Haunted Dreams (poem)

So long gone
So many yesterdays ago
Only to return in a flood
Leaving damage that only I’ll know
Where have you been hiding
How did you remain unseen
Why did you come back to haunt me
where I couldn’t escape you, in a dream
Why did you taunt me
with words I’ve longed to hear
Why did you get my hopes up
Why were you so sincere
Dream is not reality
But still my heart has held hope
Only to get slapped in the face
When the dream ends and you go
Your wound is still visible
The hurt still stings
Despite the passing of time
You’re not absent from my dreams
Only when my eyes are open
do I escape your memory
But I close my eyes, let down my guard
and you kill me again in my dreams

Heather L. Flood
06.08.17

Advertisements

Six and Two

Grief is a difficult experience to work through.  Everyone experiences grief differently.  When someone is working through grief we often like to jump in with words of advice that we hope will comfort the person.  “Don’t cry because you lost the person.  Smile that they were in your life to begin with.”  “Time will heal this hurt in your heart.”  “You’ll see them again one day.”  Blah, blah, blah!  Empty words that do not comfort the person feeling the hurt.  All those words do is inflate the person who says them, making them feel useful and important in a moment when there are no words that can help at all.

Some people work through their grief quickly.  Others bury their grief, never deal with it, and years later it comes back to smack them in the face like a brick wall.  Out of nowhere, when they least expect it, it all comes flooding in demanding to be dealt with in that moment.  The longer grief is delayed the more it grows and becomes more difficult to work through.

I am not writing this to lecture on the benefits of working through grief in a timely fashion.  How everyone deals with their moments of grief is completely up to them.  What I want to write about today is that I believe that my period of grief has finally come to an end.  It’s been almost two years.  That seems like a very long time, even to me, to mourn, but something very small slowed down my healing.  Hope.

Here’s my story . . .

Eight years ago I met a man who I came to think of as my best friend.  I can look back now and see that I inflated his importance in my life.  At the time though Brian quickly became my world.  I can name the exact moment that we became friends.  It was a Saturday afternoon at work.  He was on the air in one studio and I was on the air in another studio.  We were friends on Facebook and I had shared a post about Drum Corps International.  Brian came down the hall to my studio and asked, “you like DCI, too?”  That was the moment.  We became friends.

Over the next six years Brian and I shared our lives.  We talked about everything.  We laughed.  We cried.  We fought.  We had a period where our stubbornness kept us from speaking for four months.  I was there with him through his bouts of depression.  He was there when I got territorial and jealous, because I felt like nobody was worthy enough for him.  I went through a period where I felt like I had to protect him from everyone because everyone was bound to hurt him.  He was tender.  He was fragile.  He had unhealed wounds that needed to be nursed, and I was the only one that could nurse those wounds.  But truth was that he was not tender or fragile.  He did have wounds, but I was not the person to help him heal them.  Complete truth be told, I needed him to be broken because that was the foundation that our friendship was built on.  If he wasn’t broken then I had no place in his life and I couldn’t fathom that happening.

I molded the friendship into what I felt I needed to complete my life.  This was best seen when he would get a new girlfriend.  Competition!  Rather than trying to get along with his new girlfriend, I would turn into a raging ball of jealousy.  I would shut him out.  I would speak negatively of his girlfriends.  What I was trying to do was make him see that I was the only female that he needed in his life.  What I was actually doing was showing him that I was not a female that he needed in his life at all.  I can see that now.  I couldn’t see that at the time.

Three years ago my best friend found a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I had already found that relationship a few months earlier, and so when he got saved and baptized my be best friend became my brother.  This could not have made me happier.  Life was perfect in our friendship.  I had the privilege of watching him grow into a man of Christ.  He was starting to shed the demons that he had carried for so many years.  He was discovering his self-worth, and he was searching for his purpose on this earth.  His transformation was such a thing of beauty to watch that it increased my faith exponentially.  But a person can not serve two masters.

God brought a woman into Brian’s life that was obviously molded just for him.  Their romance was nothing short of whirlwind.  They married just a few months after they started dating.  Our friendship came to an end six months later.  Yes, I am guilty of encouraging Brian to follow where God was leading him, to marry the woman God put before him, and then turning on Brian and his new wife and trying to convince him that his wife was bat crap crazy.

