Sometimes praying to God feels like playing Red Rover.

Over The Rhine~Happy To Be So

Sally is punishing me for freaking out on her that night right after Christmas. The other day, I went up to where Tanya works and talked with her. At first, she was defensive when I asked her if she'd listened to any of the messages I'd left on her voice mail. It was the I've-been-at-work-I've-been-at-school-I've-been-with-my-boyfriend-I-haven't-even-seen-my-mom defense. I listened to her being defensive and I said, "I know you're busy, but I thought you always checked your voice mail." Again with the defenses. She said on that night, even though I didn't speak directly to her on the phone, that what I had said to Sally and then Sally related to Tanya had hurt her feelings. She said that she felt like I had blamed her for my Christmas being so shitty. She then shifted to blaming me for being sick-You-never-want-to-hang-out-with-me-and-Sally-you-never-want-to-go-
. I took the blame and then told her, very calmly, "After your father died, you were understandably very upset, but you abandoned both Sally and me then. When you decided you wanted to come back, I never once asked you why or pointed my finger at you or blamed you for it in any way. When Sally was so depressed for a year and she couldn't even go out of her house, you were so understanding of that. What I don't understand is why when she is sick, you can understand that. But when I'm sick, you can't understand it. You know, Sally abandoned me for five years when she was going out with Howdy and when she decided she wanted to be my friend again, I never blamed her for abandoning me. I never asked her why she did it. I welcomed her back with open arms, just like I did with you." She floundered for a minute looking for something to say and then said first, "Well, Sally was afraid to leave her house!" I said, "So was I, but I didn't say it in so many words." Then, "But I never blamed you for my dad's death." I said, "I never said you did. I didn't realize that you thought I had blamed you for my Christmas being so shitty. I was trying to reach out to y'all because I was in so much pain and because I was so hurt, everything came out the wrong way."

More talking. She was at work, so all of this went on in between customers. Suffice it to say she was really hurt, I apologized and asked her to forgive me and she did. We hugged and as far as I know, we're ok now.

After that, I wandered around the bookstore where Tanya works and decided that I would get her and Sally a card just because I know if I were upset, I would really appreciate something like that. I also wrote a personal letter inside for the same reason. At Christmas-time, I didn't have money to get Sally a present. So, in the bookstore, I bought her a leather-bound journal. You know, one of those kind that have the paper that takes the ink really well. I wrote a little personal note on the first page of that telling her "Merry (Late)Christmas" among other things. I put the card and the journal in one of those decorative bags. I found some Christmas ones on sale there. After I paid for all of this, wrote the letter in Tanya's card, gave it to her, wrote the letter in Sally's card and the short letter in her journal, I picked myself up and told Tanya that I was going over to Sally's to give her this present and the card.

Arriving at Sally's house, I got out of my car, didn't set the car alarm, because I thought if she were there, she would recognize it and then definitely not come to the door. I walked by the garage. They had left the interior light on and I saw her car parked there, but her father's SUV was gone. Her mother's car was parked beside mine out in the driveway. I went and rang the doorbell anyway. I waited. Waited. Waited. Rang the bell again and waited. Waited. Waited. No one came to the door. So, I was in sort of a dilemma about what to do with the present in the bag. I thought I could leave it in between their glass front door and the regular door, but no luck. That door was locked. I thought then that maybe I could leave it sitting by one of the corners of the garage door, but then I thought that it might get run over since it was pretty small. Also, I was afraid it would rain and I didn't want it to be ruined. So, I finally decided to leave it in the mailbox. They have one of those large iron mailboxes bolted to the front of their house and since the bag was quite a bit bigger than the present inside it, I was able to sort of fold the bag back into itself so that it was nearly flat. I left it there sticking out of the top of the mailbox. Maybe it was just my imagination or maybe I was transferring my feelings, but as I drove away, it looked lonely just sitting there all by itself.

That night, I had hopes that Sally would at least call me to tell me that she had gotten it, but I received no such call. The next day (yesterday), I carried my phone around with me wherever I went in the hopes that she would call me. No call. So, at about 5:30, I called her house. Her father answered the phone and I said, "I know Sally doesn't want to talk to me, but I just wanted to know if she got the present I left for her." Her dad said, "Yes, she did. She's in the bed, hun." That was the extent of that convo.

I sat in my bigcomfychair for the rest of the night having conflicting emotions, panic attacks, suicidal ideations, wanting to self-mutilate. God, I just wanted somehow, someway to fill that empty space she had left inside my heart.

So, I just wound up sitting in my chair in the dark for the rest of the night, listening to music with my cats all over me. I think they know when I'm upset because they always start wanting attention then. Like more than usual. Last night, I was sitting/laying in my chair with Little Bit laying partially on my chest, partially on my neck and partially on my face (he's a big cat). Silver scooted as close to me as she could on the arm of the chair where I had rested my head. GG was laying on my printer looking at me the whole time and every now and then would reach out her paw to me as if she wanted to touch me. Even Mija, the troublemaker, stayed in here with me. He situated himself underneath the stool on which sits my computer. It was right in front of the bigcomfychair.

This morning, right after I woke up, I finally realized that she's still punishing me for her hurt feelings even after I had apologized, albeit not to her face but that's not my fault. I have received no call from her today either and I'm sick with anxiety about it. I've just taken four of my Klonopin pills and two Excedrin Migraine tablets. My head aches like the Devil is pounding one of the tangs of his pitchfork into it.

