Transitioning and the Loss that Comes with It

In the past year, I have learnt that if you find yourself unable to behave in a manner more comfortable for those who have been your "friends" for years, and you begin to deal with issues that cannot be avoided in the best way you know how, there are many so-called friends who deem it perfectly feasible to abandon you when you probably need them the most.

Therapists most often place the burden of "isolating" on the individual going through such a transition, when I don't think it's that at all. I think it's finding oneself in the untenable situation of being cut loose at sea in a region of emotional water that is alien, frightening, and dangerous, without even a life raft or flotation device that might once have been provided by people who would have provided such a thing based on the convenience or comfort level for them.

I learned today that I was "blocked" on a social networking site because my attitude, albeit mostly jokingly, was intolerable to the person who blocked me. This person and I have for many years been at philosophical odds, which was a fascinating and educational dynamic to put it mildly, but we always found a common ground, and were always honest with one another regarding our feelings about life in general and our true love for one another. I felt I could always depend upon her for her honesty with me and I had hoped she felt the same about me. Apparently, since I have found it downright impossible to even pretend a tolerance of fluffy-bunniness over the past year, she has taken my position regarding such behaviour as personal and has blocked me from her life on certain levels.

Friendships should be friendships either 100% or not at all. At least, that's my opinion, be it humble or no. Am I hurt by this revelation? Yes. Surprised? I'd like to say so, but I'm really not. The most "tolerant" and "all-inclusive" people often turn out to be the most hypocritical, I've come to learn. This is someone I came to know in "real life," pre-Internet. She has always known I've walked a darker path. She seemed to have always accepted that, just as I accepted what I believed to be an irrational optimism in the face of obvious desolation.

And, like so many others have since Aunt Tudi's death, she's chosen to distance herself from me when I need people the most. My therapist says the best thing for me is to have more human contact. If I have to act in order to obtain such contact, I'm not really sure that's really all that healthy. One thing for certain is, though, my friends I've made through the Internet are much more precious to me now than ever before. If it weren't for many of you, I honestly doubt I'd be here at all right now. Take that for what it's worth, either a blessing, a curse, a burden, or an honour; none of the above, or a combination of them all. It's just a simple fact I'm putting out there.

For those who know when my joking is just that, joking, and take what I say and do with the big chunk of salt it requires, I commend you for your courage and your friendship. I am grateful to you, and I hope you love and trust me enough to tell me if I ever upset you by my actions either in word or deed. Despite my plunge into full-on agnosticism, I still do believe in the Threefold Law and "'An in harm none, do what ye will." It is not my intent to harm anyone, except for maybe myself at times. I respect everyone I know. That's why my friends base is comprised not just of Pagans and Liberals, but also of scientists, Conservatives, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, LGBTs, and so many others who decide to take on whatever labels you choose. I respect you all. I learn from you all. We all have something of worth to share with one another. If we shut off one aspect of such interaction, to me, it's like performing an amputation without the proper surgical tools and without anaesthetic.

Yes, my outlook on life has gotten considerably darker in the past year. I would think that's when friends rally around one another, when they see one of their own in pain. This is obviously how it does not work, not in this imperfect human world where one hurt exponentially leads to another. A major life change most definitely puts into perspective who your real family and real friends are. My circle is decidedly much smaller than I could have ever imagined, and it grieves me on a level I can't sufficiently translate into words. I'd like to say that I would be there for any one of you, in whatever situation you find yourself in, regardless of how convenient or inconvenient it might be for me. That's what friends are for, at least that's how I've always understood the definitiion.

I will say this, and it's an admission that literally kills me to make, but make it I must: this new development has driven me to tears. And it shakes my already tenuous faith in humanity and the power of friendship, if there is even such a power that actually exists. It's moments like this that gives credence to my proclivity to reclusiveness, just to turn my back on the entire world and die hopefully sooner than later alone, like I apparently am.

I've spent too many years of my life being friends to people who find it very easy to cut me off simply because our ideals don't match and I've become an inconvenience to them. If you surround yourself with people exactly like yourself, how do you ever hope to grow? You don't. It's only a proliferation of what you believe to be the one true and right way. It's narcissistic if you ask me.

There is no one true and right way. There is only the best way through it all, with the best people you can find, to help you get by and who will allow you to have the honour to do the same for them in whatever way you are capable. It's a learning experience. The greatest test is when the relationship is rocked by tragedy or joy, any extreme of any kind. If it can't hold up, it was a lie from the very beginning.