My routine held up to the end . . . when Brian needed me I made sure I was there, but when Brian didn’t need me then I ran him down and ran down whomever it was that was in his life.

Two years ago Brian walked out of work, and he walked out of our friendship.  I took it hard, and I placed all the blame on him.  I was the victim and he was the piece of crap that threw me and our six-year friendship away like it was an empty burger wrapper.  I cried.  I yelled.  I poured out my anger and grief in my writing.  Much of that can be found in posts from the last two years.  In short, I mourned.  But my mourning was misdirected because I was placing all the blame on him, and I was mourning as if I had no part in how the end came.  Today, though, I can look back over the past eight years . . . six years of friendship, and two years since the end . . . and I can finally see why he left.  I can finally see what my part was, and I can finally see that I was the cause of the end I so desperately tried to avoid.

I say all of that to say this:  I have been given another chance.  Not with Brian, but with someone else.  A new person has been brought into my life and the connection was fast and strong.  Instant friendship from the day that we met.  It’s a bit scary to be starting this path all over again.  I know that I am over thinking everything about this friendship, overanalyzing, questioning, seeking affirmation, but I am so scared of messing up again, of messing up another friendship.  I don’t trust myself.  I don’t trust myself to not go bat crap crazy again.  I don’t trust myself to not become jealous again.  I don’t trust myself to turn on him and drive him away.  The only thing I can do is try and learn from my mistakes, the mistakes that I made with Brian, and then take everything one day at a time.  Everything in me is screaming to guard myself, not to jump in, to build a wall around my heart, to protect myself from getting hurt again.  But the truth is that Brian is not the one that hurt me.  I am the one that hurt me, and the only person I need protection from is myself.

I am no longer mourning a friendship that Brian ran out on, that Brian threw away.  I am no longer mourning something that he destroyed.  It took two years for me to finally see the truth behind that happened.  Now I am mourning the friendship that I brought to an end, and I am hoping from the ashes of that friendship that a new friendship can be built on the healed wounds that I inflicted on my own heart.

Until next time . . .

Self-destruction (poem)

destruction-feat

History always repeats itself
Life on a loop
as we make the same mistakes
that we swore we’d never do
As we’re edging ever closer
to the inevitable end
Life is just a showdown
Life is no longer lived
What will become
of prayers, hopes, and dreams
What are we creating
building a world on lies and schemes
We eternally blame others
as the world is goes to hell
Because nobody wants to own their part
in the worst story the world could tell
Self-destruction at its finest
Losing all control
Going down in three, two, one
The most enduring story ever told

Heather L. Flood
03.27.18

Ocean (poem)

pexels-photo-923649.jpeg
So deep are you, Ocean
A blue that never ends
Depths that can’t measured
Moved by turbulent winds
What have you seen, what have you done,
endless Ocean, as you reach so far
Where do you go to find your rest
when your waves are at war
What is there to embrace you
when the wind kicks too hard
What is there to comfort you
as you lie beneath the stars
Ocean, as you ebb and flow,
where is your home
Where do you hang your hat
Where are you alone
What is there beneath your surface
Your depths, has anyone seen
What have you buried
What have you given up to be free
Are you raging against the shoreline
as your waves come crashing down
Or are you reaching for something unknown
even if the shoreline might drown
Ocean, your depths no one will know
Though some may search but fail
Your endless blue will forever go on
as against the shoreline you rail

Heather L. Flood
03.25.18

 

Thunderstorm ahead

Tonight is one of those nights . . . sleepless, restless, chain-smoking, mind-all-over-the-place . . .

I’m sitting in bed and typing this on my phone. Little bitty keyboard and Vienna sausage fingers . . . forgive me now for any hideous typos.

I don’t know that I have anything to say, but this seems historically to be the place I turn on nights like this.

Old demons are trying to come back. Some I am comfortable sharing, others nope.

