It’s been a roller coaster ride the last 6 months during my blogging sabbatical. Continued growth, awareness, & forgiveness; betrayal; and a surprise!
My decision to back away from blogging and other optional activities was born of necessity. Some important relationships were requiring intensive attention, and I needed to focus on figuring out what my role was in each relationship. It’s never pretty looking in the mirror, but always worth it in the end.
It’s easy to think relationships are strong when times are good.
But when things go awry, you find out what the relationship is really made of.
My best friend and I have been through some tough times together and in January something really big happened. We actually found ourselves wondering if our friendship would survive. She’s important enough to me I had to make time to do deep work. We’ve been there for each other the last 10 years, but we’ve also ruffled each other’s feathers in varying degrees.
When our deepest issues collide, we nearly have bruises to show for it. We are so much alike.
Once again, we had to really resolve to stick through the pain and each figure out how we’d contributed to the problem. It took several months, and lots of tears and talking; but we’ve come through the fire. Our friendship is stronger because of our tenacity, and I am comforted to know our relationship truly is resilient. We are proof that iron sharpens iron.
During all this, I was struggling with ongoing resentment towards my Mom. I’d forgiven her for not protecting me from Dad but something lingered. The lingering thing was a dark shadow never far away and it was taking a toll on other relationships, especially with my husband. He has often been the recipient of my old anger and frustration.
Though I sometimes felt it would be too hard to see her again after my last visit, I decided that was probably exactly what I needed.
So we went to Alaska with me in high hopes of finding freedom. Right away I found myself slipping into my old role of trying to please her and not make waves.
When I became aware of my actions, I realized that’s why I was resentful. It was my own doing.
I needed to be real.
We had a very deep and intense conversation and the resolution I got from it was powerful and nearly immediate. My lingering resentment began to fade, while understanding and forgiveness took its place. Freedom was within reach.
Unexpectedly, I also saw my sister for the first time in about 12 years. It was very awkward and emotional, and I don’t know where things will go from here. I’ve wanted to see her for about 3 years, so I am happy even if it doesn’t go any further. She told Mom I must be lying about Dad. I know it’s hard for her to believe and it must cause her pain to hear what I’ve said. We each have to deal with it in our own way. She has her version of the truth and I have mine. Whether our differing truths will continue to deny us from having a relationship remains to be seen. That is a big difference to overcome.
In the midst of all that, I was deeply betrayed by someone I’d befriended many years ago. On the surface, it would appear we have nothing in common. Our race, age, and lifestyles are all very different.
Despite all of that, we connected because of our similar histories. We get each other.
We’ve remained in touch off and on over the years. When she contacted me in April she was in a crisis situation. I helped her out and it went south from there. The growing part of this experience for me was to not remain an embarrassed victim. I used my anger constructively and took action to recover what she took through deceit. I can also look backwards and see where in the interest of wanting to help, I ignored red flags.
Ultimately I feel empowered by this experience, although it took a heavy toll on me during the months-long resolution.
To round out what’s happened during my sabbatical, I got a big surprise in June!
I found out I’m going to be a Grandma next year!
Those of you who are already Grandmas know how ridiculous I’ll probably become. But under all of the ridiculousness, there is something vitally important.
I get a chance to do better and be better. Redemption (and spoiling) coming in 2016!
I’ve missed you all and look forward to slowly catching up and getting back in the saddle again.
Please tell me, what have you been up to in the last 6 months?