Over the past few months, I've been in awe of the number of lies that have wrapped around me in the guise of wondrous ribbons so full of beauty that they could make even the master Elvensmiths of Tolkien's universe weep in response. But pretty ribbons and empty words disintegrate when the actuality of the Real raises its all-too-often ugly head.

It's not even the end of the first month of 2013, but already have I experienced the best and worst of what humanity can offer. The funny thing is, the best comes from people I've never met in real life, and the worst comes from individuals with whom I've carried on a relationship for 15 years. If this is any indication of what 2013 holds for me, I easily foresee a redefinition of the words friendship and family.

Now excuse me while I go try to find my kleenex.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
  • Current Music: Jane Eyre on TV
Thanks, sweetie. This only confirms my belief that friends are friends, no matter what. Internet friendship should not be a designation when it comes to human interaction. The friends I have here with you guys mean more to me than most of my so-called 'real life' friendships. I owe still being here today to you guys, and I mean that in every way I can possibly express.
I am so sorry that people are shallow asshats who haven't got your back. I wish I was closer, I'd bring my bottle of rum over and we'd watch Tim Roth movies until our eyes fell out of our heads.

We must plan on this somehow, someway. I think that would be a glorious night ~ The Roth, Rum, and Rolling Eyeballs! <3 Love you.
i find it hard to find face to face friends, myself. i would like to, i really would. but when the shit goes down, i've found no one standing by me.

even small attempts at reaching out to someone, these are rejected. i don't get it. and i don't get the people who say they are there to listen, but then interrupt you when you do start talking and then they don't fucking shut up. it's so fucking hard to open up in the first place.
the people around me really don't know anything about me.

i used to chat people up on instant messengers, but i don't even turn them on anymore. isolation is what life is, anymore. whether i like it or not.

i think maybe these people who stopped walking with you through your pain either have never had such pain in their own lives, or have so sublimated their reality that they can't be reminded of it without imploding. it's just a theory though.

i hope you count me as one of your friends, even though i don't say much. i'm walking through pain too, still. just know that if i am not responding to everything, i am still reading everything. and usually with tears too. when you disappear from the net i worry along with everyone else.
We have been friends for years now, and I have never doubted that. Just because we don't reply to every little thing either of us says doesn't make it less of a reality. We say what we feel needs to be said, and what matters. Why say something just to be saying it, right? I'm glad we met, and I'm grateful to count you among my friends. Someday we might even get to meet. That would be great. If it doesn't happen, though, that doesn't lesson our relationship one little bit. I think Internet friendship is oftentimes deeper because we're sharing nothing but our souls here. The physical isn't even an issue here, and I find that not only lliberating, but extremely healthy in many ways. Thank you for worrying about me. It means more than you can possibly comprehend, or maybe not. I love you.
You're my friend and I would never abandon you because we disagreed on a point of faith. Faith is for an individual's comfort and I am not so insecure in my own set of beliefs that I find the beliefs of others threatening or intolerable.

I've often used humour to mask the darker things clouding my head. I'm a firm believer that it's better to laugh than cry. I am not everyone's cup of tea and I am choosy with whom I share any depth at all because apparently if you're quick to laugh, you're shallow and a clown.

Philosopher clown, that's me.

Grief is one of those things people talk around and about, but never really talk TO it unless they're experiencing the pain first hand. Folks can offer sympathy, but until you've experienced that level of loss first hand, you can never bring empathy into the picture.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I'm not here and not going anywhere unless you want rid of me. You're my friend.
Thank you, Helly. Do you realise we've known each other for a decade now? How awesome is that? And yes, you're right about grief; unless you've truly experienced it, you just can't understand it. I would never have believed I, of all people, would have made a tribute video for the victims of Newtown. And I wouldn't have, if I had empathised with their devastating loss. Your experiences change you. The true test of your friends' mettle ad whether or notthey really are friends, is if they cost along with you to the end of the journey, whenever that is, acceptng what you feel you have to do, and make an affort not to judge. You're that person, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I think it's that most humans scare pretty easy...seeing other people's pain, tragedy, loss is too real, and too much a reminder that no one is protected and we are all fair game.

