Thursday, March 28, 2019

"For Good." Sad Endings Can Equal Calm Beginnings. The Ebb and Flow of Friendship Loss. Giving Love Away Before the Rotten Apples.

( artist unknown)

There is an ebb and flow to life, to relationships, to harmony and living the best life we can. Often people in our lives are there for seasons. Even in meant to be forever relationships (like a marriage that is committed to forever) there are also seasons of ebb ....seasons of less closeness even if it doesn't end in divorce. In our children, we find moments where we are closer and moments when we need to live our own lives. Most importantly, the ebb and flow happens in friendships where both parties are seeking growth in ways that do not include the other person. In the past, I have had childhood friends who have grown apart from me but years later, we unexpectedly salvaged what we lost for a few years...and I have had others who left more permanently and it's better that way.

As an INFJ I have a door slam (see HERE and HERE ) but I also have a strange way of accepting a new phase in relationships. I see it coming. I feel it. I try to fight for it and hope maybe I'm wrong or maybe it's just me that needs to focus...But deep down I know. And the grieving comes. Sometimes for years on and off - and it's deep and emotional. But suddenly, when the break happens, I am surprised at what I thought would break me too, only brings relief. Part of that is what is common in both INTJ and INFJs - the relief that there is finally a clear path. A clear schedule. A final decision. No matter if it is good or bad immediately and possibly forever there is relief to go with....anything that is clear.

But the other part of the relief happens when I honestly know I conducted myself in the best possible way, that we ALMOST had it all, and that most of the memories were beautiful. There may have been some hurt or blame but most of the time, when the breaking point hits, it's suddenly not all that hurtful. There are times it will be sad because loss always is. There are times when a habit happens and one is jolted into realization that one person in that old form is no more. But, if at the end of a relationship, most of what is felt is shows that both people were pretty good to each other. They simply needed something else.

Maybe life will bring them back together after sufficient lessons and growth to treat each other differently? Maybe life has more lessons to teach before such a reconciliation of a new chapter is possible? Or maybe it will be permanent? Like a death in a sense (with a proper goodbye if one is lucky which I was.) Most of the time, if it was good in any comes back in another form later.

For 15 years I had a kindred spirit in my life. She was my other soul mate in many ways but sometimes two soul mates is just too demanding. Life deteriorates too and some choices, be them good or bad, cause division. Some mindsets can't be worked around and require soul work. And soul work often has to be individual to both parties often enough.

I can say I thought I would be destroyed when this day came. On and off I would think of it and get frightened or grieve. But gradual distance happened anyway and while I grieved each of those, I came to this point where there is nothing left to grieve. There ARE things to forgive if I think of them too much but I choose generally to quickly feel them, move through them, and become positive in who I am and who she is. And I ask my community to hold me accountable to not allow the poison of what could have beens or she should have been ect to creep in over time. Positivity matters. And gratitude. There is so much gratitude.

I never thought I would feel...relief...happiness and freedom. And it's not because my Kindred wasn't worth it. It actually is because she WAS. It was mostly healthy most of the time until the beginning of the end...and it needed to have a clear, kind goodbye before it became something more miserable. Before it became embittered too much. Before it melted into unkindness, apathy and murky blame. Part of this is because INFJ's understand other people's emotions before their own. ( See HERE for more.)

15 years of knowing almost everything about each other...makes you almost able to predict how each other will move on. I knew she would be relieved. But honestly, I could not have predicted my relief, but I think a few nice surprises are always a good thing...but the rest, the rest is easy to predict. I often wondered how married couples could part amicably and still be friends or be able to wave if they see each other or wish each other well..and now I know. There are SOUL MATES like my husband and I seem to be. And then there are KINDREDS...and there in lies the difference. One can sustain almost all of life...the other simply lasts for as long as it can. It may flow in, it may ebb out, but it's not a constant. Kindred married couples, I think, are the ones who can still part friendly and keep that friendship sustained. Soul mates, if they do break, break completely and bitterly and CAN NOT keep a friendship because what they had was far too exclusive, mutual, secret and committed. Yes, Kindreds are too but there is a little less of that soul, that shared ness I think. I could be wrong but that is now how I can sort of understand it. That said I wasn't in a marriage luckily. At times it oddly felt like that the rare time, and maybe that is also why we both needed to break. Or a break. Or an ending for a new beginning. Who knows?