I have abandonment issues. I make jokes about it, but it’s true. I try to convince myself that I am happy for the person and that I want nothing but the best for them. But the truth is, losing a friendship sucks. It hurts really bad. My heart is broken, because too many people have exited my life due to outside circumstances, and I never, NEVER, get the chance to say goodbye. Do you know how that feels? Do you know how much that hurts? To invest a part of yourself in someone and then for them to just disappear . . . I just can’t anymore. For once I am being completely honest with myself. I just can’t handle another loss.

It’s the closure that I need. If I had something to do with their departure, say an argument or a strongly worded letter, then I could understand the need to leave me behind. But people see the smiles and the infernal glitter trail I leave behind and they think that I am immune to sadness, and thus I never get the closure. The moment of finality that truly signals the end.

Just a heads up, folks . . .

I am not immune to sadness.

I am not immune to a broken heart.

I am not immune to feeling left behind, abandoned, worthless, unnecessary, extraneous . . . pick your adjective.

I don’t bounce back quickly. I hold onto the hurt and try to figure it out because you are no longer there to tell me what I did wrong, what I could have done better, what I could have done to help fix your situation. You are no longer there, and I am left behind, and it fucking sucks, and I don’t understand why you left me behind. Why did I have to be part of the fallout in your moment of selfishness? Why wasn’t I worth enough to deserve an explanation, or even a goodbye. Why did you just leave?

It’s happened so often in the past two years that I can only see one common denominator . . . me. And that makes it hurt even more.

There is some amount of security in writing this. The anonymity of tapping “publish” and knowing it might get read, but not fearing the judgement because I more than likely don’t know you. But in case I do know you, in case you are my mother, a coworker, a person I go to church with . . . don’t judge the glitter-and-rainbow girl. You know me, but you don’t know me. Sometimes even I have thunderstormy days.

Until next time . . .

Spew forth the word-vomit

Forewarning:  I have a feeling that this particular post is going to be a like a geyser spewing forth.  It’s going to be forceful and largely unproductive.  The meanderings of a brain needing to word-vomit.  I don’t really have anything to say, but the fingers have that need-to-write itch.

I am exhausted today.  I am mentally and physically spent.  I have felt this way for a while.  Too many directions.  Too many destinations.  Too many commitments.  Not enough down time.

battery

I got an email from my advisor at school today.  It’s time to register for next semester.  I’m thinking of not registering for next semester.  I am having one of those days where I am wondering if the time that class consumes, and thus takes away from my family, is really worth it.  I am having one of those days where I am discouraging myself with how long I have until I graduate.  I feel like I will never get there, and if I do, I will be too old to even put that degree to work.  I am having one of those days where I am talking myself out of school because of a class I have to take next semester that I know is going to kick my ass, and I am convincing myself that I am not up to the task.  I’m just having one of THOSE days.

An old friend recently reappeared, much to my shock and surprise.  It was not the old friend that I was hoping for.  That ship has obviously sailed.  Yesterday I was alright with that sailing.  Tomorrow I may even be alright with that sailing.  Today, I am not alright with any sailing ships.  I realized recently though that I don’t miss that person.  I miss what that person meant to me, and what he was in my life.  I have no idea who that man is anymore, and he doesn’t know me.  I miss the person that I knew and maybe I even miss, a little bit, the person I was when we were friends.  But there was a reason he left, and that is that.

The amazing reappearing long-lost friend that recently resurfaced had been out of my life, by my choosing, for the past 3 years.  He once told me that when people choose to walk away from him that he is done . . . completely . . . with them.  If they don’t want to be around him, then he reciprocates the feeling.  So that is what I did.  I was a much different person three years ago.  I was struggling with some demons that could not be exorcised as long as he was in my life.  So, I cut all ties.  I turned and walked away with nary a word as to why.

But looking back, I can also admit now that part of me was testing his word.  Would he really allow me, a person he called a friend, to walk away as he said he would?  Would he “chase” me?  Would he call or text to find out why I was not contacting him?  Nope.  He was true to his word.  And that hurt.  It hurt a lot, because I had poured a lot of myself into that friendship.  For him to so easily allow me to walk away, it made me feel disposable, useless, like a friend of convenience.  It reaffirmed my feelings of our friendship being completely one-sided.  So when the amazing disappearing act occurred again last year with my long-time friend . . . same feelings all over again.  Why am I so disposable?  Why is it so effing easy for people to walk away from me?

