Yeah. Hey. So anyways, good luck. Also, like given your Disney plus account didn’t need more money. Jesus Christ. Like seriously have the decency to pirate from there on YouTube. Yes. Steal. Steal from them.

S12: Which, by the way, will be my advice later from one of the other. Excited? Odiously. Oh, I was going advise this person to do illegal stuff, you know. It’s so weird.

S4: OK. Sorry. Last one. I think we kind of went from like kind of lighter problems into Myanmar, heavier ones. And so we’re just ending with one that’s complicated.

S2: And I think it’s my turn to read this. The subject is how do I ignore this? Said. Dear Prudence. One of my brothers, Joe, has suffered from mental illness since his 20s, when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder. The first few years of his illness were really difficult. It culminated in our having to leave in the middle of the night because he was threatening to kill us in order to, quote, save us. Though this led to his committal and diagnosis, it was still a traumatic experience for me. I was 11 at the time afterword for many years. Joe wasn’t consistent about taking medication and his life has been very difficult as a result. A few years ago, he found religion, married a woman at his church and since then has managed to have a relatively stable life. However, he also sends me multiple emails, texts and Facebook messages every week about religion, and it mostly feels to me like another frenzied obsession. I don’t think it’s healthy and I worry that he’s not taking his medication. The rest of my family thinks his religion is a net positive. And since he’s maintaining a job in a relationship, that everything is fine. They also think that because I’m the only one who’s left the Catholic Church for no church, that I’m biased against religion and see it all as delusional. They want me to just politely ignore Joe’s messages. He’s an adult and I’ve certainly learned that no one can make him take his medication. But I’m also worried we’re just ignoring what’s going to blow up in our faces sooner or later. What’s the best way forward?

S7: So obviously, like it’s a wildly traumatic experience to have come from at eleven. You’re are allowed to have your own complicated feelings about the way that Joe’s behavior has affected you in your life, in your development, while also understanding that, like he has been ill and is now receiving some sort of treatment. So I think you have all of that pretty well in hand. It didn’t seem to me like you were either trying to blame him for his mental illnesses that he didn’t ask for. And you’re also not saying like, oh, I shouldn’t even be upset about things that affect me because he’s suffering from these mental illnesses. So I think holding both parts. Yeah. You seen it. You seem able to hold them in balance, which I think is good. I think without kind of going into whether or not he is currently compliant with his medication regimen, which you just don’t know. Lots of people are obsessively religious in a way that does not have anything to do with a mental illness or any kind of a diagnosis. So I’m not an often in recovery, too. Right. So a lot of people I would just say, like, you don’t even have to. I mean, obviously, I understand why you would worry about him, but basically, like all you have to do is say, like, Joe, I don’t want to receive multiple messages from you every week about religion if you’re not able to stop. I’ll have to block you. I’m letting you know this. I still care about you. But these are unwelcome. You’re entitled to say that. You’re allowed to say that. Please do. If he’s not able to stop harassing you about joining his religion, you block him joyfully and cheerfully. You have every right to. And if the rest, your family says you should have just ignored those messages. You can just say, like, I really decided I didn’t want to get them. Yeah. I don’t want to get. I don’t actually think that it’s appropriate for me to pretend he’s not sending me these messages every week and I’ve made a choice that I can live with. Yeah, I think so. I think that’s completely reasonable because that’s. It’s also that like your your your brain is going to the like, oh, what if this happens? And which is totally valid and understandable given the past.

S9: But you don’t know where this is going or where it’s coming from. That’s not a question that like you can answer. So the one way that you could maybe feel a little bit more empowered by this is taking action with the one thing that you know for sure, which is that you don’t want to receive his message. Yeah. Because I think that thing at the end about like I’m worried we’re just ignoring what’s going to blow up in our faces sooner letter later makes you worry that you think like, I can’t just say no more messages like this.

S7: I have to also say I think you must be off your medication. Right. And I just I think that would be taking it a step too far. Yeah. And you can just say, like this behavior is like inappropriate. And it makes me not want to talk to you. So, yeah, I hope you stop doing it. Yeah. But beyond that, it’s just speculation that that’s not going to help, really. And especially since the two of you aren’t super close. Yeah, I think you can just you kind of have to say either his wife and his close friends and his close family members will be able to evaluate when and if he’s like having some sort of a break and needs more help than he’s getting. Or someone else will be there for that. But all I can do is address the behavior that’s affecting me. And I don’t yet have information that would lead me to believe he’s definitively not taking his medication. So you tell me going to block him and then block him if you have to let your family know if they disagree, like, you know, feel free to read his messages then, but. Right. Yeah. Yeah. It’s hard. It’s hard, I think. And it’s hard to figure out how can I be compassionate? How can I set boundaries for myself? And then someone’s how do I not get carried away with setting boundaries so that I go all the way into. Here’s what I bet you’re doing. Saying that you need to stop. So which I under I understand it’s it’s very reasonable, especially at someone that you’ve been. Well, especially when I have been violating your boundaries. So it kind of feels like, well, maybe I should get a little fuckin up in your business, too. Right. But, you know, as as I think we saw earlier with that like lease and friendship, NDAA is like somebody else’s unreasonable behavior. If you take that as justification to act unreasonably yourself, it goes very badly, right?

S6: Everyone’s been and no one’s helped. Like nobody ever feels better after that. Yeah, except for maybe the Ryans of the world. Yeah, that’s true. Not right now. Just try and chill and watch some Disney pull the Disney floors.

S13: That’s aremany episode of Dear Prudence for this week. Our producer is Phil Circus. Our theme music was composed by Robin Hilton. As always, if you want me to answer your question, call me and leave a message at 4 0 1 3 7 1, dear. That’s 3 3 2 7. And you might hear your answer on an episode of the show.

S7: You don’t have to use your real name or location, and at your request we can even alter the sound of your voice. Keep it short. 30 seconds a minute, tops. Thanks for listening.

S14: Well.