Of course the very first thing Momm asked last night is why I was bothering to waste words on this topic. I told her it happened, I think and feel things about it, and it’s cathartic to have this space to get out those feelings and thoughts. I mentioned it to MK, and he agreed with Momm. Apparently he wants me to blog about current events and real issues. But wait! I assured them both this was current and an issue.
My point for telling the story was so that you could help me out. The thing is, I am friends with quite a few people. And I’m in the middle of making a whole new set of friends, in my new home. I want to be the best person I can and put my best foot forward. I feel like right now I can’t do that unless I clean up my past. I remain in touch with so many people. I go to places they all are often. I meet up with them. I might even try to avoid them, only to run in to them since they are all friends with other friends. I embrace my past and love my friends, but I honestly do a kind of crappy job keeping in touch sometimes. It’s hard to call if you haven’t got something new and interesting, and you’re worried about old stuff being brought up.
Point is, the last 100,000 times that I’ve seen anyone that knows the story I told you, they bring it up. “Have you heard from DH?” “What ever happened to DH?” and if you follow my Twitter (you must, it’s on the right of this page over there) you know that it’s been four years. Four years and, what, six or seven addresses later? As if I’m going to ever ask anyone or look around or hear about her. I don’t want to. This is me moving on.
But these friends of mine, and I do believe they are good friends, always bring it up. I feel like asking them how they felt when their dog died or their neighbor got cancer. It’s just not appropriate. So blog buddies, how do I get over this? I thought maybe sharing the story with you might help me get over it. And it did. It’s something that happened to me though, it doesn’t just go away. So how do I ever convince these people to help me make it go away? I don’t want crap like this on my mind as I go out in the world meeting new people. It creates unwarranted misgivings. I want to get this old stuff off my mind, and open it to new people without worrying theyd hurt me in any similar way.
I think you start responding casually, as if she hasn’t crossed your mind in eons, and blow it off like it’s no big deal. I’m relatively certain (ok. . . I’m completely certain in some cases) that some of these friends ask about her just to get a rise out of you. If you stop reacting to it, they’ll get bored and stop asking.
Either that or let them know how rude it is to bring it up when they know it hurts you (because, c’mon, they know).
I think you err on the side of politeness because you don’t want anyone to be upset with you. Which is ludicrous in this scenario because they apparently don’t give a shit whether or not you’re upset with them. People who love you will still love you even if you firmly explain to them that they’re overstepping bounds by prying into that part of your history over and over again. Anyone who would unfriend you for asking them to have more respect for you isn’t worth maintaining a friendship with anyway.
*I* would bitchily respond by bringing up whatever painful information I have on them and when they recoil, simply say, “Oh, I just thought we were just being complete fucking assholes today since you brought up DH”. Also effective and has the added bonus of weeding out anyone who can’t tolerate me on a bitchy day. 😉
Okay, I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt here and say they’re not TRYING to hurt you when they bring this up. But here’s my guess: to them, that whole fiasco is just water under the bridge; a near-disaster that time has already softened into a “funny” story. After all, they didn’t take the direct hits, you did. For you, the hurt is still too recent and raw, and understandably so. It was your WEDDING, an event you’re supposed to reminisce about every year, reliving little details and cherished moments. So yes, you’re entitled to still be angry, especially considering you just celebrated your anniversary (and four years really isn’t the kind of time that heals all wounds, if you ask me). But don’t aim your anger at the wrong people for making the faulty assumption that you’ve gotten over it. You have to actually TELL THEM. If they’re real friends, they’ll stop bringing it up. (Aside: as a guest at your wedding who knew only snippets of the drama, I remember it as a beautiful day; it wouldn’t occur to me that you were harboring so much anger if you didn’t bring it up here.)
My opinion is that talking about it really does help– especially talking about it here, where people will listen, talk back and validate your anger. But it also just takes time– maybe lots of it. Did I ever tell you it took me twelve years to manage talking about my old best friend without crying? And there wasn’t anything as emotional as a wedding involved.
As for the rest- I think you’ve learned from that experience to keep your eyes open for red flags in other people’s behavior. The end. The rest is just baggage– work it out, talk it out, but don’t pile it onto your new friendships. Again, that’s just punishing the wrong people.
Oh, Trish, I can definitively confirm two people who bring it up for sport, fully knowing how it makes her feel. And, I would strongly argue that neither of these people belong in her friends camp to begin with.
Also. . . a therapist once explained to me that “working through it” means thinking about how it happened, what you could have done differently to change the outcome, and settin a plan in place to prevent it from happening again. Once you’ve walked yourself through all of that, just let it go, knowing you’ve learned from it and won’t be subject to the same circumstance in the future. Once she gave me that professional definition of “working through it”, I was very much like, “Oh! That’s all you have to do? Ha! Good, then. I’ve done that! I’m moving on!” and it was literally all it took to get me past some pretty heavy stuff that had weighed on me for eternity.
At the risk of joining The View (don’t you dare, CH), I’m with Momm and MK. And BTW, isn’t cathartic a derivation of art?
Since I have no reason to doubt Snippy on this, I can only say the obvious: those people really suck.
MK, Dadd, and Momm. . . sometimes putting it out there lets you get it out of your head. If it’s still sitting in her head after all this time, and writing about it lets her free up that emotional and mental space, I say go for it. It sure beats spending forever keeping that anger and hurt all pent up busily trying not to make anyone else uncomfortable.
Get it out. Say what you have to say. Maybe that will be the trick that lets you leave in the past. As much time as you’ve spent worrying about the misunderstandings or misinformation people had about the situation, I know it helps to finally just tell the story in a public forum and set the record straight. Even though those people may not ever see it! It doesn’t make sense, but it lets you believe you’ve told your side, and sometimes that’s all you need to move on.
Dadd – are you also calling my writing poor?
Snippy – thanks for clearing me up to my readers.
Trish – You’re right. I don’t think that these people are bad, in fact, I’ve often said one of them would be the first person I’d call for help if something really, really bad happened to me. The other, well, she has excuses. But a good heart.
And I know what I sould say but saying it is the hard part.
And man, am I scarred, just this weekend I still let the way old people treated me to make me paranoid about new friends, for reasons that were completely unfounded. I wish I wasn’t such a nerd sometimes!!
Nah, bad joke by me. Momm tells me if there is anything worth hearing in the long winded posts from all you’s girls. I don’t have the attention span to “let it all out there” on my own stuff, never mind reading someone else’s.
Man. I wish I had someone to read all of the stuff on the internet and filter out the important stuff to relay to me. 1 point for marriage.
I’m making a big ol’ leap of assumption about who you’re talking about, & I don’t really know how people are broaching the subject with you, but I could certainly see how it is still quite a touchy subject, blah blah blah. Speaking only for myself, maybe people are just curious as to whatever happened to said person (I’m a little curious, assuming you’re talking about who I think you’re talking about), and you’re one of the few people known to have had a connection to said person. I could think of one other person to ask, but I like you better.
Anyway, I’m not going to ask ‘cuz I’m actually not that curious.
If I have completely misinterpreted everything going on here (wouldn’t be the first time), then everyone please feel free to nod, smile, and pretend I’m not here (also not the first time :p ).
Kidding about that last bit.