Because some people are takers.  They will take and take and take until you have nothing left to give them, and then they move on to the next person that is of benefit to them.

That is where my head is today.  I am just a general ball of discontendedness today, and for that I apologize.  I have fallen into my head, because I am exhausted.  It would be easy for me to say that I don’t have the strength today to fight the negativity that the past is dredging to the surface, but that would imply that I rely on my own strength.

My strength does not come from within myself.  My strength comes from the Lord, but today I feel like he’s taken a coffee break in my life.  There are no obstacles that I am fighting to overcome.  I am simply my own obstacle, and I am getting in the way of Him.

Just for the record, I have forgiven both of those people.  They were just using the coping mechanism they had at the time to deal with issues in their life that I happened to be a part of.  I have been guilty of the same thing.  I run.  I am non-confrontational.  Which is why I walked away from one friend three years ago, and allowed the other to walk away from me one year ago.

Anytime I am leading a group at Celebrate Recovery I always tell my girls to find something positive from the past week.  A life can not be spent focusing solely on the negative things.  Life must be balanced.  Positive and negative.  I’ve already spewed forth negativity, so something positive . . . so far I am acing my Social Work class.  Perfect scores on all of my assignments.  Today I was able to use my job to help a friend in a fundraising effort for a need in the community.  My husband is getting baptized on Sunday!

Until next time . . .

Nothing Left to Give (poem)

How do you give from an empty cup?
How do you refill what you lack?
When everybody wants something from you,
how do you get it back?
When emptiness takes its toll,
and exhaustion builds each day.
When what once brought you joy
is now a target of rage.
When tears are at the ready
and self-doubt finds its way in.
When giving up now seems easier
than fighting to the end.
When old habits start to reappear
and rear their ugly heads.
When you float through days and weeks, emotionless,
until you fall fitfully into bed.
When another days seems impossible.
When scraping the bottom is inevitable.
When tempers flare and tongues are unleashed.
When the damage done seems irreparable.
When fumes are the only fuel in your life,
and even those are running thin.
When everybody wants something from you,
but there is nothing left to give.

Heather L. Flood
04.17.17

That day is not today

Abusive relationships . . . when most people think of them they immediately think of domestic violence.  But that is not always the definition of an abusive relationship.

One year ago I sat on my couch and wrote a letter.  I placed the letter in a stamped and addressed envelope.  That envelope went into the mailbox, and a few days letter found its way into the hands of the addressee.  That letter told the recipient that in no uncertain terms was she ever welcome to contact me again.  She is my husband’s ex-wife.

She and I had been friends.  Then she started taking advantage of me, and of things I would do for her and her children.  She is a narcissist.  She suffers from a severe sense of entitlement, and feels she is always the victim.  I wanted to help her.  All I did was enable her behavior.  She also has an explosive temper that would put Mt. Vesuvius to shame.  People like her will take and take and take.  Eventually the more they take the more they want, the more they expect.  There were times when I was unable to do whatever it was she claimed to need.  That’s when I became like the village of Pompeii buried, unexpectedly, under ash and suffocated by toxic fumes.  Later she would cool off and come begging for forgiveness.  She would tell me how important I was to her, and that she valued our friendship so much, that she didn’t deserve a friend like me, and that I was such a blessing to her.

It was the cycle of abuse.  I experienced the exact same thing with my former step-father when I was a child.  He was an abusive alcoholic.  The worst event ended with his offering me a new, pretty pair of socks as a peace offering.

This friendship had me in knots.  I couldn’t express my frustration with her because to do so would ignite her temper.  So I took my anger and frustration out on the closest person . . . my husband.  A year ago my marriage was on the verge of falling apart.  I was miserable.  My husband was miserable.  I blamed her for making me so unhappy.  I blamed him for allowing her to control so much of our life.  I blamed myself for allowing the friendship to dissolve into what it had become.  But I thought, “if I do enough for her, if I help her enough, then she will see that there is good in the world and she will turn around.  It is my duty as a Christian to help those around me, and the Lord put her in my life for that reason.  She never means what she says.  She always apologizes.  She isn’t really a mean person.  She just needs me to fix her, if I can care about her enough.”

