Monday, January 12, 2009

T-ing Off, Part Four

Part Four: Resolution

After the blow up, I kept an eye on T's blog to see what, if anything, she would have to say for herself. As days went by, I realized that she wasn't going to - to admit that she'd lost a friend was to admit that she wasn't perfect, and T insisted that her life appear to be perfect. It was one of the reasons she was so bottled up all the time. I was disappointed, because I wanted to know that she had seen what I'd written. I wanted to keep fighting. She did keep updating her blog with details about her wedding and how great everything was. I did a lot of snorting at her posts, but I kept reading them. I couldn't stop. Even though the things she wrote still made me feel badly about myself and my life, I had to keep reading what she was writing. When she got back from her wedding and posted the link to her wedding pictures, I had to go see them. I got a perverse satisfaction out of the knowledge that she didn't look as good as I had in my pictures. That she'd had the cake smashed into her face, while I hadn't had cake smashed into mine. That she'd had some fat/ugly bridesmaids while I hadn't (I had bridesmen, actually - my brothers). but although I got to gloat a bit, it didn't really make me feel better. I knew I was being petty, that I was using mockery to cover up that I was still hurt.

Not long after her wedding, she stopped blogging. I was forced to let it go for a while because there was no way to get updates from her. I wondered why she'd stopped, though. Was it because she knew I was reading it? Did she not want me to know what was going on in her life? Several months later, I found her new blog. All about her and C's life. That the house they'd purchased was getting an updated bathroom. That she had a teacup dog (that she dressed up for Halloween, no less). On her blog, she'd posted pics of her Master's Degree ceremony. Right then I was back to feeling inadequate. I have been only three classes away from my master's degree for three years; finances have kept me from getting my schooling completed. Again, T and her money were making me feel bad, and I was letting it happen. I couldn't stop cyber stalking her. I'd check her blog at least once a week, waiting for the inevitable update that would make me feel miserable again. Bear couldn't stand what I was doing to myself. He'd get angry that I was deliberately causing myself to suffer over someone who had no relevance to my life. He tried telling me that I needed to drop it, stop thinking about her, and move on.

I couldn't.

This fall, she stopped blogging on that blog. I wondered, again, if it was because she knew I'd been reading it. I was left in limbo again, still unable to get closure. I wondered if I'd ever be able to fully let T go. To not feel like we were in some kind of race that I was still losing, even a year and a half later.

Then, on one of my random searches to see if I could find her, I checked her name on Ravelry. Ravelry, for those who don't know, is a huge online knitting community. Rav was an arena I considered mine. I'd found it first, used it every day, was a member of that community. I was shocked to discover that at long last, T had infiltrated even that place. I was so heartsick. How long before she made me feel inadequate in this way, too? How long before she had more projects, more friends, more posts than me? I would not be in the same groups as her. I didn't want to compete with her here - Rav for me is a safe, warm place. Having her there felt awful. While looking at her profile I noticed that she'd linked it to another blog. Immediately I clicked on it to read. This blog was different from her other blogs. In this blog, she was admitting to a failure - the failure to conceive. She has been diagnosed with PCOS and this new blog was about her struggles with it.

A breath escaped me as I read. Relief washed over me. Finally, something was wrong with T's life. Finally, for the first time EVER, she was faced with wanting something she couldn't have. Something that no money could ever buy her. It can't buy her ovaries that work. FINALLY, T knows what it's like to want something with every fiber of her being and be denied. I knew it was terrible to feel good about her problem. I knew it was insensitive of me to be glad that she couldn't have a baby. But it was just such a relief to see the scales evened out a bit - to know that finally, for once, I was coming out ahead.

Then I found it. I found an entry in her blog that pertained to me. It said:
There was one line that struck me though.... "I'd traded friendship for romance, companionship for a husband..." Talking about choosing her to be husband over her best friend. The reason that got to me was because this happened to bme 2 years ago. Almost 2 years ago exactly infact. To be honest I never really took time to reflect upon what happened with my friend, but I knew with certainty that my DH was the person I was to be with for the rest of my life and if H couldn't be supportive, then I no longer wanted her in my life.... Reading today though made me reflect on the whole situation- now where I am in my life could we become friends again? Was there another way to have my DH and friend too? Hmmmmmm....

I was in shock for a minute or two. I'd waited so long to have her acknowledge our fight, only to haver her admit that she'd never really reflected upon it?!? I didn't even rate high enough in her life for her to think about after that day!?! I saw red for a good hour or two. I'd spent so much time and energy following her bogs, watching her life from afar ... and she didn't even think about me. After that I was hurt. When I thought I could, I went back to that post and read it again. It was then that I started to laugh. She though that we'd stopped being friends because I didn' t like C. It was laughable. Our fight had never been about C. I liked C fine. It had been about her, and her selfishness, and her making me feel bad about who I was. And two years later, she had no idea what the fight had even been about. I couldn't believe it. Seriously? It would have been tragic if it hadn't also been so funny.
I began to look at my life, to examine whether or not we could ever be friends again. Were we in a place now that our lives wouldn't become a contest? After two solid weeks of introspection, I think I've finally figured this situation out.

1. I will always compare the successes in my life to hers, and I will always come up lacking.
2. It's up to me whether I allow that to hurt me or not.
3. Knowing that she is faced with the failure she is and is openly acknowledging her lack of perfection has equaled out the playing field.
4. I will be happier and more content without her in my life.

That last one was what let me finally let T go. I have come to appreciate and enjoy the life I lead now. Bear and I are lovers, friends, and teammates. We help each other out and build each other up. I don't want to allow someone from the outside tear down what Bear and I have worked so hard to create. I am more at peace than I have been since T and I "broke up." She never understood what the problem in our friendship was, and she probably never will. And maybe that's okay. Because I know. I don't gloat any more about her infertility. In fact, I genuinely hope that she and C are able to overcome it and have beautiful babies. Because now that I'm finally done competing with her, I can honestly wish her well.
As for her wondering if she and I can be friends again ... well, the answer is no. I wish her well, but we are too different now, and I want people around me who understand me, love me, and wish me well, too.

So Goodbye, T - I'm letting you go.


Fox In Detox said...

Good for you. Too many people hold on to old hurts, and resentments only to let them ruin them, their families, their friendships.They also hold on to friendships that have run their course. You're far ahead of curve just by saying goodbye.

Heather said...

Thanks, Fox. This has been a long time coming - my husband would say it's overdue. I feel very at peace, though, and telling the whole story (for all the world to see) helps. I'd never been a believer that you can just choose not to let something hurt you anymore, but now that I've done it I'm a believer.

Thanks again!

Alice said...

I think you know this already: but you don't need to hold other people's milestones as a yardstick for your success. You, my dear friend, have so much to be proud of. A big wedding does not make a happy marriage. A fancy diploma does not make a good teacher. And a perfect life does not make a good person.

Thanks for sharing. I think we have all experienced a loss like this. It helps to know we're not alone. And I hope that as you continue to move forward that you will remember some of the good that came from the friendship and I hope that you'll become your own yardstick.

Sue Flaska said...

There is a lot to be said about cutting out the disease in your life. It is a weight off your back, an acceptance of self, a very hard thing to do. You should be proud of your strength.