Being filled with all that vitriol yesterday was seriously bumming me out, so I wrote that post to purge it. It didn't feel good writing it, it didn't feel good posting it, and I don't feel better now that I've said what I have to say. I am convinced that if I were to call up said friend and try to talk to them about it, I'd feel even worse, and the friendship, such that it is, would end.
I'm not quite ready to end that friendship, or I would have done so by now. I've been holding all that in for a good number of months, and it's been contributing to my depression. Now that I've admitted what's going on, and faced the fact that this person isn't going to magically transform into a better friend overnight, I've got something else to sit on.
I haven't lost all faith in this person. I truly believe they do not realize what they have been doing to me all this time. I think they'd be shocked to read this. If I were to call them up and confront them, they'd never be able to admit to this one-upmanship behavior. They don't see themselves that way, and dragging past crimes across their lap isn't going to change that.
That said, I think if this person were to realize this, they'd genuinely feel bad. They might even feel just a teensy bit ashamed. This is, basically, underneath their desperate need to always be on top, a good person.
I mean, that's possible, isn't it? To be a genuinely good person, even if your primary need in life is to be perceived as the hottest shit in the room?
This isn't going where I hoped it would go. Maybe I'm just still too angry to get to the understanding and forgiving part.
Patience has never been one of my virtues.
Instead of confronting this person now, I'm going to forget about this for a while. The next time this person pulls this shit, then I will speak up. I'll do it calmly. (No, really, I will.) I'll simply point out what they have said, tell them how it makes me feel, and see what they have to say. And we'll see how things go from there.
I'm not usually the sort to react to things with a punch or a snarl. Generally, things hit me in the stomach and wound me, and while I'm doubled over licking myself I'll mutter "bitch" under my breath and try to change the subject. I'm a wimp. I've never had the self-esteem to really defend myself. I always, somehow, deep down inside, believed that I was inferior to a lot of people. I never knew my own worth.
If someone who considers me a friend doesn't know my worth, then it's up to me to know it, and show it. It's not my style to wear it on my sleeve, but I have my ways of making myself known, and of making it clear that I'm not the punching bag or the fall girl or the wallpaper or the cheerleader anymore.
The problem is that when I take someone as friend, it's because I see the worth inside them, and want to be around them, and have them in my life. The problem is that I care about the person I have labeled "friend." I wouldn't label them that if I didn't care about them. And it hurts to learn that someone I care about doesn't value me. It hurts bad. Some more than others. Some a great deal more than others.
Dysfunctional, codependent relationships can go so many ways. Parents, children, lovers, friends, roommates, office lunch buddies, church group fellows. How much are we using people? How much are we giving of ourselves? How much are we taking in that we shouldn't? How much are we not taking in that we should?
This is 2005, and my motto this year is hope, not fear. Am I afraid of losing this friendship? Yes.
I hope, however, that I will not.
I haven't mentioned it much, but this year I re-joined the Weaver Circle. The Weavers are a year-long spirituality program, part education, part sisterhood, part coven. We meet once a month to learn about earth-centered faith traditions, their practices, and various goddesses. We also create sacred space, talk about our lives, how they relate to our spirituality, our relationship to the divine and what that means to us. This weekend my sisters and I are going on retreat. I'll be cooking for everyone Saturday night, and participating in a Full Moon Circle and some other rituals. I'm so glad I have this opportunity for spiritual immersion right now. I have a lot to think about, and a lot of prayers to offer.
I'm partly sad to be missing some gatherings. My glorious Galpal is throwing herself a birthday party at this place tomorrow night, this darling couple is throwing a birthday-versary bash at their beautiful home tomorrow, and my old office crowd is getting together tomorrow. For some reason August 20th is a really big day this year. Enjoy the full moon, everyone!
However, I made a commitment to the weavers, and the retreat is where I belong. I also know it's what's best for me right now. I would like to suggest to all of you readers, that tomorrow night, if you should find yourself outdoors under the glowing gaze of the full moon, that you pause for a moment and offer thanks for your friends. And if, like me, you have been feeling hurt, ask for a reminder of the love in your life. It may manifest itself in the most surprising and wonderful of ways.
Have a blessed weekend, everyone.