n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, September 01, 2012

definitely grieving

So I found out this little thing with JS... that when I post things in a fit of temper or sadness or drunkenness or whatever, which I do with some frequency, and then take them down anywhere, say, between 10 minutes to 12 hours later -- in an fit of shame, perhaps, or maybe attempting to mediate my baser instincts -- well, apparently people who use Google Chrome or other browser programs that help manage huge quantities of web information, get notified of my post, and read it probably pretty immediately. So my taking a post down later does not actually have the semi-private journal effect that I always thought it did.

I.e. my shit is out there the second my shit is out there. Mental note.


So, now that I'm back in WA... I have to admit, to myself even, that I am grieving pretty hardcore for the loss of my friendship with NM. While it is not the longest friendship I have had, nor even the closest, it was a fairly long friendship and absolutely does qualify as the most intense relationship of my life. (To be simple about it, she was one of my "best friends," though I'm not a fan of that tag). Regardless, I have never expended as much energy on maintaining a friendship, on helping someone out or simply being present, as I did with N... and although that was done partially out of a sense of responsibility, it was also done out of a lot of love.

Yep, I really and truly love(d) NM, and I'm going to have to pay the price in grief now that she's ended our friendship. Even understanding doesn't really help:
People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships. While they can develop intense attachments, their attitudes toward family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization (great admiration and love) to devaluation (intense anger and dislike).
No, this doesn't make things easier, but it does help me to remember that it's not my fault.

I know it's not my fault. I did two things wrong the whole time: [1] I responded out of anger to NM's text telling me that she "would not engage me in dialogue" on this issue since clearly anything I said "was said with an intention to hurt her." I told her that was the most insulting thing I'd heard in my life, and she was not welcome to communicate with me again, unless it was prefaced with an apology. I did later send an email apologizing for this ultimatum (ironic, no?). [2] When N's second to final email came through, telling me that neither I, nor our friendship, were worth any effort on her part, I did not pause to consider. Had I paused, I would have realized that she had just ended our friendship, and there was nothing more I could say. Instead, I didn't pause (contrary to JS's subtle advice), and responded. What is the point of responding when a friendship has effectively been ended? All it did was hurt both of us further, and give N the chance to tell me, bluntly, clearly, cruelly: do not contact me again. we are no longer friends. let go.

How, after three months of silence or nasty patronizing emails, could I still be in denial? Well, how about now... I caught myself at it today:

Well, what if I just wrote a nice little note...
Well, what if I popped by with her stuff...
Well, what if I asked her if we could just be kinda friends...
Well, what if I had the exactly right words...
Well, what if I pretended she hadn't lied to my face, and just kinda let it all go...
Well, what if we just ran into each other, surely she couldn't...

And then I remembered. She told me neither I, nor our friendship, was worth any effort on her part. She told me not to ever contact her again. She told me to let go.

The friendship is dead. Ten years of friendship is dead. We have broken up, and there is no going back, and I can't deny it any longer. Further, though I don't need to dwell on it, it is also clear that this has been coming for a long time... basically since her illness.

My initial instinct is to blame EC, to go find her and punch her in the face for fucking up yet another one of my friendships. But I know it's not her fault. Nor is it my fault for "still bearing a grudge" against EC (as N tried to convince me). I don't really have a big grudge anymore. Just sadness and an empty spot. Things with E were not unlike they were with N, actually. I kept trying and trying, sinking more energy in it with desperation, when the truth was: the message had been sent. EC dumped me and started sleeping with my good friend, and we were all in a great big butt-fuck of a class together. She didn't love me, and I would never ever be able to get over that, over having to realize that daily, and be able to have a mild friendship with her. And yes, it took me a long time to realize that she would never do anything to make up for the catastrophe of not loving me... because she didn't love me, for god's sake! Like, how blind do you have to be to keep waiting for someone who doesn't care about you to act with care for you!?! Why do I keep getting into these things? Listening to people talk talk talk about how much I deserve, how great I am, how much I am appreciated and loved, all while they act differently, so differently.

No, it's not a grudge. It is simply final acknowledgement that she will always do what is best for her, or what she sees as best for her, regardless of who she's going to hurt in the process. And I don't want to be hurt in the process anymore. So... being that she will never act with kindness, I don't want her in my life. That is not a grudge, that is a grudging practicality, and one I wish I didn't need to have.

So, for those of you confused why I'm talking about an old grudge in reference to N, it is because N gave a reading with EC. She told me -- two or three times, to be precise -- that she was not. And then she told me she was the day before the announcements went out. Because she had been sneaking behind my back to set the whole damn thing up. And there had been at no point any dialogue where she brought the topic to the table, talked it through with me, or something, anything. So, I feel like having a major temper tantrum would have been within my rights at that point, but all I said was, "I should probably get off the phone now, N, because I am very angry." I even said it calmly. But then, there I was, right in the middle of shitstorm, as N started shouting at me, then hung up on me, then... everything else.

I totally don't get it at all. Really. I mean, she doesn't even like EC. She doesn't respect her, or her work. That I could understand. No, it had nothing to do with liking or respecting EC; it had to do with using EC, to enhance N's reputation and bring new readers to her small, unknown reading. And that, for N, was more important than a 10-year friendship. A 10-year friendship that she could have kept had she simply had a difficult discussion with me ahead of time, or a more difficult discussion after the fact.

I.e. NM is not lying when she says she does not consider me worth any effort on her part. She doesn't love me anymore. Just like that. She has let go.

And so, I am trying to figure out what to do with the residual love. I bought a tree and am going to plant it in honor of the good parts of our friendship. I am trying to keep a gentle little spot inside me for NM's part of my past; I don't want it to go black. I don't need another blight inside me. We made it that far, that long, through some pretty hard shit, and now she's changed, just as I have changed, and it is time for me to let go, and do those things I know help me.

Like writing.
Like reading.
Like exercising.
Like being with people.
Like nurturing myself and others.

Anything else I've forgotten? How do you folks (my five, wink wink, readers) grieve? How do you let go? Any advice for a person who's just leaving the bargaining stage?

My garden, as of September 1st:

And I am free-ranging the chickens now... the dogs don't seem like they're going to be a problem. And I got my first eggs this week: two on Thursday, one each day since. And I'm going to see my sister next week! Oh, and I finished a short story.
I like the tree idea... as for the grieving part?? your list is good... I find the exercise and writing and art-making work for me...

it's only been 7 plus years since my heart was ripped out... still in the bargaining stage... want to call them up and see how he's doing and then tell him what a douche bag he is, but the truth is that he has no feelings for me whatsoever.. probably never did.

As for the posting and deleting?? let it be.. if it's out there even for a little while it's part of the healing.

kayaking and hanging out with my sis and brolaw seems to help...
and daydreaming about the future too...

although not daydreaming revenge acts like selling the precious-to-her cookbook she lent me and never had time to collect before acting like an ass, and buying myself a birthday present with the money.

not that. heh.

I don't really have too much precedent in my life for this kind of situation. most of my friendship deaths just happen over time as other things take over our busy lives. sigh. I've only ever had two other blowouts, and they weren't with uber-close friends.

as for the posting and deleting... you think so? they can be pretty mean-spirited!

p.s. you should come to my birthday party this year. equinox. no excuses. I'd like to hear what you've been up to lately.
the truth is always hard to hear/read - it's like the letter the husband writes in My Only Wife... get it out.

Send me an invite and I will see about overcoming my social anxiety in order to celebrate your Birthday.
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