The last two years have been a huge transition for me with my friends. Since my car accident I have lost friendships with many people I felt close to two years ago. People don't always rise to the occasion when faced with friends dealing with adversity. A lot of people run away as fast as they can. Even people you love dearly. It was a surprising fact which hurt me immensely following my accident.
I look at the friends I have now differently. I value them more. I look deeper for true character instead of being content with superficial charm. If that means fewer friends, but truer friends, I can accept it. I know the people who stood by me the last few years, and in turn, I would do anything for them. Anything.
The others? Not so much.
This week, I may have lost a friend I've had for several years. It makes me sad because I genuinely care about this person. This is a friend I've confided in and looked to for advice for many years. Someone I've respected and trusted. Someone I've counted on without ever realizing I counted on her quite so much. Someone I thought, it turns out incorrectly, I could share just about anything with. (And for my regular readers, no it's not Nike.)
I told this person about something that happened to me when I was very young. Something I've not felt comfortable sharing with many people in my life. It was not about something I did, but rather about something that happened in my life. I didn't feel like it was as major of a disclosure as perhaps it was. It was so many years ago, it feels like a part of someone else's life now, not mine.
My friend informed me she was left feeling uncomfortable and wished I hadn't told her. I was embarrassed. Who wants to make a friend feel uncomfortable? Also, who wants to put themselves out there with a disclosure and be rejected? It's a risk to share some things; it takes courage to bare your soul.
After she informed me of how she felt, we both felt uncomfortable. Strained. Awkward.
I hadn't anticipated her reaction. Obviously, I wouldn't have shared the information if I had.
My apology was followed by … a dose of more uncomfortable and awkward. For both of us.
I can't erase the fact that the subject was brought up. I took a risk, without realizing it was a risk, and it fell flat. I've either lost the friendship or, at the very least, I've lost a dimension of the friendship.
I also know that I will never have the courage to bring that particular topic up with anyone again. No matter how many years go by.
Do you have a friendship you mourn the loss of? What happened and why? Or maybe you have a story of a friendship that was reconciled? I'm feeling sad today. Make me feel better – share your story in the comments section.
Tomorrow I will publish a selection of the very (!) funny names you submitted.