I know this is post is a little off base from a usual Mamavation Monday, but sometimes you have to get some things out of the way before you can get your focus back where it needs to be.
This has been a particularly difficult week for me. I have never walked through grief before, and to walk through it with my eyes wide open is not a natural thing. I have literally lost count of my losses over the past 6 months or so, but there is one that has been particularly demanding of my emotional energy.
Just shy of 15 years of friendship, one of my friends got to the end of her rope with me and said goodbye. There are few people in my life more precious than my girlfriends, and those people live inside the walls of my home. I was left speechless, and opted to stay quiet through the past three months of heartache. This week was her eldest daughter’s birthday. She is the first born of my “nieces and nephews,” and since I was there to witness her birth, I knew this was going to be a difficult time. I think it helped me finally realize that since this is my therapy and this is the place I get real with myself, it was time to let it all out.
My whole life, my biggest fear is that everyone I love would find out who I really am and find me unlovable. Death is a horrible thing to endure for those who are left behind to grieve, but losing someone who chose to leave is a totally different creature. I have had very important people leave me before, but I have always found a way to stuff in down, deny the pain, or ignore the sick feeling in my stomach. It is because I experienced loss at such a young age that I have never been dumped by a love; I became really good at knowing when the risk was too great, when I needed to leave before I was left again.
At the ripe age of 34, I experienced the greatest heartache of my adult life, and a heartache that mirrors another major loss I experienced in my early teens. I have been nearly crippled for 3 months now, but I am not going to be anymore. I have been obsessed by this person choosing to leave me three months ago, but I finally realized that what I am mourning has been gone for a really, really long time. There is no getting it back, there are no games I can play with myself to make what isn’t there appear, and there is no way to avoid mourning these losses. I have to walk through the fire, go through the stages to say goodbye while honoring the love that was once there.
I am, more than likely, going to have to face the people who have “gone” again, and I have to come to a place in the healing process where I can realize that the person I see is not the person I remember. I have to find a way to stop looking for her in places that I used to find her, and I have to stop needing her the way I once did. I have to find a way to trust that the people who I love actually do love me back, and I have to allow those people back in. Shutting out my favorite people makes my world a pretty lonely place, but for months I have chosen lonely over being out in the scary open. I love my online friends, and have leaned heavily upon them lately, but I need to allow myself to let the real folks in too. I will get hurt again, this is a certainty! My only option is to put myself out there for all of the wonderful that comes in between those heartaches.
October 24, 2011 @ 6:35 am
Oh sweetie! I’m at a loss for words. I just want to hug you tight. Is hard to have friendships dissolve & this sounds so completely devastating. You are so brave putting yourself out there. You totally deserve big pats on the back in this process.
Sara at Saving For Someday
October 24, 2011 @ 7:54 am
Stopping by from Mamavation. I’m sorry you’ve had this experience. I, too, have had people choose to end a long friendship. It really hurts, especially when we’re left wondering why. Sometimes, we know why but we’re not willing to become the person someone else wants us to be so they can be happy. Our girlfriends leaving often hurts more than breaking up with a boyfriend. I realized, though, that sometimes we’ve given all we can and yet they still want more. Like the lemon that only has so much juice, no amount of squeezing or squishing or smashing or mutilating will make it yield more than it has. Friendships are like that too.
Take a deep breath, wish the person well and move forward.
October 24, 2011 @ 12:08 pm
Great big hugs. Losing once close friends is never easy to go through. You are very brave and strong for putting it out there and choosing to move forward. Keep your head up and stay strong this week.
October 24, 2011 @ 2:10 pm
Huge hugs, thoughts, and prayers your way. I can only imagine how difficult it was to even come here to put it all out in the open. You are so strong, I hope letting those that love you back in is an easy process Remember, you are not alone.
October 25, 2011 @ 2:45 pm
Honestly, the biggest struggles I have have had in my adult life have been over situations like this. It is harder than death in some ways, we have no rituals or community support or ways to acknowledge it. You revisit and struggle with it over and over and over and over. It makes you question so much, it makes you so angry, it is so disorienting. I have two of these, and I get so angry sometimes at the psychic space these dead friendships take up, space that should be used for other real, ongoing, positive relationships. But I am still railing against the injustice in both cases. And the fact that they are out there still living their lives and hanging with their friends (and in one case plastering it all over Facebook) makes my anger and sadness erupt again and again. Like a death, you can feel you have moved beyond it and then be pulled back. Be gentle with yourself. This is not easy and I’m sorry to say, doesn’t get easier very fast. But do an accounting. Find some other people out there who maybe hang back a bit that you can pull in to replace this loss. Some paths just don’t go on in tandem forever. But it is so so hard. xoxo
Becky Cooper (@fabbecky)
October 26, 2011 @ 5:48 pm
The way some people choose to end relationships like this can be like a death or a divorce. It is hard to move on, especially if you don’t know why it happened. I can offer hugs and a shoulder, since I have been there too.