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Sunday, March 30, 2008

What is a friend, really?

I've thought about this the last few days, given I wasn't a very good friend to someone recently. I've thought about how I am with my friends, and how they are with me and while some come up pretty well in the thought process, I have some who didn't.

I'm the kind of friend who gives 100% all the time. I try very hard to not be narcissistic and I want to be there for my friends in a profound way, hoping they know this is the kind of friend I want to be. Sometimes I fall short, sometimes they fall short, but overall I have a pretty decent group of people around me.

It can be extremely difficult to be my friend. I have a short temper when my feelings get hurt, even if what I'm being told turns out to be a falsehood, but I am also extremely quick to apologize. I always mean it, too. See, I hate apologizing since it means I've screwed up. That's a tough realization to make, that it's you and not the world, but I get there most of the time. All I ask of my friends is that they love me in spite of myself as I love them in spite of themselves. I am choosy when it comes to my friends so once I make one, I don't like to walk away for any reason, feeling they are an extension of me and my life.

However, with this latest episode in my life... I awoke yesterday morning with a clarity of thought that helped me get past this whole thing of the last few days. This person professed to be my friend, even going as far as telling another how important my friendship was to him, and then walked away when I showed my temper. He knows my feelings get hurt easily. He also knows I have MAJOR abandonment issues related to my dad and my husband (who has cheated on my so many times...) and when I was presented with alleged "evidence" he wasn't being a good friend to me, well, I blew. True to form, I didn't stop and ask questions. I didn't talk to my friend first to find out... I just blew.

I know I was wrong to do this and it didn't take me long to come to that conclusion. I apologized almost right away, both in an e-mail and then with a phone message when he didn't answer his phone (I kind of knew he wouldn't. He's traveling and he's pretty peeved at me.) but I did apologize, twice, and both were pretty sincere apologies. My friend hasn't called me back to tell me he got the messages, though I know he has. I haven't heard so much as a "Kiss my ass" about it so I began to ask myself what kind of friend he really was after all? I mean, I have to accept the shortcomings in him but he doesn't have to accept mine? In my book, being a good friend is what I said earlier, loving them in spite of their shortcomings.

With my friend, he has a great deal to accept about him, which I won't delineate here. Suffice it to say he tries to keep things on a superficial level most of the time. Occasionally he'll sprinkle out some nuggets about himself but for the most part, he's an observer. But I know this about him and I accepted it, allowing him to choose his comfort level in the whole thing.

I've had my issues related to being his friend. See, he has a job that basically requires he lie for a living. In fact, the more he is able to fool those around him, the better he is at his job. There were rumors swirling he was using and manipulating me for the sake of a class he was taking and that was rough on me. Then there's the whole he'll tell other people how important I was to him and say nothing to me. I had a hard time trusting him all along. Then I finally let go and decided he was worth the risk and I got hurt, again, but something said about him.

Anyway, though my friend has chosen to cast me aside, I decided yesterday that it was his choice. I can't MAKE him remain in my life and I can't MAKE him see the reasoning behind anything I do. As hurt as I am by his lack of caring, I wish him well. I'm not angry with him nor would I ever be. He's still a good man who is going through a rough time right now. While I'll probably never see or hear from him again, I hope things turn out okay for him as he goes through life with his shields up and ready.

I found this quote about friendship and I feel it's apt for this situation:

"True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."- George Washington, (as above)

All I can say at this point is this...

This is just my two cents.