“Women have a way of treating people more softly. We treat souls with kid gloves” Shirley Caesar.
Turns out, not so much.
Women aren’t always careful with each others’ feelings, and if you have any doubt, just watch one of those ‘Real Housewives’ shows. Those women smile with knives in their teeth.
We judge each other. It’s an ugly truth. A few years ago, a long time friend told me she was “sickened” when I made the comment, “I just wish he’d gotten his fathers’ nose” about my newborn son. She told me I “hadn’t learned anything”, and that she didn’t want to be in my life while I gave “that poison” to my son.
I had no defense, I did say that, I did think it. I have always hated my nose, while my husbands’ has the kind people ask for at a plastic surgeon.
But I will never, ever pass on to my son any impression to him other than he is perfect, because he is. No parental lip service here, he is a beautiful blend of myself and husband, and most importantly, he is healthy and happy.
That is what really matters. I know this. I was still in development a couple of years ago when I said that to her. I’ve had the unfortunate habit of blurting words, (like the ones I’m thinking.) Bad Habit. This is MAYbe because psychic scars caused by believing that you are ugly, leave a permanent ,awkward stain on your personality.
This is something I continue to work on. Other than (occasionally) calling myself a blockhead? I’ve become comfortable with who I am.
And I’ve arrived at a place where I actually like myself, thick ankles, funny nose and all.
The great privilege of friendship, the relief and comfort of it was that one has to explain nothing. And yet…we do explain, constant, defensive vigilance against misunderstanding and hurt feelings.
If it pains you to criticize your friends, you’re safe in doing so. If you take the slightest pleasure, this is when you hold your tongue. I don’t mean to say that she took any pleasure in our last exchange, when she told me she couldn’t be around to watch me “pass on poison” to my son… but, it never occurred to me that she would dump me.
I thought she was my friend, one of the sacred I called family.
You certainly don’t leave such a friendship without discussing it with them first, at least a fucking warning.
To put a cherry sting on top, she responded to our wedding invitation ‘yes’, but failed to actually show up. And I haven’t heard from her since.
And yes, I am asking for an explanation-even though I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t like what I hear. She judged me, sentenced me and left me to rot in the wide field of her absence. Of course, I’ve been hurt by this. I miss her.
The moment you realize that someone you respected, decided your character doesn’t add up to their version of you? They decided that their version of character and ethics and value systems was better than yours? Because. Reasons? WTF.
We are supposed to love people, not for their perfection, but, despite of or because of their imperfections.
Still, I’m blessed with friends and I am grateful for those women. However, most unexpectedly, in the midst of a semi-rant about judging others, a fellow ovary..
told me that she will only have, “people in her life that reflect her in her highest consciousness, because those people are a reflection back on her”.
Of course, this makes sense. But it’s a lot to live up to……………………
I am not always my own highest consciousness fer shits sake- who among us IS?
I’ve had shockingly bad moments as a mother. The kind that imbed themselves in the shame file of your brain, never failing to pop up at a moment when you are feeling masterful in your universe; ‘HEY! remember that time you lost your shit on your toddler who wouldn’t swallow a bite of rice?’.
Parenting can be a brutal mirror, so we need our friends to be kind to us when we are less than our best selves. Friends that we can confess to when we have that bad moment, friends who night say, “okay, time out, walk away, breath through your nose for a few minutes, no, you are not a horrible mother because you want to throw them through the window”.
Support like this gives us confidence to go forward, even if- that day?, you couldn’t see your highest consciousness with a ladder and Deepak Chopra whispering inspirational sound bites in your ear.
So I lost someone who couldn’t forgive me for being less than her idea of my highest self. I painfully discovered, that, under the years and layers of the friendship, that nothing of substance lay beneath.
But, I have forgiven myself for worse things than wishing my husbands features on my son, and now I know- she probably wouldn’t .
So. I’m better off without her. We all have moments we wish we could take back, or re-do, in my history, that incident wasn’t one of them. I am kinder to myself, and all of my friends, as a result of this lesson. I would never leave them for a redo moment, especially when they, most assuredly, already kicked themselves over it. I will tell them to take a break, breathe through your nose for a few minutes, be your own best friend and be kind to yourself. Then go back and kiss that irritating toddler.
That’s what friends are for.