Sunday, September 7, 2008

An issue that needs resolving...

I once had a friend...

She was my first real mommy friend. We met when she was nearing the end of her pregnancy. At the time, we went to this local coffee shop each day for caffeine & blueberry muffins. Beaker was one of the star attractions. This friend, whom we shall call Lilly, always let her gaze linger longingly on the magic of my one year old bundle of energy. We started to exchange simple pleasantry's which grew into full fledged conversations. We left NY after Christmas to spend the New Year's Holiday with my folks in Michigan. All the time we were gone I kept thinking about the nice woman and her cute husband. They really did seem so excited to be welcoming a daughter into their family.

When we returned from our trip we did not see them at breakfast. It seems Lilly was late and did not give birth until the middle of January. She was always on my mind, a thread not followed, a story with out ending. It was such a bee in my brain I almost went to her husband's store to find out if she had had the baby, checking to see if all was perfect with their new addition.

With the weather cold and the sidewalks icy, Lilly did not walk to town much those early weeks. Then one day I did see them, yelled from my car a quick congratulations and a promise to talk soon over coffee and oatmeal. It felt wonderful to know these nice people seemed so happy to be parents. Over that spring we saw each other a few mornings a week. Then we started walk in the afternoons a few days a week, giving us a chance to really get to know one another. We bitched about mother's in laws, talking about renovations and nursing issues, and shared deep pains and profound joys. I began to love this woman as a sister, friend, confidant. Lilly was one of the first people I told I was pregnant with Jack, who traveled with me through my whole 9 months and who brought me the most beautiful flowers the day he was born.

With two kids life can spin out of control, tempers get short, life becomes disorganized. We still saw each other a few days a week at breakfast but it was not as restful as it had been when there was only one child to worry about. It was however a friendship that made me feel whole, made me feel like I had found one true friend who I was bonded with for years to come. Our kids would go to the same school, play on the same playground, and over time think of each other as family.

How then did it all fall apart? How did I drive her away? Why did she give up on me, my family? I trusted her to be there for me but when push came to shove she moved out of the way, letting me fall flat on my face... all alone. Some friend...

A tiny bit of back story... my husband comes from a house hold with addiction, finical issues, and the typical craziness that comes from living and working within a large multigenerational Italian family. He is quick to temper and can be verbally hurtful faster then his brain can process. Even he will tell you he is a much better father then husband. There were many a time I cried on Lilly's shoulder because of things he said or did, but that is what friends are for, support. We have suffered MAJOR money problems and almost had our house taken from us in foreclose. There have been broken bones by a crazed customer, trucks rolling down the driveway on their own, and more physical chaos in my home then I can fix. But helping friends is what friendship is all about, being there in good and bad.

Around November last year Lilly began to pull away, however I was so warped up in the planning for the kids birthday weekend that hardly noticed. Then I inadvertently stuck my foot in my mouth but I worked real hard to make nice nice. After the holidays Lilly was not around, busy getting her own life in order, joining a gym, losing 40 lbs and feeling stronger as a mother and wife. I was hurt because I felt totally left out and pushed aside but I tried to see where she was coming from... self growth and change. But in my heart I wished she could have included me more in her life. I know it sounds so very middle school, but that is how I fell.

While on vacation in Florida in March, she sent me an email, subject... Letter.

"Barb, I'm writing you this because it seems like we can never get together without distractions. I know email is sorry, I hope I come across as intended.

You probably can feel that I've pulled back from our friendship lately. I'm sorry I haven't communicated better, there's really no excuse for not talking with you sooner...I guess I just didn't know how.

You are the best friend I have had since high school, and I love you dearly. And that's why it's so hard sit by and ignore things that bother me. So being honest:

I think your husband treats you horribly. And he's not being a good father if he's treating the mother of his kids the way he treats you. You've given up your power, your money and your self esteem to someone who does not deserve you. I also know you feel totally overwhelmed by your house, the kids, Husband, everything. To me it seems like you are drowning...and I don't know what to do.

It seems like there is one thing after another that keeps you from "getting it together" in the way that you want.....and it's so painful to hear and watch.

Please, I am not judging you. I know this is your life. But you don't seem happy......and I'm having a hard time being around it all.

I don't want us to stop being friends..... I feel like I have made some serious positive changes lately, and it's hard, but possible. I truly want you to be happy in all aspects of your life. You are such a generous, giving, thoughtful friend. I think you love everyone a hell of a lot more than you love yourself. YOU deserve your own attention before anyone else does.

I hope you are not angry with my honesty......I do miss you!


WOW.... I was so freaked out I could not breath, sucker punched that my own best friend could not deal with me. My first husband dumped me cause I was not good enough and now the woman who I thought would be a part of my life forever is passing judgment on me even if she claims she is not. WOW! I tell you I cried like a baby. You can read back here, here and here to see that this was not a great time for me. I needed her friendship more then she could have ever known.

Alone... I felt and FEEL so alone. I hurt so deep, even after all these months. I saw her on a walk with her now 2.5 year old daughter and felt a profound sadness at having missed out on her growing up. She used to love me, run to me with huge hugs reserved only for family. Now I don't even think she would know me. She would get so excited when she saw my car, now I doubt she would even care if it was parked in front of her house. DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!

We have gotten together a hand full of time but they have been strained at best, the elephant in the room making us both very uncomfortable. I sent her an email and a Facebook post the other day and she has yet to reply. Nice feeling... snubbed.

So here is what I want... CLOSURE. I know she loves/loved me and only wrote her letter out worry and fear for my mental health and her own need for self-protection. But damn it still hurts no matter how much love was behind her words. I need to write her back and tell her how I feel, how she made me feel. I am scared to make her hurt the same way she made me hurt, yet I really don't care. I want... more like NEED... to get this out of my mind and off my heart so I can move on... with or with out my friend.

What do I say... How do I say it... Will she even care... Chances I need to take for my own self protection.

Any advices short of burning my house down or divorcing my husband (just joking) would be very helpful. Thank you in advance.... :-)


mhjozwiak said...

I just stumbled upon your blog by way of I Should be Folding Laundry.

I just wanted to share that I know how you feel. I've been in a relationship that my friends told me was unhealthy and emotionally abusive...I took their words painfully. I couldn't see beyond the criticism to the love behind them. I wasn't ready to see what I had allowed myself to become. I still miss those friends, some of whom left me at my lowest, when I needed them the most.

I don't have much in the way of advice, other than to tell Lilly how you feel, how much you still care about her. Salvage the relationship if you can! Good friends are so few and far between.

Best of luck, lady!

Diana said...

She speaks the truth, right?
Hold on to her. She is your life-line. You just don't know it yet.