Thank You For (not) Being A Friend

So … I’ve been wanting to write this post for a little while & something has caused me to hesitate.  I think it’s difficult to acknowledge that I’m no longer friends with a couple of people whom I had considered to be like sisters to me.  I suppose that my thought process went a little like this: If I say that it’s “over” on my blog to the world at large, then it’s most definitely over for real.  And that finality hurts.  Actually, the whole thing hurt, but after I got past the pain of, not one but two, close friendships ending abruptly, I was able to see the lesson & grow from the experience.

The truth is friends will disappoint you, people change, and maybe you’re not always going to be as close as you are to someone who is an important part of your life right now.  And maybe the “best friend” you thought was like your sister, will become a different person – someone you no longer recognize – and will walk right out of your life without so much as a “goodbye,” leaving you to fumble around for closure all by yourself.  Akin to the guy who just stopped calling you for no reason … only this hurts more deeply, because it was more than just “some guy” you dated a few times whose name you can’t even remember now.  This was a friend.

let them go

let them go

I know that people come in our lives for a reason & sometimes they only stay for a season, or two.  And other friendships I have, (and cherish,) are the ones where we’re close during a certain period of our lives, drift apart, (with no animosity, just the way life happens to lead you,) and then come back together as though no time has passed.  I love that.  I have plenty of really amazing friends that I don’t see, or even talk to, on a daily / weekly / monthly basis, but when we’re together it’s as though no time has elapsed – we pick up right where we left off.

I’ve lost friends to death … suicide, tragic accidents, horrible illnesses & it’s all been awful.  But even with the sudden departures, I at least felt like I had a reasonable idea of why we weren’t friends any longer, and in a way I was able to have some sort of closure.  And some friends I lost touch with and felt like that was ok because we weren’t that close anyhow – they had chosen different paths for their lives, fundamentally changed from the person I had first met, and I felt like it wasn’t a friendship I wanted to continue.

But when friends – really close friends, people who referred to you as “BFF” or “Bestie” or “soul sister” just stop talking to you, abandon you, don’t return phone calls or emails, you are left to try and reconcile what happened on your own.  And it sucks because my motto is “everything can be solved in a conversation.”  Yeah, well, that only works if people are, ya know, conversing.  So an abrupt departure is painful, and sad, and heartbreaking.  You start to question how you could have been so close with someone who has so little regard for your feelings.  But people change, I suppose …

remembering who friends used to be

Now in my early 40’s I think I’m learning – really learning – a very big life lesson about friendships.  My circle has whittled down, especially after everything that has happened over the past 7 years: I got married to a great man, I moved a little further away from everyone (and by further I mean 20 minutes – ha,) and had a child.  A child with special needs.  Which means my “Me-Time” & “Friend-Time” is very limited.  The time that I do have, I don’t want to spend it being roped into unnecessary drama with people who don’t care about things that are important to me.

life is too short

And it’s OK not to “build a bridge” and be the one who reaches out to fix things if you don’t want to fix things.  Someone doesn’t want to be friends with you?  Take them at face value – they don’t want to be in your life, so let them go.

A really close friend, a truly great friend doesn’t necessarily equate to the person you’ve known for the longest time.  Several of my dearest friends are women I’ve only known for the past few years!  And I’m so thankful for their friendship.  I know that as we ebb and flow in life, as we grow & take on different roles in our lives, that our friendships will inevitably change.  And that’s a good thing!

Keep growing … keep learning, and those people who continue to do the same will continue to add value to your life.  The people who are stagnant, living in the past, clutching to old ideals, are those people who won’t be able to add any value to your life.  Let them go.  Be brave & remember that it’s better to be alone than to be surrounded by fake friends.

A Broken Heart

A friend of mine lost her unborn baby. She was more than 3 months along & was just starting to show. What do you say … “I’m sorry” feels so hollow. Anything else feels inappropriate. How do I know that? Because I’ve been there.

I lost a baby when I was only 8 1/2 weeks along, and it broke my heart. I had known for a few weeks that I was pregnant, and in that time, The Husband & I dreamt of all the possibilities for our unborn child. I felt it was a girl. No, I knew in my heart of hearts, she was a girl. We thought of all the wonderful ways our lives would change, who she might become, and how much she would be loved … how much she was already loved.  How can a bond form so quickly with someone you’ve never even met?  That’s what happens when you become a mother.  At least for me.

My heart broke when we didn’t hear her heartbeat on the monitor in my doctor’s office.  The sick feeling of having your world turn upside down, to have all of your dreams shatter in an instant.  I felt like someone punched me in the stomach.  I  had to remember to breathe.  And no one could help me, not even The Husband.  I felt so alone and so empty … and I felt like a failure.  What did I do wrong?  Why did this happen to me?  It didn’t make sense.  It wasn’t fair.  It still isn’t fair.

Time does heal wounds, but it doesn’t make them disappear.  The first few weeks were hell, but I couldn’t indulge in my heartbreak 24 hours a day – I had a baby who was here, alive, who needed me to be strong for him.  I couldn’t let him see my sadness.  But at night and when I was alone, I would lay in bed and cry.  The pain of loss consumed me.  The heartbreak was constant & it was all I thought about; all the what-if’s … all the dreams I had had for her that would never be realized.

