Sunday, January 25, 2009

Growing pains

The chair has been taken to the corner. Right now it doesn't feel as good as I had thought it would, but I know it will.

Growing pains. That's precisely what it is. It's taking the hard road because that's what it means to become complete. It's giving something up to get more. It's closing the door so the window will be allowed to open.

It's doing the right thing for my family and hoping the chair finds a way to be happy. It's feeling that happiness is on the horizon just as soon as you pick yourself up off your knees and walk toward it.

There will always be things unsaid, unfinished. It's not possible to sum 12 years of frustration into one telephone conversation.

It's not possible to make someone be what they need to be, what their family needs them to be. I'm a fixer and to finally realize it's not fixable is a hard pill to swallow. Many times I've tried to do this, to walk away. I just need to not look back this time. That always happens, I always look back and think maybe things will be different this time, maybe she can really be a friend. And then I get sucked back into her constant need to destroy herself. I need to move on and continue to grow, and I hope that in such, she can grow as well.

I take my own responsibility for my unhappiness over the past years. I should have seen it more clearly. I should have noticed more the look on my husbands face when he came home from a hard day to hear me upset again, worrying over kids that weren't my own. I should have realized that their story was theirs, much as my own troubled childhood made me who I am, so will theirs. And maybe I had a strange need in it to destroy myself by going down with her ship. Except it never happened that way, somehow, probably more thanks to my husband than me, I continued to step forward instead of sinking.

Maybe where she is is where she's suppose to be. Even though I know she could be so much more. Maybe that isn't my decision to make.

I had to fix myself before I could be any good to anyone else. And I think I finally am.

And I'm sorry I've given up friendships. Given up or distanced myself from people in my life for a friendship that gave me very little back. I'm sorry I missed what these people had to offer and the experience of knowing them completely for something I got nothing from.

I remember my husband telling me that he hated to see me drug down with her misery, how much of a strain it put on him. I'm sorry that I put that strain on him but he kept by me, supporting me in whatever decision I made. He never put pressure on me when he's known all along I was just torturing myself. He never understood why I kept trying. And now, I don't either.

I am keeping my ears open and following my heart. The feeling of freedom is already closer than it was before and I am excited to find out where the road leads, now that I've taken the heavy burden from my back.

To new beginnings... and working harder on relationships that go both ways!


Aunt of 14 said...

Bravo! I don't know you and you don't know me, but I was touched by your blog. I know exactly the feelings of not wanting to betray, but without realizing you were still betraying yourself and the people who meant more to you than anything else in the world. It's hard to let someone else's life be their own when you care so much and want to do what you can to make it better for them, but it isn't going to work if THEY don't want it to be better (consciously or unconsciously.) I had to make some of the same decisions you mentioned in your blog and though they were very painful, down the road they became the best decision I could have made for myself and my future. It will be the same for you. Again, bravo for being strong, for sharing your experience and for dealing with your growing pains.

Patti said...

Amen to you and Aunt of 14. I could have written this post, since I just severed relationship with a friend of about 12 years, and did it on Saturday night, but it was in person, not by phone. Otherwise, exactly the same. I'm going to copy your post and put it up on the mirror in my bathroom, for the next time I feel like second-guessing myself. Thank you so much for this post; I know the Lord sent me here at this particular time, for a very specific reason. Thank you so much.