But she’s supposed to be my anyway friend……

It’s only Friday night and Thursday already seems like a month ago. I’ve been on this crazy emotional roller coaster all week. I’m exhausted. 

Thursday’s session…..I talked about my kid, about a meeting I’d had with the school the previous week that ended in me yelling at everyone. I don’t get mad like that, and it was very unsettling– even if it was an appropriate reaction (as my daughters behavior analyst who also attended the meeting assured me). In fact, it was so unsettling I ended up texting with Bea later that night, simply because I couldn’t calm myself down and stop the feelings of anger– a feeling that leads to shame and fear. 

I’ve felt extremely vulnerable all week. Being cut off from Kay, hearing that our friendship is just over, has sent me down a dark and twisty rabbit hole. I’ve gone from emailing Bea, and texting Rory– just to make sure they are still here and not angry with me, too– to being livid with everyone. When I’m stuck in those feelings, it’s all I can feel, and I can’t control it. When I’m able to step away, I can see that Kay leaving has sent me into this clingy mode that then turns into a pushing away mode. My life has been a regular party this week, let me tell you (why isn’t there a sarcasm font yet????). The little girl, the teenager and the miss perfect grown up part have all shown up. 

So, I drove into therapy really needing connection and reassurance that Bea was still here and everything was okay. Unfortunately, the perfect me showed up in Bea’s office, and chose to focus on Kat instead of me. I’d been emailing with Bea since Kay’s text message, though, so she knew I needed more than just talking about Kat. I’d even emailed her about my self destructive behavior, which isn’t something I usually admit to so easily. I think I needed to test Bea a little, and make sure she wasn’t going to leave me just for being bad. 

Me: I was really bad last night. I made pizza for dinner with the intention of throwing up. And then I felt like crap after and didn’t feel better and that just sucked. And then I had nightmares most of the night until I gave up on sleep. Boyfriend nightmares.  

Bea: Kay was there for you and witnessed the horror of the boyfriend stuff. Feeling abandoned by her no doubt took away some of your safety, and your sense of yourself as having been wronged. “Bad” fits with that. Of course you weren’t “bad” yesterday–you were trying to cope and self soothe in the way you knew how. And being self destructive goes right along with your guilt.

I loved that she told me I wasn’t bad, that I was reacting in the way I knew how to and trying to cope. Kay leaving like this has triggered all kinds of crazy in my head. Thankfully, I have the miss perfect part of me to function in daily life; she’s so very, very good at acting normal even when I feel like my world is collapsing. She should be good at it though, she’s had 27 years to practice her act. 

Even with miss perfect showing back up and taking over, my trust issues were triggered. And so, I sent another email. 

Me: So you don’t think I’m bad? And you aren’t going anywhere? Even if I tell you no about something, or get mad, or disagree with you, or mess up? 

Bea: Yes, I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. You can disagree with me, get mad at me, and act as obnoxious as you want and I will still be here.

Just what I needed to hear. 
I also sent a text to poor Rory. We had been texting all week, but this was maybe the most vulnerable one I sent her. And while it sort of sucks to be that vulnerable with anyone, I think it’s progress, because a year ago I would have either pretended everything was fine, or I would have found something to be angry with Rory about, and push her away before she could leave me. 

Me: Okay, I know this is incredibly ridiculous but I just need to make sure you are still here and not mad at me for anything. Because I’m sort of freaking out a little bit. 

Rory: Not mad in the slightest. Not even one shred
Me: I’m just feeling a little unstable at the moment.

Rory: It is ok. You aren’t nuts. And you and her have had big fallings out before 
Me: Not like this. I’m always the one who shuts her out for pushing me too much on something i don’t want to deal with. This is different. She left me. I didn’t do the leaving. 

Rory: I am sorry. But I won’t leave. 

The only person I didn’t double check things with was hubby. And not because I didn’t want to, but because he is seeing this falling out as typical girl drama and I am so not in a place where I can be vulnerable with him and risk feeling rejected.

So, Bea was aware of all my ups and downs because we had been emailing this week. She eventually changed the Kat subject into how I was dealing with everything. I froze and drifted away a little. I finally told her I had no words, that I just didn’t even know what to say. Bea asked some questions then, and helped me get started talking. 

I told her how Kay probably was more in the caretaker role early on in our friendship, that it was definitely unbalanced, and she was giving more than I was. The friendship, in the beginning was certainly more about her helping me, picking up the pieces of whatever mess I’d made, and keeping me from killing myself. But, I changed, and became more stable (even if that was a somewhat masterful illusion that didn’t fully hide all my flaws from Kay) and the friendship balanced out. It’s a different friendship than I have with Rory; in some ways, offering advice, or support, or taking care of Kay feels a bit like a child offering the adult help. But, Kay has always been the person in my life with the answers. I don’t know. I told Bea that although things started out unbalanced, and at times I worried I wasn’t a good enough friend, I did think they were more balanced now. She told me that I am caring and emphatic, even with her in the capacity of therapy, or when she has seen me interact with other adults (like the moms in a playgroup Kat was in, or when there is a client before or after me) and she couldn’t imagine me being less than that in my other relationships. I didn’t tell her, but that surprised me. It was unexpected. I don’t expect others to view me as kind; I’m always assuming they think I am selfish and self centered. It’s maybe the first time I’ve really thought that people truly don’t view me as I view me. 