I always wanted a friend whom I could share the Wicked song "For Good" with. That seemed impossible to me because in order to have that...that person would have to be a deep sister kindred...and then there would have to be an end that wasn't death in order to say a goodbye, with enough kindness left and thought-fullness to be able to say:

"I've heard it said, That people come into our lives for a reason. Bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don't know if I believe that's true. But I know I'm who I am today because I knew you. Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes the sun, like a stream that meets a boulder, halfway through the wood. Who can say if I've been changed for the better. But because I knew you. I've been changed for good. It may well be that we will never meet again in this lifetime. So let me say before we part, that so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end. I know you have re written mine by being my friend.Like a ship blown from it's mooring by a wind off the sea. Like a seed dropped by a sky bird in a distant wood. Who can say if I've been changed for the better but because I knew you I have been changed for good. And just to clear the air I ask forgiveness for the things I've done you blame me for, but then again I guess there is blame to share and none of that seems to matter anymore. Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes the sun. (By a wind off the sea) Like a stream that meets a boulder (Like a seed dropped by a bird) Halfway through the wood.(In the wood) Who can say if I've been changed for the better. I do believe I have been changed for the better. And because I knew you...[Elphaba:] Because I knew you...[Both:]Because I knew you.I have been changed...For good." ( For Good Wicked Lyrics)

Maybe I should be careful what I wish for? Or maybe I should be thankful wishes come true? I guess it is all truly boils down to perspective.

My mother's sister passed away a year tomorrow, my husband's mother 3 years on Sunday...and today my mom quoted Shakespeare in her reverie, "Beware the ides of March." Yes, March seems to bring loss but it also signifies the end to Winter, Winter's death so to speak, and Spring renewal. I am not in any way trivializing loss, as I often feel it more than most will ever know...but I also feel hope and beginnings. Beware the ides of March was a warning I knew at all times. I saw it coming. Recently I posted a picture of me and my bestie and my heart told me it was near the end. I knew when I shared the photo, that it was signifying a short end soon. I didn't want to say it out loud. I fought it. I guess who wouldn't?  I had nightmares and warning dreams I chose not to share with her because I hoped I wouldn't make it happen sooner. Something good is hard to let go of...but it's like an apple. Eventually the red rosey shine dulls, and one day the brown starts inside. If it isn't eaten or given away to be enjoyed by someone else soon, the rot on the inside eventually takes over the entire beauty and suddenly there is a mushed brown blob where a flourishing healthy fruit used to be. Instead of allowing rot, we give the apple away to someone who will eat it if we are not going to... That was probably a weird analogy but hopefully it illustrates more of my point.

I know some people were jealous of our relationship. They were baffled about it. At a point that maybe should have been the beginning of the end, I didn't want to PROVE them right...that it was too weird or not normal. But then I realized that it still was a treasure regardless and it would have been something I was jealous of too. And I was lucky to have it for many, many seasons. It was HARD work sometimes, and sometimes it was easy, most of the time it was chill but it could also be intense. For all the "I told you something like that couldn't last." I say, "But didn't we almost have it all? It DID last for more than a decade of life...half way to two decades...and thus it lasted the season it was meant to last." There are things that make me angry if I dwell on them but mostly...not. In some ways it is no longer a loss because of how things were un would have been no loss at all if time would have kept us together- eventually it would have all been rotten. But this way, if I focus on the positives, I still see the sweet apple. And maybe that apple will be preserved as a jam sometime to be shared in the future (ha that metaphor is not working as perfectly as I would like.) We have said our official goodbyes but we wish each other health, happiness and the best. And it shouldn't be too awkward if we bump into each other. I also won't have to act because I will be genuinely pleased to see her alive.