People tried to be kind, they tried to comfort me with comments like “it wasn’t meant to be” or “at least you have one beautiful child already” … those words left me angry.  I knew everyone meant well, but those words did nothing to help lift me out of the pit of despair that I had fallen into.  The Husband was shaken to his core – he had never seen me so heartbroken, and there was nothing he could do to help me.  I know for men, the feeling of helplessness is one of the most uncomfortable feelings.  Watching your wife cry so hard that she vomits must have been pretty scary for him.  I didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone besides The Husband & The Boy.   I just wanted to lay in bed and cry.

And this went on for weeks and weeks … and I got to a point where I just couldn’t do it anymore, it was consuming me.  I had to put my heartbreak in a box and close that box and put it somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, because I had to get back to living life … for me, for my family, for my little girl that I never got to hold in my arms.  My heartbreak was indulgent.  The loss of my pregnancy is something I cannot even think about without crying, it’s still difficult to discuss with people.  As I write this blog post, I’m crying.  She would have turned one year old this past week.  In a different life, we’d be celebrating her 1st birthday & watching her take her first steps.

To know that a friend of mine is experiencing the unbearable heartbreak of losing her unborn baby just opens that box back up & it feels like my miscarriage happened  yesterday, and suddenly I’m reliving that heartbreak all over agin.  It doesn’t matter how long you were pregnant for: 9 weeks or 9 months.  A loss is painful.  The only advice I have is: be kind to yourself.  Grieve, cry, yell, be mad, be sad, and then put all of that pain in a box and put it away.  Then breathe & know that each day will be a little better than the day before.

7th Portal to Hell: Walmart on a Saturday … while I’m bleeding

Not just any Saturday. No, the Saturday before Easter! What was I thinking?  I wasn’t.

walmart sucks  | The Fairly Good Mother

I had a prescription to pick-up from there.  One that I have been meaning to transfer because EVERY.SINGLE.EFFING.TIME I go in there, I lament my decision to do so.

But I did it.  Again.  Because I apparently never learn.  So, I dart and weave through the drones pushing baskets full of kids and laundry detergent.  I get to the pharmacy & wait for my turn.  I tell her my name & she is perplexed by my request.  She asks me when I called my prescription in, “is it new, or did the doctor call it in?”

Me: “No, I called to renew it 2 days ago, the automated recording said it would be ready yesterday.”
Her: “Hmm … well, it’s not.”
Me:  “How come?”
Her:  “I don’t know.”
Me (getting agitated):  “Welllll, can you please find out?”  JHC, is it too much to ask for someone to do their damn job?  

She shuffles off to the back of the pharmacy for about 7 minutes, then returns.

Her:  “Seems like we are out of this medication and have ordered it, but it won’t be in until Tuesday.”
Me:  “And no one called me to tell me that because …???  You just want me to waste my time coming down to the 7th portal of hell on a Saturday.  Before Easter.  I hate Walmart, do you realize that?”
Her:  “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am.  But, well, they usually do call.”
Me:  “Ma’am?  Ok.  Yeah.  Well, no one called me.”
Her:  “Are you sure?  (off my death-stare) Maybe we don’t have your number.”
Me:  “Oooo Kaaaaay.  Can you please double check, then, to make sure you have my correct number?”
She passes me a slip of paper and a pen.  I push it back.
Me: “No. I want to know what number you have on file.”
She looks shocked and waddles back to the computer in another area.  She returns with a slip of paper that has my number on it … I tell her that’s the correct number and she promises they will call me when it’s ready.

Not wanting to waste a trip to the 7th portal of hell, I dart and weave some more up and down aisles, retrieving items like pull-ups, wipes, “It’s The Easter Beagle Charlie Brown” dvd for The Boy’s Easter basket, and make my way to the check-out.

Holy Lines, Batman!  It’s crazier than Costco up in this mug!

I sneak into what I think is the shortest line and am practicing deep breathing as the people behind me have ZERO concept of personal space.  Why is that?  Every time I’m in that $hithole, every customer is always up on my heels, with absolutely no concept of personal space.  I’m texting The Husband, telling him that I hate this place and they’re lucky no one has lost an eye yet.  Yet.

back the f^k Up 'fore U git scratched the f^k up!

back the f^k Up ‘fore U git scratched the f^k up!

It’s my turn, finally.  BUUUUUUUUT, before the checker can even pick up my pack of pull-ups to scan, the lady behind me thrusts her hand full of ice cream at the checker’s face.  “How much is this ice cream!?!”  She grunts.

Deep breath by me.

“I don’t know?  Doesn’t it say?”  Says the checker.

“No.” Says the lady who, in my opinion, does not need to be eating ice cream.

“Hmm.” The checker muses while steam starts to puff out of my ears.  “Val?!!”  She screeches to the checker in the aisle next to ours, “How much is this ice cream, do ya know?”

