Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Saying good-bye or saying see you later

Today makes 2 years that a friend from college passed away from colon cancer.  I have and have had many mixed feelings about it.  This was one of the first friendships that ended badly and it was an ending focused on me being dropped because I didn't fit in/ I didn't have enough good stuff to outweigh my bad.  Seems like a strong theme of my life - if I am me, me completely then no one wants to deal with me.  I write that but of course, DH would argue that can't be true since after over 20 years he is still with me.  I also have other friends who have been with me for years and years.

But I digress, back to the dead friend.  Before she passed, she asked me to visit her while I was in Baltimore working on my dissertation research.   At that point in our lives we were Facebook friends but not call each other have actual intimacy friends.  I didn't make the effort.  I made excuses.  Actually, she never followed up with me while I was in Baltimore so I decided it was an invitation made due to old memories and an actual want.  I feel guilty.  She was dying.  Within four months, she would be dead and I didn't bother to respond.  I couldn't have known.  I was selfish and still harboring feelings of hurt from almost 15 years previous.  I was an asshat plain and simple.

I am a bit melancholy today.  I am dealing with my dad's colon cancer.  We have a strong rotation of family through our house.  People wanting to see my dad, make sure they do it before things turn bad.  It is a good plan.  Almost 2 weeks ago, my dad was rushed into surgery for what turned out to be a 2nd cancerous tumor.  The wait, the anxiety, the fear of watching my dad be admitted to the hospital.  To watch a simple doctor's visit turn into surgery was scary and exhausting.  Our stay in Temple went from 2 nights to 5.  From budgeted to a budget buster.  From simple cancer diagnoses to cancer treatment.

Melancholy - it is a good word.  I am thinking and feeling rather than talking.  Staying silent usually makes the melancholy worse but the feeling that I can't talk to anyone traps me in a cycle of feeling sad, feeling lonely, being scared to reach out, so then I feel sad, I feel lonely, which makes me more scared to reach out and you know the cycle become a spiral of sadness and shame.

I am ashamed of how I treated my old friends.  I should have reached out.  Met the offer to meet with kindness and effort.  I didn't.  I can't change it.  I can learn from it.  I'm not learning very fast as I was again recently dropped for being an awful person.  Maybe one day, I'll meet an old friend who hurt me for coffee and I'll smile and it will be okay between us until then I'll work on keeping my eyes open to the opportunity.

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