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 . . .

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Chopstick friendships

Chopsticks . . . have you ever given them much thought beyond your carry-out order of chicken fried rice?  Whether they are plain, basic chopsticks made out of bamboo, or ornate chopsticks made from jade or ivory, one chopstick still needs its mate so that together they can fulfill their purpose.

chopsticks

Friendship is the same.  Now matter how you dress it up, no matter what the people look like, what their histories are, where they come from, without a second person to call a friend a man or woman is just alone.  They are just a stick.

Over the course of my 40 years on this earth I have had the privilege of being one of the sticks in many sets of chopstick friendships.  My first real best friend was name Jennifer.  She lived across the street from me when I was about 7 or 8 years old.  She and I were inseparable . . . until I moved away at the age of nine years old.  I never saw her again.  Since then there has been Molly, Jill, Tiffany, Bill, Chris, John, and Brian.  Did you see what happened there?  That very glaring and obvious change in the pattern of my best friends?

Each and every one of those people contributed something to who I am today.  I carry a little part of each of them in my personality and in my heart.  Some of the friendships ended on bad terms.  Some of the friendships ended because we simply grew apart.  But for a while, to each other, we were chopsticks.

It’s been a little more than a year since I was last a chopstick to anyone else.  Brian was my last chopstick friendship.  This has been a hard year for me.  I still miss him terribly.  I thought I was healed.  I thought I had let go of the anger and sadness that his departure lit up inside of me.  But then I saw him a couple of months ago.  In a freak coincidence, we were on the same road at the same light, and he was in the car right behind mine.  Since then he keeps popping up in my Timehop and Facebook feeds.

I have been reticent to open myself up to that kind of friendship again, like I had with Brian.  Maybe I’m scared.  Maybe I’m afraid of being let down or hurt again.  Maybe I’m still hoping that he’ll call or text just to see how I am.

Maybe I’m hoping that he’ll see this post and realize that he misses our friendship, too.

I’ll be honest.  There have been many times where I have almost sent him a text message, or almost “accidentally” called him.  But I can never bring myself to do it.  He walked away from our friendship.  He must have felt like he had good reason.  If he wanted our friendship to continue he either wouldn’t have walked away, or he would have contacted me again by now.

But just in case . . .

Brian,

I miss you.  I miss the way we talked about everything and nothing all at the same time.  I miss the way we laughed together at the dumbest things.  I miss you being the levelheadedness to my glitter and rainbows.  I miss arguing with you just because I couldn’t stand for you to be right, even when I knew I was wrong.  I would give just about anything to hear from you again, even if it is just one last time.  I miss my brother.  I miss my friend.  I miss Skitch.

 – Heather

Dim Light (poem)

stars

Light in the void
Dim, distant, and weak
How long since you were bright
How long since you had heat
Lingering ever behind
Haunting shadows that won’t let go
You wound with your nearness
Your distance kills so slow
Where is the escape from your darkness
What will cut your dusty silver strings
Will you ever melt into the void
and blend into forgotten memories

Heather L. Flood
08.28.17

The Wound (poem)

Raw, ripped open, bloody wound
A chance encounter opens a pink scar
Tender, soft, barely healed
The memory is not off too far
Fingers prying, digging deep
Finding each nerve that once sang
Screams of agony are it’s only voice
A wound left writhing in pain
Let the wound heal
Stop opening it fresh
Let the callous form
On the tender pink flesh
Let the blood stop flowing
Emptying a broken heart
And stay away from the open wound
That cries alone in the dark

Heather L. Flood
06.30.17

Suffocating (poem)

Empty deep inside
A shadow of what used to be
A memory taunting the waking life
of a nightmare reality
How did it happen
How did so much get stolen so fast
How did it slip away so silently
like the breeze waving through grass
Stumbling through darkness
Directions gone of astray
A wounded heart that can’t heal
Hoping the breeze will return someday
A breath of air
where silence suffocates
A breath of life
in the emptiness growing each day

Heather L. Flood
06.09.17

Silently Loud (poem)

My head and hand on your chest
I can hear your heartbeat
I can feel it against my ear
You feel so close to me
You seem almost real
You seem so near
I can smell your scent
I can hear your voice
I can close my eyes and see you
But the illusion is broken
The moment reality takes hold
And the illusion is nothing new
You haunt my memories
As they spill over into dreams
You are there when you’re really not
How I wish I could forget
How I wish I could let go
Of the past sitting in ny heart
But too many yesterdays
Not enough todays
The past outweighs right now
Until there are more tomorrows than todays
Until your voice is no longer in my memories
I will hear your heart so silently loud

By: Heather L. Flood
04.10.17

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 . . .