Big sigh by me.  And I’m running my tongue across the top of my lip in an effort to temper my growing frustration with the situation. I bite my lip.

Val yells back that she doesn’t know.  My checker offers to the lady, “I can scan it to find out if ya want ….”

“Yeah, you can scan it AFTER you’re done checking me out!!!!”  I finally erupt, smacking my hand down on the register area.

Everyone is taken aback by my outburst.  Checker apologizes and calls me ma’am, (which only further pisses me off.  That’s 2 ma’am’s in one Walmart trip!)  Ice cream lady stares at me, and I stare back, daggers in my pupils, daring her to confront me.  I’m bleeding and I hate Walmart.  I dare you to say something to me and see how fast I can lodge that ice cream where the sun don’t shine, sweetheart.

She didn’t say a word.  Smart move.

Moral of the story:  Do NOT go to Walmart EVER.  And if you need to go there, make sure it’s not on a Saturday.  And NEVER on a Saturday before Easter Sunday.

Mommy-brag’s Are OK Sometimes

I love this age … 3 & 1/2.  When I was a nanny & a pre-school teacher for a quick blip on the radar a million years ago, 3 & 4 were my favorite ages because they can communicate with you, their personalities are really starting to emerge, and  they are just beginning to put it all together in their heads.  And … they’re still so innocent.

My Boy is amazing.  He amazes me every day, (when he’s not throwing a tantrum & shaving years off my life.)  I’m sure every parent can say that & that’s wonderful … and that’s the beauty of being a parent.  Being amazed by another human being is rare, and that’s why children are so special.  The things The Boy says astound me.

My favorite is when he – out of the blue – just says, “I love you.”  And looks deep into my eyes when he’s telling me that.  Then he asks me if I’m happy.  Sigh.  Those are the moments that are seared into my memory for the rest of time & beyond this lifetime.  I don’t care how much Alzheimer’s and Dementia I succumb to, I will never forget how it feels to have my sweet Boy telling me that he loves me.

Then, as if that weren’t enough to melt my heart, The Boy announces that I’m his wife.

“You’re my wife” The Boy exclaimed as we were washing our hands post potty-break.

“Awa …I love you so much, but actually, sweetie, I’m your mom, you’re my son & Dada is my husband.”  I corrected.

“No. I’M your husband!!!”  The Boy demanded, looking like he was ready to duel The Husband if need be!

The Boy brought this issue up throughout the day today, randomly proclaiming that I’m his wife.  Each time I corrected him with a giggle & each time he fought me.

I had to acquiesce!  How could I dispute such a passionate claim?  And by the sweetest of 3-Year Olds, no less!?!  And I’m not kidding you … The Boy is a charmer.  He is a negotiator.  He is a stubborn, passionate, obstinate dude.  So, who am I to argue with him over something like this?  No, I finally asked him where we got married.  Hawaii.  Well, the kid is smart if nothing else.  Let me tell you.

And, yes (here comes the brag,) he spells Hawaii at 3 & 1/2, and yes, he can point it out on the map, mm-hmm, (even though all the maps we have put it south-west of the California / Mexico border – which bugs me,) and the best part is that he tells me he can’t wait to go back with me.  Aloha mamas!

Brag about your kid … or yourself.  It’s ok.  It’s good to be proud of being part of something beautiful.

Everything-has-beauty

Waiting for the Blood

Kind of crass, yah?  So what.  If you’re a cool chick, you get it and won’t care.  If you’re a prude or a dude, you probably will care & you should stop reading now.

“Fear that which bleeds without being wounded.” (an old Celtic saying … I’m fairly certain that many other tribes all over the globe have said the same thing for thousands of years.)

Yes, fear me.  Lots of people do for at least one week out of the month.  Every month.  I made this little meme the other night  and posted it to my facebook page.  One of my ex-boyfriends that I’m friends with “liked” it … I wasn’t sure whether to be amused or annoyed.  Since I’m about to bleed, I chose “annoyed.”

7-10 days before I start to bleed I’m mean, emotional, crabby, tired, impatient & easily irritated.  I am bloated, headachy, nauseous, my intestines are not happy & I generally just want to eat pizza, cookie dough, french fries & make brownies so that I can eat the batter as though it were soup.

It’s the same thing every month.  You’d think that people (*cough cough* The Husband,) would write this shit down on a calendar somewhere, and either steer clear of me, or push a plate of mashed potatoes under the bedroom door as an offering to the PMS Beast.

Actually, it’s PMDD.  But no one even knows what that is, so I just say PMS.  PMDD is like PMS on steroids.  It’s not fun.  Unless you are taking a self-defense class & can beat the crap out of the instructor, (who is hopefully dressed in that Stay-Puff-Marshmallow rubber suit,) because you paid to, or if you take your anger to the shooting range and fire bullets at a target sheet.  Then it can be fun.  Sort of.

But I can’t do either of those, so I go online and make memes.  And write ranting blog posts.  And yell at people.  And make cookies just to eat the cookie dough … yeah, even with the raw eggs in there.  I like live on the edge while I’m waiting to bleed.