Other than the physical pain of getting hit in the face, I have cried more in the past week over the loss of a friend, than I did over the loss of my second husband. Somehow when that marriage ended, I no longer cared what he thought of me. His opinion was reduced to the dirt that he stood on.
Exactly ten days ago, someone who I have known for a long time, and that I love a great deal said some very unkind words to me. Although I want to be better than all those who I have criticized over the years for not knowing how to forgive, I wonder if there is ever a time that it is simply not possible to forgive. I have spent a great deal of time thinking about this idea this week and I have come to the conclusion that it is always possible to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that the hurt goes away. Forgiveness removes the anger, but it does not offer a plan to move forward. For me, the process of forgiveness is a release of anger and a re-thinking of that plan.
While I am no longer angry at this person, the ease with which she was able to use hurtful words, and the effect of the words, makes the friendship impossible. The ease with which she was able to hurt me makes the friendship no longer a safe place, which is the saddest part, because I truly believe that what held us together for so long was that the relationship was a refuge for both of us. I love her, and I love her family, but my already non-existent self-esteem has no more room for yet another person who has the chance to hurt me.
Maybe I set my standards too high. Maybe my idea of absolute loyalty in both friendship and marriage is an unattainable goal. Maybe that is why I am a loner; maybe that is why my relationships do not last. I do not expect perfection; but I do expect that my relationships, of which I so deeply invest myself, remain a safe place where hurtful behavior and words are off the table.
I am at a loss as to how to move forward without this person who matters so much to me, but as always the tears will stop, and yet another layer will be built around me, protecting me and shielding me from others and preventing me from trusting the words of another.