Sharing emotional pain is what makes us real….

I have been building a friendship with someone I have been acquainted with for several years.  This is one of those friendships being built on shared interests and shared experiences.  I have felt connected to her for some time after learning of her struggle and recovery from past emotional pain.  We chatted PM last night for quite some time as we each shared some of our own childhood demons with one another.

Regurgitating some of my mother crap used to send me back into nightmares of anxiety and depression.  Last night’s discussion did not have that effect…I felt cleansed.  Talking to her had me realizing that my history was nothing in comparison to the crosses a lot of people bare….and, most importantly,  I realized how far I have come in recovery.

Sometimes our vulnerabilities, lack of trust and fear of being rejected or just that old stubborn pride keep us from taking steps to rid ourselves of what we don’t really like about ourselves.  It’s there.  It’s evident by our internal jealousies and anger…by putting up a huge wall between us and other people…by not being genuine in our relationships for fear of being hurt.  I know that it takes a lot of guts to not just accept but to talk to someone else and slowly start letting it out.  Clinging to the same old pain only makes the pain continue.

Changing and healing is a process.  The first step is working through our vulnerabilities and fear and sharing a story.  No apologies for our feelings – they are our feelings and as my therapist shared with me….feelings are our feelings – they are like the weather and we cannot change them…until we start changing the things in our heart and our life that are causing those feelings.

I’m blessed to have those friends in my life who allow me to be me and love me anyway.  It is what makes me real.

Until next time…..

Degrees of friendship

I’ve questioned my dysfunctional relationships with friends since I was a teenager.  As I work thru the questions, (be prepared for a long sentence) I now believe that by being an only child of older parents, who had a dysfunctional relationship with each other and expected me to be their one and only true friend, I may be on the path to discovery.

It seems I don’t end friendships they just pass on.  I’ve become friend and confident’ with more people than I care to acknowledge.  In most of these friendships, there hasn’t been a lot of give and take…or should I say, I’ve seen that they have a need, I feel their pain, I become enmeshed in their drama, I’m fulfilled because they need me and find myself once again trying to take care of them and their issues.  My emotions become overwhelmed and I feel like I”m drowning…so I slowly swim away to save myself.  While I know some of these friends like me and depend on ME, many times I am not fulfilled because there is no depth to the relationship and I don’t seek them out when I have a problem.

I’m getting it.

I have several friends that are good friends to me.  We like each other, we care about each other, if one of us is in the valley, we know that the other one will throw a rope.  We don’t have to talk on the phone, we don’t have to see each other every day…we just are.  They cross my path and I cross their path…there is a mutual friendship.

Then there is Margena and there is Kim.  Kim is the real deal.  There is no selfishness to our relationship..she knows every one of my secrets.  Margena is the longest known real deal.  Gena’s life is very difficult right now and I spend time together listening to her right now.  She’s had my back and taken care of me many times in the past.  The other day I was meeting her for dinner and she said that she wanted to meet and watch my face while I talked about my new grandson.  That was one of the most amazing things anyone has ever said to me.  It made me tear up.

I”m learning that I can have friends but I don’t have to be all up in their business and they don’t have to be all up in mine.  It is okay to have different degrees of friendship.

Until next time.