Monday, January 19, 2009

On learning to forgive

Today I spent six hours or so with the former best friend.

I posted before about how she brought a gift for the baby, and how she wanted to talk. I told her I was willing to listen (I'm working at being more forgiving and understanding and not such a hard-ass) and to just let me know when she wanted to stop by. Then two months passed and I never heard from her so I just figured she changed her mind. No biggie.

Well, I got an email from her and she basically said life got in the way and really made her think about some things. She wanted to come talk if the offer was still open, so I said okay. Now, I'm not going to lie. I don't like this type of confrontation, and I was dreading it a bit. Okay, more than a bit. What would be said? Would there be angry words again? Would I end up hurt even worse than I was in the first place? Heck, was that even possible?

The thing is, I know that being afraid of the "maybe" and "what if" that's around every corner is no way to live a life, especially not one that is to be happy and full.

So she came over, and I'll be honest - it was like putting on a very worn, much loved, and comfortable pair of jeans. A little stiff at first from the dryer and maybe not wearing them for a while, but after a bit, like you never stepped out of them. We chatted about things that had happened recently, funny stories, the baby. It was like we hadn't ever really been apart; just two friends hanging out shooting the breeze. I liked it, but I knew, and I'm pretty sure she did too, that there was something else we were both there to discuss. It was waiting, and casting a shadow over everything.

Finally, I told her we should just get to it, and she agreed. She asked me to first tell her how I felt about the whole thing, and I did. I just laid it all out, because, let's face it, what did I have to lose? I told her about how hurt I was, by the things she said, by the actions she took. I listed specific instances and gave examples. I told her how hard it was to watch her not value herself. I told her about finding time for the things that really mattered, and how you teach people how to treat you. I told her pretty much that I wasn't willing to be treated that way anymore, and what happened was pretty much the last straw for me. This is what happened; this is how it made me feel. (You know, the formula they teach you in therapy, LOL!)

I've always said that one lesson I've learned in my life is that I'd rather be alone and miserable by my own hand than surrounded by others who make me miserable. I have no qualms about letting go, because although I know it can be really hard, I also know that in the long run, it's usually better.

She told me about how she wished she could take it all back, but she knew that she could not. She told me how much she missed me. She told me how she didn't realize how important I was until I was gone. She told me a lot of things, and she cried. Hell, we both did.

There's a part of me that just wants to say YES, and take her back and pretend that it all never happened. I missed her too. I miss her now. I miss what we had. There's also still that ever cautious part of me - the one that is slow to trust, the one that repeats "fool me once..." like a mantra, the one who dwells on things. The one that is scared, I guess, because I am.

What if it happens again? What if she's not being entirely truthful? What if I take her back, only to have to go through all the hurt all over again? What if I end up looking like a fool?

Of course, those are those dirty "what if?"s that I need to work on. The ones that can be neatly filed under "O" for obsessive. The ones that prevent me from being willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I want to believe. I want it so bad, but at the same time, I'm so, so very afraid to believe. I definitely have a lot of thinking to do about this. Perhaps, instead of worrying about what might happen, I need to learn to wait and see what will happen. Perhaps I need to learn trust.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Miss Anne said...

... this post reasonated within me. my ex bf and i are no longer friends (as of thanksgiving)... it has been beyond hard lately for me.. especially with all the wedding planning, etc. i miss her more than i'd like to admit most days... but also know that she hurt me pretty bad.

i'm a forgiving person, and i dont hold grudges, ever.... but i agree that you can't always be the one to have to give in.

there has to be some accountability.

not to say the friendship isn't worth it, just you have to respect yourself too.

i say go with your heart on this one, but know that you are a stronger and kinder woman for it.

xo

12:36 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

It's completely natural to be afraid of letting her hurt you again. The only way to find out if she is serious about being a good friend is to give her the chance to be that person. Is not being her friend making you happier than taking the chance and letting her back into your life?

8:50 AM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

I have a hard time with forgiveness also. It's a really tough decision you have in front of you. Hopefully some of what you talked about can help you make your decision.
I don't really have any good advice for you. Just hope you can follow your heart.

12:31 PM  
OpenID knittahplease said...

wow. timely here, too.
my bf of about 20 years is now a grandmother. the whole world has stopped. my grandkids don't exist. most of the time i don't exist either. it's been 10 months now, so no newness is wearing off.
it sucks, and i know this should not be a surprise. (it's happened before.)
but i miss her. every single hour i miss her. but i know that i cannot just be here to hear her bragging. she's now lost her job, which means her daughter and granddaughter are here entire life. there is no need (or room!) for me.
would i let her back in? i'm not sure. this is the third time and it effing hurts.
so my only advice to you is follow your heart AND your head.
besitos, mama!
Lynne

4:44 PM  
Blogger Susanne P. said...

wow sara, that's a lot to carry around in your mind. you are so articulate about it.

what does you hub think? what would he do?

i wish i had something to say that could help but i tend not to be a forgiver. it's a really bad trait i have. i don't like it. i obviously am not as rational as you.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Sara
Just to let you know I am thinking of you.
I think she screwed up, big time.
I think she's human, and sometimes people are not perfect.
I think there are ways to let her back in your life in little ways, and use those little ways for her to earn some trust from you as to whether you want to invest more in her as time goes on.
It does not have to be an all-or-nothing.
She's got to stand behind her commitment, and give you time to ge to a point where you are willing to let her in bit by bit.
Or you can just throw a pie in her face and be done with it. :) heh.

12:02 AM  
Blogger kingsqueen said...

I think Suzy and Sylvia said it best. I think a lot of us know what you're going through and can sympathize. I will be thinking of you and hope you make the best decision for YOU. Only you know what will make you happy and what will help you sleep easier at night. And remember forgiveness doesn't mean she automatically regains your trust. That, I feel, must be earned.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

First, I say, congratulations to both of you for sucking it up and getting together. That's probably the hardest part and the one our pride often gets in the way of. Second, I recently heard trust is fast to be lost and slow to be regained. Perhaps you don't have to firmly go one way or another. Maybe this is the time for cautious optimism where you start slowly and allow the trust time to be rebuilt. Just a thought. Thanks for sharing your story.

7:12 AM  

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