Friday, November 17, 2006

Related Wishes

My oldest friend in the world hasn't spoken to me in over two years.

At first, it was because she learned that she might not ever be able to have children and this was at the exact same time I was pregnant. Last July she got pregnant and lost the child.
I totally understood why she would not want to be around me at this time in her life.

Today her reason for not talking to me has evolved.

She told me in an e-mail that she's been working with a therapist and thinking about her past. She said that when she recalls her childhood, she remembers the cruelty of the children around her and me participating in that cruelty.

I remember that too.

I moved into the house across the street from her when I was entering first grade. She was my age and her younger brother was the same age as my brother.

We were fast friends.

She was my best friend throughout elementary school. We were Campfire Girls together, we rode big wheels together (pretending to be Electra Woman and Dinah Girl), we went to summer "sleep-away" camp together and we took joint family vacations.

When we had sleep overs we would spell out words and sentences on each other's back. Letter by letter we would spell things like "I love you."

We were so close for so many years that I feel related to her and her family is family to me.

She was always a bit of an outsider though.

She was diagnosed as "hyper-active" and prescribed Ridilin. My recollection is that she was like a human energizer bunny and would out last every other kid. She just kept going and going...

Sometimes she simply took things too far and didn't recognize the social cues (that the rest of the 6-10 year olds did) that indicated she was getting on the other kids nerves.

My strategy with her when she exhausted me was to change the game. I can't tell you how many times we played "Restaurant" where I was the customer and she busily prepared me cinnamon sugared toast or "Sick" where I was the sick daughter watching television while she brought me cold compresses.

Other kids just got fed up.

I admit, sometimes she would be too much for me too.

She was teased, she was hit, things were thrown at her, she was called names and I know she was deeply hurt by all of it.

I am also certain that at times I participated.

I have no excuse other than being aged six to ten and learning about social interaction myself.

I am not bitter that she doesn't speak to me right now. As an adult, I think it's important for her to do the work she's doing and I believe that real love and friendship mean that I will be right here waiting for her when (and if) she decides to return to our friendship.

I hope she does because there isn't another person on the planet so close to being my sister. I have known and loved her for 33 of my 39 years.

I expect times of trouble in life-long relationships.

I just hope the hurt she feels about her childhood can be healed and wish there was some way I could participate in that healing. At one point she asked me to go to the therapist with her. I was more than willing to go, but that was months and months ago and I haven't heard anything from her about it since.

I hope she does return to our friendship someday because I have a million memories of her that are good ones, happy, silly, joyous ones.

Tomorrow is her 39th birthday and I am reminded of her and of the best times.
Like the time she picked me up to go to the mall in her little brother's beater car... so this is a tribute to the good parts of our relationship and a special message for her.

I can bring home the bacon.

Fry it up in a pan.

And never, ever...

let you forget you're a man,

cause I'm a WOMAN,


Happy Birthday T.L.


The Medium Swede said...

I hope for her sake (and yours of course) that she comes back. Life is to short.

I also completely support the search for resolution that she is on right now. Hopefully that search leads her to a comforting closure that includes you.

I am also reminded again of my love for bacon that I know we share. ;-)

The Medium Swede said...

Sorry, one more thing. I went back to read your blog describing her loss.

My wife (TSK) and I lost a baby due to Trisomy 16. Unfortunately, it was not a miscarriage and my beautiful wife had to deliver our baby. Not a day goes by that I do not think about this baby and how much I love he or she (we chose not to find out).

I do know that we now have 2 wonderful healthy boys and that my life will never be the same because of all 3.

Sometimes, we all need to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and well.... get on with it. I hope for T.L.'s sake that she can do that. I hope thru her self exploration that she comes to that healthy conclusion.

Tabba said...

This post really touched me, as a dear friend & I have lost contact. I've made efforts, but she is not reciprocating and yesterday was 'her' birthday. And she was on my heart, as well.
Anyway...I do hope that she finds her way back to you. You seem to have a good perspective on this & I do not feel that this is the end of the story.......
Great post!!

Sayre said...

I too have had a rift with a life-long friend. A couple actually. But no matter how long the rift, we always have come back together. Sometimes it's her, sometimes it's me. We haven't spoken on the phone, but we do email. In spite of the breaks, I consider her my oldest friend.

I hope TL is able to get past her past and on with living her life now - and that it includes you.

urban-urchin said...

I TOTALLY remember that comercial. I also wore Love's Baby Soft and loved Shaun Cassidy and Grease.

I hope that she can work through this and come back to you with fresh perspective. You are a good friend, and you're definition of love in friendship is spot on.

Sarah said...

I have a few friendships which have fallen apart and I don't know what to do about them. I think you show compassion for her and I hope you get it all figured out. :)

The Sour Kraut said...

I'm sure when she is ready she will come around. Just the fact that she asked you to come to therapy with her is a positive sign.

I lost contact for a while with my oldest friend. Not due to a rift, just life taking us in different directions. We are now resuming the friendship. Over time, I had been feeling terrible about the way I treated her in high school. I dropped her for the more popular group. I finally bared my soul to her and apologized profusely for being so cruel. She didn't even remember it. It's interesting how we can see the same situation so differently.

I think going to therapy with your friend would help figure out if there's more there or perhaps a different issue than you realize.