In a lot of ways she was a Galinda in my life and I was Elphaba. In some ways two unlikely friends, in other ways similar. We were at times ill suited yet also meant to be... and we had to learn how to BE and now we must learn to not.

Sometimes love has to be given away. We hear that all the time. We hear if it comes back to you it was true and if it doesn't it was never yours in the first place. It can be both. Sometimes it doesn't come back because life is tricky but it still was true. We don't own people. We can only love them and cherish the time we have with them. When we start demanding more it can be poisoned. At the same time, expectations, boundaries and growth are part of healthy relationships. Sometimes one or more parties are unwilling to go there...or maybe they do but even with the best of intentions we are actually the stumbling blocks in the way of growth? Whose to say.

Whose to say if I've been changed for the better? ( I do believe I have been changed for the better.) But I have been changed for good. And now, like Elphaba in the broadway play Wicked, I get to exit stage left with my forever Fiyero...and that still equals a happy ending to a new beginning even if we can never go back to Oz.

(Artist Unknown)
For an update I wrote about bumping into her a few weeks later here:

Song Choice: For Good- Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel Wicked My song to her.

Post Edit: Her song to me was "Because You Loved Me" By Celine Dion and I think that definitely applies to how I did love her and was perfection in it's accuracy:)

I honestly think Green Day's "Time of Your Life" song applied's almost like the end of High School or some other large part of life when you KNOW things are going to be different, that you have to part even if you are good for each other, because life is demanding is kind of like that:


Anonymous said...

Oh my, that was a heart wrenching read. As much as you wish each other the best in life, it's still sad to say goodbye. I can't even imagine how that last conversation would have gone between the two of you...I don't think I've had a talk like that with anyone. I've never had to, mostly because I haven't been too close to anyone for very long, often due to one of us relocating geographically. But I can see that if you had a such a close friend for so many years, that maybe it just couldn't realistically last a lifetime...and then a defining "talk" would be needed so that you could both feel free to move on without hard feelings--somehow? I did have a friend that rejected me a couple years ago but she did not explain to me why. It was very painful. We were very close (I thought), and then she shut me out of her life. I tried apologizing several times for what I thought I had done to hurt her (I'm not even sure if I apologized for the right things), and she said she accepted my apologies, but that was that. I think of her when I hear that song you linked to your story...I was definitely changed 'for good' (permanently) by that experience. And even though it hurt so much, I had to move on and make the best of it, or else become a bitter and fearful person. I learned so much about myself and my insecurities through that process that I do believe I was changed 'for the better' as well. There was never a friend to replace her. I don't feel like I need one either. I have people that I know love me and care for me--who would drop everything for me if I was in need--and I love them, but we give each other quite a bit of space, and that's what I am happy with at this point in time. Anyways, I wish you peace and joy in this new chapter,Thanks for sharing such a personal part of your life (and hers). It is both sad and beautiful- C.F.

Kmarie said...

