Do you have a situation that causes you pain, but that you can't put away? I think you probably do. I do, too. If you're like me, you are able to pretty easily brush it away for 99% of the time (unless you're living it day to day) but when that 1% comes back ... Jesus. It takes your legs out. I'd be willing to bet that you, like me, are dealing with some kind of catastrophic loss. One that is permanent, or one that feels to be so. I think it's the permanence of the situation that ramps up the pain because, at least in our current mind, there's no way to fix it. I've always lived by the credo that as long as there is breath in my body, I will try to fix what I can in an effort to make things better. What is confusing, sometimes, is whether that effort is even the best way to proceed.
Some may know, but when my daughter was three, my husband and I split up. There were good reasons, but not it wasn't handled in the best way. I sure didn't handle it well, nor did I do my best for my little girl. She was all I had, or so I thought, and I treated her as an adult. That was a mistake. But, as a result of the break up, her Dad decided that he was leaving both of us, not just me. And so for a long, long time, my daughter didn't have access to her father. He just didn't. This is one of the situations I failed at by trying to fix. I did everything I could to bring them together, including some ambush visits. It was a disaster. Now, my child lives with whatever she lives with (she shares little about this) and my husband is gone - a victim of suicide. So, there is little to be done, and I live with the mistakes of trying to fix things that perhaps shouldn't be fixed.
In the past few years I've walked away from some serious friendships. The whole Trump thing served as a litmus test, I think. People I've known my whole life showed sides of themselves that I would never have guessed. And some of those sides were not things I could live with. I don't believe in racism, never will. I am likely a small percentage racist and always will be because I was not born black. Or Asian. Or Jewish. Or whatever. But I will always try to understand what I'm being told and I will always try to respect differences. I had friends of longstanding who did not share my views. To me, it was a no brainer. But, in my defense, I didn't just walk away. I told them, as diplomatically as I could, that because of our differences on this matter, I couldn't subject them or myself to a friendship that was based on superficiality. If we didn't share basic morals, it was not really a friendship. It was hard. And it left me feeling like I had some kind of God complex. I strugged with accusing myself of being ego driven. But in the end, all any of us can do is live with ourselves. And I couldn't live with myself if I valued folks who couldn't value others because they were different.
One of the reasons that I felt compelled to let people know why I was walking away is that I was walked away from a year or so ago by four people for whom I had the greatest respect. And from whom I never, ever got a reason for being dismissed. And this is where I'm coming from in this post. To this day I think of these folks. I genuinely liked them. I enjoyed their company. I loved talking with them because they challenged me and taught me. And then one day, just like that ... I was wrenched out of their orbit without explanation.
To this day, as I'm sure some of you know, I still search for that explanation. I wonder if they were given information about me that wasn't true. I wonder if I forgot to thank them for something, or to reinforce how much they meant to me. I wonder what, if anything, I did that could be so egregious as to cause them to lock and bolt the door without explanation. I have nothing. And this causes me that 1% of pain I reference above because this feels so permanent.
I do have breath left in my body, and normally I would (for right or wrong) try to fix this. But the stunning severing of this relationship has left me unable to try. And that hurts so very much. I wish I knew. That would make it tolerable, I think. But to just be shut out without explanation was painful. I wish I'd handled it better. I thrashed around trying to figure out what was going on and was not at my best. But that was my fear and hurt storming the walls. So, no answer is coming and I know that, though I wish with all I am that that was different.
But, as life teaches us, there are lessons to be learned from everything. And this lesson I took forward with me with respect to ending relationships with others. It's tough to tell people that you no longer want to be friends. Especially people who you've known your entire life. But sometimes, it's just necessary. It's tough to hear, I know. But it's certainly better than saying nothing and ignoring until people just go away. I think that's very cruel.
Maybe I'm wrong about all of this. Maybe I should have just faded away from these relationships. Plenty of folks have faded from my life of their own volition. Oddly, I don't miss them. Well. Except for the one significant group that I'll never reconcile from being "unfriended" in it's broadest sense. And no matter how often I tell myself that the Universe doesn't put us places we're not supposed to be, I just can't let it go. It hurts my heart too much. Even now. Hopefully someday I'll have an answer, but if I don't, I'll never give up hope. Not for as long as there's breath in my body.
I wish you all love.