Friendship: difficult and complicated

It’s quiet in the house this early Saturday morning. I’m reflecting on relationships. Messy, uncomfortable, repulsive sometimes –  especially for someone like me. Friendship drains me and right now I don’t feel like I want it at all. I want to walk away from 18 years of friendship because someone is difficult. There’s a tiny voice talking to me though, through all the mental noise of emotions, and the voice is asking me if I really want to throw away 18 years. It’s not that friends themselves are scarce. I could find a new friend (if I wanted to, which I don’t really) – but I can never replace those years. I can’t just go out and get myself an 18 year friendship. And what is life all about if not human connection?

My husband says I make things too complicated. I can’t help it. I don’t understand simple.

Confrontation is necessary bullshit

I’ve gotten myself into a very uncomfortable situation with a friend. She’s been in a bad place for a long time, like years, but she thinks it is because of outside events. The fact is, she is like a modern day Job (like in the Bible) with all the shit that is happening to her. Every time I’m with her, I’m cringing, waiting to hear about the latest catastrophe in her life.

Friend had a vision of how life was supposed to be and fully expected it to pan out that way. When it didn’t, she decided to become a professional and permanent victim instead of getting up, brushing off her ass, and continuing to choose joy. I happen to think that when you choose negativity and victimhood, especially victimhood, that life gives you lots of opportunities to keep being a victim. And that is what has happened with friend.

And now I’ve gone and opened my big fat mouth about it and I’ve really stepped in it. I am a big stinking mess of contradictions and one of them is that I hate confrontation but I can’t sit in the middle of inconsistency either. So if I was going to continue in my relationship with friend, something was going to have to be said. Well, I broached the subject gingerly and sure enough, I got bit. I mean, I didn’t even give the full details of what I have been seeing. I just mentioned, hey, you might want to think about that maybe you are not seeing the full picture.

And I got rebuffed with a defensive response. I just don’t take to that very well. When I offer advice to a close friend, I want to be listened to and taken seriously. I understand if ultimately you decide that the advice doesn’t work for you. I just want you to give me enough credit to take it seriously. And if you don’t, then I’m going to probably move myself emotionally out of the situation. And that’s what has happened.

But now friend is asking me to come back into the situation and explain myself in more detail, which is probably what I wanted in the first place but now I’ve been put off and I just don’t want to. Which is the fucking most suck feeling in the world and yes I am a whiny baby: I don’t want to feel this pain and head into it and go into the hard places and have this conversation where I might fall flat on my face or we might argue (I hate arguing) or she might get angry or make me angry. I just don’t want to do it and that’s an understatement.

I am not brave when it comes to stuff like this. But I always fucking get myself into situations like this because of my idealism. When am I going to learn to keep my mouth shut? But I can’t. When I see yet another marriage falling apart and the kids becoming collateral damage, and it’s like my intuition and my gut can see the whole picture and see into someone’s blind spots, and they keep hammering me over and over again with their misery, ultimately something is going to blow. Because I care. Because I can see a better way.

I always expect the other person to listen and think about what I am saying. I’m not somebody who goes around vomiting my opinions all over the place usually. Only when it’s urgent and I see something horribly out of line. So I wish people I care about would listen to me, at least give me that.

Now friend is ready to listen, at least she says she is. My self-protective nature is saying it’s a trap. Not an intentional trap, just a trap because she’s not going to like what I have to say and she’s going to try to debate me on the subject. Because that’s what she does. And I don’t have the energy for that. Physically or emotionally. But I can’t just ignore her plea because I have ideals. Because I know that Jesus would do it. He would want me to do it. To go back and face her. To tell her the hard stuff, to risk being wrong, to risk being seen as wrong, to risk someone’s wrath, to dig into the hard places in a relationship. What else is life about?

I just want to fucking hide.