Saturday, May 05, 2007

Maybe she needed to do it.

Ms. Theologian invites me to post again about my friend's inexplicable (to me) decision to end our longtime, long distance friendship, which foundered when I moved so far away and made so many changes in my life that I could not keep up my end. (Actually, I don't remember that she kept hers up either, but that's not my point.)

I am much more at peace about it today, partly because I'm a little more distanced, a little more understanding, and a little more philosophical. And chopping thistles probably didn't hurt either.

Sometimes therapists will ask their clients "does this situation seem to you like any other situation you've been in?" and when I asked myself that question, I answered "yes, it does". Others have done similar things to me, not often, but just often enough that I need to take note and examine my own behavior, which, I admit, can be less than sensitive to another's needs. I have also watched others do this "shutting the door" act to another person and have wondered at the reasoning behind it.

My brother whom I love dearly has done this to my sister who is my best friend, in the past, for reasons which were incomprehensible to me and to her. He has mellowed somewhat, but there's tension between them because of it. He never wanted to explain fully; it seemed like the adult equivalent of "if you don't know, I ain't agonna tell you" thing done by junior high kids. Consequently, she was and is still in the dark.

I used to try to bring them together but eventually gave up on that as a bad idea. I have had to reconcile it in my mind as "he just needed to do it", for whatever reason, and I have no way to change that.

I have done what I can. I am now more alert to how my behavior and role sometimes are problematic for friends and I am more alert to how the role of ministry has changed my identity and my actions in the world. I have found a middle ground between taking all the blame and taking none of it and it is a reasonable, if not comfortable, place to be. It has quit keeping me awake in the night. And the early morning rain of a few days ago....well, it's nice out today.


Ms. Theologian said...

It's all very intriguing to me. I like that you've reflected on the situation despite the fact that it must have been really painful, and the initial comments your friend made were...well, shitty and mean.

Joel said...

I have a suspicion what the trouble is between your siblings. I also remember a time when they were very close and he was angry (for long years) with you. I finally found out why that was, and it was a not-too-rational but emotionally charged impetus. It's probably something similar here. Not that I would know for sure.

Mile High Pixie said...

I had a revelation this weekend as well about my friend with whom I'm, at least for a while, ending a relationship. I played a bigger part in it than I first thought or would let myself admit, and I think he needs to hear me say that in order to let go as well. It's hard to do, but I have to accept some blame on it.

It hurts when it happens, but slowly, gently, each day it will improve.

Miss Kitty said...

Hang in there, Ms. K. You're in my thoughts & prayers.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks for your insights, friends.

Anonymous said...

Do you think your family appreciates having their personal struggles aired here? Have you asked for their permission to discuss their problems with the general public?

I just find this to be surprising, given your clergy awareness of boundaries. I'm genuinely wondering why you've made the choice to talk about your family in this public way.

Does your need to share your insights trump their right to privacy?

I'm a blogger, too, and rule #1 when I began was "no airing of relationship issues, period, unless I give equal airtime to the person involved."

ms. kitty said...

A reasonable point, Anon. Thanks for your input.