I woke up today and went to 6 am yoga as usual.  It was delightful.  I came home, drank a creamy, delicious coffee in my hot shower (leftover habit from drinking wine in showers with me) and then sat down for some leisurely facebooking.  I looked on fb and nothing of J’s came up in front of me, no reference to her came to be in my physical realm.  None.  Somehow, though, I quickly grew angered that she hadn’t written anything nice to me on fb/text, etc., in months.  Where did this come from?  No where.  It came from nothing.  Nada!

The anger!  How could she be so rude to NOT say something nice to me recently?!  It had been since early June that she hadn’t spoke to me, hasn’t responded to my pleasantries.  Only one thing happened causing this- it was presumably because I did not meet with her when I went back to WI.  Since then however, I’d written nice birthday notes to her kids on fb, commented on their lovely vacations, her photos, etc.  And how many had she acknowledged or done for me- none.  The nerve!

We were there in WI for the closing of our house there and combined it with a family vacation.  We were scheduled from one place to the next and back again, plus fitting in 2 bits of time for my top priority- father figure neighbor Mr. Hans, when possible.  J texted me asking if we could get together, and I said I could not because of it being a family vacation.  I can only assume she felt slighted that I did not make time for her (but did make time for Mr. Hans, as she probably saw on facebook.)  With that post back then, I referenced her along with 5 other friends as having regrettably not been able to visit, but hoped to do so during my next visit in the fall.  She always felt entitled to more of me than others and felt our relationship was special- elevated far above my friendships with those other people.  The J that I know would have jokingly but seriously said she’s “too good” to be grouped in with those other B listers in one fb sentence.  Nonetheless, I continued to post thoughtful things every few weeks and she did not.

Only today, this made me very angry.  I “needed” to unfriend her today, and not only leave it at that quietly, but let her know why I needed to do so.  Praise God that He gave me the insight to slow down and run it by my level headed sponsor for a moment before sending it and pushing that unfriend button.  I copy & pasted this and sent it to R, telling her that I was sending this to J:

Hi beautiful J, Hope all is well with your family. Your summer adventures look amazing. The road trip! Happy for you and wishes for nothing but peace and happiness in marriage, life, work, all of it. Still so grateful that you did end up getting that much deserved promotion, too.

I totally understand needing to take a break from our friendship but will admit that it is hard for me to be on good old facebook and see you but not hear from you like I used to. It kind of feels like that example of being in a relationship but not having a meaningful connection within it. It’s just facebook, I know. But still- on the idea of genuinely getting a break from the things that were unhealthy in our friendship, I will unfriend for now. I’m always here for you as a friend if you need another one. Blessings,

R is brilliant.  I told her that and she said she isn’t, but indeed, she is.  She sees far beneath my surface.  She likes to remind me that she’s not God and that I don’t have to do as she says, but by the grace of God, I am smart enough to realize that indeed, I should really consider doing what she says.  Here are some things R told me or inspired me to realize this morning:

