It was an interesting 10 days. It was a week and a half of guessing games, assumptions,
And jumping to conclusions. (on my part) It was a very emotional 10 days, and it was 10 days I do not wish to repeat again. But it came with a lot of lessons, and things that I probably needed to improve on. This one’s all on me.
In this weird version of life, the one I didn’t ask for where Im a widowed person and where
My husband and I don’t get to have our future together, it’s the simple things that mean the most to me, and that I begin to rely on. Probably the biggest of those things has been the friendship I have developed over the past year and a half, largely via daily phone chats, with a widower that I feel a strong connection with. I have developed feelings for this person, and he knows this, and agrees that there is something there between us. But he isn’t in a place right now to explore that, or to think about being in a relationship with someone. That is okay. Our friendship and our connection means the world to me.
What happened 10 days ago, is that I stopped hearing from him. I panicked, at first thinking my usual “widow of sudden death” thought of: “He must be dead. Yup. He’s dead. Its happening again. Someone I care about is dead.” Which, for most widowed people of sudden death, where your person is here one second and then they arent, these fears and thoughts are quite normal. After I figured out a way to confirm that he was indeed, alive – my next wrong assumption was that I was being abandoned, and that he was going to go away forever, kick me out of his life, with no explanation and no acknowledgement. Why on earth would I leap to assuming such a thing?
Because of patterns. Its happened to me, over and over again. It happened in 2 relationships that I had before meeting my husband. Both times, they just left. Stopped all contact. Stopped returning my calls . Never gave me a reason. Then, it happened with my husband, when he left for work one morning and never came home. He didn’t mean to, or want to, but he abandoned me too. Or that is how I felt when he died. Abandoned.
Its also happened in friendships, after Don died. People who were really close to me, just up and disappeared, due to not being able to handle my grief, or due to their own issues, or whatever. Then, it happened in October, when my 5 month relationship (the first one I had since my husband’s death) imploded because I found out he hadn’t been truthful with me, and then he didn’t offer any explanation for those untruths, and just disappeared. When people abandon you like that, again and again, it creates a pattern. It makes you feel unimportant, unloved, and like garbage that someone just uses up and then discards. It makes you feel like they don’t think you are even worthy of acknowledgement or explanation. Add onto that, a horrifying sexual assault I suffered 20 years ago, where my rapist literally left me in my own apartment, after telling me “I would kill you, but youre not worth it”, and yes its safe to say that I have MAJOR abandonment issues. It sucks.
So, the last 10 days, I was stuck inside all my own assumptions, and I couldn’t function at the thought of my best friend, which is how I see this person, never speaking to me again or cutting me out of his life so abruptly. The thought of no longer being able to talk to him about my day or to laugh about silly stuff or to share our passion for food or music or stories of our forever loves who died –it just about killed me inside. I fell into bed each night sobbing, having headaches, and taking sleeping pills just to shut off my brain for 3 or 4 hours so I would stop obsessing. I had convinced myself, again, due to my past experiences and my own horrible insecurities, that he wasn’t ever going to call me again. I was convinced that I would have to figure out life without him in it, and that thought made me cry and cry and cry.
And then he called me today. After I was finished breathing a heavy sigh of relief, and getting over the shock that he was actually calling and not gone forever, I listened. As it turns out, the reason he hadn’t contacted me in awhile, had nothing at all to do with secret plans to abandon me or disappear forever. As it turns out, I projected all of my own past patterns and “stuff” onto him, without even realizing it, and made the situation worse by then accusing him of being not a good person, because how could you abandon me this way? All of the things I thought he was doing to me, were in my own head, because of my past. It actually had nothing at all to do with him, and everything to do with him having to pay for all these other people who had wronged me. Who had lied. Who had left me for reasons unknown.
So I listened, and I kept listening. It turns out, this person, my dear friend, just needed a bit of time away from me before confronting me about the fact that he was upset and hurt by some things that I had said / written about him in my very public blog. I went back and read what I had written, and I realized how much worse it sounded than what my actual intention was when writing it. I felt terrible. I still do. It must have felt awful for him to sit there and read those upsetting words about himself that way, words that were not for him, but about all those others who had wronged me. It just all came out horribly wrong.
When I am upset about something, or feeling down, I write. That’s what I do. I cope by vomiting out words onto pages. The problem is, my blogs are public, and even though I never use people’s names or other specifics in order to protect their privacy when writing about them, I have never stopped to think about protecting them “emotionally.” Until today.
Today, I learned that I need to listen more, and that I need to stop and think more before I choose my words to put out into the public, about someone I care very deeply about. Words have power, and sometimes I get so stuck on MY feelings while Im writing, I forget to remember that the person Im writing about has feelings too. And that matters to me. A lot. This person and I met each other, directly because of my words. Because he found my blog, and it resonated with him, and from there, we resonated with each other. Never in a million years did I ever want MY words to be words that could hurt him or make him feel bad or attacked in any way. Knowing that my words did that, it is not a good feeling. For him, or for me.
So, with that lesson in mind, to listen and to think before writing with such fury, I want to use my words today, to simply say this, to this person who has come to mean so much to me:
This will never happen again,
and I am so very sorry that it happened at all.
Thank you for being my friend.
It means everything to me.