Thursday, June 21, 2012
A Twist Of Friendship
A couple of posts back, I wrote the words: "When someone finally accepts that you really have changed for the better, they become changed as well."
Now here's a little story to go along with that.
I have a 20 year high school class reunion coming up. I have several friends that I still hang out with on a regular basis from that high school. We have done a bit of talking about this upcoming reunion.
One particular person keeps making it clear that she is not going to be putting any effort whatsoever into her appearance for said upcoming reunion. I mean to the point of ridiculous. Defensive much?! Yeah OK, I'll admit that the gang may or may not often refer to her as 'D' and her name doesn't even start with that letter. Anyway...
All of a sudden it hit me that she is feeling like absolute crap about herself these days. She is probably at her highest weight ever, her husband is showing more than ever that he is the absolute ass that I've always said he is and her family is currently ripping apart at the seams. Her self esteem is clearly at an all time low. This person really could not be under any more stress than she currently is.
Now, there was a time when I would have been right there with her on so many levels. No, my husband has never been and never will be capable of being any kind of ass hat, but otherwise my life has been more than full of lousy relatives and I have had years with enough weight and poor self esteem to drag down just about anybody.
Yup, you guessed it. For many years we were close friends because we had so much lousy baggage in common.
And then I started to see that I didn't deserve the life that I had. I opened my eyes to the idea that things could be different, truly different. I suddenly decided that I was ready to move on in a big way and I did. I picked myself up, dusted myself off and absolutely changed my life in so many ways. I dropped any 'feel sorry for me' attitude. I determined that I did not have to be what the past dictated. I learned that the things my family had imprinted on me were garbage and I tossed it. I also dumped about 50 pounds.
During this time, my friend 'D' went behind my back and tried to befriend the people that I decided were no longer good for me. She said and did nasty things. She lied to me.
I stepped away from her for a while and was very sad and angry with her. And yet... I did not do the things that I used to when stuff like this came up- stuff like feeling worthless, emotional eating, neglecting myself and trying desperately to fix things. Instead I stood back and let the chips fall where they may. I trusted that things would work out as they should and even dreamed of a day when this person 'D' and I could be friends again instead of declaring that I was done with her and her crap, which of course is what I really wanted to do at the time.
But I knew something in my heart of hearts about her that someone else might not have gotten so clearly. Because basically at one time I had been her. I was once bitter and angry and self loathing. And I knew that inside her there was much more than the defensive person that she often displays.
I never did even bother to confront her on all the nastiness that had gone down. Because I have actually changed myself, I don't need to. There is no doubt that she can see where I am now and who I have become. She has made it clear to me in her own way that she appreciates the changes I have been able to make, wishes she could do it too and is so happy that I haven't shoved it back in her face.
I am just here for my friend who is still hurting and going through some tough times. I am confident that she will eventually come out the other side. I don't just put up with her negativity and allow her to step on me. But I also don't judge her for where she's at right now. We were friends way before she hit this really rough spot and we'll be friends way after she gets through it. And when she does I will be right here and we will both be better off for having remained as friends.
I can sense that my friend knows that the changes that happened in me are real and that she too could one day be where I'm at. Just as we dragged our baggage right along side each other at one time, I am looking forward to the day that we will both be free of it as well.