Monday, July 6, 2009

"Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots." Frank A. Clark

I will start with a quick recap on the Independence Day weekend and then onto today’s topic. I was off Friday and Dan worked. I went to his aunt and uncle’s pool and then went home to clean. I had a nice chill day, ½ cleaning and ½ fucking off at home. Saturday Dan was off all day. We made a slow start of it, both doing our own thing in the morning. Then we had an afternoon nap and that night I made filet, scalloped potatoes and pork n’ beans. We rented 12 Rounds at my daddy’s suggestion. It was a good movie, action packed. I fell asleep on the couch at some point after the movie which is not uncommon. Sunday Dan worked all day again. His dad and step mom were coming in town that night so I had to get serious about cleaning house as it was a hot mess from not doing shit the past few weeks. We have 2 very large black labs that seem to shed a dog a day, plus the 7 year old that drops crayons, lego’s and stickers as she walks. I even found a few press on nails stuck in the carpet. I watched Gran Torino while I did some laundry. That might be a whole blog unto itself. Powerful movie but I don’t want to give anything away. I will think on that and get back to you. I got the entire house cleaned, including toilets and showers, which I despise! I was very proud of myself. Dan’s dad and step mom got in around 8. We chatted and watched New In Town and then they went to bed, as did I, around 11. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and the much needed rest I was looking for. The parents are here all week so stay tuned for a ranting blog later:-)

And now onto my stress relief for this wonderful Monday afternoon, it is no big secret to any of you in the blogosphere or in my “real life” friendship circle that I have had some issues with a few friends recently. I would say the past year has been devastating to that aspect of my life. I have the unique situation of still being friends with many people from my past. My longest running friendship is 30 years with my girl, Manda. It is funny how new friendships can sprout from current ones. You meet a friend of a friend, you click and a new friendship is born. It is the evolution of friendships and relationships. What happens when you have 2 friends that hate one another though? I mean absolute distaste, dislike and contempt? Well, you try to point out the good points of the other and make those 2 people see that they are both good people despite their many differences.

About 2 years ago I was deep into a problem such as this. It was miserable and uncomfortable every step of the way. All I could think was that I didn’t understand how 2 people that I thought were so great could be so mean and hateful to one another. We are talking about people who have known each other for the better part of 10 years. It was hard to talk about one to the other because she always had some dig or pot-shot to add. At the time I was single and carefree. I had nothing but time to maintain my friendships and I worked very hard at balancing those that liked each other with those that didn’t. Perhaps this old ritual comes from my parents division of marital friendships. If 2 people can’t get along in my family, someone didn’t get invited or got ousted for being the outsider. My parents had 20+ year friendships together. In the end they decided who would get what friends and the lines were drawn. I found it hard to function around those people because I wasn’t sure how I would be received. I found these folks to be confused as well since they didn’t get a note declaring whom they were the chosen friend of. I even found myself, as I got older, getting upset after my own break-ups because my friends were still talking to my ex’s. This is stupid. It was stupid then and still is today. I was a child who had learned from my parents’ horrible example and unfortunately, I did not know better.

About the time these friends I speak of decided they could be in the same room together again, things started to shift. I found Dan and the love I was searching for. I was no longer the single girl who dropped everything and anything to be their friend and be there for them. Looking back, most of our friendship was me doing for them or being there for them even though they would probably tell you how selfish and inconsiderate I was. At least, that is what they told me. I digress. I started living my own life, by my terms and these folks didn’t like it. You see, they knew me better than I knew myself and they weren’t going to let me forget that this “was not who I used to be”. And thank God for it, is what I thought but they didn’t seem to agree. At this point we didn’t agree on much so this isn’t really the huge shocker. This story gets interesting. Remember those 2 friends that couldn’t stand each other and did nothing but backstab and talk shit about one another? Well, they quickly became BFF’s. I guess they had the common thread of complaining about my happiness to hold them together now. As I was embarking on one of the greatest times in my life, these 2 people, who used to be the closest to me, were plotting my demise together. They individually judged me and my choices for months; both to my face and behind my back. Because I thought they were my friends and they loved me, I willingly took it. I even questioned myself and my decisions because if these people who were so important in my life could finally come together out of all of their hate and show concern for me, it must be warranted, right? I never once stopped to think about the way in which they had originally torn one another apart. Why was I surprised when they joined forces against me then?

I went on thinking for a long time that I must have somehow deserved it. I got nothing but criticism, lack of understanding and judgment from them. Nothing I did was good enough. For months I continued to question myself, my relationship and my friendships with them until that golden moment came. It was the ultimate betrayal for me; something that can’t be taken back, apologized for or gotten past. I never thought in a million years that ANYTHING could happen to change the way I felt about these 2 people that had been so important to my life up until that very moment. I was not prepared for their malice, deceit or the pain that came with it. It was worse than the month I spent without Dan. Worse than the 2 years that I didn’t talk to my dad. I truly thought my girls were my girls for life. No matter who else traveled in and out of our lives…we would always have each other. I had no idea how wrong I was about these particular people. It was a complete and deafening blow.

