April 11, 2011
I could not be friends with someone who would take my confidence and use it against me. I walked away again.
My son was in high school by this time and she taught him several times over the five years he was there. I wasn’t worried about her getting involved with him but the thought of ANY teacher with my kid (or any kid!) made me ill and only added to the revulsion I felt for her. She did however ask him about me often and tell him to tell me she missed me and blah blah blah. Her husband had gone to work in the same mill as my husband by this time and he too passed on similar messages. I wasn’t hearing any of it. I didn’t need her and her bullshit drama in my life.
To be honest Trixie fueled the flames as well and made me even more resolute to delete Marie from my life. Why did Trixie hate Marie? I bet you can guess. Before he met Trixie, Harry used to sleep with Marie. DUN DUN DUHHH! The plot thickens. Now I am not so shallow that I would ever dump a friend because another friend didn’t like them – or slept with their husband – but Trixie made it easier NOT to want Marie in my life.
When my mother-in-law died, Marie came to the funeral. They went to the same church and my MIL thought very highly of her and vice-versa. Marie offered her condolences to us at the tea and she sent a beautiful card detailing what a kind and generous woman Katy was. It meant a lot to me and my family.
Therapy is a funny thing, sometimes when you’re talking about something, dealing with a specific issue it brings other things to light. Early on in one of my sessions I expressed how hurt and angry I was that Trixie could throw me away so easily without any explanation. How could she not even give me a chance to defend or explain myself? How could she just walk away from a lifelong relationship? I am not disposable!
Later as I pondered these questions I felt a pang of something akin to guilt, maybe mixed with a little regret. Despite our issues (and they were big ones, at the time at least) Marie was a huge part of my history and at any point in the past, present or future I know without the slightest doubt that if I needed her, for ANYTHING, she would be there for me. I have some really amazing friends but I can count on one hand the number of people I can truly say that about.
I started considering that perhaps I was out of line. Maybe I was hasty in cutting her out of my life, maybe I should have heard her out or at the very least told her why I had such a problem with it. I can’t control other people’s actions or reactions but I am in charge of my own and I started to realize that I didn’t handle myself very well. Walking away without notice was judgmental, immature and selfish.
The Dalai Lama says, “When patience is combined with the ability to discriminate between the action and the one who does it, forgiveness arises naturally.”
Yeah, I know! Look at me quoting the Dalai Lama!! More on that later.
Marie had done some shitty things over the years, to me and to herself but she was never a bad person. Besides, who was I to judge, I’ve done some things I’m not particularly proud of as well. I expressed my thoughts to my son one day and told him I was thinking of giving Marie a call. One week later she called me. Dakota wanted her legs done.
When the now eleven year old came in to see me it was like we were long lost friends. I feel such a connection to this kid, it’s bizarre. We chatted and giggled and I fed her chocolates after I ripped the fuzz from her legs. When Marie showed up to pick up her daughter she asked “So Kody, how was it, did it hurt?” To which the kid replied, “No it was fun!”
They hung out and visited for a while and when they left she suggested we get together for dinner and drinks soon and I said, “That’d be nice.” I meant it.
Since then we’ve gotten together several times with our husbands (I am thrilled to report that Marie’s husband has become somewhat less of a dick), Dakota came out and spent the night when her parents went out (she was offered to stay at friends or get a sitter and she asked if she could come stay with me) and twice they planned to come visit us when Kody was busy with her friends but the child had a fit saying “You can’t go out there without me!!” She was especially excited when I invited them camping this summer. Kody loves camping but since they only have a tent they don’t get out very often. Marie says she has been babbling and planning incessantly about spending time with me this summer.
Of course it wasn’t until after I invited them to the lake that I realized the discomfort that might cause for my cousin. Oh well, maybe it’s time to be a grown up.
My husband is the kid magnet in the family. From newborn to adulthood they gravitate to him… probably because he’s like one of them. When His Highness is around I usually cease to exist. Dakota is the exception to that rule. She doesn’t even notice him, it’s all about me. I love that!
Marie and I have not had a chance to speak of the past, but I am prepared for that conversation and I do want to air it all out. I’ve spent enough time in my life sweeping shit under rugs, it’s time to get rid of some moguls and put the dirt outside where it belongs. The relationship I have with her now is different from before, we’ve both changed and grown, but we still have the history that binds us and that bond is strong.