Wednesday, February 08, 2006

great expectations

You and a friend of many years seem to be missing each other lately. Things feel “off”. Despite the fact that you now live only 30 minutes apart, you feel more distant than when you lived thousands of miles away from her.

It feels like there are issues lurking, but your friend says everything is fine.

However...

You feel like you are walking on eggshells. Every exchange and encounter can easily become hypersensitive. You worry that something you say will be taken the wrong way. Sometimes you fear that your friend, even while laughing and talking and hugging you goodbye, has anger and resentment and sadness just below the surface. Somehow this feels much worse than an all-out, knock-down fight.

You feel inadequate, because despite the fact that you used to provide therapy for a living, you are at a loss for how to fix this.

You also realize that you have written this entry thus far in the second person, because that makes the whole thing easier.

You realize you must stop this use of the second person.

You and I agree.


I like to be direct about what is bothering me. I like for people around me to do the same. Please try to do it in a constructive, respectful way, but really-- nothing bugs the hell out of me more than ignoring the elephant in the living room.

But in this case, I feel like the elephant is tangled up in lots of emotions that cause pain for my friend. If I try to push the elephant out, I am messing with painful stuff. Stuff that isn’t really mine to mess with.

At some point this becomes exhausting, and more than once I have wondered if we are trying to resuscitate something that should just be allowed to slip away peacefully.

It would be easier to do that.

On the other hand, the expiration of our friendship would seem like such a gigantic waste. And I’m afraid of not having it anymore.

We’re getting together soon and I asked her to please think about whether there are any elephants that might need to be eradicated. Or at least gently prodded.

I think I am counting on this being a pivotal experience. Tell me I shouldn’t have expectations like that.

7 Comments:

Blogger Bearette24 said...

Liz, I'm so sorry...if it's any consolation, I know what it's like. I have this friendship that is kind of on the skids, too. Not sure what to do. Nothing specific, just kind of...tectonic drift.

I hope your meeting (that sounds so official, but you know what I mean) with her goes well.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm sorry. I wish I could say it would be pivotal, but . . . I've been your friend. I've gone through the motions of being warm and friendly and happy even when I felt dark and sad inside. And I knew that the people around me could tell that something was off and I knew that it was putting a strain on our relationship. No one wants to be around someone who is moody or oversensitive. Part of me desperately wanted someone---anyone---to talk to me about it. And part of me wanted everyone to keep up the facade that everything was okay.

If it helps, it may not---probably isn't---about you. Just don't give up without talking to her.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Number Twelve said...

My thoughts, support go out to you.

1:14 AM  
Blogger verniciousknids said...

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
- Leo Buscaglia

8:50 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Thanks for the good thoughts, everyone.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous melissa said...

sometimes the breakup of a friendship can feel like a divorce!
:(

11:51 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Totally!

1:16 PM  

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