And if she would like to talk to me about her lost pregnancy, I'm happy to do so as we have gone through a very similar situation.

Iris/Rissy said...

Losing friends is difficult and painful. It sounds to me though that you feel no resentments to her, and that is amazing. You will be there ready to accept her back in your life when she is ready........and one day she will be ready. I would send her and email for her birthday, maybe talking about one of your favourite memories of her. Telling you realize she needs to do this for herself, but that you are thinking of her.

Good Luck

Diana said...

You sound like a wonderful friend. I wish she could see that sooner rather than later and give you a call.

cmhl said...

My very best friend from college has apparently cut me out of her life, and I'm not really sure why.

Well, I partially know. her father died in a car accident, and I didn't know how to help her. how to relate to her. how to make it better.

I wish things were different, but I'm like you-- if this is what she needs to do to make that part of her life not so painful, I want her to do what is best for her. even if it hurts me.

but it's hard.

every year at her birthday & christmas, it's hard..

Megan said...

I've had that happen too. I have no idea why she stopped being friends with me, though.. I don't even know what I could have done/could do to be friends with her again.

Anyways, thanks for being a good bloggerfriend and leaving that nice comment yesterday.. if you read today's post you'll understand why my nerves are a bit shot and hormone levels are at an all time high.

Thailand Gal said...

I honestly believe that your steadiness and consistency will communicate a lot to her. Meanwhile she has to go through this phase of her healing. She'll be back. Keep the faith. :)



jen said...

ah, jess...i love that you wrote this, so honest and with accountability, humor, and grace.

it's all part of the journey, and you can only do your part and meet folks in the middle. i hope she finds you there.

Slackermommy said...

I hope your friend's therapist can help liberate her from her painful past so she can see that she's missing out on a wonderful relationship with you. I wish you both the best.

Little Lady said...

She's lucky to have a friend who will love her and stick by her side despite (in my opinion) unfair accusations. It seems like an adult should be able to see who you are today and realize kids are not known for their excellent decision making skills.

I think most people can look back on their childhood and identify moments that they wish they had behaved differently. It should be enough that you feel remorse for hurting her way back then.

Hopefully she's chosen a good counselor who will help her prioritize what should still matter and what shouldn't. Sorry--this kind of thing rubs me the wrong way. I wish I had something beautiful to say like everybody else, but I'm more of the type to say...Oh! My! Gawd! Innocent children are being raped and killed in other countries!!! Put your money towards helping a real cause and get over yourself!

Alrighty then...good luck with that! :D

Seriously, I know it's hard when you want to love someone and they won't accept it. I have someone in my life who won't let go of the past and is a victim in every scenario imaginable--some real, some not. You hurt for them because they're suffering, and you wish you could free them of it. Some people thrive on being the victim. It's become an identity for the person in my life. I don't think she'd know who to be if she weren't dwelling on things that happened long ago. My best to you!

Domestic Goddess said...

lovely tribute to a life long friend. I hope she gets through what she needs to. Good on ya for being there.

love the commercial!

Momish said...

I hope she comes back around to enjoy your friendship again. It is so hard to lose a good, long time friend. It is like having to pass over such memories and losing a huge chunk of yourself. I know, I just recently lost a friendship, only I don't know why. At least you know why and she is trying to make peace with it. Best of luck!

Moobs said...

Believe me, unwanted childlessness can send you off on some pretty unusal (and desperately unhappy) trains of thought.

The fact that she invited you to come to therapy is very encouraging. I would certainly volunteer that you are willing to go in case she has lost her nerve. I have had some experience of being invited to someone else's therapy session. The chances are some things will be said to you that you won't enjoy hearing and which will feel unfair but the fact that you are prepared to do this for a friend says so much about your heart. I am proud to know you.

Izzy said...

My best friend and I didn't speak for several years. The really sad part is that during that time, I wasn't even sure why. It's all water under the bridge now but I regret the time we lost.

I hope your friend realizes how lucky she is to have someone so generous and understanding for a friend. And of course I hope she opens the door to your friendship again at some point.


Marcie said...

Wow, I haven't thought of the writing on the back thing in so long. I guess all little girls did this.
I hope your friend finds some peace. And knows that you love her.

Mel said...

You know I understand this. ((((You))))
And I don't know if it's hormones or what, but your special message to your friend made me choke up and think of two little girls reenacting the "enjoli" commercial and laughing and just being friends.
I hope she comes around, J.

MommyWithAttitude said...

That is a great tribute. Life gets so complicated sometimes, I hope when she reaches a point of comfort she will recognize that you are a true friend.

My very best friend and I (from age 14 to present age 36) did not speak for two years in our twenties.

Lotta said...

My heart goes out to your friend. I'm glad she's working with a therapist and you are keeping open to her. Who knows what the future holds for you guys.

Waya said...

I hope that time and the therapist will help her deal with what she's going through. That's great to know a friend for that long, 33 years. That's more of a relationship than some siblings' relationships.

mothergoosemouse said...

Those pictures are great!

I have two friends whom I've known for more than 20 years - one I've known for almost 30 years now. We've gone through very difficult times ourselves - it's inevitable. But we've always left the door open for one another, and I hope that your friend feels the same way and that someday you can resume your friendship.