December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)
This is interesting. The more I write responses to these prompts, and the more I post them, the more I find myself editing them for fear of being found out. But really, would anyone care enough to go trying to figure out who I am? Very unlikely. I was reading something recently about writing anonymously and blogging about this same topic. Oh well here goes. I’ll veil it somewhat.
I’ve written elsewhere about this, but I realize I should think about these prompts separately and not assume that anyone is even reading this or would even read all of them. So a new friend I made this year, more than halfway through the year in fact, has totally changed me and my perspective on the world, and quite suddenly. He began as a lover, and now I think of him as an amazing friend for his support and cultivation of trust.
It’s interesting, because at the moment, I’m seriously considering cutting off this friend as my lover – not really for anything he did, but just because I’m having a hard time dealing with jealousy and feeling hurt over what has transpired this week, but because I’ve been with him, I’ve realized that these things are my own to deal with. Because he has been so supportive, and I trust him very deeply, I’ve been able to really look at what is at the root of my feelings of jealousy and feeling hurt. It doesn’t make them any easier.
I think, though, because I can recognize these feelings, as painful as they are, I realize that I can change the way I react to them. It’s extremely important that I do this, because I think it will help me in all my relationships in the future, especially romantic ones. Several years ago, I was in an abusive relationship, and I realized I was often afraid to bring up issues, because I knew that there would be some kind of drama and that there was a threat that bringing up these things meant the relationship could hit the rocks. I was so desperate to hang onto the relationship because it made me feel good in some serious ways that I put up with abusive, manipulative behavior. I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time, and I try very hard to this day to not blame myself for staying in the relationship.
Now I know that it is completely possible to have a partner and friend and lover that can be supportive, non-judgmental, non-dramatic, not manipulative. I wish I could think of the positive words, but these are things that I want to expel from my life, so I think it’s fine to list them. He is someone who is committed to being honest and that will look me in the eye and hold my hand while I’m divulging my deepest fears and deepest hurts. And here comes the next wave of divulging. I hope he’s ready for it because I’m not.