Friendships

This morning was a tough one, I have had to make decisions on my friendship with my (ex) lodger’s girlfriend, who he met through me as she was a friend.

I texted her this morning to tell her I felt the news was pretty shitty (referring to the way it happened) but wished her well with him. I had decided our friendship was over. She replied, trying to justify him moving so quickly by saying they had been talking about him moving in for some time – they met some 6 weeks ago – and she hoped it wouldn’t affect our friendship. I said it had, but not for the reason she might think. I roughly explained why, but really, I couldn’t be bothered to explain properly. She wouldn’t have got it. In fact, I don’t think many people understand my stance on friendships. Which has changed dramatically since my awakening, and of course since what happened with my best friend V in Canada.

You see, I have very high standards for love these days, and I have even higher ones for friendships. And these past few months, I have been disappointed over and over again by people who I thought were friends, and since I won’t let anyone in my life so easily as a friend.

I have quite a few connections and “mates” but to deserve my friendship is another story as I won’t let people let me down anymore.

In the past two years, when I have needed my supposedly friends the most, they were nowhere to be seen, apart from my longest friend in the UK who lives in Reading. I didn’t have many friends in any case back here, due to the fact that my husband moved us from houses to houses, towns to towns before finally escaping to Canada, and so I never got the chance to settle long enough anywhere to make friends.

Friends for me are people who are there for you, no matter what, and who just know when you need them without even having to ask for help, let alone be there when you do ask.

This is what I am prepared to give a friendship. I expect the same in return.

This is what I gave to that girl now with my lodger, yet when I needed her to help me in a situation – to take it upon herself that she should try and calm him down and tell him him and I should talk so his leaving wasn’t under such weird conditions – she completely let me down. I never mentioned it to her because, 1) she probably wouldn’t understand and 2) I can’t be bothered with her now.

I have also had to ask a couple of favours from old and new people in my life today, as I needed someone to look after my cats over Christmas as the arrangement with my lodger obviously fell through, although bless him said he would come and feed them when I reminded him he had agreed. I told him I would find another way because 1) I don’t trust him with animals now, 2) I felt it was too much an ask anyway for him to do that. And I was interested to see the responses. One surprised me very positively as it happens 🙂

So friendships have been on my mind today and I realised that I only have one friend at the moment, and it is my girl friend from Reading. It is a nice easy friendship now, although it really wasn’t always like this, we did have a major fall out some 11 years ago, again when I stood my ground and I told her her behaviour at the time was not acceptable to me. But, she came back into my life a couple of years later and by then I was settled with my husband and so things didn’t get as intense. Now, we don’t speak to each other much, but we meet up at least once a year and I enjoy seeing her and especially all her kids – she has 4 under 8. When my husband and I split up and during the two years that followed she was really there for me, a lot of the time when I asked for nothing (I don’t usually like to ask people for favours, I much prefer do it on my own, especially these days).

Probably one of the nicest things she did for me was send me a Valentine’s card the first year I was back here – I was deep in depression by then so it made me feel more miserable and cry, but still, looking back, it was a lovely thing for her to do. I have since also discovered all sorts of things she had been prepared to do for me should I need help, with housing for instance, and really, I am lucky to have her as a friend. A true one – together for ever as she always says.

The rest of the people who have come and gone into my life these past few years have been too consumed by their own issues to be able to offer a true friendship. I’m good with that these days, since I don’t need anyone in my life to be happy, but it would be nice to have one or two more true friends.

The good news about today is that I eventually managed to turn things around with my lodger and we parted on very good terms now. I am very pleased about that, because there really was no need for him to get so worked up and leave in such a hurry. I told him if he and Sam ever needed somewhere to stay, to check out if I still have a spare room. 

The whole thing today, particularly ending the “friendship” with my mate, re-affirmed something to me. Just because you love everyone doesn’t mean you have to put up with crap. Of course though, what “crap” means is entirely your decision.