Time heals all wounds eventually.

It’s the middle of the night.  Everyone in my house is asleep.  Everyone except for me.  I am restless.  I have spent the last two-and-a-half hours trying to fall asleep to no avail.  It’s not insomnia that is keeping me awake, but instead it is a reopened wound.

It is said that time heals all wounds.  I believe that.  If treated properly then eventually a wound will heal and will no longer hurt.  Eventually.  But the wounds that are constantly reopened will not heal.  And they continue to bring pain.

I had a wound get reopened today.

Almost two months ago I lost a close friendship.  It hurt.  I took it very hard.  My heart was broken.  I was angry.  And to make it worse, I saw the former friend every day, so that wound was opened anew each morning.  I remember praying to God, and telling him that if I could just get some time away from this person then I could deal with my hurt feelings without the distraction of that person being around.  That old saying of be careful of what you ask for . . . I lived it.  The person left abruptly, and the manner of his departure just added new hurt to an already aching heart.

But it’s been a month since that departure.  A month to work through my feelings of hurt, disappointment, and abandonment.  A month to work on letting go of the anger.  A month to finally be able to honestly see that he felt he had to do with his life, and I hope that he succeeds in the plans that God has laid out for him.  A month where the wound was left alone and allowed to begin to heal.

Then today I got a text that reopened that wound, and has left me completely wound up all over again.

Today I got a text from the wife of my former friend.  She making accusations, and telling me that I was the only person that could have done these things, that there is no one else that could have done it, and that she was going to pursue legal action for defamation.  Repeatedly I told her that I had no idea what she was talking about, and reminded her that I have not spoken to my former friend in a month.

The minute he walked out of my life I blocked him on Facebook.  I didn’t want the temptation of trolling his Facebook page to try to keep up with what he’s doing.  I would have been preventing my own healing.  I have separated myself from him as far as I can.  If he doesn’t want me in his life anymore then I will accommodate his wish out of respect for him, the years we spent as friends, and my own need for healing.  But yet I was getting accused of things that, if he took a moment to think about, are completely against my character regarding our years as friends.  It hurt to know that everything I had held in high regard for so many years was so easily thrown away.  It was like the wound was not just reopened, but created anew all over again.

I spent the rest of the afternoon replaying, in my head, things I wanted to say back to her.  Things that would not have been the adult way to handle the situation, but instead would have been prompted only by my hurt and anger.  But the things I want to say would not help make the situation better.  They would only make it worse, and I am tired of the situation getting worse.  I just want to move forward.  I want to put this all in the past, and look to tomorrow.

I climbed into bed tonight, looking forward to getting a good nights rest and then going to church tomorrow, but here it is 3 hours later.  I have prayed.  I have laid this all at God’s feet.  And I have turned to the only other place where I can purge myself of all of this so that I can find the peace that I lost earlier today.  Peace will come again, maybe at the expense of my sleep tonight, but peace will eventually come again.  The wound will begin to heal again in time.  One day I will look back on all of this and it will no longer hurt.  One day I will look back on this friendship and think not of how it ended, but the seven years of memories that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  One day . . .

But tonight I a restless.  Tonight I am not at peace.  Tonight my heart and soul is in pain all over again.  Tonight I am sitting on my couch chain smoking in the dark because tonight there will be no sleep.

Until next time . . .

Gone in the blink of an eye

friendship-broken

Today is not a good day.  Nothing bad has happened.  I am just not dealing well with recent events in my life.  I find myself drowning under the downfall of working with your best friend, and I can’t manage to find my way up for air.

7 years ago, the very day that Michal Jackson passed away, I met the man that would become my best friend.  He and I have been through ups and downs, joy, sadness, laughter, anger, and heartbreak together.  I “knew” that this would be a friendship that would last until he and I were old and grey.

I got thrown away.

