Saturday 21 March 2009

If you love them let them go

Why is it that when life gets really bad you turn away from those you are closest to?

One of those that I am closest to has turned away and gone within themselves. They are either “working all the time/very busy with the animals/children/need some time to themselves/found new (old) friends etc.”.

To begin with I thought I was imagining it but when it takes at least two days to answer a text message and phone calls and visits are kept to a minimum then I have to acknowledge that there is definitely something going on there as ‘the shoulder to cry on’ now appears to be the shoulder to avoid.

Well I should recognise the symptoms as I’ve been there! So I had to search the back corners of my memory to recall how it was when it happened to me – because to understand what this person is going through I had to remember what happened to me and not to take this present situation personally.

So what happened?

Well when I was a very young married woman coping with two young children and a husband who drank too much and became – well shall we say a little aggressive after alcohol – I reached the stage where I knew that my marriage was no longer a loving relationship and had become a battlefield of hate; resentments; jealousies and violence and I knew that breaking point was getting closer.

At the beginning I confided in a small degree with friends and family – but only on the smaller problems like money worries, work etc whilst skirting round and totally avoiding mentioning the real problems. Then life provided me with the help and assistance I needed without me realising it. I started to meet up with new friends – mothers from nursery school who I never knew before and who would eventually be the help I needed in the middle of the night; an old friend got in touch who lived a fair distance from me who I could confide a little in and who eventually gave me the shelter I needed and others who I met who would give me the mental ‘prop’ that I would need in the days ahead. All of these – in hindsight – came along at a time when I would need help and friendship and were only around for the time that it took for me to recover from that ordeal and then gradually they would fade away into their own lives.

To me these friends were my friends in need – to be part of one another’s lives for a short time only and then to move on without animosity to our new lives.

So I guess I can understand what my friend is going through because sometimes those closest to you are just that – too close – and you need the unbiased help and friendship of those that know nothing much about your past. You need the advice and ‘counselling’ of someone who can see the whole picture without the emotions involved. So that when and if crunch time comes they will be able to advise and help you to go through these extremely emotional and critical times without being emotionally involved and blinded by such.

That is what happened to me – those closest to me were the most surprised when the break up came and the truth came out for I had hidden it from them.

The difference with my friend is that I’ve been there and done that and I can read the signs; recognise the symptoms – and do nothing about it because that is my role in this part of their lives – to sit back and wait and allow them to live out that part of their lives knowing that I am always here for them and always will be and knowing that one day they will come back.

It doesn’t make it any easier, but then who said life was easy….

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