This is a “real-me” post. The sort of post I’d actually like to write more of, but then worry about what people will think…especially those who know me ‘in real life’ (even though very few people who know me actually read my blog!). I wrote this a few days ago, because I just needed to say some things, lay them out on paper I guess. It helps me process, writing stuff down. And I’m not saying that what I’ve said is right, I know that it isn’t like that, I know that every person works through things in life differently, that we all come to relationships with our own ‘hang ups,’ myself included. It’s not about what has happened, but rather HOW I FEEL, regardless of whether it is deserved, valid, or otherwise. This is not about ‘pointing blame.’ It’s about me saying to someone, anyone, how I really feel just now, because it feels in many ways like I haven’t been able to do that. So here goes:
I feel like a discarded rag doll, lying in a bedraggled pile in the corner, usurped by the newer, the better, the more convenient.
I am last-years news and it hurts. It really hurts.
And I find myself wondering, what did I do wrong? Was it me? IS it me? Am I imagining things, over-reacting to what might be innocent forgetfulness, innocent diversion? Or is it really how it feels, that somehow I’m too much effort, not worth the work? That the “I’m too busy” is in actual fact just a really good excuse to avoid me and my friendship.
Is it my fault that friendship seems to have broken down? Did I not see, am I so poor a communicator that people really, honestly don’t want to be around me? Or was it just a poor fit all along and I was so hopeful of a good friendship that I ‘looked the other way’ to the flaws in our relationship? I just wonder. I know there’s always more too it than one thing, or even one person. After all, it takes two people to make a friendship. I was involved. I still am, so my decisions have played a part in all this. But what do you do when your friends seem to decide that you are surplus to requirements? What do you say? Or not say?
And what do I say to my son? My son who asks to play with his friends, who he loves spending time with. My son, who doesn’t understand that his friends can’t see us this week because their mum’s don’t want to see his mum. Or something like that. They are too busy.
But how can we honestly be too busy to spend thirty minutes with a good friend? Really? Truly? I just don’t understand that. I am busy. I don’t know many people who actually ARE as busy as I am, but I still prioritise spending time with family and friends. So I don’t get why others could be so busy that they don’t have time for even a few minutes with me, even those who don’t need people contact as much as me, surely catching up every few weeks isn’t such a terrible hope on my part? And don’t they realise that if they genuinely need to do a project at home, I’d probably be really happy to help out while we chat for an hour?
I find myself wondering, do I give too much? Did I want a level of friendship that simply wasn’t on offer? Have I given too much of myself to my friends? It feels like it’s been thrown back at me, unwanted. Discarded just like rag-doll me.
It hurts. A lot. And in all honesty, I am sick of being (or at least of trying) to be gracious. It feels like I’ve spent my life trying to be gracious and understanding of others, that I’m frequently the one who goes out of their way to help, to forgive, to repair, to build a relationship. And I’m over it. But if I give up, where does that leave me now? Friendless?
I actually need people. I am a social person. My son is a social person. Spending time just by ourselves all week doesn’t really work well for us. We have gotten used to it. We’ve had to in recent weeks. And I can do sewing or baking or gardening, no problem. I can ‘fill’ the time. But what about my boy? In the meantime he’s wandering around looking for something to do, someone to talk to. That or watching yet another episode of Thomas. And of course, while doing things certainly fills time, it doesn’t use much of my words at all. A day at home is lovely. I enjoy that. But more than one leaves me feeling house-bound and lonely. I crave meaningful relationships. Do other people not crave this, or not to the same level?
I’m trying to talk with God through this. Not exactly sure what I’m meant to make of it. Is he trying to separate me? To isolate me because there are things he wants to say that other people will get in the way of? Or is it that there are things going on in my friends lives that they need to work through on their own? How long am I meant to wait? Is it over? Or will we one day feel like friends again? And ultimately is the friendship worth waiting for, or should I let it go and move on?
I’ve made some progress in the last few days, realised that some of my current relationship issues are actually a repeat of past cycles. Have you ever felt like you seem to come up with the same issues your whole life through? I do. And that even though you work through them each time, forgive, learn some new things, etc, that somehow you still seem to come back to a similar situation (different time, different place, different people, but with echoes of that former thing that hurt you so badly)? Yup, that would be me. I have an area of friendship that seems to repeat. Not often, but when it does, it really hurts. It’s like a wound that never fully heals. Someone wise suggested this week that it’s to do with forgiveness. But not directly. Which would explain why even when you think you’ve forgiven, and choose to forgive every time a hurt comes to the front of your mind again, it doesn’t seem to stop you going through another similar situation. The way they put it is that we make judgments when we are offended. Judgments about the other party, and about ourselves. And that these judgments then hover around our lives, allowing a cycle to repeat over and over, around the same hurt, the same sore spot in our lives. It’s part of the laws of sowing and reaping. We sowed seed into our lives, and therefore we reap (with the measure you judge, so too shall you be judged). I can’t really explain it well, but it makes sense, especially when it was explained that often it is when we are really young that we first make judgments. So the theory is that while I can forgive those who hurt me now, I still also need to allow God to show me deeper, back into the past, to the first time I was hurt in this way. Then I can repent of the judgments I made (as well as forgiving), and hopefully be free of the cycle of that hurt in my life. I’m working through it, and I really hope it will help.
Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t think so deeply, care so much. Sometimes I really wish I could just brush things off. I do try to. But I don’t usually succeed all that well. Melancholic equals highly sensitive. It still takes me a whole lot of soul searching, working through every angle, every possible reason/outcome/nuance even, before I am ready to move on. Drives my husband nuts, I’m sure. Probably drives God nuts too! But then he did make me, so he knows. And while I do this in-depth processing, I do find little nuggets of truth, little things I’ve learned in the process, little bits of wisdom. I guess that’s a good thing, isn’t it?