Common scenario #2: Heard something today that struck a chord…..
The bitter-sweet feeling when you think of what was…..and what is. When something reminds you of a friend, a loved one, who moved on in their lives, away from you. A shared “in joke” or a song, a food item or just a random comment.
So many of us have these bitter-sweet memories. And fair enough too, none of us stand still, we meet new people everyday and make new connections. It is but to be expected that we’d get closer to some people and maybe more distant from others.
Our shared interests may change, or distance may make the bond more porous and suddenly one day you realise you’ve grown apart and there’s that palpable sense of loss…..
Other times, a sharp comment or an unintentional cruelty pierces the heart. You first think it cannot be, surely you mean more to them.
You brush it off, paste a smile and resolve to not let it hurt. But then, familiarity does sometimes breed contempt and relationships don’t always stay even. The sharp comment between you and the other becomes a open joke for many and the occasional cruel observation, is not always unintentional….
But the shared past- joys and tears, the unstinting support in times gone by trumps the hurt and you hold on. You hold on, not to the person they have become, but a tribute to the person they were and the memories that still make you smile.
You also know that you’ve changed somewhere too and maybe it does take two to tango. But the hurt doesn’t always go away……
Forget unrequited love or heartbreak, losing a friendship hurts much more and much longer. The knowledge that you no longer hold the same place in your friends’ life that you once did is like a knife in the gut. The trust, the affection, the familiarity and above all the intimate knowledge they have off you- to suddenly realise that your deepest vulnerabilities now in custody of someone who no longer values you is cringing.
People have been bullied, harrased and traumatised by what a “friend” knew about them and now uses that against them. A relationship dying is hard enough, knowing you can be victimised anytime is harder!
“But, it goes both ways”– You say
Actually in every relationship, friendship or otherwise- scales are rarely balanced perfectly. One party is just that little bit more assertive, aggressive or downright overbearing. Or one of the two, is more likely to go rogue after a break. Maybe this is why, as a good friend said today, “you forgive the present hurt, because you know what they meant to you in the past…..and because we’re too old to start friendships all over again!”
I can so totally relate to that…..so many bitter-sweet memories and so many false smiles hiding the hurt….just because of the what the relationship was in the past!
The Pitfalls is a series that I have been working on, based on some of the common scenarios I have seen in my work over the last many years. Some of them have left me very angry and frustrated. The line between immense frustration and intense anger is so fine, you nearly always miss it and feel terrible afterwards. With this series, if a few become more aware, it would go a long way in making me feel a bit more hopeful