Monday, March 20, 2006

Long lost friends

Many years ago, I lost one of my closest friends in a painful, prolonged fight that ripped apart our circle of friends. She was a woman whose pride and self-respect paved the way for my own coming out, and her love and support during that time still mean the world to me. She was wise and funny and smart and kind, and losing her friendship is one of the few things I regret in my life. I've tried twice to repair our friendship, once 7 years ago and once this past weekend. Both times, she was polite but clear that she doesn't want me in her life.

I'm surprised again by how much this hurts, this rejection from a person I thought I'd know and love my whole life. We used to dream about how we'd still be friends at the old folks' home, talking trash and cuttin' up. We talked about writing a book together, and we said we'd always be there for each other. I miss her viscerally, in the pit of my stomach and in the marrow of my bones. To this day, I still yearn to call her when I hear certain songs on the radio or discover an author I think she'd like. I wonder if this sense of connection to her will ever lessen, though the thought of that seems almost more painful than her continued rejection of me.

I wonder if I'll ever have a friend like her again. My friendships have gotten diluted by the flotsam of daily life: I'm in touch with many friends, but aside from Petunia, there's no one I call regularly, no one who knows my daily joys and frustrations. Maybe this is how it is when you're married and all grown up; perhaps I have unrealistic expectations about friendship. All I know for sure is that I'm lonely, that I hunger for friendship the way I once hungered for love.


Anonymous Jenny PP said...

I'm sorry you're lonely, this makes me so sad! I don't think our lives can ever be like they were again in college, when we were all so physically close and involved with each other's lives, but I love you and you're my psychic twin for life!

Let's do something smart like have a once a month date or something - something regular but not so often that we'd screw it up a lot, given that we don't live in the same city. What do you think?

I don't know why I don't feel the same about missing this person. Maybe it's because I didn't share the coming out stuff you two did. Or maybe it's because since I think what happened is a wrong that was done to you, not me, I can make the break more cleanly. Of course I'd prefer none of that happened and I thought we'd always know each other too, but I don't have as hard a time with it as you do.

Anyway, I'm sorry you're sad, try not to be. I think of you every day! I love you AJWP!

3:51 PM  
Blogger Hashbrown said...

I have had friendships come and go in my life as well. It is the hardest when you were very close to someone and some other event rips you apart, for reasons that make no sense to you. There are friends I had that I miss viserally too because they and I have parted for what ever reason. It has made me cherish that which I still have and reach out to those who I wish to make friends with.

I too wish you were not so lonely and sad. I still want to knock a couple Smithies down for hurting you so badly but I try to contain my puffy side. You are a fantastic woman and anyone who has the honor to call you friend is truely blessed.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Canada said...

I can understand where you're coming from in the deep way of missing someone. For me, this was over fertility issues - I got pregnant, and she didn't. I knew it would be hard for her, but I tried to see her early on, and she just wouldn't go for it. There were several years of feeling sad about losing someone. I'd periodically call her home number (using my cell phone so my number wouldn't show) during the day while she was at work just to see if "you have reached Mr and Mrs" changed to "you have reached Mr and Mrs and Baby".

The fact that you've reached out on a couple of occasions tells me what I already know about you - you are the more mature person. You care deeply and take risks with your heart, which sometimes means that you are the one to get hurt. I'm so sorry that you're sad. It sounds like a situation that sucks. I'd give you a hug if I was there (and bring chocolate, 'cause it helps)

I can also understand the loneliness thing. May I venture a guess? Have you felt this more acutely since you started your day care? It's not that you don't love doing what you do - obviously you must, and you do it so well. It just sounds like you've started to feel the isolation that so many of us do when we become mothers - the stay-at-home kind. You have way less interaction with people, adult conversation is minimal during the day, and you're tired and want to relax with Petunia in the evenings. I think that Jenny (and I apologize - I know I'm not one of the people who's allowed to call her that!) is right - you need to schedule some time to do other stuff WITH people, whether it's once a week or once a month (I vote for once a week!). That has been my sanity saver for sure. If you organize the same people and book in advance, you don't get the "oh, I made other plans" thing. I do movie night at least every other week with one friend, and sometimes others join us, and I joined the choir. Another friend started a book club that meets once a month - that might be right up your alley!

5:00 PM  
Blogger foxhenchman said...

Sometimes it's just not the right time. Wasn't I incommunicado for a number of years? You're a wonderful person, and if your former friend is worthy of you, she'll come back into your life.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous amyjwp said...

Thanks for your kind comments. Jane, I'd love to have a monthly date with you! We don't see each other enough. Canada, I think you're right--work exacerbates the problem. I don't think it's as much the work itself as the 12-hour days; by the end of the night, I'm exhausted. And S., you're very kind to say what you d
did. I'm glad we're in touch again! Lots of love to you all, and to Petunia/Hashbrown, too!

12:51 PM  

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