Thoughts on Friendship

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I've been wanting to sort out some thoughts lately -- thoughts on friendship.

I have a history with hard friendships. It started in fifth grade at Wiles Hill Elementary School in Morgantown, WV. One day my best friend handed me a note at recess and ran away. Confused, I opened it, and I cried as I read. She told me in few and pointed words that I was bossy and that our friendship was over.

So many tears were shed. My mom called her mom. If I called and my (non)friend answered, she hung up. I didn't know what I had done (besides being bossy, whatever that meant -- and who knew that would become a thing someday?). Long story short -- she approached me on the playground in sixth grade. Said she was sorry, and would I want to be friends again? I instantly accepted. No questions asked.  My heart had ached for restoration for over a year, and I was thrilled at our reunion.

Fast forward to college. A boy and I were very close friends and had been since high school. His feelings were romantic; mine were not. When he eventually became engaged to someone, he stepped away from our friendship. I guess this doesn't really count since it's a totally different (and understandable) circumstance, but he was one of my best friends. It left an awful void in my heart. He reached out to me many years later and apologized. We're now friends, and I'm thankful for that. But those were hard years.

After college, I got married. One of my dear high-school-and-college friends was a bridesmaid in my wedding. We didn't keep in close touch after I got married, which, truthfully, I resented. She sent me an anniversary card in the mail a month after my first anniversary. I emailed to thank her and included  in my response a bad attitude. "Where have you been for the past year of my life?" I asked. "I've needed you. I don't need late anniversary sentiments now." Later that day I called her to apologize. I reached her voicemail. "I'm sorry," I said. "Please forgive my bad attitude. I shouldn't have responded that way. I just miss you."

She ignored my increasingly desperate phone calls and emails for two years. She finally reached out to me and asked if we could move on. I said yes. No questions asked. Once again, I was thankful to be reunited.

And in the past few years I've lost another friend. A long-distance friend, but an important person to me. Someone who was there for me when my precious grandmother died; someone who made an impact on me far more than she probably realizes. I don't know what I did to hurt or offend her. I've written letters; I've emailed. I've begged for forgiveness. I've asked for at least the chance to know what I did. So far, there has been no restoration. It adds to my broken friendship history. It hurts.

What do all of these sad stories have in common? Well, I am the common denominator. What have I done to deserve this history of lost friendships? I think about it a lot. If only I hadn't been so bossy. If only I hadn't spoken out with a bad attitude. If only I hadn't...??? How could I be different? How could these stories have taken another turn?

My most recent (non)friend remains such a mystery to me. Our email communication slowly went from such-good-friends-omg-I-love-your-blog-let's-talk-soon to cordial/polite to utter silence. She has now blocked me on instagram. My heart aches for the loss. Was I bossy? Was I grumpy? Did I correct someone's grammar one too many times?! I joke about being the "grammar police," but I truly have always done it out of a desire for people to not be embarrassed when they figure out their mistake. But as I've ruminated over this lost friendship in my mind, I've all but stopped correcting. I don't want to appear unkind. I don't want to lose any more friends.

I'm frequently asked by current friends: why do you want someone like that in your life? If someone writes you off for months, for years -- are they worth it? If you beg for forgiveness, if they ignore you -- do you want their friendship? And if you do, why? Truthfully, I don't know why. Because I want to live in harmony with people? I don't want to exist in the unknown? I want to be forgiven? I want to be worthy of friendship?

If you completely write someone out of your life, you probably have a justification. Perhaps you think they're toxic. Maybe you don't deserve what they put you through. Maybe you don't want to be brought down by them. I guess these are the kinds of things my current (non)friend thinks of me. It breaks my heart.

I have so many good friends, and I know I should focus on them. Friends who have stuck by me for years; friends who have seen me at my absolute worst and who have chosen to love me anyway.  Those friends deserve to be celebrated. But my (non)friend dampens it all for me, and that's sad. She's a very vocal Christian. She posts many beautiful words and images about God's grace and forgiveness. I just wish that grace could be extended to me.

Those are my thoughts on friendship.

8 comments:

Jon said...

Beth,

I'm sorry so many of your friendships have gone the way of the 6th grade brake-up (the one where instead of actually breaking up, one person just physically dodges the other one until eventually they both forget they were "dating.") That's the short version of the two observations I wanted to make:

1. I wonder if some of the challenges of close friendship stem from the lack of commitment, stated expectations, definition, etc., that you get in a dating relationship. If you're dating someone and something bad happens or you drift apart or x-y-z, you break up. It's hard and it hurts, but both people know what happened. Friendships (when they're unhealthy, anyway) may allow for a more vague sort of messiness.

2. Speaking of unhealthy, I'd say there's another common denominator in your broken past friendships-- your friends' poor communication-- to put it charitably. These things are unacceptable: ending a friendship in a note (ok it was 5th grade, but still); stepping away from a friend with no prior warning; not forgiving someone for one angry email; not returning emails or voicemails with no explanation whatsoever. I'm not necessarily joining the chorus of, "Who wants those chumps as friends?!", but it should be acknowledged that they've been communicating with you at a middle school level.