  1. I don’t need to lash out at J today after *nothing has happened.*  I told R “Why should she get to see photos of my kids and not ever say anything nice?… Therefore, I want to unfriend her!”  I see now how ridiculous this sounds.
  2. J hasn’t done anything to me lately.  She has had zero contact with me since the beginning of June when she invited me to get together and I declined.  It makes me sad/angry (?) that THAT of all things seems to be the defining wedge, but it’s not up to me how she feels, so I need to let that go.
  3. R says that the way I feel about J is quite possibly the exact same way she feels about me, because I essentially told her that I don’t approve of her lifestyle.  This is not new news, but my insistence on not hearing about her escapades was new.  I allowed her to treat me poorly for years, and to suddenly put my foot down about what I was willing to listen to was a substantial change.  It clearly hurt her.  She and I know each other very well.  I tend to think that I know how she is feeling and thinking and talking about me behind my back, but I suppose I can not be certain of these things.  I should not act on unconfirmed thoughts.  The only way for me to really know is to talk to her, which I’m not interested in doing, so therefore I should just let it go.  I think.  (?)  My fear is that she is talking about me in stupid ways, because I know her, and I know it is likely.  Am I supposed to just not care?  I can’t control what other people think/do/say, so….? Just nothing?  Hmm.
  4. J & I talked over the years about how she is ashamed of what she is doing and has done, and wishes she never started it, yet seems to be addicted to having affairs.  With R’s help, I’m able to see her issues as an addiction.  This helps me have more compassion for her.  I know that she doesn’t like what she does, just like I didn’t like what I did.  I know that she prays for God’s forgiveness every day, yet keeps on making the bad choices, just like I did.  I can accept that she is on her own path.  I know it is also ok for me to have healthy boundaries necessary to my own mental and emotional health, and I need not apologize for that.
  5. My favorite gem from this mornings call with R: I am a representative of God.  Do the next right thing.  Exemplify behavior that makes other Christians proud to call me one of them.  Do things that I can look back upon and not be ashamed of bad behavior.  Don’t be snarky or underhanded or try to wrap meanness in fluff, just do the right thing to begin with.  Don’t react (or act- since there is nothing to which I can react in this situation) with harshness.  Have a heart of tolerance, compassion, acceptance.  Let go of my expectations.  I have a sign on my mirror that says “you can’t control people’s expectations of you.”  Realize that this goes both ways!  All people are made by the same mighty Creator and each one deserves to be here on this world.  J can be in her place and I can be in mine and I can accept her just like many people have accepted me on my dangerous, offensive, upsetting path.  Just different.
  6. My other favorite: I could be planting a tiny seed in her for her to change some day.  I might not see the changes or even know about them, but by doing the right thing, others DO see and know and find inspiration.  God’s plan, not mine.
  7. My other OTHER favorite: “Well so I give her kindness and she gives me none?!  Well what should I do then???!”  R, calmly- so calm it is funny, “My advice at this point would be just to disengage.”  Does she know that I say this word in my house at least a dozen times per day to my children? A lot of problems can be solved by disengaging!  True story.  Making me laugh as I write that!
  8. If I feel that strongly, I could unfriend so she can’t see my stuff, but if I do, eliminate the “explanation note.”  It is just not nice- and unnecessary- to send along that harsh message.  R said it comes from a very angry place.  It’s one thing to unfriend and leave it alone, and another to try to mask my unresolved anger in nicey nice bullshitty words like that.  If I must unfriend, I should just go ahead and do it and then leave it alone, maybe some day she will notice, wonder why, and it could lead to opening a fresh conversation.
    1. As an aside- I guess I’m not 100% clear on how/when/why/if a difficult or in some way unwelcome message does need to be delivered, is it then ok to fluff it up like that, or should that never really be done? It was honest, it’s just that it came from a place of anger… is that the problem.  When a situation makes me angry, and I try to say nice things WITH the angry thing, how can it sound like anything but that?
  9. She noted that I just did my first “real” amends and it didn’t all play out exactly as I thought/wanted it to, and this could be anger misdirected at J, SO insightful and a real possibility.
  10. Feelings do not define me, and actions need not be an extension of feelings.  Feelings that are harmful can go, I can release them.  Yoga this morning was all about breathing out the yuck.  Twisting and holding and breathing and releasing.  All the way releasing.  Funny that I clearly did *not* release…

In other news today: R was helpful a few days ago when 2 ladies at a meeting hassled me about homeschooling.  Super overly sweet and clear, direct, short answers are ok in that type of situation to diffuse the absurdity of it.  Jen gave me another AWESOME nugget: “Thanks for your opinion.”  Except that I don’t actually feel thankful for their opinion, so what would be another way to say that.  “I hear you on that opinion”?  Hmm.

In retrospect, I see now that for whatever reason, I was falling down a crevice of craziness this morning and I praise God for helping to slow down my fall enough to reach out and contact R. I am thankful that she was available and that she helped lift me back up to normal ground.  I was doing my hysterical cry-laugh when we hung up and yet I knew even in that moment just 30 minutes after my utter anger was on full blast, even before I hung up the phone, that I need not unfriend, I need not contact, I could just sit.  Thank you, God.  His beautiful mercy and grace continues.