I woke from a dream this afternoon in which I had gone again to Tanya's work place, but in my dream she didn't work at a cafe in a bookstore. She worked at a cafe beside a pool. Maybe at a country club or something. I sat at the very back, drinking an Orange Crush (I hate Orange Crush.) when I saw Sally saunter in and with a swish seat herself at a table some distance away from mine, then I heard her ask Tanya if she was ready to go. All the time acting like she didn't even see me sitting there. All of the sudden, seemingly simultaneously, I spilled some Orange Crush on the table and was trying to clean it when Sally just appeared in the chair opposite mine as if she'd just materialized out of thin air. I don't remember clearly what all she was saying, but she was doing something with her hand, a motion like "I'm through with you". I started screaming at her that you just don't throw people away as if they were some old shoes you don't like anymore. Then, as she and Tanya walked away, I was screaming at her back, "I'M NOT HOWDY!"

I woke up in a panic attack. That was about an hour ago.

This verse is to remind me, not in any way directed toward Sally, because I'm struggling with anger, too, because not only is she hurt, but also I am.

Jam 1:19 You must understand this, my dear brothers. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.



Blogger Kate said...

Puts you in a bad position, all around... on the one hand, no one deserves high-maintenance friends who don't return that level of maintenance and understanding... they're simply making it too hard to have a healthy friendship right now, so there are good reasons to take space, maybe long-term.

But on the other hand, friends are hard to come by and there is no substitute, all apologies to the blogosphere, for an actual real-life in-the-flesh friend. So we hang onto the ones we have, even when they're not meeting minimal expectations, because it's better than the alternative.

Ugh. No easy answers.

January 22, 2007 10:45 AM  
Blogger Anias Nin said...

I'm still sick about this whole situation. Last night, I broke down and called her again, but she wouldn't talk to me. Again. I started crying that kind of crying where you can't breathe and you cough. Like babies do when they get really upset. I called my mom (speaking of babies) and tried to tell her through my tears what was going on. I was in so much pain that I physically felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Laying in my bed talking with my mom, my stomach muscles kept spasming and I would have to curl myself as far as I could into a fetal position to alleviate some of the pain.

I didn't sleep at all last night because I was so anxious. I wound up taking 9 of my Klonopin all told yesterday. I'm only supposed to take 4 per day and even though I took that much, I still didn't sleep. Technically speaking, that much in one day is an overdose, but it didn't affect me at all. I finally managed to fall asleep at about 8:30 this morning and got up about 9:30 to email my professor and tell him that I wouldn't be coming to class today.

Dammit, this is how my semester started out last time. I want this semester to be different. I can't believe, after all I've been through over the past year that I've got to deal with another heartbreak.

I don't know what to do about it. I've been praying for them. My mom suggested that I keep praying for them until I can draw a full breath without feeling any pain in my heart or in my body, so that's what I'm going to do. I think it will also help me from keeping all of the anger and frustration I feel inside of me. It's got to go somewhere, so I might as well give it to God.

I keep breaking out in tears just randomly. Like my eyes are leaking, but always, I have this huge aching hole in my heart. I look on Sally and Tanya as my sisters and it really hurts me to know now that they don't feel that same way about me. I guess my expectations were just too high.

As for right now, I don't know if Sally will ever speak to me again and the forgiveness I am seeking from her, although I don't know why I am apologizing for being sick. Both of them are and I've never asked an apology from them for their mental and emotional disorders. But anyway, I am seeking forgiveness and it may never be forthcoming and that's another thing that I am carrying around with me right now. It's fear. I hate it and it gnaws at my already open wound like a buzzard on dead flesh.

I guess that's enough of my pity-pot sitting. Thanks so much, Kate, for caring enough about me to stick around and support me through all of this damn drama that has been going on in my life ever since you started reading my blog. I can't stop saying that it really does mean the world to me.

January 22, 2007 11:42 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

See, what this all cycles around to, for me, is the basic concept of forgiveness. Perhaps because I wasn't raised, and don't now live, in a world of religion and God, I've never dwelled with a lot of guilt/forgiveness rhetoric. But in recent years, I've thought about it a lot, and I keep coming around to a basic belief that forgiveness implies a power differential - that the forgiver has enough more power over the forgivee to grant that, and until they decide to do so, the forgivee remains on a lower level. And, to an extent, will always remain on that lower level, at least until a transgression from the other side shifts the balance of power again.

But in my world, people don't have that sort of power over each other. (By "my world" I mean, in my house, within my loved ones - I recognize that people all over the world have deliberate guilt/forgiveness power over others.) My husband did some terrible things when he and I were dating - infidelity, lying, terrible things - and after I learned about it, we broke up for several months. We ended up back together, and eventually married. Once, he said to me, "I'm so glad you were able to forgive and forget." And I had a cute but effective tantrum all over his head, explainined that I would NEVER forget, because that would be a denial of some very real emotions and pain I went through, and I wouldn't forgive, because that implies that I had the power to do so, which I don't want.

But I would move on. And that's what I did.

Just babbling, take it for what it's worth. I think that there are plenty of positives in the world of organized religion, but that when the concept of forgiveness starts to spread to friendships, it gets tricky. We should each be able to make our own choices, without relying on the benevolence of someone else.

"Should." Hah.

January 24, 2007 2:07 PM  

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