I've been challenged emotionally all day. It began last Tuesday and peaked last night. I angered someone I considered a close friend and confidante. She doesn’t want to talk and I have the sense it might be that way for a long time. My feelings are hurt. She's been a touchstone, sounding board and running buddy. I’m a communicator and she isn’t. She handles her anger by walking away. I let my friend know I’m giving her space and whenever she’s ready to talk I’m here. A scene from "Beaches" keeps coming to mind: It’s C.C. telling Hilary “you took our friendship away without a word. I depended on that friendship. I trusted it.”
I can handle her being angry. This isn't the first time I've said something that aggravated her. It’s the complete shutdown that hurts. As a child, when my cousin got angry I would plead with her not to be “mad at me.” She was my first playmate and when she was angry she wouldn’t play with me. Due to the dynamics of that relationship, a pattern developed. Whenever someone would get angry the little girl inside took over. I can see, hear and feel her begging and pleading “Please don’t be mad at me. I’m sorry. Please don’t be mad. Please play with me.” Other patterns developed: (1) I became a kiss-ass. I made the feelings/wants/desires of others more important then my own. (2) It's challenging to make and develop connections and (3) I can become focused on one relationship and neglect others. If that relationship comes to an end, I believe I'm left “without a playmate.”
The phrase “grow up” comes to mind. I’m sure it means different things to different people. For me, in this situation, it means finding a way to help the little girl inside shift her perspective on what's happened and how it relates to her. I want to help her see she has other playmates and when someone gets angry with her, it's really about them and how they're processing what happened. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with her or she's bad. I’m letting her know she doesn't need to "beg" someone not to be angry and there's no value in apologizing when you don't know what you're apologizing for. It would be better to talk but a lot of people have difficulty saying how they feel without being judgmental and accusatory. Saying, "you're a _____" isn't the same as saying "when you talk me to like I'm a child, I feel hurt. It makes me think you think I'm stupid and I feel angry."
This is the first relationship blow-up since becoming an ex. In the past, I would’ve disappeared into a haze of cigarette smoke, pot and alcohol. I’m not feeling any temptation to smoke but my brain is letting me know there’s something different, something's missing. Oh, there’s no nicotine. My eyes are red from crying. I’ve been looking for the gift. There’s always a silver lining. I believe if I'm patient enough and pay attention I'll catch a glimpse of it. I don’t want to replace one addiction with another but I'm going to have a cocktail. One more hour and I will have completed another day of freedom.
Michele 61 DOF