Dearest C;
You are so insightful. You are right that it’s heart wrenching and still sad to say goodbye. Those kind of talks can easily spiral ( and it did) but it was happening too much that we were negotiating instead of inspiring and not hearing each other the way we used to. Luckily we took a step back to be grateful and end on a mostly positive note ... and it’s not impossible to do but it wasn’t perfect either and I loved how you phrased it.
I’m sorry you experienced that. I have also gone through what you did before ... and then years later I realized I did it to someone else and it changed my perspective as I realized sometimes there are no words of reconciliation even if someone wasn’t wrong - it was just life. But life can be tough with its ebb and flow too . It’s such a learning time and wow it sounds like you came out the winner. Because you are a compassionate insightful soul with those lessons in tact for good. πŸ’•And a friend I like in my book;)⭐️ but you ate right - it’s very very painful.
Also our transient culture doesn’t make solid friendships easy πŸ€”then again it’s hard when a friendship is not what is needed moving forward but both people are still around too ;( it’s a heartache.
Yea I just said to my husband that I don’t wish to replace her either and that I’m so thankful for all the support and love in my life. And that little bit of extra time can go to my family and other friends and that’s ok. I was astounded by the outpouring of support. Your comment is so insightful and sweet, my mom called later after the blog was out saying over and over how huge it was ( which it is) and how sorry she was ( which was kind.) I was texted from a friend in the States who gave counsel and support. My childhood friend talked on the phone with me for half an hour and told me she was coming to visit next month and expressed her sadness for both Sara and I... and that is what I love too. That Sara has also been a concern from those i love. That u said u were sad for both of us. Another friend emailed saying even tho she was jealous at one point she honoured what we had and was broken for both of us too and to me, that says a lot . And means so much! My husband brought my home a gift of support and my children were amazing and in the end I thought - wow, in the midst of loss like also brings another sort of gain. When I give so much emotion I also get back so much emotion. When I share my experience in life others share theirs and it’s an honour to witness. Which showed me what you said- I still have people who drop everything for me but still give me space and that healthy distance may be just what is needed now and I hope the same thing for her. And I’m glad you found that for you because if anyone deserves such dedication - it’s a person as kind as you. I can still hear your laugh when I concentrate and recall your smile even though it’s been years!
It is both sad and beautiful- thanks for acknowledging that ♥️πŸ’•❤️and your well wishes in this next chapter help build my foundation πŸ’•I don’t take that lightly. I know I will read your comment a few times. You gave light ♥️ thank you πŸ™

Anonymous said...

Ah K! Oh my heart what a beautiful post of friendship and gratitude for season in them. Feeling this with you.. What do you think caused the friendship to change? That questions kept coming up for me when you shared with this post. I understand that door slam very well, and have to say I don’t think I have very many soul friends, but fleeing kindred friends that weave in and out of my life. I am not a good friend right now anyways, and I think I stick to friendships that offer a lot of grace and space.

Love you,

Kmarie said...

Thank you Amy. I think life was just bringing different goals and lessons for us and we were starting to hold each other back but we loved each other so much we tenaciously fought through but the differences started causing rifts. I also think we were maybe too close and it could not have been sustained in that way after a very lucky decade plus. but when we tried to change - in differing ways each of us was resistant to be flexible and allow the relationship to be something else…and then we started negotiating more than inspiring and we both felt the drain but still didn’t want to let go …until already patterns were set to bring us to this moment. I think it is also a time where both of us, like you, need grace and space…and that can’t be with such a connection. Im looking forward in that sense to a bit more time with my family, to myself and then to make connections here and there and with the people I already have like you that are supportive but do not demand as much and hopefully vice versa:) It is hopeful in that way but also, I was lucky to have 15 years of mostly such care. That will continue to be felt at times even tho I have already grieved most of it- which is healthy I think...and will do some more probably...but it was beautiful while it lasted and I am so thankful for that aspect and most people dont even get to experience that in life- so that is what I am concentrating on as there were some deep wounding moments too.
Thank you so much for thinking of me.
Love you too

S said...

