Sunday, 19 June 2011
The Snakes and Ladders of Friendship
What has been said can never be unsaid. That is the beautiful thing about speech, it comes out of our mouths, in the heat of the moment, after being thought about for a while, in general conversation and it can never be taken back. The memory of it will always remain. If the other person receives the information as offensive or insensitive, you can’t back track and take it away. It’s even worse if you don't think that you are wrong.
This has happened to me, recently, and I’m still in two minds on how to feel about the situation. Initially, before the conversation, I was calm and collected, and then the first thing was said. Then the next, then next. During the conversation I was concerned that I may have been crossing the line, so I checked with my man, as well as my housemate and they both said that they wouldn’t see it as offensive. Then the reply comes back that I was rude and not thinking about the current situation, but I kept going. Afterwards I felt confident that we had come to some kind of conclusion and that everything was going to be okay.
This was not the case at all, with our friendship suffering and me realising a little too late that I had crossed the line and a friendship, which was very important to me, was hanging in the balance. I analysed the conversation from many angles, trying to find the point where enough would have been enough, and I just couldn’t see it, not completely. However, I was able to find a reason for my position on the situation. An apology was said and met with no response; a public declaration was made which was also met with no response. This resulted in a large emotional breakdown on my behalf and confirmation that the friendship was probably over.
I realise that to anyone that doesn’t personally know what happened on that day, that this whole blog would be a little bit confusing but I guess what I am talking about is, saying something to someone that you believe in, and them not receiving it in the way that you thought they would. Then it blows completely out of the water. I’m not sure what to do to fix it either. This person has been a very close friend of mine for a long time and while he has helped me sort out my head and been a pillar of support for me mentally, I have been there for him more in the past 12 months than I have for anyone else, including my man.
So when does history become a nothing? We have all had a friend that we have been really close with and then there has been one gigantic and massive event that has meant that the friendship is over. So what happens to the memories or the hole that is left? The memories will always remain, and in your head you will run the whole thing over to see what you could have done differently, to change the outcome and make things better.
In this instance, if I hadn’t of said what I did, I would still have the friendship, but the dynamics would never be the same because deep down I would be disappointed that I didn’t say what I needed to say. It’s sticky sometimes and I guess it’s a fine line between being honest and destroying someone’s mindset. I still don't regret what I said, but guess I regret the way I said it. I’m sure there would have been many other ways to explain how I felt about the situation.
I’ve noticed when you are having a down in one friendship; it is highly likely that you will be having a high in another. Humans have an amazing sense for emotion, in most situations. I’ve found that when there are problems with one friendship, I will turn to another friend to talk about the situation and then that friendship will usually blossom or get a little bit more intense. I’m sure that this is because of the emotion that is brought to the relationship and the nurturing the other person shows to you in your time of need and your quest for support. But that’s the great thing about Friendship, it’s there when your life starts to fall apart, to guide you, and support you, and in the situation that I am currently in, while one friendship was falling apart, I discovered that one that was in front of me the whole time, was a lot stronger then I could have ever imagined
Regardless of all of this I still hope for reconciliation, although in light of some information I received today I really don't think that is going to happen. Which puts me into mourning again. It’s like losing a part of you, a part of your personality, and a part of your heart. I’m not ready to lose a friendship that would have been life long, regardless of the distance. So the next question is...what’s the next move?
There is so much grovelling that someone can do before you have to call it quits. We have all had that one relationship, where a break up happen and the victim has come back “if I do this, if I do that, I’ll do whatever it takes, but I love you” when it’s over its over, plain and simple. Well, plain and simple in the way of romantic relationships but I think friendships have a completely different dynamic. The whole idea of a friendship is to be honest, supportive and kind...in a nutshell that is what we do. We talk to them when they are sad, give them advice when they tell us to, hold them while they cry, pick up the pieces when love fails, love their children, answer the 3am phone calls. We all know what it’s like, we have all been there. I have and would still do all of that, I still DO all of that for all of my friends. I don't discriminate; it’s the same for everyone.
Maybe time will fix it? It’s entirely possible, but as human beings, when something goes missing and leaves a space in your heart, you will eventually fill it with something else, which is probably what will happen. I just don't think I’m ready to let go of the memories, especially when the wound is so fresh.
Since the incident, I have looked back and can understand where he was coming from, but it still doesn’t change how I feel and the fact that it feels like there is NO understanding being reciprocated is disheartening and a fairly big sign that I should stop wasting time on something that might never ever be fixed. However I am not the kind of person that gives up and I know that no matter how long it takes or what has to happen, we will be friends again.
When I was younger I was the same, if not a little bit more reserved. I lost a few friends because of things that were said to me and my inability and unwillingness to stick up for myself. It was hard. But in time we patched things up, and we talked about where we were in that space in time, and we realized that where we were then and where we are now is a completely different place. These few friends become, and remain, some of my biggest supporters and confidants.
I guess what I would like for you to take from this is that, there are two sides to every story, and behind every comment that hurts your feelings, there is a friend that is concerned about a decision or an action and wants to help you. Think about where they might be coming from and ask them to do the same. Don't make rash decisions but don't deliberately go out to hurt someone. Think hard about what you are going to say and maybe see if there is a nicer way that you are able to say it.
Friendship is an amazing gift and something that everyone should have, but it needs work, from all parties. Please don't let these people go, they are a gift that you should keep as close as you can!