Eventually she threw some extremely ludicrous accusations at my husband and then got angry at me for taking his side.  In her anger she threw the same accusations at me.  She screamed.  She yelled.  She made threats.  She called and texted to the point where I had to block her on Facebook, and through my phone provider.  I also had to block every member of her family because I knew that she would use their phones or Facebook pages to try to contact me.  She contacted my friends, and even my pastor, and plied them for information or tried to fill them with the perceived awful things I said or did to her.  When confronted by all those people I told my side of the story and showed them her text messages.

A few months later, under the mentality of forgive and forget, I made up with her.  I can look back now though and see that the truth was that I was weak and didn’t know how to function without that dynamic in my life, as twisted as that my sound.  I told myself that it would be different.  People can change.  A few months should have given us both time to see the errors of our ways.

I set a line in the sand and expressed to her my limits for our continued friendship.  Red flags should have started going up in my head at that moment.  You should not have to say to a friend, “alright, here are the rules if we are going to be friends.”  That is what I had to do though.  Things were peachy for a few weeks, but over the following four months things eventually went back to where they had been, ending with the night she called my husband demanding that I unblock her from Facebook and my cell phone (which I had never gotten around to doing, because my gut told me it was a bad idea . . . should have been yet another red flag!).  That was the night I sat down and wrote the letter to her.  It was a year ago, almost exactly one year ago to the day.

That was an abusive relationship.  It was mentally and verbally abusive.  She ran me down to make herself feel better.  She berated me when she didn’t get her way.  She made terrible accusations when she had no other ammunition.  And then her skies would clear, the hurricane of her anger would roll out, and she would come crawling back, begging for forgiveness.  And the cycle would go on.  Yes, I enabled her behavior.  I needed to do it.  I thought I was doing a good thing for her.  I thought I was helping her.  What I was really doing was looking for validation.  If she told me that I was a good person then that meant I must be a good person.  If she told me that I was a selfish bitch who cared about nobody and nothing, then she must be right about that, too.  So I did whatever I had to do to keep her happy and thinking I was good.  It was safer than the alternative.

I have spent the last year in Celebrate Recovery, predominantly because of her.  I have not spoken to her in a year.  I have forgiven myself for my behavior during that period of my life.  My husband has also forgiven me for the way I treated him during that period.  Our marriage is doing much better, but I am still working on letting go of the anger and resentment I have toward her.  I wear it like a shield, and shield that I want to get rid of, but I am so afraid to.  I am still afraid of her.

Tonight she texted my husband.  She does that occasionally because the have a daughter together from their marriage.  In her text she said that she would like to talk to me so that she can apologize.  My heart immediately began to race.  The thought of facing her still clenches ever muscle in my body.  I told my husband to not even acknowledge that portion of her text, because I know what will happen.  She will apologize and I will tell her that I appreciate the apology but still wish to not continue our friendship and then she will flip her lid.  OR the worst case scenario . . . she will apologize, and the cycle will start all over again.  Because that is how abusers operate.

I have enjoyed this year of my life free of her drama and toxicity, and I don’t want to go back to where I was.  I am still working on healing from what I allowed her to do to me, and I can not compromise myself for her.  She will have to find from another source the forgiveness she seeks.  One day I hope to be able to look at the past and say that I forgive her, but that day is not today.

So, see?  Abusive relationships can happen between anyone . . . even friends.  One beats the other down so much that the weaker one is incapable of walking away.  Like an abused dog always going back to it’s abusive master.  “Maybe tomorrow will be different, because I know they really do care about me.”

Until next time . . .

Overdue confession

It’s been a long time since I have written a personal post.  I could easily say that I don’t know why I have allowed that drought to occur.  But the truth is that I do know why.  So much has happened over the last several months.  Things that have left little time for writing, things that have left little emotional capacity for writing.

I started this blog 3 years ago as a way to release emotions that I could not always vocalize.  Yet, sometimes it’s just easier to shut down and not even try to put anything into words.

I started back to school in August.  Right now I am working on an Associates degree.  I am doing well in my classes.  I enjoy my classes, even if my writing teacher is a bit odd.