I told Bea how Kay is my anyway friend, and I’m hers. She the one who sees all the ugly, hears the mean things I have to say, sees my hurt and tears and crazy, but she loves me anyway. And I saw her emotional ups and downs, her anger at her wife, the regrets she has, the hurt and pain caused by an insane ex-husband, and more, but I loved her anyway. An anyway friend is someone you don’t have to hide things from, you don’t have to be afraid of what parts of you they have seen, you don’t have to perform well, or be something you aren’t. Because they love you anyway. And an anyway friend is not supposed to leave. 

I don’t remember much of what I said in session, but I do remember saying this. “She left. She’s not supposed to leave. She left. And if she could leave, anyone could leave. And I’m freaked out over that. She left. But she’s supposed to be my anyway friend.” 

I don’t remember everything Bea said. But I do remember peeking at her and seeing her face. She looked sad, she looked like she really could feel my hurt, and like it made her sad for me. “I know. I can hear the little girl is really worried that anybody could just get mad and leave if Kay could leave. I’m still here. I’m not leaving. Well, I’m leaving this week for vacation, so I won’t see you Monday, but I will be back on Wednesday and I will see you Thursday.” 

It hit me then, how bad I really felt, and how scared I was that I could lose everyone. I started to cry, but forced myself to pull it together, knowing that the time was almost up. When I left, I stood by her office door, and asked very quietly, “I can email, right? Even though you’ll be gone, you’re still here and I can email?” I was embarrassed to ask this again, but the little girl desperately needed to know. 

“Yes, you can email. I’m still here, and I will be back. I’m not leaving.” Her tone was kind, and her voice was soft when she told me this, but there was something that said she was very firm and serious about this. 

I left feeling connected but sad. I still feel sad. And really disconnected from everyone right now. I’ve checked my email, hoping that Bea would email for some random reason, even though I haven’t emailed her today. And I saw her today when Kat was at therapy. (But Kat’s therapy session and subsequent conversations at home have been massively triggering for me, so I’m extra unsettled tonight….that’s a whole different post though). I’ve thought about emailing Bea, even just to say I feel floaty and lost and alone and as if I have no anchor and that I’m scared. But I haven’t, because I feel silly. Instead– for the moment at least– I’m going to curl up in bed with my dog and watch some Gilmore Girls. They always make me feel better. 

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13 thoughts on “But she’s supposed to be my anyway friend……

  1. I find Gilmore Girls soothing watching also Alice. Her parents are kind of like mine in some aspects…

    I still think the situation with your friend may resolve, once she’s had space to sulk and think. You were a good friend – telling her your honest feelings and setting a small boundary to protect yourself. If she’s the person you think she is, she should eventually see that. I hope so.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay, a fellow Gilmore girls fan! 🙂 Lorelei’s parents remind me of my parents, too, in some ways. I don’t know what it is about that show, it just is really soothing. I don’t even really like tv. But Gilmore girls is different.

      I hope you are right about things resolving. I like how you framed this– that if she is the person I think, she will see that I did a good thing. I really hope you are right. Thank you. 💟

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I often look at my email to see if my T randomly emailed me. Like why would she ever do that LoL Just wanted to say that I know that feeling. I’ve tried to figure out what else I might need but really I just need her but of course I really don’t.

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  3. I went through a long period when I would send an email once or twice a week saying either, “Just checking to make sure that you’re still there” or “Holding my hand out for a virtual hand clasp.” My therapist understood that just a sentence or two back was all that I needed from her, but it made a huge difference for me. When you are trying to develop the ability to form a secure attachment, these little reassurances of the continuity of your therapist and your connection with her is important. You don’t need to feel embarrassed about it or resist the need. Satisfying the need may help you to get through this phase of the work more quickly, you know?

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    • Thank you for the reminder I’m not alone in feeling like that. It just stinks because I felt like I had done the needing to check that she is there thing, and was past it. And now I’m all freaked out again and not feeling settled. I did finally email her, and it was all over the place, telling her I had no idea what the point of emailing was, that I was feeling bad and I don’t know what else. She emailed back last night and said she thinks I’m just looking for a secure base and that she is here. And I should feel better, except I feel embarrassed and i hate that I am needing a secure base. I feel like grown ups shouldn’t need that and I am a 32 year old woman behaving like a child. She asked me to email today to let her know how I’m feeling, which was maybe the best thing she did because it feels like she cares. Ugh. I don’t know. This is all over the place. Anyway, thank you.

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  4. Your need for reassurance, in the way you needed it in the past, makes so much sense to me given this loss and abandonment from your friend. Of course it would freak you out and cause you to feel really unsettled. You counted on Kay, and never imagined she would cut you off so dramatically. That is a lot to process, so it makes sense you are needing and reaching for your other supports more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for saying this. If I’m rational about it, it makes sense. I just don’t want to need anyone right now. Bea responded to the email I sent today and I found myself looking for something to be mad about. I didn’t find it, of course. Anyway. I mis Kay. And I wish Bea weren’t on vacation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww, I bet you miss Kay. And Bea, with her being on vacation. It is okay to not want to need anyone, and it is okay to feel sad or scared, too. Or wanting to pick a fight – though I often wonder what that is about? I do the same thing. Sending support for you, and for Bea’s time away.

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      • I’m not sure what it is about. Maybe wanting to be the one who gets mad first– before the person I’m wanting to fight with sees my flaws, and decides they don’t like me anymore. I don’t know. Thank tit for sending support.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you had a low stress weekend and were able to put your mind at ease a little. I like the Gilmore Girls too (although I was way late to watching it) and hope it helped take your mind off things. ❤

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