This was a defining moment in my life, which is why I write of it now. I put so much stock into what others were thinking. I valued opinions but too much. When Dan came into my life it was the first time EVER that I said “I don’t care what you think”. I said that to my friends, my dad and my entire circle of family and friends. Before when I dated someone I would take them to my friends and my dad for approval first. My years of being single taught me that what I think is what is important. I knew that I loved Dan before I even told any of them. I didn’t ask for their opinion or approval because I didn’t need it. I was judged for that too. Eventually all of this condemnation became too much for me to handle. Then lies were spread not just to friends and acquaintances but to my family. Take a minute to let that really sink in…their lies made it to my family and not through the grapevine but through the knife in my back…a direct hit. They actually went to my family and told them lies about me, my life and my boyfriend. I would have never thought in a million years that people that I loved so much could intentionally hurt me so badly. As a Scorpio, my first thought was to lash out for revenge. But then as all Scorpio’s know, Revenge is a dish best served cold…which means we wait for the perfect opportunity. In this case, I have decided that the revenge came before the severing of the relationship. Inner demons are the worst. While I believe that the attack on my character and my relationship were personal, I don’t believe the doer’s had any idea how much they were attacking themselves. True character is shown in times of duress. I realized that the mean, hateful and nasty things they had said to and about me in the 6 months prior was exactly what they had become. While I was busy living my life and being happy they were digging themselves deeper into self loathing, which always makes you lash out at others. It makes you despise their happiness and want to ruin it at any cost. That is exactly what happened here. The hate they were projecting started to eat away at them. Once my eyes opened I saw things that I was too stupid or blinded to see before about our relationships. This is what Dr. Phil refers to as an Aaaaahaaaaa moment.

It took some time to break old habits. These were 2 people that I spoke to on a daily basis. Over time I have realized that there is a lot less negativity and judgment in my life without them. Taking a step back helped me realize that they had been surface friends for longer than I would have liked to admit. They made me feel bad about myself and my decisions. Not because I thought my decisions were bad but because they did. I thought having someone to bounce ideas off of and help you find direction was good but when that person is headed down it is hard for them to help you up. I look back at all of the ways that I doubted myself because of someone else’s doubt. I don’t blame them for what happened. I take full responsibility for my own actions. I allowed other people to make me feel less about myself based on their opinions. I can honestly say I will never do that again. I know that other people’s opinions will never mean that much to me and they never should have to start with. This was a huge life lesson to me.

I know I am a much happier and more grounded individual without hateful/judgmental influences or “friends” that bring me down. In place of that void in my life, very many remarkable people have entered. I am so grateful for those positive influences. I do finally have levelheaded people with which I can discuss my feelings in a way less harsh setting. My relationship with Dan has been positively affected in that he is the one I talk to most about daily worries. If it is him that I need to talk about then I have neutral, respectful, loving people without hate or distrust of Dan to discuss that with. I feel like a much more grounded person and finally like an adult. I also feel like this is something I should have learned in grade school. If people don’t agree with you or your decisions or they just don’t like you, fuck ‘em. The only thing that matters in this life is what you think of you, your decisions and your relationships. Anyone who feels the need to judge others needs to take a long hard look at their own life before they do so. I truly feel as if a burden has been lifted!

This also works in the reverse. I see now why people make decisions that I think are not smart or well thought out. It might not make sense to me but it is what makes sense to them and that is all that matters. I can’t say that I haven’t judged in the past but looking forward I know I will be a better person, friend and lover because of these experiences. All things do work out as they were meant to. I firmly believe in that. I couldn’t be happier about the outcome or the positive things that have come my way from making changes within myself and my life. That is where true growth comes from, within.


  1. I am so glad you are in such a better place in your life now. It's hard to let go of people that played such important role in your life for so long. But when they are doing more harm then good, we have to let them go. You know the saying... "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"... They really seem to fit the bill there. I too have had to let people in my life go... and it seems once they are gone you realize how much better you really are without them anyway.

  2. There is something bittersweet about those ah-ha moments. On one hand you are happy to have learned something, but on the other hand regretful for not learning sooner. All lessons learned are for good reason and truely do make us better people. I made a decision a while ago to surround myself with positive people who make me feel good about myself. It has made a huge difference in my life and in my happiness!

  3. Oh girl...we gotta talk. I have a very similar experience. Mine happened about 5 years ago and I STILL think about those girls, but I don't regret a damn thing.

  4. Thanks for the love girls! I appreciate you and your support more than you know. Much love!

  5. Girl- Frenemies are the worse, I understand when you look back and think WTF was I thinking not trusting my gut instinct... Good for you and so happy for you and where you are in life...