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Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

I am traveling this week, so I have limited time to do the work I usually do to find and quote reader comments. A reader posted recently that s/he has concerns about labeling other people as “healthy” or “unhealthy.” I have thought about that comment a lot and have come to agree – that the relevant issue is not whether another person is “healthy” but, instead, whether a relationship with that person is healthy for me.

As an example, I have written several times about my long-term friendship that ended last year. We became friends before I started my healing process, and I was very emotionally unhealthy. Since then, I have grown and healed at a mindboggling rate in many areas of my life but continue to struggle with being emotionally unhealthy in some areas.

This friend also grew during the same period but not at the same pace. I can point to several areas of her life where anyone would view positive healing progress from where she was then to where she is now. So, when I last talked with her a year ago, she was a healthier version of herself than she was eight or nine years ago.

This friendship was actually healthy for me during a time that she was not as healthy because she was so much healthier than I was in the areas I needed growth. It was more of a comparative thing. No, she wasn’t 100% emotionally healthy (nor is anyone), but she was leaps and bounds healthier than I was in the areas I needed, and my friendship with her greatly helped me along my healing journey for years, and did mine for her.

At the time our friendship ended, it was no longer healthy for me because I needed the focus to change from our mutual pain to other commonalities, but she was unwilling and/or unable to make this transition. If she had been willing to change our time together from talking about our pain and misery to other commonalities, such as our love of books, teaching, or parenting special needs children, I think we could still be friends today in a way that is healthy for both of us. However, for whatever reason, we could not/did not make that transition, and the friendship ended.

More tomorrow…

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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I believe I have shared before that my son goes to school with my ex-friend’s child. (If you need to catch up on the ex-friend drama, you can do so here.) I have also shared that her child told me that my ex-friend was having some sort of medical issue back in February. Yesterday, my son came home from school and said that ex-friend’s daughter shared that her mother **might** have cancer.

Keep in mind that this is hardly a reliable source. The daughter has told me inaccurate medical information about her mother before, such as telling me (back when ex-friend and I were still friends) that her mother was going to have back surgery and be on bed rest for six weeks. It turned out that this was an option but never seriously considered. I also don’t know if “might have cancer” could be confusion over the explanation for the purpose of a mammogram – to “screen for” cancer. So, I am not jumping the gun and assuming the worst case scenario.

Even if ex-friend does have cancer, I have no idea what type of cancer or what stage it is in. I have known people with Stage 1 skin cancer where removing it was not that big of a deal. However, I have known other people with aggressive cancer in the later stages who have had to go through surgery, chemo, and/or radiation. So, I certainly do not take cancer lightly.

I guess the most relevant part for me is whether any of this information changes anything as far as my role (or non-role) in her life and vice versa. She is a single mother with limited support (in part because she drives away those who love her and does not welcome in new friends very often). If she has to deal with chemo or surgery, she doesn’t have a strong support system to help her through it.

Does that change anything with me, though? The compassionate part of myself wants to help her if she is mostly alone and dealing with cancer while the logical part of myself says that my ex-friend’s physical health is irrelevant to the reasons why this friendship ended. The practical side of me says that with school letting out soon, I probably won’t know either way, and I have no interest in investing in that friendship again. I am conflicted about this information.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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I have made an observation about myself that I don’t quite understand. I have cut two important women out of my life. The first one is momster, who made my childhood a living hell and who is directly responsible for numerous abusers having access to me. Why I would want to cut her out of my life seems pretty obvious.

The second woman I have cut out of my life is the friend I blogged about here. She was a good friend for the most part for nine years, and she was there for me during the early years of healing. In fact, she was the first person I had the courage to embrace deep in my heart as a friend. That friendship ended because I outgrew her. I needed to “stay sick” for the friendship to work. I couldn’t stay “sick,” and she could not endure me “well,” so that friendship is over.

The friend brought much more of value to my life, but I have absolutely no desire to have any contact with her. I wouldn’t even consider sending her a Christmas card, not because I wish her ill but because I think it would be cruel to send her mixed messages. I am out of that friendship and don’t want back in. That bond is severed. Period.

Then, we have momster, who brought very little good to my life and mountains of pain, and I felt compelled to send her a Christmas card?? Why??

Why is it so clear that the friend needs to be removed from my life 100% but that momster does not? Why is it so easy to see that sending the friend mixed messages would be cruel, but I view the same act as a kindness if I do it to momster?

I truly don’t understand this about myself. Am I being influenced by society, which says that a mother’s love is forever? Am I feeling “guilted” into this by my religion? Is there a part of myself who still holds out hope that momster will change? (I truly do not think this is even possible.)

Why do I still feel a pull toward momster but not toward the friend when the friend was better for me than momster ever was?

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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PhotobucketI still have a few more days of my crazy schedule to go, but I need to blog to get a few things out…

First, today is the first day of Fall, which means that it is the Fall equinox. Anyone who suffered from ritual abuse might be feeling “off” today or have been feeling “off” all week. That has certainly been true for me. I have been grateful to be so compulsively busy so I can escape from the anxiety and depression “geyser” going in my head. I know this is “normal” for me, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Staying busy distracts me from it.

My momster is in ICU right now for very high blood pressure. My sister called me last night to tell me. Momster had very high blockages in both legs back in 2003. She had surgery for the first one and decided not to have the second surgery. She decided the “Lord” would heal her, so the surgery wasn’t necessary. I suspect the two are connected, but I am not a doctor.

Instead of calling my sister (who underreacts) and “worrying” her, she called her twin sister, who get hysterical over everything. So, my sister got a much more “shrill” version of what was going on when our aunt called her about it. My sister talked to momster at the hospital by phone (they don’t live in the same city), and momster seems pretty clueless about the severity of her condition. That’s typical of her – it’s all about denial.

Then there are my recurring dreams. I won’t call them nightmares because I think they are just a true reflection of how I am feeling. Very clearly, a part of me wants to make a big change in my life – a change the rest of me is not ready to make. If I didn’t have a young child, making such a big change would be easier, but I have to factor in the effects of any big change on my kid, and I am not ready to do that to my 10-year-old child. Apparently this is something that a part of my still “dreams” about, though.

I am heading back to my hometown next weekend for what was supposed to be my 25th high school reunion. The reunion committee botched it up, so I am now just getting together with the four people I still (sort of) keep up with from high school so we can have a 25-year high school anniversary dinner. I always get reflective before I return to my hometown. (This is not the city where the abuse happened – this is a city 30 miles away from there where we moved when I was 11.) I am hoping to see my grandmother one last time (she has failing health, and I only make this trip once every couple of years), but she has been declining visitors, so I don’t know if I will get to see her or not.

These are all just random pieces of what’s going on with me right now – stuff swirling around in my head. Thankfully, I have too much work to do today to think about any of this too much. The money I am earning will pay for a fun trip for my son and me in January, so I have that to look forward to. I always need something fun to look forward to in order to survive the holidays.

Photo credit: Rosanne Mooney

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