Submitted by: Maya
A very special friend of mine, very recently divorced after having too long a wait, is torn about her friends.
That’s the excess that comes from divorce, how badly it hurts everyone else. The families ~ who do they go to for Christmas? Can they invite one parent (children negotiable), leaving the other to their own devices?
The soccer team, dance school, teachers, school… How do we finesse this?
And the friends. Once a large and boisterous group of pranksters, mothers, party-goers, trivia night experts ~ how do we do that great divide?
I did what worked for me, what hurt me badly ~ but because I run from confrontation, I made it easy for all of them ~ I evaporated from the scene. I shut my door and didn’t make any calls. And I stared and stared at my answering machine that read a constant ‘0’ calls received.
I wanted them to reach out to me but I gave the impression that I wanted to be left alone. My loneliness was immeasurable and I could not speak.
My (heart) friends, the ones who have been with me for lifetimes, knocked on my door and embraced me. They taught me how to walk again. And as I re-entered my life I saw the faces of those who never made the effort. The pain came tumbling in on me all over again ~ a far different pain than that of being abandoned by my husband.
With HIS pain I found my feet because I had to, no one else could do it for me. But that searing pain of seeing that face, that woman who had sworn eternal sisterhood with me, who knew my confidences, who walked breezily through my home as if it had been her own ~ and who had never even made an effort to acknowledge me in my aftermath, burned even deeper than the lost love of my childrens’ father.
I spent a lot of time ducking, just in case… Why? Why should that woman’s rejection of me hurt so deeply? Why, when I finally ventured out into the world, should I be ready to run in case SHE were there?
The answer is simpler than I thought. She hurt me because I LET her hurt me. I gave her permission to hurt me. I handed her my devotion like a piece of delicate glass, expecting that she would treat me carefully, honouring me as I honoured her. I offered myself freely and without hesitation she let me fall, shattering into a thousand sharp-edged glittering pieces.
So we have choices. If I choose to become one with someone, I have an awareness that this intimacy allows abuse of my character. I don’t want to be selfish with my love but I will be more careful, less forgiving of those small signs of imbalance. I learned a magic word ~ BOUNDARIES. I now know to shut a door quickly when things start to go awry. I have learned how to keep control of my essence.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.’ I think that says it all. If they hurt you, if you doubt them, release them… like that old adage, ‘If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was…” And the final thought? You are better off without the dramas.