This post is going to be 100% personal and not at all health/fitness related. Feel free to scroll on by. I’m about to drop some feels up in here.
I got a very sweet Mother’s Day card in the mail today from my former best friend. It was such a lovely gesture, but it just has me a little baffled. Let me break down our history for you.
L and I were best friends for almost 10 years. We saw each other 3-4 times a week and talked on the phone almost everyday. When she had brain surgery, I sat in the waiting room with her parents for hours. She counseled me through several broken hearts and a few bouts of depression. I stood next to her on her wedding day when she married the love of her life.
Then her dad died from cancer and her world stopped. She retreated. She stopped hanging out with her friends. She stopped returning calls. She became distant and unavailable. For a year and a half I called her almost daily. She never wanted to go out anymore. She barely wanted to talk. I felt abandoned. I realize now that that was probably a selfish reaction, but I desperately missed my friend.
I told her that I felt rejected. That I felt like she no longer wanted to be my friend. I left the ball in her court and I stopped calling. We had many mutual friends, they all stopped calling me at the same time. I went from having a core group of wonderful, supportive friends, to being completely alone. I heard through the rumor mill that I had done something to destroy the friendship, but no one would tell me what it was. They made it clear that she hated me and never wanted to see me again. To this day, I don’t know why she was so angry. I was too afraid to ask years later.
I spent a lot of time grieving the loss of this important relationship. Years in fact. I reached out a few times only to be ignored.
Shortly after I got engaged, I sent her a message on FB, I told her that I was getting married. I apologized for any hurt I had caused her and I told her that I had never stopped caring about her. Her response was vicious. I was devastated. I did not respond. I closed the door permanently on the relationship and moved on.
Fast forward to a year later. The week before my wedding she sent me another message. She apologized for the hurtful words in her previous message and wished me well. That message opened a dialog that has continued for the past 2.5 years.
We have shared our struggles and triumphs. She gave birth to a little boy 3 weeks before me. I supported her when her mom passed away a few weeks after that. She gave the biggest donation to LLS when I was fundraising for Chicago. We have so much in common. I often read her messages and then say out loud, “Why aren’t we friends?”
But we have not seen each other in person in 7 years. Neither one of us seems willing to suggest an in person meeting. I pushed for that in the beginning, but she was reluctant to comply. And then today I get this card in the mail. And it makes me happy and sad all at the same time. I want to meet for coffee. I want our boys to be friends, but moving forward would mean facing the ghosts of the past. Clearly neither of us wants to do that.
You’re probably wondering why I am making such a big deal out of this. The end of this friendship changed the course of my life. It made me very distrustful of other people. I have never opened myself up to a friend in the same way again. I always hold pieces of myself back. For that reason, none of my friendships have been as deep or enduring in the last 7 years. At times the loneliness has been overwhelming. I love my husband, my sometimes you just need to talk to a woman.
The more we reveal and share in our messages the more the spark of hope is kindled. The spark scares me. The hotter it burns, the more likely I will get burned.