Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Grief: When A Friend Betrays You

I don't have an answer to this topic just a wriggling pile of unpleasant feelings.  A woman who I thought was my friend for six years always treated me with love and respect.  Then I gave her money to do a project that I thought was going to be a collaboration.  She shut me out.  Every time I tried to say something to her she said I was criticizing her or that I thought she was a moron.  She is having many problems with this project and I have so many resources.  She refused to consider any of them.  I don't understand that. First of all, people love my ideas.  They are creative, practical and funny.  Second of all, I always want feedback on my own projects.  That's how I learn. When I tried asking her to get together like we used to and not talk about the project she said she was too busy.  Then on Saturday we had brunch at a lovely restaurant.  I put any bad feelings aside and gave her a big hug.  About half way through the meal she started to tell me what an unreasonable and horrible person I was.  I got up to leave - and I should have - but for some silly reason I thought if I sat there I could get her to understand that she never heard any of the many compliments I gave her and when I stated an opinion it was an opinion not an insult.

It was so weird.  It went on and on and on until I realized people were actually coming in for dinner. I felt nauseous and angry and sad.  She said she felt better.  I e-mailed her and asked to have my name taken off of the project.  I never have my name on anything if I don't have any creative input.  I wished her well and said I knew she would do a great job.  Instead of saying thank you - which I would have - she said I was ending our friendship because of sour grapes and that it was utterly ridiculous.  Ending a business collaboration that obviously wasn't working seemed to be a wise decision that had nothing to do with our friendship but after that response I did end our friendship - and still wished her well.  I couldn't let her continue to be abusive to me.  So why do I feel so bad?

It's difficult when someone you trust becomes so unreasonable.  I know she thinks it is me.  I have heard that she acts like this with other people.  Her insecurity doesn't allow her to hear what people say.  If there is a problem to fix, or someone has a good idea, she sees it as an attack when it isn't.  She even did something as silly as noticing I have bangs (my hair) and saying they look nice.  It would have been a compliment except I've had bangs for the past 6 years.  It's not important but it shows not only does she not know who I am - someone with integrity and intelligence - she doesn't even know what I look like - not really. Now, that part is funny.  So is the modern day version of revenge: she blocked me on Facebook.  Poor woman, now she won't get all the funny things I post. :)

It is so much harder to deal with these kinds of things with my husband Artie being dead.  I have many friends and am very lucky but I wish he was here to tell me what he thinks.  He probably would say I let myself be ripped off because I am still naive and trust the wrong people.  Even if he said something like that, it wouldn't matter, because then he would hold me and all my hurt feelings would drain away. Since Artie died I feel that I am hurt every day so that any other hurt becomes unbearable.  Things I could shrug off before are harder to handle now.

Even with this - I wonder why - when there are so many good things in my life - and so many good friends - do I care so much when one person disappoints me?  Someone told me they texted someone, "You were mean to me."  That's such a simple statement.  I used so many words and tried to let her see that I saw things from her side and all I should have said is, "You're being mean to me.". 

I'm mean too sometimes, especially if I get hurt or angry.  I always say I'm sorry afterwards.  I have to take responsibility for my actions.  I don't feel good if I don't.

Tomorrow morning I'll go to balancing exercise with Alex who will make me laugh.  Maybe that's what life is.  One long balancing class.  If things happen and you lose your balance you keep trying until you can stand straight again without falling over.  I read a quote that I like a lot - follow your heart but don't forget to take your brain.  I followed my heart and let my brain not notice all the signs that it should have.  I learned the hard lesson that in business of any kind you have to get everything in writing.  I always keep my word but I can't assume that other people will.

You know what?  I always want people to fight for me.  When I have a friend and we get into a disagreement I fight for the friendship.  With this woman, not only did she not fight for it - she assumed I was ending it when I wasn't.  My best friend Marty is different.  Once I wrote her ways that my feelings had been hurt.  She thanked me for being honest with her and said that she had been self absorbed lately and would try to do better. She was grateful for a friendship in which we could be honest with each other. Even Alex my exercise trainer - I got angry one day.  When I told him about it, he complimented me on being so straightforward and powerful.  I'm trying to untangle a tangle that can't be untangled.  I have to let it stay tangled.

If you have read this all the way through I hope it has made some sense.  I hope all of your friends hold you close and value you for who you are.  I'm lucky that I have friends that do that.  Friends I've met in actual life and friends I've met in cyberspace.  There was a time in my life when I was young that I didn't know how to make friends.  I had a talk with another friend about how much value I put on friendship.  It's true.  If you are really my friend it means something deep and precious to me.

My words of wisdom for today are that some days it's okay not to have any words of wisdom! xo

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