My grandmother passed away in October.  It was expected.  But what was not expected was the way some of my family members reacted to her passing.  Her death got overshadowed for me by the way some of my family members turned into vultures.  It made me sick to know that I have to call those people family.  But . . . silver lining . . . on the trip home for her funeral I had an opportunity to visit with a family member I hadn’t seen or talked to in almost 4 years.  So, out of death came reconciliation.

The last few months have seen me struggling in my walk with Christ.  I know he hasn’t left me.  It’s me that has put distance in the relationship.  I make excuses as to why I haven’t been able to get into my bible.  I have too much homework to do.  I need some “me” time.  I have class or have to work.  I’m tired.  I’ll do it later.

Aside from Sunday mornings at church, I have not cracked open my bible in months.  My pastor always says that you make time for what you truly want.  It’s not that I don’t want to grow in my relationship with Christ.  I think maybe I am a bit angry at him right now.

That’s the first time I have admitted that to myself.

This has been a crazy year.  In January I was feeling good about removing a toxic person from my life.  I was seriously considering starting back to school, something that had terrified me for years.  Things were going well at work.  Friendships were secure and continuing to grow.  But then everything that I held as positive in my life started falling apart.  My secure foothold turned out to be of nothing but sand.

Building on a Solid Foundation

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27, NLT)


I was a foolish builder.  I put my faith my myself.  I put my faith in friends.  I took control back from God, despite having finally admitted last November that I was incapable of controlling my own life, that I needed God to take control.  I can see now though, that little by little I took it back from him.  I replaced my firm foundation of stone with my own weak foundation of sand.  Little by little that foundation was worn away, and now I feel lost as sea with no land in sight.

Medical problems plagued the station over the summer.  Unrest was rampant in two coworkers, which led to the abrupt departure of both of them.  The one I expected to not get a goodbye from forewarned me of his exit.  The one I put so much faith in, the one I expected a goodbye from . . . nothing.

I’m pretty sure that I am blaming God for taking him away from me.  I got to see that friend come to Christ a year ago.  I was beautiful to see how he blossomed into a strong man of God.  Then just a few months later that man was gone.  It hurt.  I was angry.  I felt abandoned.  I felt worthless.  I have blamed God for letting me give so much of my heart to this man, and then stomping on my heart like a piece of garbage.  But that kind of thinking is not of God, is it?  Nope.

Satan is the only one that would want me to think like that.  He knew he had lost me to Christ, but still found a way to try to keep me from being an effective tool for Christ.  Sadly, it worked.  I have not been the disciple that I could be.  I have been distracted by my own thoughts and feelings.  Heartbreak made me weak.  Anger and self-pity distracted me from the only person I should have looked to in that situation.  Instead, when I should have been looking to God to heal my heart, I turned away from him.  When I should have been searching for healing in God’s word I was not searching for healing at all.  I was allowing anger to harden my heart.  It happens too easily when the heart is weak.  And Satan knew where the weak spot of my heart was.

My heart is still weak.  My heart is still hardened.  I am still hurt and angry.  I still miss my friend.  A small part of me wants to reach out to him so badly.  But then fear steps in . . . what is he rejects me again.  Could I handle it?

I am weak, but my strength lies in Christ.  I just need to turn back to him.  I need to be ready and willing to lay down the hurt and anger that I am holding like a shield.  I need to forgive the man who I always said I could forgive for anything.  I need to forgive myself for turning away from Christ when I needed him most.  I need to ask for forgiveness for trying to control what was never in my control to begin with.

Until next time . . .

Dr. Seuss was right . . . smile because it happened

I’m sitting on my couch.  It’s a Sunday afternoon.  It’s the kind of weekend afternoon where nothing has to be done . . . no errands, no chores, no places we have to be.  It’s a wonderful, relaxing day.  Days like this end too quickly.

On days like today I like to get in my comfies and just hang out with my husband and son.  We watch movies, nap, play, and just all-around do nothing except enjoy our day together being a family.  It’s wonderful.  Tomorrow I will be back to work where were are short 3 people of our 5-person on-air staff.  Tomorrow I will return to stress and 12-hour days.  But today there is only joy.

