My kids are home for March Break this week, so on Sunday we made the 3.5 hour drive to visit Martin’s parents in deep cottage country for a few days.
During the drive as the children slept, and Martin and I enjoyed some silence in the car, I felt a bit weird. Not sick or anything… just very… still. I’m not sure I’ve been so still in a very long time. Being a passenger, I had nothing to do but look out the windows and watch the endless forest whip past me in the cold sunshine. I had time to think about some things. Uncomfortable things I often push to the outside corners of my mind.
The kinds of things that make me cry.
And so I did. Weirdly, I just had tears rolling out of the corners of my eyes, and I kept wiping them out from under my sunglasses. Martin was alarmed, but I assured him I was just… having thoughts.
Sarah wrote about her feelings on loss-of-friendships a little while back, and I’ve been driving some similar thoughts out of my brain for a months… but all things surface eventually.
I have a friend in particular who is making me feel kind of… fired. The thing is, I have lots of friends. My desire for company or affection is easily filled. What I had time to contemplate was that this feeling is reminiscent of one I had about 20 years ago, when I was one of a foursome of friends who spent all of our time together, as high school/university aged girls are wont to do. We were actually two pairs of friends hanging out.
But one day I felt like I’d been dropped by my particular friend – by the one that made me part of a pair. It was a natural drifting… but instigated by her – not me. Sure it made me a bit sad, but I reasoned if she didn’t want me, then I didn’t want her either. (Or, that’s what I tried to make myself believe.) Her relationship with the other pair never wavered though. Those three remain close friends to this day.
I’d be lying if I said that doesn’t pinch just a little bit.
Fast forward to today, where I feel happy in my life and genuine in the richness of my friendships and the people around me, this feeling of being dismissed by this current friend with whom I’ve been friends for over 10 years, who is now hardly in my life at all… well, it pinches in the very same way.
Life circumstances change the face of a friendship sometimes – like a new job, or a new boyfriend, or a new baby. But when you consider someone to be a “lifetime” friend, who seems to drop you… it makes me wonder if my friendship isn’t worth holding onto. It makes me wonder if it’s something about me. Or if I’m not worth holding onto.
Which opens up a whole whack of emotions I have around inclusiveness, which leads to issues I have about self-worth, which is a very hard thing to measure, and even harder to examine up-close… it’s far easier to push these feelings aside and just press on.
But then one day on a long, quiet drive, these things come bubbling to the surface with speed and wicked force, and before you know it, you’re bawling for no apparent reason, and you feel foolish and childish, and you just want to dry up and knock it off already, only the feelings linger and threaten to ruin your whole trip.
Heap on top that I’m PMS-y AND that I missed the Oscars for the first time in as long as I can remember AND that I didn’t get enough bacon with my breakfast, and I tell you, it only made my
ridiculous grief seem way, waaaaaaay worse.
Friendships come and go. They ebb and they flow. It’s okay, really. Though no one likes to feel dismissed, I’m recognising that this has nothing to do with my friends, and everything to do with how I feel about myself. It’s like a Turducken of feelings. I’m still getting to the chewy-centre of my feelings on all this stuff – self-examination is tricky business.
But for now, my kids are home and they need my attention. I need to amuse them with some activities and things, so I can have one less thing to feel like a failure about. I really don’t need to add any of those feelings into this shame-spiral. Oy.
I’m not depressed. It’s just not-close-enough to the end of winter yet, and I’m… feeling things.