I have gone through a similar break up with my closest girlfriend of 8 years. She was also an INTJ. My current closest girlfriend is an ENFJ. I wouldn't call them besties because I am a person who does not open up too much about my personal life to others. Whereas, my girlfriends become my closest mates by revealing, sharing and expressing themselves and their private/personal issues with me. For them, I am crutch, solace for bad times or a good listener. For me, they are someone with whom I can become a bit more emotional or feel more human. I know it is difficult to understand such an uneven relationship between two persons but most of my relationships with other girls have been like that. My girlfriend of 8 years used me as a crutch when she was going through a difficult relationship with her husband. When finally her divorce came through, she ditched me. Anyways, I could not accept this situation for at least two years after our breakup. More so because she just closed all lines of communication. It made me sad and angry. She refused to pick up any calls. However, nothing happened between us. It was her personal issues. That is why, I think that she used me as a crutch when she was going through a difficult period. At that time, we lived in the same city. Now, we live in different cities, so the distance has helped me to get over the situation even if time has not.
As I said, it was very very difficult for me to accept the fact that she ditched me. I used to always question why ( since nothing bad has happened between us) and these "whys" from my side finally made my husband question my priorities of life. He said to me-"What do you finally want to do ? You have to focus on other issues. It is draining your energy."
As, I said, living apart from her (in a different city and she not picking up any of my calls) healed me and now, I have got over it. I have finally accepted that it is time to move on. Also, my father-in- law's sudden death and my mom-in -law coming to stay with us, has also shifted my focus from that issue as I was given new responsibilities to handle. Maybe, this change in my family situation has helped me.
(comment continued below)

S said...

( continued )-
It is also true that ( as you have also said about your own friend ), this particular friendship is a turning point in my life. Before meeting her, I never developed my spiritual side. This has been my greatest reward. Apart from this spiritual experience, I also learned a lot from her- be it about culture, cooking, experiences, also our travels together, exchanging books, discussing philosophy, etc.etc.
It benefited me a lot but her life took a strange turn.
It is an irony that she left spiritualism/ the spiritual path after the bitterness (in her personal relationship ) with her husband reached an extreme point whereas, she took to the spiritual path to solve her relationship issues with her husband in the first place. After sometime, she again took to the spiritual path but became radicalized i.e. her life has become a theoretical book where you cannot communicate with her without hearing her spiritual lectures all the time. She just grew bitter and bitter and resigned from so called "normal life". I thought that I could help her but I could not.
Anyways, when I met her, long long time ago, it changed me in ways I could never have imagined if I took the journey alone without her friendship. It is similar to the impact you have when you have lived in your old (past) city for years. When I left my previous city, I thought I could never replace its offerings with the benefits provided to me by my new city. But slowly I also realized that each new city, like each new or old friendship has something to offer to us and you cannot compare the offerings. For instance, my friendship with her was "necessary" for me as I was for her at that time and moment. The fact that it did not work out does not ever nullify our shared experiences-good or bad. Timeline or expiry date should not be the benchmark of testing the quality of a relationship - although we think that the life-span/duration of a relationship affects the quality of a relationship, it does not. It offered you what it had to at that time. Now, it will offer what it has to, to someone else or it will sit still, doing nothing. Now, I have got a new girlfriend/ closest friend who understands me and offers me new insights-we share empathy for each other and she is helping me to grow in newer ways after my ex-friend ditched me.
Also, this new friend is not using me, rather she is more of an empath, which I am also. Surprisingly, this new friend, (who is an ENFJ) is not so new. She was there all along when I was with my INTJ friend yet at that time, we hardly ever communicated because of the distance between us ( my ENFJ friend stays abroad, while my INTJ friend lives in my native country).
I think every friend, or spouse or family has a space in my life. My spouse can't replace my friend nor can my new friend replace my old friend. What she gave me or offered to me (although short lived), cannot be offered by my new friend/spouse/mother.Each experience with each person is new and fresh in my memory although time is old. Whatever perspectives she had offered to me, I try to honour and remember them. It also led me to believe that - A friend may not be there for me forever/always but it adds value to my life in the long run.
Sorry for the long rant. But I had to share my experiences as I found parallel/similar experiences and references in your blog post. Thank you for sharing your heart. It gave me great insights into the topic of letting go of friendships that were meant to last forever.

Kmarie said...