A few weeks ago his behavior toward me completely changed.  When I confronted him about it he rather brusquely informed me that “my personal life will remain my personal life from now on.”  In other words, I was no longer welcome in his life, a life that he brought me into by his own choosing on more than one occasion.  Fine.  I totally get that.  What hurt was the fact that I had to go to him to find this out.  He didn’t have enough respect for me, enough respect for the past seven years, to come to me himself and tell me.  He simply turned his back and shut me out.  It hurt.  I felt like he punched me right in the gut.  When he said that to me I was, for once, speechless.  After all, what can you say when your best friend tells you that he is done.

I got thrown away like the wrapper off of a cheap value-menu cheeseburger.  It hurt.  It still hurts.  I can’t breathe.  I can’t smile.  Even now I am on the verge of tears, because I would rather have one minute of a day when he was angry at me than feel the way I feel right now.

Too make the fact that my best friend broke up with me even worse, we work together.  I can’t escape him, and seeing him everyday simply rips that wound right open again.  Too see him so nonchalant pours salt in the wound.  My anxiety is so high.  And then to have to put on the false smile and sound perky and happy  while I’m on the air.  I am strong enough for this.  I feel like I have been reduced, emotionally, to a little kid.  Over the past seven years, when something was weighing on me, he was the friend I would turn to for advice and guidance.  Who do I turn to now?

What made me so easy to throw away?  What made the last seven years so inconsequential?  How do I get past this and let that friendship go as easily as he did?

goodbye

Until next time . . .

Every season is temporary

Seasons.  A distinct beginning and end.  A defined set of circumstances that can be expected within a certain period of time.

When you think of the word “seasons,” I’m sure you think of the 4 seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.  But as people we experience seasons in our life.  The most easily defined seasons are school, employment, and retirement.  But even through those events we experience smaller, but no less significant, seasons.  We can experience seasons in our employment . . . changing employers, or completely changing careers.  We can experience seasons in our relationships, too.

Nothing in our life is permanent.  Nothing is guaranteed to last forever.  I take that back.  There is only one thing that is guaranteed to last forever.  Salvation through Jesus Christ.  Beyond that, everything in life will someday come to an end.

That is where I am right now.  I am currently bearing witness to a relationship as its season in my life comes to an end.  Knowing that this is happening does not make it any easier to deal with.  It does not make my heart hurt any less.  I am in mourning.  The other person in the relationship is not dead.  He is quite alive and happy.  He is thriving in his relationship with Christ.  What I am mourning is the death of a relationship that I have held so dear for a very long time.

With this particular friendship, I believed in forever.  I believed that this friend and I would have wheelchair races in the halls of our retirement home when we got old.  I believed that this friendship would be the one that could transcend time and distance, that no matter where we both were or how long it had been since we had last talked, we would always be able to pick up where we left off.  I believed that our friendship would be a season that never came to an end.

But all seasons come to an end.  Life can not continue forever in the hot days of summer, or the frozen nights of winter.

I do believe that every person comes into our life for a reason.  No matter how long or short of a time they are in our life, they either do something to teach us, or we do something to teach them.  There is a lesson to be learned from every relationship in our life.  I have learned a lot from this friend in the 7 years of our friendship.  I have learned lessons about myself that have shaped me over the last several years.  I have learned lessons that will continue to influence me in the future.  I have learned lessons from this friendship that will shaped my future relationships.

I am mourning the friendship that I thought would never end.  But I celebrate the mark that friendship made on my life, a mark that I will carry with me always.  Do I wish that the friendship could continue?  Absolutely.  I love my friend with all my heart.  Some might say that “we started traveling different paths,” or “we just grew apart.”  That implies, to me, that he and I had control over this friendship.  We didn’t know it at the time, but God was the one who brought us together as friends.  God a plan and a purpose for that friendship.  And now God has brought our season to a close.

I regret not one single moment of the past 7 years.  I look back on each moment, good and bad, and see how those moments influenced us and our friendship.  He was my best friend.  (That’s the first time I have said that statement in the past tense.  I had to stop typing for a moment to let the past tense really sink in.)  I am thankful for the man I met 7 years ago.  I am thankful for the man he is today.  I am hopeful for the mark he will go on to leave on this world before God calls him home.

Seasons are only temporary.  But when God ends one season that means He is taking you into a new season.  The season of this friendship has come to an end.  The season of my mourning will come to an end.  The next season in my life will soon begin.  I will look back at the last 7 years and smile.  I will look ahead and be hopeful.  I will look to God to get me through the seasons.

friends

Until next time . . .