Sunday, January 2, 2011

Friends and Enemies

I admit to watching "Desperate Housewives" on TV. On tonight's episode, when one of the characters gets shot, the cops show up at the hospital and ask the wounded victim if he has any enemies.

I never thought that I had any "enemies". But now, I'm not so sure. There are certainly people who have "dropped out" of my life over the last fifty years for various different reasons. Old boyfriends, college and high school friends who no longer stay in touch, people I used to work with, former neighbors, and friends from various social networks (by this I don't mean online networks), such as folk dancing, outing clubs, chorus or my old soccer team.

There are certainly people who I have seriously disappointed occasionally, including a former boss or two, and certainly my parents at times. But your parents have to forgive you -- after all, they are your parents. Hopefully you never end up working with your former boss again.

In more recent years, there have been a few people who have hurt me by their actions or words and with whom I have not been able to reconcile. And for some reason, at the start of this New Year, I feel that I should try to mend fences with these former friends. The problem is, that down deep, I don't necessarily want to reconcile with these folks, because that means I have to forgive them for real or perceived offenses.

I am very close to my ex-husband, but I have not spoken to his forty year old daughter, my step-daughter, for many years, after being on good terms with her for over twenty. She has had some problems in her life, and I have tried to help, but ended up severing ties several years ago after she made untrue accusations about me.

I no longer speak with a once close friend, who was my housemate for four years. I cannot forgive how he and his wife took advantage of my generosity at a time when I was severely depressed over losing my job two years ago.

I have tried to remain on friendly terms with recent former boyfriend, who is a really nice guy, but I am having some difficulty being on friendly terms with him, after running into him with his new girlfriend. I don't want him back, but cannot seem to forgive him either, since he was the one who broke up with me at a very difficult point in my life.

Although he lives on the East Coast, and I have seen him only once in thirty years, I have never truly forgiven my college boyfriend, who broke up with me by sending me a "Dear John" letter one summer.

I did once hire someone to "protect" me from a jealous girlfriend of a former lover for a short period of time. But she had some understandable emotional issues to resolve and while not really ever a friend of mine, I no longer consider her a threat to my physical being.

I suppose none of these people currently considers me an "enemy", at least to the extent that they might want to kill me, which is not always the case in the television world. Perhaps I just have to come to terms with the fact that not every person I encounter in my life will become my friend, and not all of my friends will be my friends forever.

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed that my blog posts are still "active" and thankful that FB reminds me about them. I just re-read this blog, six years later, and what I wrote then is just as true now. In fact, only one thing has changed about my relationship with my former "friends" - I have forgiven my ex-boyfriend, not my college boyfriend but the other one. you see, one of his three adult sons died of cancer several years ago, and after that, my hateful feelings just disappeared. How could I continue to harbor angry feelings to someone who has suffered the greatest lost one can have, especially as I have been in his position before myself; how could I not forgive him?