Friday, April 22, 2011

What to do?

When I was in college, I was in a sorority. I wasn't the kind of girl that HAD to be in a sorority, but I joined one anyway. The one I joined wasn't the best on campus at the time (it has since risen to the top), but these gals were the best to me. Particularly 4 of them: Laurie, Brooke, Marlee, and Ruth Ann. We were so close and I loved these girls so much. Since we graduated, our relationships have gone through some changes.

The one thing you have to know about me is that when I have a friend, I am fiercely loyal to that person. If I hear someone besmirch the name of one of my friends, I can feel the tigress in me come out. I will not have it. I WILL NOT HAVE IT. And when one of my friends needs me, I will knock you over to get to that friend to help them.

And I have forgiven a lot in the name of friendship as well. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. But when I love you and you are my friend, that love is unconditional. There are only two things you could do that would change that: have an affair with my spouse or harm my child. That's it. Otherwise, you're golden. Do what you want to me. I love you. That's the way it is.

But I am faced with making a decision. One of my oldest friends, someone I was talking to on a daily basis, someone I had so much fun with and just loved being with, suddenly stopped being my friend just before I got married 7 years ago. She gave me no explanation. She just stopped being my friend. Now common sense would tell you that something must have happened. I must have done something to deserve this abandonment. But I am telling you that nothing happened. She just decided one day to cut me loose. This is a person who called me several times a day and was a VERY important person in my life. And suddenly she no longer wanted to be my friend. No explanation. Just gone.

Her partner told me some time later that she just cleaned house. She cut it off with me and she broke up with her partner. But that didn't ease the pain. For a long while, this kept me up at night. My heart was literally broken by this person. I didn't and still do not understand why this happened.

All of this is to say that she has suddenly and inexplicably contacted me. Her message to me indicates that she feels remorse for what happened and that she would like to hear from me. My first instinct is to immediately return her message and rejoice that I have my old friend back. But I am hesitant. At the ripe old age of 46, I have realized that some of the most difficult decisions that a person makes are in the name of self-preservation.

I have never been good at making the tough decisions that are going to be in my best interest in the long run. When I was younger, I dated men who were so blatantly wrong for me that it was ridiculous. But you couldn't have kept me from them if you tried. I knew it was harmful to me but I did it anyway. That was a long time ago. I now try to live a life without those kinds of regrets. I try to stay away from the things that I know are going to hurt me. I wonder if it's true that  past behavior is a predictor of future behavior. Do I open myself up to someone and risk getting hurt again?

If I didn't care so much about her, it wouldn't matter. But as I said before, when I have a friend and I love them, it is not something I take lightly. I will have to ponder this for a while. This is not a matter of forgiveness. Of course, she is forgiven. It is a matter of my heart. I'm not sure I want to go through it again.

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