Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Price of Becoming Who You Are?

I thought we were the forever kind of friends.  Family, I called us.  The kind who would be there when days pass dizzy like a maze, or hearts sink as heavy as stones in the salted ocean.

And I tried really hard to be a good friend (although I'm sure I wasn't always) -- by which I meant a not-too-much friend, and maybe that's really where things went wrong, at the beginning instead of at the end, like it feels.  Maybe I shouldn't have made my grief so palatable in person, or drained my soul through a mesh so that it wasn't too murky when you looked close at it.  I didn't know how to do that, or that I was allowed to.

But I always thought that our kind of family, the ones we choose, were the always-there kind.  Until they weren't there.  My husband and I left the institution for the last time not knowing, not planning for it to be, the last time, and maybe everyone thought we were angry, or going through a phase, or something, when really we were (are) trying to live true.

I didn't think that friendship depended on that.  On the institution, I mean.  I didn't think we'd lose everyone along with our certainty, which was (is) grueling enough.  But we did, or most of everyone.  The ones who kept walking with us, or came after us, or asked how we were, and meant it, with no strings attached -- they were few, and not all who I thought they would be, and I cherish them fiercely.

Should we have sent up crimson soul-flares of distress?  I thought we did.
Should we have been more clear that we loved our friends?  Yes, I'm sure. 
Should we have assumed less naively that beliefs and love were not dependent on one another?  To which I reply: do we really have to be identical to the majority before we are loveable?

You're not alone, one or two said.  We're here for you, just come back inside.  I want to, I said, but I can't right now.  Won't you meet me out here in the wilds?  And they said nothing else.

My heart bleeds for all the ways that we tried, imperfectly, to love and be loved, ways that now seem wasted, rejected.  Their silence whispers in the aching hours that I am forgettable, problematic, unwanted.  But my soul cries, louder every moment, thank you for listening to me at last.

from Mandy's Secret Message Society zine


  1. Maritza Amanda ValleFebruary 10, 2015 at 5:51 PM

    This is beautiful and I'm so sorry they wouldn't come meet you in the wilds. I love you.

  2. thank so much, Maritza. love you, too. <3

  3. It is heartbreaking and sad when those we think are friends, our loved ones, walk away from us. I found that out with some FB friends as well. I had one once who was going through much then had a son then changed her journey and I guess did not approve of me any longer. I miss her.

    Hope you find peace.

  4. Oh, love. This shivers me. You are gorgeous, wild, and enchanting--EXACTLY as you are, in your grief and in your grace, in the muchness of you and the bigness. If you have to squash yourself, it isn't love. And how it aches to rip that away--I do know--it has happened to me and I have ached endlessly over it . . . but we have to look ourselves in the mirror. We have to live with our own aching/singing hearts. And I believe we will find our tribe, our kindred who LOVE and adore that mess of us . . . never tolerating or putting up with, but truly loving. And I love you, sister.

  5. that hurts...I'm so sorry, Margo. big hugs.

  6. It has been almost four weeks since any contact with my forever friend. just four weeks but it feels like an eternity ... because I know it's over but I am the only one to admit it. She claims she is still there ... but she is not. this is a grief unlike any I have ever known. Even losing my mother does not compare to losing connection to my anam cara.

    We left the institution together and were knitted together so closely but now ... and I don't even know what happened. She said something inconsiderate, I acted even more inconsiderately, I pulled away, she pulled away, I apologized and tried to make amends but now ... nothing.

    and I know her well. I know how she avoids conflict. I know how she has cut other people out of her life. So I figure that is what has happened here. I have said these words to no one else. I haven't acknowledged this loss to anyone else. It just hurts too much.

  7. that is excruciating. I'm so sorry, Cynthia. yes to this being grief, and unlike any other. I wonder if friendship related grief is harder because it goes unrecognized so much more easily, both by ourselves and others? regardless, it is HARD, and so sad. I've been holding your words and heart close since you left them here. thank you for sharing, although I wish you didn't have this particular experience. love to you. <3


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King