About three years ago, just after the new year, I had something life-changing happen. This meme reminded me of it, so I thought I’d share. More about it in a moment.
What is a meme? According to Lifewire it is “a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea.”
Some are funny, some cynical, others outright mean… some are annoying. And then there are those that are adorable or share a message of depth and/or truth. What they all have in common, according to moi, is that they get straight to the point. No “let’s try to figure this out” symbolism.
The meme used for my featured photo above is one that deeply touched me. Who among us doesn’t want to be accepted for who we are?
Here’s what happened: A friend came in and out of my life throughout many years — actually, 40+ years.
There were reasons for the quiet years in-between. Each time she resurfaced, I forgot about the reasons. No, that’s not true. I did not forget. I pushed aside.
The last time she came into my life, it was during a time when I most needed a friend from the past to anchor me to the present. I’d just moved to Canada and felt very alone. I had my husband and our cat, Tess (a godsend). I had made the very difficult choice to leave my life behind, which included my family and friends. To say that this choice had a profound affect on my relationships would be a vast understatement (and while it is important to remember by way of the foundation to this chapter in my life, it is not the focus).
My friend appeared, as she always had, when I needed her. The problem was, I needed too much. Or so I was led to believe. At least, that is the reason she gave for ending our friendship. Actually, it’s really hard to say what her exact reasons were. (Relationships are messy, as one of my therapists used to say.) I could only go by what she said. Well, not said… since she sent me an email, even though we’d been real life friends and talked on the phone often.
So, I received an email. Not even a phone call. I can’t quote it directly because I trashed it… as I do all things that hurt me. (You may remember from my first post that I am a destroyer, or purger). What I remember her saying is that I was not a good friend. I was too wrapped up in myself. I didn’t care about her.
This came only months after my ex-husband died, my daughter was diagnosed with cancer and I had left my dream job with the humane society. In fact, I *was* wrapped up in myself. I was grieving losses and scared shitless for my daughter, who was thousands of miles away. The truth was, this wasn’t my first crisis, nor the last. Since my move to Canada, it was one crisis after the other.
Did I care about my friend? Oh, yes. I loved her. She drove me nuts sometimes but I loved her in spite of her foibles and flaws. We all have them. She used to tell me she always gave her friends the benefit of the doubt. If that was so… I’d worn out my welcome and she could no longer do that. Because, if she had, she’d have realized I was once again mired in an emotional quagmire that felt impossible to overcome.
Also, I am depressed and anxious… and mix that in with grief and crisis… and you’ve got one effing mess.
Was I a bad friend? Probably. I could barely get out of bed, let alone function as an adult.
That was the worst of me and she’d seen her share.
This meme reminds me of the the many, many people who chose to stay. For you, I say THANK YOU!
It also reminds me of this friend who saw the worst of me and chose to walk away. It breaks my heart.
For me, feeling a little ouchie right now, remembering. Maybe I needed to share this today for a reason. I have no idea, really. But if it touches you, please let me know.