Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fraying Friendships

I am far from an expert on friendships.  I have been Blessed to have many friends. Some are new, and some are a lifetime. People have come and gone in my life. Even when a friendship is lost, I look at the blessings of what that friendship brought me.

My parents raised me seeing the importance of good friends.  I grew up seeing first hand my parents having friends as an important part of their lives.  Many weekends my sister & I would go along with my parents to friends homes.  While the parents enjoyed visiting, we enjoyed the children of these friends. I saw my parents friends generously support and be there through many events of my parents lives as well as my parents being there for others.  Children learn what they see.  I learned the value of a friendship.

Where would I be without the guidance, support or love of my friends?  My life has been full of circumstances that the love of a good friend carried me through.

My childhood friends ~ gosh, they helped mold me into who I am today.

College friends? Even though I only went to Vincennes University for one year, those girls will never know how grateful I am that they were a part of my life.  I am lucky to still be in contact with three, but my old roommates, well, lets just say I am on the hunt. I loved them and now with my girls having their own experiences in college, I feel an even greater need to reconnect with them. Particularly Angela & Carmen. I hope that with the ease of today's technology, I will find them.

Throughout the next thirty years, so many friends developed through church,work, marriage, and having children. They come and go in my life. Some were keepers, some were just passing through.

I am truly blessed to still have many of them. Lately I have even reconnected with several through the awe of Facebook.

Knowing when to let a friendship end is difficult. Especially when you love that person and what you have shared. A betrayal? Friendships that develop a jealousy? Or when there becomes a drug, alcohol and abusive situation?
Trying to save the friend that doesn't want your help is next to impossible.
Sometimes we change, grow or develop in a new direction and perhaps a friend does not. It can be difficult when a friendship starts to fray. You try desperately to mend it, sometimes with success, sometimes not.  Devastating that someone you knew and loved so well is no longer a part of your life. While for some relief is a better word.
Sometimes it is very black and white.
Other times it is not.
You make an honest effort to communicate and the friend isn't reciprocating. Tired of the drama. Had enough of rescuing. Tired of one sided giving into the relationship.It is not healthy to hang onto a friendship where we are hurting more than growing. But feel how can you just let them down and walk away?

And what about when "you" are getting the brush off?  When someone has outgrown or for whatever reason, chooses not to remain friends with you.  That I will admit is difficult for me. Especially when I do not know what I might have done to cooled the friendship. I crave being liked. Being accepted. My feelings hurt too easily and I am too sensitive. But I realize that just because I like you, you don't have to like me.

Having a true friend can be wonderful and scary at the same time. Sometimes we are called upon to tell something a friend does not want to hear or know. Currently, I know someone that must tell a friend something that he does not want to hear. This person is taking a huge risk of ending his friendship with the news and revelation that is to be shared. But as a good friend, he knows he must. Fearfully, and with much prayer, he will have this difficult conversation.

Friendships are an important part of life. They help us in becoming a better me. But if you are not careful they can bring you down negatively and harm us. There is a balance that you must find. Sometimes, if the friendship starts to fray, you are lucky and able to mend. Sometimes you are not. It is okay to have people come and go. It is wonderful, to rekindle friendships and pick up where you left off.
Even those that leave my life have left an imprint. I do believe I am who I am because of the many that have left imprints in my heart.


Lori ann said...

i'm glad we're friends ☺

i hope your having a lovely sunday janis!

Mark Pressley said...

As you have read, I buried my best friend and at the end of his life we were not talking because he would not listen to me. I detoxed him an ugly thing to do and once sober he turned right around and started in again. Six months later he was dead.

At the first of this summer another friend came to me for help but he was not willing to stop drinking. I could not do this again and so I chose to walk away from him. I heard today he is in a bad way.

I need my friends but my sanity ultimately comes first, some times they just turn toxic.

Herrad said...

Hi Janis
Please visit my blog and pick up your You Inspire Me Award.

Anonymous said...

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- Joe