Did I mention that I'm sorry?
Have you ever had that moment where you realize that you were so very wrong or embarrassed about a situation that it actually makes you want to cringe? There's that really weird butterfly moment (no, not the "I'm in love" kind) in the pit of your stomach where you want to go crawl into a hole and hide indefinitely?
Yeah, well I've had not one but two of those moments lately. Ugh.
Let me side step for just a moment. I may not have had a lot of motherly guidance in the past but gosh, have I been blessed when it comes to friends. You know those friends that will show up at your house just after you've given birth to twins and make you go to sleep for several hours while they clean your house, change diapers, cook food, and entertain a rambunctious 3-year old because they realize that you are too exhausted to take another step forward? Yeah, I have those friends. I've been blessed with a few of them and I truly treasure them like family.
This past year has been one that has been both personally challenging and strengthening for me. Anytime someone has to deal with a child's chronic and ever changing illness, job worries, or a loved one dealing with debilitating depression, let alone all three together, can be challenging. Yet through it all, I always try to see the life lesson, the true bridge to gain knowledge in my journey. Yet, personal challenges aside, I love and cherish my friends. And I dropped the ball. More than once and in one significant instance, I may have lost a friend.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, perhaps selfishly, I don't want to feel alone. Like I'm the only one out there that has messed up a perfectly wonderful friendship. Or maybe, truly, I don't want you to feel alone if you have ever had an experience like this.
I grew up without a mom during my adolescence and teenage years. My sister and I have discussed that we think this has impacted our ability to have deeper friendships. We were so busy trying to figure out our own day-to-day lives, we ended up not learning the fundamentals of dealing with other people and building relationships. Which is really strange because people tell me all the time that I smile a lot and tend to have such a positive energy. But, in the end, the outward energy we present sometimes only reflects so much.
I am an extroverted introvert. I can shine and smile and make conversations and jokes but when all is said and done, it exhausts me. Again, why am I sharing all of this? Because I learned this part of me so late in life, so late that I regret not being honest enough with myself earlier on. I should have been truer to myself. Which inevitably would have given me the ability to be more honest with friends or past boyfriends. Or even made me more capable of dealing with negative situations.
Look, I'm not perfect. No one is. But, I'm kind. And I try to be as understanding as I can. And sometimes when my little world gets to be a bit too much, I shrink back and disappear. I'm sure any therapist (and I've seen many) would say that is a self-protective mode. But what it does to the receiver is make it appear that I don't care. And that could be farther than the truth.
So, to the two dearest friends that I may have hurt or ghosted in the past year - did I mention that I'm sorry?
Whew. That's hard to type, let alone say.
Step by small step, if you understand this, will you cross this forgiving bridge with me?