8 years is a long time. I’m sorry for your pain of the loss. Your well thought out lessons and healing journey are beautifully understood and I think your insights give meaning. One a side note - my daughter is an ENFJ - tho she is still growing into that persona and the lovely ENFJs in my life have been so compassionate, kind and are definitely supportive types emotionally. I’m looking forward to deepening my relationships in that regard to personality types that don’t need that push of emotion 🧐 although that said I also enjoy Ts approach’s to life😊 but there are seasons for everything and sometimes we need different people to accept or awaken different sides of us. 🧐
That is hard when you don’t know the whys. That is the worst! I’ve been there before and it’s really a self esteem kicker. It’s hard to let go. I have also actually done that to one person before 😒looking back but it was different because any time I tried to explain why they just wouldn’t listen - so thus I had to not give any explanations and I think they are still hurt and baffled unfortunately;( but due to my experience before like yours I try to be brave in truthfulness but also not to be unkind blunt either and try to say honesty in the best possible way for closure but like anything with intense feelings it tends to spiral ... tho with more life practice it’s becoming easier to move onward or stay calm or when I lose it to recover enough to focus and salvage the good but it’s still a lot of work and I make mistakes.
My husband sent me a quote that says “ I have come to realize the people who I need in my life are those who want me in theirs even when I have nothing to offer them but myself.” And In my case I was feeling like she didn’t want me in her life and was pushing me out and in the end she got what she wanted - lots of space and I’m sure she will be happy ... and I realized I want someone who I don’t have to push to hang out or push to make time or speak any love languages ... because I tend to carry that load a lot too - like you I tend to give a lot more than get at times but then again, she also gave me a different sort of camaraderie that can’t be replaced - an acceptance of quirks and listening for years and that built a platform for the rest of life in other ways. We had a pretty equal relationship until the last year ish and then it started sliding - I think many relationships aren’t meant to be intense long term I suppose ?
It’s actually not difficult for me to understand uneven relationships like that because often it’s exactly as u described for u as for me ( I’m the crutch of support and they make me feel more human) I love that explanation!!! And most of the time I actually enjoy that and I think they do too so in the end it’s not bad as long as there is a little awareness, mutual benefits and happiness.

Kmarie said...

I am glad you were able to move on . That sounds like her life did turn off and she probably couldn’t walk through the next stage with the same friends ... honestly, that seems to be a pattern in life. The very people who get us through are often the people we end up abandoning when we do well or vice versa - I think it’s the ever fine line of darkness and light - chaos and order, yin and yang . However it still hurts and it’s both exciting to have new possibilities but sometimes heart wrenching to remember the old. Also usually the person who gives up more of themselves and loves harder - grieves harder which seems sort of unfair but also shows in a weird way how much they gave of themselves ♥️πŸ€”plus, usually those who feel deeply are able to feel just as deeply new connections in a different way, joy and other mediums. I like how u pointed out your enfj friend was always there all along because I never realized how many of my friends were still so supportive of me or willing to love me even if we didn’t have such intense or regular intervals of trying to connect and that was refreshing ! I’m finding already that what I’ve invested into being relational outside and inside my little family has truly paid off ! I’m so lucky! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•πŸŽΆAnd that’s beautiful. That said - they say only sociopaths or those with mental illness in specific ways don’t have to go through the stages of grief when a friendship ends and I’ve already circled through them all and know I will again. I went though numbness then calm acceptance to relief to denial to elation and excitement on freedom to crushing sadness and crying to bitter anger and back to many emotions. And I know that 15 years of habits will be hard to break ( that’s probably the worst part) but also good to hit a refresh button and take a re look at all the ways I became complacent or conformed or even enjoyed the stability when now it’s time for something new. I’m ready to move on but part of that is I’m seeing our relationship in a light I never did before - in a more negative way even tho it was mostly good- I’m seeing how we enabled each other sometimes and also I’m angry but I also don’t dismiss how beautiful it was and that our goodbyes were a wonderful opportunity for closure and we said some honestly lovely sentiments so there is that. Overall I know I’ll be positive and calm but the anger moments are normal too - tho for the most part it’s gratitude πŸ™ I’m so glad you now have support and love with a new good friend. And I loved all your thoughts on this topic ❤️πŸ’•πŸ˜˜