I just finished watching the movie, “Life of Pi.”  It’s a wonderful movie.  Today was the first time I had seen it.  Near the end of the movie the main character says something along the lines of, “it was the not saying goodbye that was the hardest thing.”  That is not a direct quote, but you get the point.  That one little statement made by a fictional character in a movie as he talks about a Bengal tiger basically summed up the basis for my anger, resentment, and broken heart the last several weeks, and especially in the last several days.

7 years ago I met a man who would come to be my best friend.  He and I saw each other through problems with relationships and family, heartbreak, sadness, job changes, my salvation and his, fights, laughter, tears . . . everything that a friendship can experience, we did.  One month ago that all came to an end when I was completely shut out.  I had no forewarning.  It was not discussed with me.  I was simply informed by him that I was no longer a part of his life in any kind of personal capacity.

Then this past Wednesday he came back from his lunch.  He typed an email, hit send, and walked out.  The email was his immediate notice to terminate his employment with the company.

I never got to say goodbye.

I was never given the opportunity to say goodbye to the 7 years that we were friends.  I never got to say goodbye to the times that I cried on his shoulder or he cried on mine.  I never got to say goodbye to all the times we were doubled over in stomach-aching laughter.  I never got to say goodbye to all the times that we went to each other for advice or to share a life experience.  I never got to say goodbye to my brother in Christ.  I never got to say goodbye to a friendship that started on a Saturday with the question, “you like DCI, too?”  I never got to say goodbye to the friend that I spent seven years making memories with.  It was a death of sorts.  The friendship was brought to an unexpected and abrupt end.  It died.  I never got to say goodbye.  Anyone who has ever dealt with a death knows that saying goodbye is a very important step in the mourning process.  Those who don’t get to say goodbye experience a much longer mourning period.

Wednesday I was hurt, brokenhearted.  I couldn’t think of him without crying.  How could he be so selfish?

Thursday I was angry.  I couldn’t think of him without cursing him.  How could that selfish asshole be so callous and disrespectful, not just of me but of everyone else at the station?

Friday I was pissed.  I couldn’t think of him without wanting to punch him in the face.  I couldn’t think of any memory from the past seven years and find even a speck of happiness.  It was no longer, “how could that selfish asshole . . . ”  On Friday it was, “I hope that selfish asshole someday is so convicted of the pain and hurt that he inflicted that is kills his heart completely.”  I was in an exceptionally ugly mental place on Friday.  I spent the day purging him from the radio station.  It felt good to remove him from my life.  But there is one place that I will never be able to remove him from . . .

Memories . . .

Today, I am still hurt.  Today my heart is still broken.  Today I am not angry that I wasn’t given the opportunity to say goodbye.  I know that I will never get that opportunity, and there is nothing I can do about it.  That opportunity was not missed by my choice.  It was taken away from me by a person that cared more about himself than the way his actions would hurt those affected by his actions.

Tomorrow I may be angry again.  Walking into that station in the morning and seeing his empty office may rip the scab off the wound.  Today though I have not accepted, but I am not angry at him.  Today I am not ready to let go of my hurt from this situation, but I am not controlled by it.  Today I can look back at events from the past seven years and smile.  Tomorrow I may again want to punch him in the face, but today I hope he is happy with himself, with his life, and with the possibilities of his future.  Today I hope he has found the peace in his life that on Wednesday he had quite obviously lost.  Today I will start the process of saying the goodbye that I was unable to say last week.  Today I will start the process of building a future without my friend, despite the last seven years spent thinking he and I would be friends forever.

Reason to smile pic

Unbeknownst to me, but always known to God, my friend was just a season in my life.  He and I were brought together seven years ago to serve a purpose in each others lives.  I don’t know what that purpose was.  I may never know what my purpose in his life was, or his purpose in my life.  God alone knows that.  Any feelings I have right now in relation to his abrupt departure will be dealt with over time, and the wounds will heal.  No matter what anger may be at the forefront of my heart, I will never regret the last seven years.  I will never regret the smiles, laughter, tears, hugs, jokes, nicknames, support, encouragement, and growth that we experienced because of each other.  It did not end the way that I would have preferred, but I have seven year of memories that will always make me smile.

Because It Happened

Until next time . . .