Walking Wounded

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Lessons on friendship



This is a paper written as a assignment for a class taken the instructor was Nina Harris , PH.D.


In my experience the most painful of feelings remain over friendships ended. Friendships can end in several ways and for several reasons. How does one choose whether a relationship is healthy and mutually beneficial? When do we find it imparitive to close a friendship and why? How do friendships deteriorate? What is the method used to heal? Will the hurt and loneliness ever go away? Through study and introspection this is what I have learned so far.

I have had several friendships close in my adult life. Relationships that began in a dysfunctional pattern and ended as a result of me exiting such a dysfunctional life system. These friendships often resulted as a triangle of victim being rescued by one, who at some later date, became an offensive completion to the triangulation. Often the early days were immediately intense and intimate. No gradual acquaintance, no developing of friendship. The slam into intensity and the often “you rescue me, I’ll rescue you “ led into a sort of pay back and owe system. “Expectations.” “Well I did this for you.” All in all; I’ll be everything for you, but then you must be everything for me. The basic problem with this is that no one person can ever meet all the needs of another. For this reason the friendship is cursed, flawed and destined to fail as intensively as it began. The expectations are land mines of sabotage. Even footing is so controlling that growth stops. People pleasing replaces sincerity and honesty. The desired friendship becomes a mutual bondage. Freedom is choice. A painful choice, yet any bondage is lacking an appropriate expression of love. Friendship without love is empty and harmful. The harm comes from the lack of integrity and loneliness from ones own self. Being dishonest is a desertion of ones self. This was how I decided weather the relationships were healthy or not and in painful clarity I saw the destruction and loss of self.

Another consideration as to choose to close a friendship was how the other person addressed their own life systems. Did they desire growth of the status quo?

Was the status quo something I cared to be involved with? If not was it something I could support or tolerate. When it came to destructive self behaviors I was able to tolerate it two times, but by the third time the effect of the emotional stress on me was too agonizing to stand by for a repeat. So for me another reason to close was to save my emotional energies. I needed to care of my self and my own responsibilities. I was finding myself too exhausted in the friendship. I was not willing to watch her bring harm upon herself again. I grieve this loss and the losses she brings upon herself. My friend was In a battered womens cycle. We always took turns being victim/rescuer to each other. I was not doing her good by keeping the cycle alive between us. It was time for me to change.

In the case of the enveloping friendships the intensity often brought about conflict. Expectations caused offenses when left unfulfilled. Frustrations and overwhelm often just emptied both of us out. When we were all used up we had nothing left to offer each other. We had no patience with each other. Nor understanding of the bigger picture. Good bye was usually as intense as hello. As exhilaratingly as the hello with all the joys of being needed and wanted, so was the good bye. The freedom cause pursued gave rest for the wherry.

The other case of friendship cycle was similar, yet differed in that her dignity was needed in order for her future development. I saw that it was needful for me to take on the blame. She needed to save face. Also I was guarded against her defensive nature. I effort ed to care for both of us. It was what I determined to the time to be the best example of love I could show. It was very humbling. I was left with much hurt and unspoken anger.

At times an unspoken exit was my only way to avoid the explosion and injury.

I have found forgiveness through understanding. It has been very cathartic. I try to walk in their shoes. To feel the fit of them. I desire to understand why they might pinch or be stressed in their “soul”. I also choose to be accountable for my own ignorance and error. Forgiveness toward my self bing very difficult.

The amends: Often the only means to amends is offered through bettering myself. Through learning from my errors. By replacing ignorance with knowledge and understanding.

I have learned to graduate friendships. To moderate intensity and level off now and then by stepping back. I find that in doing so I can attempt to see the others point of view. Or at least not react without thought. Honesty is a must, but I don't need to tell all, especially not all at once. I need several relationships to meet a variety of needs. To focus on similar interest is helpful.
When I can find none I examine the relationship . Perhaps it is an acquaintance?

I do not think the hurt will ever go away. The loneliness has been nurtured by the presence of the self. I draw much closer to God in these lonely times. For that I am grateful. I do not think that I will ever stop hurting inside when I remember those whom I loved. The pain reminds me of the love I have for them.

By drawing close to God in a painful loneliness, I hope to by prayer, draw God close to them. I do this upon rememberence of them. I will always treasure them and regret the injury and pain we both have suffered.

There is no turning back. that hurts most. My eyes must be kept upon the day and my future. Today I pray for them and tomorrow I will do better. Each day of amends brings me a future of less ignorance and a hope for healthier friendships. The status of friendships change as time rambles by. Always love wins. There have been healthy long time acquaintance turned friend. Cadence, time, understanding. I will heal through the gradual reduction of incident.

The beginning of knowledge is understanding, and knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. I hope to make better choices and be a better friend both to myself and to others.

I desire to choose wisely. and in time I will heal.


Amrita said...

A very deep thinking blog and I will have to read it over again to really get into it. I agree with what you are saying.

People usually don 't write about these things.I recently saw a book in a Catholic bookstore about hurts in friendship

Denise said...

You are very wise sweety.

Julia Perez said...

"How does one choose weather a relationship is healthy and mutually beneficial?"

The word you want there is WHETHER, not weather.

Other corrections:
As I read through, there were sentence structure errors that would be a bit of a challenge to explain here.

Otherwise, your work is informative.

Donetta said...

Thank you for the corrections Julia Perez. I would have hoped my writing has improved. Note the date on the 1995 I just copied it. Perhaps a re-write would be in order.

Anonymous said...

I think you sound like a selfish person with no real feelings for people.

~Bren~ said...

I think not knowing who you are inside, Anonymous only saw the shell of something. Your true insides are a reflection of just the opposite of what they gathered from your post. You feel DEEPLY for other people...I know this personally. I have experienced this from you. You would sacrifice yourself (and you have) for others...not at all the description aof a selfish, unfeeling person.
If you read this Anonymous, look deeper into other posts here...your insights are based on not knowing the real person here. I am so sorry you saw this and not the real person, as you will have missed out on an extraordinary opportunity to glean from the love and wisdom shared by this person. Praying you dig deeper and can come back with a different perspective as I doubt you are a mean hearted person.

Denise said...

Ok...Ok....... I am looking at the big picture here! This is wonderful and very very insightful! The heart speaking about the broken things that have made it beat not all times in rhythm...Choices that we make to bring healing, maybe not always to others but to our self....... You speak from the heart and it is felt..... I think that there are those out there that have no comprehension of life and death decisions...For them your words are to be corrected as Julia Perez or to be criticized as Anonymous did.... I think that they missed the big picture! They missed your heart......... My opinion!

Hugs to you girl for speaking the words that your heart feels.........

Songs of my heart