In previous posts I mentioned losing “friends” as I am transitioning, moving, changing. Things cannot stay the same. The lesson in all this is that I need to trust myself, trust my intuition and trust my feelings.
The first “friend” I talked about, the one that would scoff at my passions, I take responsibility for that. We didn’t see each other often but after the first time I should have walked away. Before coming here there is no way I would have done that. I should have known I never agreed with the way she said she treated other people either. There were other things but I just let it all go.
This whole trying to fit in thing made me hold on to people that didn’t fit. They didn’t fit my view of friendship. They didn’t fit my sense of myself and how I saw my life. But I didn’t see it at the time. I didn’t see that there were people who wanted my company that did fit those qualities. I didn’t see it. It is upsetting to me that I feel like I missed out on so many good times with so many wonderful people and ended up almost back at the beginning. I have to believe that everything happens for a reason and when I take a step back from the situation I can see how much I learned about myself. Actually I should say some things I learned and others I re-learned about myself.
I have to admit that the first thing I re-learned is to be choosy in picking your circle. They have the ability to encourage or derail you without even trying. I also learned not to expect more from people than they are offering. It isn’t fair to them. It breeds resentment.
The second “friend” I take full responsibility. I knew from the beginning. I read in my old journals. I read statements I made. I wrote that she was an activity buddy and that I didn’t see things getting beyond that. She stayed with me temporarily when we first entered the country and even then I wrote that it wasn’t something I would want to do long term. Why I forgot, why this didn’t come back to my consciousness before I decided to move in with her, I don’t know. I recognise that under stress, in distress, I do not make good decisions. I need to learn to take time, to give myself space. I’ll have to add that to my “Life’s Lessons So Far.”
Since moving in together, her behaviour has told me on numerous occasions that she doesn’t know me. Despite having called herself my friend at one point; despite being acquainted with me for 9 years, living with me for 4, and numerous conversations where I’ve explained myself and been open about how I am, she doesn’t know me. People I have spent less time with, less time physically know me better, understand me more than someone I lived with. If it wasn’t clear when I first met her, the last year has made it clear that we were never friends, at least, not by my definition of friendship.
There was one other “friend” that I felt the need to detach myself from. Again this was someone I thought knew me well. Actually, it was someone I expected to know me well as we spent so much time together. But when I noticed she was doing things that were morally questionable I backed off. As with the other two, there were words exchanged. If these three women taught me anything it is 1. choose your circle wisely and don’t be afraid to walk away and 2. times of distress will show you who cares for you and who doesn’t. The one thread among all three, these breakdowns came at the worst possible moments of my life and it didn’t matter to any of them because none of them actually notice. With the very first I was moving, the landlord pulled out at the last minute and I have to find somewhere else to live and the day before I moved I found out my nephew died. With the second, I was depressed, barely leaving the house, and approaching suicidal. With the last I had reached suicidal, I had the plan, I had the letter written, I wasn’t seen for days, I wasn’t showering, and I told her I was overwhelmed. It didn’t matter.
Thus far I have detached myself from the people that no longer fit where I am going. This last step is harder. Coming out of a period of financial strain, catching up, and trying to save takes time. So I have to be here. I have to stay in this flat which feels stifling, where pettiness is the norm, where norms are shredded out of sheer pettiness. It’s annoying and unnecessary to be in a place where asking a person over 40 to clean up after themselves so you can use the common area, the living room, leads to an argument. This too is a lesson. I know patience is one. I know showing my commitment is another. There is also being able to stay the course in less than ideal circumstances. But I’m tired. I want peace. At every other point in my life I have been able to endure because of 1 (or all) of 3 things: a peaceful stable home, family in close proximity, friends who are family. Right now I have one of those things. I’d at least like to make it 2 out of 3.