Monday, April 8, 2013

Moving on...

I had a friend…

At least, I thought she was a friend. I’ve decided that after a year without any contact on her part that I was probably wrong.

I met this friend online and had many interesting conversations with her. I had (and still have) genuine affection for her and her family. I considered myself more than just an online acquaintance. I felt like we had a bond due to health issues on both sides of the fence. Hers and Ron’s… I never felt like one was in worse shape than the other; they both had their ups and downs and each illness is just as much of a concern as any other. I kept her and her family in my prayers and knew that she did the same for us.

When her mom passed away, I felt her pain and sympathized with her over the sudden loss. I remembered losing my dad just a few years earlier and knew that grief is a powerful feeling.

Anyone who has read very much of my blog knows that it’s been mostly about Ron’s health and my challenges in dealing with it. There have been several times that I wasn’t sure if he’d come home from the hospital or not. I tried to not dwell on these but – I am human – there were many times that what I wrote sounded like I was having a pity party for myself. Maybe I was… I can’t deny what was going on in my mind any more than I can deny what was going on in my life. This blog was created as an outlet for my frustrations and I never intended for it to reflect my “perfection” in any way. In fact, it shows more than not how imperfect I really am. I’m OK with that.

But, in all of that I wasn’t keeping score of who is or was in worse health – her or him. I just assumed that my comments on anything were interpreted as they were intended, not as a comparison. I got to where I was afraid to say anything about how she was feeling… if I said I was glad she was feeling better, or sorry that she was not feeling up to par, it was taken very differently than intended. Since I didn’t (and still don’t) know the details of her illness (except that it’s been up and down and she has a lot of issues, including hospitalizations), it was hard to phrase something that was on target so I kept dancing around the edges.

Unfortunately, my “dance” was met with snarky comments. Instead of understanding what I was trying to say, my comments were interpreted entirely differently. I didn’t know how to fix it so I got more cautious. Finally, last April – in the middle of an email conversation – I received a message that said she thought it best that we didn’t communicate for a while. Ron was “obviously” sicker than her and she just couldn’t provide the support that I needed. It was apparent that I had a good support system – plenty of friends reading my blog and on FB and that she just couldn’t give me what I needed and that there was no need to reply to her email (in fact, she would prefer that I didn’t).

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{screeching halt}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} I had no idea that she thought I was demanding more of her than what she was capable of giving. In fact, I didn’t realize I was demanding anything of her. I thought we were two friends talking about how illnesses suck and, because of what is already going on in his body,  Ron has more problems to look forward to. Nothing more; nothing less.

So, I immediately read back over all of my email messages looking for where I went wrong, searching and analyzing each word to see if they could have been taken differently than what I intended. I could find nothing amiss. I apologized and said I was sorry that I’d offended her.  She replied back that she wasn’t offended but that she couldn’t talk to me for a while and to please respect her wishes to not contact her. (My apology was directly opposite of what she’d asked, but I did feel that if I’d offended her, an apology was in order.)

OK – I did that. For quite a while, even. One day, I decided that enough time had passed but it had not. She replied to the effect that she’d asked me to not contact her and there was no need for me to do so again. She was not mad, I didn’t offend her – she just didn’t want to communicate with me.

Still shaking my head, I complied. Oh, I still read her blog and still leave a comment here and there. We’re still “friends” on FB and I’d leave a comment every now and then – none of which have been acknowledged, even when I ask her a direct question. She took my blog off of her blog roll so she doesn’t know when I write an update (I supposed she might look occasionally or if someone tells her that I’ve written something).  

When my own mother passed away (almost exactly one year after hers), I received no message from her. (I did see she went and checked out my post on my mom’s death after I’d made a comment on one of her posts, but she didn’t leave a comment.) That in itself told me that I was the only one who (foolishly) thought we were still friends and that she just needed some time. It’s been a year now and I think that I’ll let go of this foolish notion.

I just don’t let go very easily. It doesn’t matter if you’re an “IRL” friend or an online friend – it’s hard to let go. I guess I need to put this poem into place, because it does perfectly explain it (not sure who actually wrote it so can’t give credit – sorry):

People come into your life for a REASON, a SEASON or a LIFE TIME.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, It is usually to meet a need.
You have expressed.
They have come to assist you though a difficulty,
To provide you with guidance and support,
To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are....
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to and end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes the act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realized is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled,
Their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON.
Because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real.
But only for a season.

LIFE TIME Relationships teach you life time lessons things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

You job is to accept the lesson. Love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and are as of your life.
It is said that Love is blind but Friendship is Clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life. Whether you were, a REASON, a SEASON or a LIFE TIME.

So... I wish her well in her life, improved health, and much happiness. 


joanne said...

I was thinking about you today, hoping you are both well and wondering if you've updated lately. Then I come on here tonight and here you are! talking straight to my heart. You could be describing a lost relationship that I've had and never could let go of. I hope you find a way to let go of the pain of not knowing why. That for me is the hardest part. Thanks for sharing that poem, lovely it is. Thinking of you...

Mynx said...

I know this feeling so well and sometimes you just have to close that door to move forward. The end of a friendship that had seemed so strong and good and yet, for some reason, it just falls apart.
Sending hugs and hoping you know that you have other people in this blogging world who care for you.

Lois said...

That is harsh. I've had some strange online relationships, and I do consider my online-friends to be friends, but the relationships do spin out differently than face to face ones. It is like we virtual people dip in and out of each others lives and situations... I love the way you write with honesty. Take care!! Be well, Lois.

colenic said...

It is tough to let go....but I think your poem sums it up.
Hugs and lots of love to you!!

Jennifer Hoppins said...

Hi Teresa,
I'm sad that you lost contact with your friend and I'm sure that it's difficult not to take it personally. You are a good friend who is thoughtful and kindhearted. I have been terrible about visiting you here, for some reason I thought you stopped blogging for an extended period. Please know that I think of you often. I hope that healing comes for Ron and that many more friends come into your life.