People who know me or know OF me are always surprised when I tell them I am very socially awkward. Being social takes a whole lot of bravery and constant mental pep talks. For a very long time I was content just working, being a wife, going to school and then one day it included being a mom. I did what I had to do to just exist socially.
We all risk tremendous heartache when we let someone else into our heart. I learned that shortly after high school when the first person I let into my heart betrayed me the night he raped me. For years I was content having just a handful of people in my life. Until I met the person that I cautiously began calling my best friend.
.we risk changing ourselves when we let people into our hearts. We stand and we make bold choices to help those we love hoping the end result is worth the risk. Eventually, the bars we created to hold our heart prisoner open up and let someone into the cage to visit. The love one can have for a friend can be every bit as powerful as the love you can have for a spouse. You become one in the sense that you know all each other’s secrets and you learn to know how someone will respond and what decisions they will make. It takes time for these types of friendships to form, years even.
Through the years you get in trouble together, you laugh at inappropriate times together, you dance without a care together, you support each other’s endeavors, you get sick together, you make sure the other is safe, you go out of your way to help when your help is asked for, you listen, you…
I am a loyal person. I love my husband and picture us old and grey taking old people strolls hand in hand. That keeps me going through all the bad moments. I know friendships come and go but there is that one friend you hope you can bring through time with you. Share not only your young years but your old years too. The friend you hope will be there if you are left all alone will ask you to an occasional movie or concert, someone who will let you be stupid, make mistakes, always be honest, care when you are hurt. I could put any one of a million quotes about what true friendship is but the truth is I haven’t found it yet if all the quotes are right. Do real friendships really last? I’ve heard stories and I hoped they were true.
Unfortunately, people get tired of each other, begin to expect too much of each other. Like marriage there is a honeymoon period and in friendship I think the same exists. In the beginning you do everything together, stand up for each other, text all day, and call often. Things happen and people change and then you can barely say one nice thing. There is blame, there is defensiveness, and there is frustration and denial. Apologies stop having any meaning. If I were to give myself advice it would be to think before being so openly honest about feelings and emotion. Communication of feelings isn’t meant to change a person but to make someone aware to do with as they choose. Simple validation that a thought and feeling mean something. This is something I will learn to do better with all of my friends.
I have said it before and I will say it again. Love is horribly gut wrenching. It creates scars that sometimes take years to heal. Love is not always a beautiful love story…many times it is ugly. Sometimes if you truly love someone you will say goodbye…set them free…and you do this because you know that happiness is all you want for them. Saying goodbye isn’t giving up it’s moving forward. You never know what the future holds but for now it is painful……for now I will store all the good memories in one of the rooms within. Eventually, from even the most barren ground life can spring forth and I have hope and a certain amount of confidence that by putting the old in the past a new friendship is only as far as the horizon!!
“Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism.”
–The Abolition of Man
This post deserved an update. I hadn’t read this again since I wrote it until now. I no longer see, hang out, or really even talk to this person but I still have so much love in my heart for him. Sometimes, life just changes course and events seem to take control and steer you in a different direction like you are a passenger along for the ride. For me, looking back, this is exactly what happened.
This was a beautiful friendship and it was a friendship that changed my life at a period of time when I felt like things had come to a dead end. I look back and I am still not sure how we became such good friends. He was 19 and I was 39. Nonetheless, we became friends. We were comfortable together and enjoyed doing the same things together. He brought energy to my life and I like to think (for awhile anyway) that I brought him stability. I was someone he could count on. Over time I knew I could count on him too…..something I wasn’t used to doing.
Over the course of several months things changed. Mostly things changed with me. My mind was fighting me, I was stressed, I was anxious. If I look back on the last year I can tell you that one day I woke up and my life was a mess, rather I was a mess. My life was perfect but my mind was not. I woke up and I had NO idea who I was. My husband and Ramey got to see me literally battle myself. I was a contradicting myself endlessly, I was blaming, I was so many things that took a toll on both of them. My husband didn’t have a clue what to do and for awhile Ramey tried so hard to try to help me figure out what was wrong.
What was wrong? I was spreading myself too thin. I was trying to fit too much into my life. I was trying to be too many places at once. I was trying to be everything to everyone and I snapped. I had two completely separate lives I was trying to cram into one. It wasn’t fair to my family who needed me when I wasn’t there and it wasn’t fair to Ramey who needed support I wasn’t able to provide because I was too worried about my family. So what happened….
Things fell apart….I tried SO hard to keep them together. I started getting bitter because I felt I was giving way more than I was getting. I started making up stuff in my head that may or may not have been true. I started pushing everyone at the way at the same time I was crying for help. I had finally fallen to the bottom of the barrel and I was looking death straight in the face and it looked like relief. Well, I write about all that in other blog posts but I realized the next day I needed to quit living the way I had been and start over from scratch.
Starting over from scratch meant. Saying goodbye to my routine and getting professional help. I did but I lost my best friend in the process. I think in our lack of civilized conversation we never gave ourselves a chance to work things out. He realized he was better off without the roller coaster ride I created and I was better off focusing on my family.
Today several months later I see the whole time differently. I see him as the person I cared about so much, a person who tries very hard to be the person he wants to be, a person with determination and a contagious energy. I see all this from afar now and that is ok. Maybe someday we will be able to have a face to face conversation again. Just not yet.