Donna Rose was talking about friendship in one of her recent posts, and I can so relate to what she was talking about.
Yesterday was great, spent a bunch of time hanging out with my namesake and his Momma, my friend Val. We were talking about the nature of relationships, and when it's time to let go and move on because being the only one working on a relationship, working towards a better life, isn't really worth it. On the other hand some relationships seem to flow, and not need huge amounts of work for them to thrive and grow. Such is the nature of our relationship. At one point she looked at me and said "I don't think Mark was entirely prepared for just how well we would hit it off. And we have, from day one. It's been great. If she hadn't met Mark and they hadn't started dating, she and I never would have met. But from Day one, we've been like two old friends who really "get" each other. Cool.
The other side of this coin is that no matter how hard one person works on a relationship, it does indeed, as my crazy Dad always said, take two to tango. Good, Bad or indifferent.
My younger brother is regrettably clinically insane. He's got nearly unmanaged, severe, bipolar disorder that leaves him significantly out of touch with reality or anything close. Almost a year ago I was forced to break all ties with him, because it took dramatically more work and effort on my part to deal with his issues. Sure he's biologically related to me, in that his mother and mine are the same. As to his Dad and mine being the same, I'm seriously begining to doubt that. No, truthfully? While we both had the same Dad growing up, I'm pretty certain based on everything I know now, that he is not my biological father. Such is life. Means somewhere out there is a guy that is my actual Father, but neither of us will ever know that. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. The point being is that my brother has grown up to be just like my Dad in so many ways, and me not at all.
Back in March of last year, in a related post, I was thinking about my brother when I wrote it, and another friend of mine who I was trying to decide when or if it's time to say goodbye. I don't make such decisions lightly, and it's taken me more than a year to decide that yes, it's time to say goodbye.
This woman and I have known each other now for five years. She was along a similar path, a similar journey to mine, and I befriended her early in my own travels because we had more than that in common. She was a lover of great music, and had a great gift for putting things into words. That was then. Now, she spends all her time, and what time I'm willing to share with her, bitching about how evil the world is, and how she wants to really transition. Mind you she's been "full time" almost as long as I have, but hasn't dealt with things correctly. When real ID finally hits, she's going to be screwed, because she'll lose the "F" on her DL. Anyway, that's not what I'm here to talk about. What I am here to say is I've been forced to realize that it's time.
Why? Because in a reply to one of her recnt tirades about being a "poor miserable tranny," I had something of an epiphany. One that is going to shape our future relationship, or lack thereof. I wrote:
This just came to me:
You: Assume that everyone is going to know you used to be a man and they are going to hate you and make your life a living hell. Then you're hurt when they do.
Me: I assume that everyone is going to see and know I'm a woman and they'll like me. Then I'm not at all disappointed or surprised when they do. Only time I really think about it is when you send me you longer suffering miserable tranny messages. You know when I get "clocked?" NEVER. It just doesn't happen.
Not because I'm this perfect wood worked woman, but because I'm just a woman. No artificial preservatives, fillers, or MSG added. I'm all natural, cholesterol free fun.
It's been the nature of our relationship for at least the last three years, and you know, I'm tired. I try to be encouraging, she takes offense, tells me I'll never measure up and so many other stupid, insane things and becomes verbally abusive. I mention real steps she can take to dramatically improve her life, and she offends and insults me.
May take a while, but I can take a hint. "The one friend you have is one too many Mare." Fine, I get that, and I'm sorry I've tried to encourage you to have more. Silly me, I think friendship is one of the greatest blessings a person can have in this life. Family you get stuck with, no choice, and you do what you can. Friends on the other hand CHOOSE each other.
Friends can also decide for themselves, "when it's time to say goodbye . . ."
Regrettably, I find myself there. I'm going to place an autoresponder into my mail server that sends a link to this post to her next time she emails me, and other wise drops her mail into a bit bucket.
"Congratulations Mare, you've just succeeded in pushing away your one friend left."
I wish I didn't have to say her one last friend, but both I and her sister have been trying to get her to take life more seriously, stop being an obsessed gender nazi, and get some friends. I really was her only friend for a long time, still am. Was?
I can't do this anymore. I shouldn't have to do this anymore. So it's time to say goodbye.
I have so many real friends I care about, and want to spend my time and energy with that it doesn't make sense to keep suffering like this. It's not a decision I make lightly, but do make with a heavy heart. It is my fundamental belief that people are not disposable. Sometimes however a safe distance is a healthy thing. People cannot get help unless or until they are ready for it. I have a responsibility to myself, and to Mare, to do her or myself no harm. Right now the best way to do that is to enforce some healthy distance.