So in go the fingers in the ears and the "LALALALALALA-I-CAN'T-HEAR-YOU" (metaphorically speaking). Which is shitty to do. But not surprising. Mostly, people act pretty much like people, which is to say: Dumb, Panicky and Dangerous.

I don't have any real response, except a (((hug)))
I remember the week Bennie died, and you called me. We talked while I was in the metals studio at KU, if memory serves. I thank you so much for that.

I am so very sorry that this person distanced and excised you. I have experienced that a number of times in my past.

The most "tolerant" and "all-inclusive" people often turn out to be the most hypocritical, I've come to learn.

THAT is a FACT. I have come to the point where lack of intolerance in another is a huge red flag for me. I can't trust someone who is so obviously lying to herself.

I know we are not super-close or anything, but I consider you a real friend, and I really do mean to send you some CDs and a box of shit.

I would be completely alone if not for people who can tolerate my general anger, misanthropy, and depression. I am, after all, utterly delightful at times, and probably would not be so if not for all of the black. Without it, I am not sure I would have anything to say.
Just being there for people, regardless of what you might think is their faults, is the greatest gift a friendship can garner. You guys have done that for me so many times, there's no way I can ever repay any of you. That's the problem with being a fluffy bunny. You're all fluff, with no meat inside. Basicially just a dry hair ball, no substance, no style, no depth. There's a big section of faux fur in most department stores. If I need friends like that, I'll go chill out at JC Penney. You're welcome to join me. :)
Being your friend takes no courage. You are a good person, you are interesting and you care about me as well. Feh on people who don't get us.

I'm so sorry things are so hard right now. I wish I could do something concrete to help. If I can, let me know.
I'm heartened to see you think so. Sometimes, I have to wonder what my major flaw is that triggers people to do this to me, though. I'm surely not innocent in all this rigamarole.
I'm angry on your behalf that someone would treat you that way. And I'm glad to know that despite the fact I'm on the other side of this glass *taptaptap* we are real friends, not just internet ones. Because that's how I see you.

I've been so worried about you of late, and fretted over the fact that I didn't have the means to express it in the way I wanted to. (which involved cases of Cheerwine, btw) All I could do was watch your entries and send the good mojo and throw in a word when I could conjure one. I think this post has released something in me that was tightly gripping the fear you would hurt yourself in the depths of your grief. Maybe because this post makes it clear you're still reaching out to us. I'm so glad.

Cause we loves you, yes we does.
I'm hanging in there. Each one of you have helped me do so in a particular way. I'll be honest and say I came really close around 12-21 No end of the world, no heat, no transportation, and basically no hope and I felt no one to really talk to almost pushed me over the edge. janalyson, paulpearson23. Ginny Brabban, and falkenna formed a kind of coalition to stop any nefarious plans of mine in their tracks. And I find that amazing, since they're from West Virginia, NC, and England, when people much closer to me were literally challenging me to follow through with my desperate wish-fulfillment. I bounce back and forth between being amazed at how callous people can be and how wonderfully capable they are at caring. <3 you.
That sucks, but I think it is not all that uncommon. When people go through important transitions/transformations, and uncomfortable things start popping up, not everyone around them is capable of dealing with that... it doesn't mean that distancing themselves is the right thing to do, though.

Be true to yourself, but also be gentle with yourself...

Here if you need me. You are in my prayers.

Hi There Pumpkin!

Sorry to read that you were so abandoned, but unfortunately, not that uncommon.

I'm glad you are writing about it, though, as so many has so many and comforting things to say.

Just like to add to the general love-in, and hope that things will get better for you.

Caringly Yours,

Oleander 56

Thanks, sweetness. I'll take all that virtual goodness with mucho gratitude. I'll be okay. And I'm sure she'll find someone else willing to drive 80 miles a day to take care of her cats the next time she wants to leave town, so it's all good. /endsnark
So very sorry for your hurt. Sometimes I am so ashamed of my species. I suspect that the problem with the fluffy bunny was your tendency (one that I admire) to shine the light in dark corners - thereby reminding her of that pesky thing called reality. Some people can't take honesty if it means it might shatter that brittle sugar coating they have on everything. You can't poop in paradise - how dare you? /sarc

You are a mecurial person. So am I. We grok. And may it ever be so.

You are my free-spirited soul sister. We laugh, we cry, it's called life. And I'm so fortunate to have you in mine.

Peace, dumpling.

People can be hard. I wish they were less so, or that it were easier not to care.