Again, I'm sorry you have gone (and are going) through these hurts. I've had some really hard, painful trials with my closest friends too. Not trying to overspiritualize or Jesus Juke here, but it's been very comforting to me in those moments to remember that Jesus himself knew the pain of friends walking away from him.

Kimberly Campbell said...

Thanks for sharing. Hurt and pain are real and are necessarily (unfortunately) a part of life. This past year of my life, especially, has been full of hurt and pain. More than I probably ever care to admit. Many days are spent with overflowing tears. I don't know if I'm ready to jump back in there and try again on friendships. Trust is an easy thing to gain with me - but once lost, very hard to get back. I understand some of your pain - though not totally - but thanks again for sharing. And I apologize now for grammatical errors! :)

ابو ياسين said...

من المعروف ان نظافة المنازل من بين اهم الخدمات الضرورية في التنظيف والترقية بمنازلنا الى مصاف المنازل العصرية والتي عرفت تنظيفا عصريا من شانه ان يوفر لساكنته ظروفا حياتية راقية ولابد من توفر هيئة تختص في المجال مع تقديم ضمانات متكاملة من شانه ان تجعل الافراد يضمنون نجاح خدمة التنظيف ولا حاجة للمزيد من ضياع الاموال عبر طلبات خدمة نظافة المنازل التي لا تلبي حاجياتهم ولا تتماشى مع رغباتهم لأن العديد من شركات تنظيف المنازل تسعى فقط الى عرض خدماتها عبر طرق ترويجية فحسب . شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقصيم
شركة تنظيف بالقصيم
شركة تنظيف منازل بالقصيم
شركة رش مبيد بالقصيم
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالطائف

Tổng Hợp said...

Bạn đang đi tìm một nơi van chuyen hang di uc. Bạn muốn sử dụng Chuyển hàng từ úc về việt nam? . Chúng tôi hiện nay là công ty chuyên cung cấp các dịch vụ vận chuyển hàng ở nước ngoài về Việt Nam và ngược lại. Tiêu biểu có thể kể đến như dịch vụ vận chuyển hàng đi malaysia, vận chuyển hàng từ Malaysia về Việt Nam, hướng dẫn mua hàng trên amazon... Và còn rất nhiều dịch vụ khác như mua hàng trên amazon mua hộ hàng mỹ để phục vụ bạn. Muốn mua hàng ở nước ngoài, chỉ cần đến với chúng tôi bạn sẽ không cần phải lo nghĩ nhiều nữa.

Tổng Hợp said...

TRUNG TÂM CÔNG NGHỆ - ĐIỆN TỬ - TỰ ĐỘNG HOÁ - CƠ KHÍ ATI
Org : ATI Technology Center

- Nhận làm đồ án công nghệ chế tạo máy
- Nhận làm đồ án chi tiết máy

Mọi chi tiết xin liên hệ:

Phone: 0909.769.098 – 0918.769.098 – 01699.257.175
Email: dientuati@gmail.com
Skype: atibk.vn
Website : http://luanvantotnghiep.com.vn
http://www.doantotnghiep.com.vn/
http://phanmemgiare.com.vn
Fac: https://www.facebook.com/nhanthietkemachdientuati
https://www.facebook.com/nhanlamdoantotnghiep/
Địa chỉ: Nhận Làm Trên Toàn Quốc

Tổng Hợp said...

Titan Gel

Tổng Hợp said...

Titan Gel

Tổng Hợp said...

Mô hình có khả năng áp dụng giảng dạy cho các mô đun: PLC cơ bản; Thực hành Kỹ thuật số; Kỹ thuật cảm biến, điều khiển điện khí nén,... của 2 nghề: Điện công nghiệp và Điện tử công nghiệp.

Mô hình được thiết kế để đếm và phân loại sản phẩm một cách hoàn toàn tự động. Tuy nhiên trong mô hình có sử dụng thiết bị lập trình điều khiển PLC vì vậy có tính linh hoạt rất cao. Chỉ cần thay đổi phần mềm điều khiển là có thể áp dụng giảng dạy được các nội dung khác. Đối với từng bài tập cụ thể, học sinh sẽ nối dây trên bàn thực hành theo sơ đồ và lập trình phần mềm tương ứng với nhiệm vụ điều khiển.

Mô hình phân loại sản phẩm

Mọi chi tiết xin liên hệ:
TRUNG TÂM CÔNG NGHỆ - ĐIỆN TỬ - TỰ ĐỘNG HOÁ - CƠ KHÍ ATI
Org : ATI Technology Center
Phone : 0909.769.098 – 0918.769.098 – 01699.257.175
Email: dientuati@gmail.com
Skype: atibk.vn - Y!M: atibkvn

Say something...