I feel sad. And at the same time that sadness fills me with hope. Crazy, yes I know, but life has so many paradoxes and in my 50s I’m learning this in a new way. I can’t really go into details here, because to do so might hurt the innocent. I believe a dear friend has betrayed me in a terrible way. I should be angry and hurt. I am instead terribly sad, of course because I feel alone, rejected and vulnerable, and strangely enough, sorry for the person who did this because he/she is obviously threatened by me on some level and they have absolutely no reason to be. I have gone through two days of intense emotional pain over this. I still feel the pain, but at this moment, have such a sense of clarity for the first time in a long time. Look at the flip side. Why should this person feel so threatened by me? I’m a big ole harmless lump ferchrissakes. I am an intense person, to be sure, but I do my best to temper that intensity with humor and gentleness. This much I know about myself. So why?
It is the answer to that question that gives me hope. It tells me how fourth grade friends can be spitting, raging enemies on the playground and hit puberty as friends who never get off the phone with each other. For the same reason, healthy people and healthy families can move beyond all sorts of pain and betrayal and remain in community with one another.
My family of origin has a history, dating back to my great grandparents, of cutting off friends or family members for years, for decades, in some cases for a lifetime. Things get intense, things get scary, things get angry, frightening and we just walk away. My brother, Dan, and I had a conversation about this. About the great grandparents who left a country when their marital plans were disapproved. About the grand mother and great uncle who didn’t speak for decades. About the father and uncle who still can’t seem to stand each other. About cousins who were perceived to threaten a stepmother’s position in her new husband’s heart. About the step sibs and ex step mother with whom we still don’t interact.
I refuse to be part of that anymore.
I want to understand. I want to ease pain, fear and perceived threat. And I’m certainly not going to let someone else’s issues begin to define me, however weird I may be, LOL:)
Otherwise, I’m just going to continue to be part of the problem.