Closure

I believe true closure is the only way to real happiness.
 
Many people’s attitude towards life, other people and in particular themselves, is as a result of past hurt they haven’t been able to get closure on. Would it be work related, or relationships (with family, friends or loved ones). 
 
These experiences can make people bitter, aggressive, defensive, disillusioned, scared, or just plain miserable.
 
It took me two years to get closure after my husband left me. The ending was pretty brutal and unexpected. He then proceeded to find comfort in my best friend’s arms and I lost my mind the two months that followed, literally. I then moved country where I lived alone with barely any support apart from my family who lived in a different country and soon suffered from depression.
 
About three months ago, on a hangover day, I took stock of my life and started to see where I had gone wrong for the last 20 years.
 
The problem wasn’t people, the problem was me. I had low self esteem issues, and I took it out on other people, using alcohol and dope to “help” me cope with life.
 
So I started to take steps to correct my errors. The first one being stopping drinking completely, I had already stopped smoking pot about a week after the split.
 
This turned my life around, and I am now well on the way to a more positive, truly happy life.
 
In the last few days, I have finally been able to move on from what happened with my husband, both in my head and in my heart.
 
Today, I feel I got full closure on my separation.
 
A week ago my husband and I had an exchange about some information he needed my approval on for the divorce paperwork. They were asking what steps we took towards reconciliation, he suggested we put “extensive discussions”, I told him we should put the truth: “none”.
 
He was worried it would delay or halt the divorce process. I wanted to explain to him why I had wanted to put none but decided to tell him to go ahead with his suggestion.
 
This is what I sent him today:
 
Subject: About the “steps taken towards reconciliation” wobbles
 
Or whatever it was they asked. I’m sorry I had a wobble. Guess I still had issues about feeling cheated that you never gave us that chance, by making your mind up well before actually taking action and then jumping into xxx’s arms. I had actually drafted a whole email explaining how I felt and why and decided to only send you a line in the end…I am learning to let go of what is really none of my business (in that case your reasons for your choice of actions).
 
It was good in a way that this happened (the question about reconciliation), it made me think about it and deal with it. Guess that’s the only reason why all I feel about us splitting up these days is sadness. But sadness is a good feeling really. It’s what you should be left with when you loose someone you love without having any control over it. I feel sad when I think about my cousin, my grandmother, my dog, my cat and others who have left my life whom I loved and I will never be with again. It’s an ok feeling really. It shows they meant something to me and it makes me appreciate those still in my life all the more. You meant a lot to me, and I am sorry I could never appreciate you, because of my issues that I hadn’t dealt with.
 
Looking back to be honest, what you did that night was the best thing you could have done for me. It’s made me re-assess my life big time, and now I have got rid of the addictions, I am slowly discovering who I am, and finding things to get involved in that really give me a lot of joy and enthusiasm and I am really quite excited to discover I actually have a good heart and able to find my own pleasures without relying on others or drugs/alcohol. 
 
I am also realising that the only person I can and should ever rely on is myself and it’s up to me to make sure my life is a good one. It is quite empowering. I don’t feel needy anymore, which always was a big problem of mine. Hard emotionally at times because I also have to deal with situations that need addressing (like changing existing friendships), but the end result always makes it worth it: not letting people with issues affect the way I feel and my life, yet keeping them in my life. But I am doing it with sympathetic and honest approach this time rather than brutal and judgemental. So far so good….because I don’t want to hurt anyone in that process, your happiness should never be at the cost of someone else’s. 
 
As I am changing for the better, so is my life. My relationship with people is improving every day, I no longer feel tortured or uncomfortable with some situations, as I am dealing with each as they arise. Even work is getting better every day, I don’t think I have ever been happy in a job before but I can sincerely say I am now, it is such a great feeling 🙂
 
Yes, life is getting better and better and I have you to thank for it….thank you 🙂 
 
x