Saturday, August 10, 2013

Friendship is Difficult Sometimes

Being my friend isn't easy. I understand. Really, I do. I also understand that being my family isn't easy either; but, they don't have any choice in the matter. They automatically get the pleasure of hearing my chronic tales of woe. It's what family is expected to do for each other. Friends, however, are a different story. It's a give and take. When one friend is down the other does what they can to lift them back up and vice versa. I would like to believe that I bring enough positive things to the table to make up for the negatives that I know come with being my friend. 

Being my friend means that you have to understand if I cancel at the last minute because my health has taken a nose dive. It also means that I forget things, lots of things. I forget if I am supposed to bring something with me when I meet you for dinner. It could mean that I forget we even have dinner scheduled. My friends have to remind me of all sorts of things, frequently. I have been known to leave during a movie that was making me violently nauseous. I've had an 'episode' in the middle of dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and I wasn't able to eat a bite of my very expensive dinner. I've been known to have a blackout in the middle of the mall. So you can see that it can be difficult to take me places. I do my best to keep my symptoms in check, especially in public; but, occasionally they get away from me. 

In return, I make extra effort to be a good friend. There have been times that a friend has called with a problem when my symptoms were acting up. Initially, I didn't have any desire to listen to someone else's problems but I remind myself that brightening their day will also help brighten mine. So I find ways to encourage them which in turn encourages me. I will never belittle their problems because I cannot be the one to judge the impact the problem has on them. I try to find ways to help them find the positive in all difficult situations; after all, I'm pretty good at seeking the silver lining. 

Recently, I was deeply hurt by a friend I care a great deal for. While having an online conversation about a difficulty this friend was experiencing, I discovered that they belittled my concern and even implicated that I was taking a offensive posture. I can see their side and why they might think that. However, this friend knows me well enough to know that I wouldn't dare wield their problem against them like a weapon. I wouldn't want my problems used against me; therefore, I wouldn't do that to them. Still, I can see that typing this post is no different than the method they used when they hurt me. However, the only intent of this post is to try to sort out my feelings on the subject. It's one of the reasons I started this blog, to help me sort out the difficulties in my life and hopefully help someone else who is struggling with similar issues. I believe that the picture I am trying to paint of this situation is fair and I am certain that my choice of language is much more palatable. My biggest challenge is that they feel I attacked them with my words. From my viewpoint, they came to me with their problem and I tried to explain that their perception wasn't completely accurate. I understand that this particular issue is not an easy issue for them; but I simply will not bend the truth just for the sake of alleviating their discomfort. The truth is that life is difficult and complicated. I would not do them any favors by making it seem any easier than it is. My problem lies in the fact that while we were conversing online, they posted negative and over exaggerated comments which they knew could deal a mighty blow. They just forgot that I had access to see them. Those words were quickly removed but the damage had been done. 

I am now left with this hole that I am not quite certain what to do with. This person owned a large chunk of permanent real estate in my heart and it seems a little empty and quiet in their now. I'm just not certain that I can allow them to continue to be so close to me when they clearly don't value my friendship as much as I do theirs. After all, even if this person posted nasty, slanderous, vile things about me I would never dream of publicly blasting them. It's not who I am. I'm not certain where our friendship will go from here. I can say that I can no longer continue to be the person they rely upon when things get difficult. I cannot take the chance that they could potentially wield their words against me when my only intent was to help them. At this moment I cannot say what will become of this friendship. Not all friendships are intended to last a lifetime; but if that is the case this friendship will be deeply mourned. Actually, whether or not we patch things up and move forward I am not sure it could ever be the same; therefore, the mourning has actually already begun. I'm just going to allow myself the time to mourn before I choose to make any rash decisions; after all, the time and love I have already invested deserves it. In time the right answer will become clear; until then..... excuse me, I need a tissue.