Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hearts of gold...

Christmas time always gets me thinking of relationships I have with people; I suppose it's because at this time of year there is so much emphasis on parties and getting together with family and good will to all men....

Looking back on the past 12 months or so, I think it's been one of my worst periods ever as far as friendships go. Just over a year ago I had a falling out with one of the closest friends I ever had; which affected me very deeply and still does to tell the truth. I have hoped at times that this relationship could be repaired but if I am honest I have to accept that this probably won't be possible. In the summer my dear friend Karen died and I feel her loss every day. Karen was such a wonderful person and I felt that I must have some value as a person because she cared about me so much!

At some point in the year, two email pals just stopped writing and despite many attempts to get back in touch, they haven't responded. I hope they are ok and wonder why they stopped writing and I miss hearing from them a lot.

Two other friends I felt very close to this time last year seem in the process of withdrawing from my life. I spend a lot of time wondering what I did wrong - that way madness lies? If friends stop liking me - or appear to - I start to doubt myself as a person. I always feel if I was better in some way then this wouldn't happen. If I end up with no friends will that make me a non-person? A total failure as a human being? You know those lines near the end of "It's a wonderful life" - "no man is a failure while he has friends". Is the reverse also true?

When I'm thinking with my head I remind myself that there is mo such thing as a person EVERYBODY likes! That friends drift out of our lives for lots of reasons, not necessarily because we've done anything wrong. That some friendships aren't meant to last for ever and we should try to remember them with love not bitterness and regret. That (as Phil so often tells me!) everything isn't about ME.

But when I'm listening to my heart, I feel it's telling me I've been a failure this year as regards some friendships and I wish there was some way I could turn back the clock and be a better friend.

I can't post about friendships without saying how blessed I am by the friends who **still** like me, for all my faults, and for the new friends I've made this year. I have some of the most amazing, loyal and caring friends in the world and I thank them for putting up with me! Not easy, I know!

So often I send my thoughts and worries out into the blogsphere because it helps just to write things down and get them out of my head. Those kind blogfriends who comment with their support, common-sense and wisdom help me more than I can say.


photowannabe said...

Friends are the glue thatkeeps our lives together. I'm glad you have made new friends and your special ones that still brighten your days.
When we moved a little over a year ago some of our friends just seemed to drift away and others were upset that we moved and just stopped communicating. It hurt and still does but you know, we just moved on and our lives are filled with new good friendships and loving family.
We do feel blessed.
All that to say, I really do know how you feel.
Love this blogging friendship.

Akelamalu said...

Most people can count their true friends on the fingers of one hand and not use all of them! People do drift in and out of our lives m'dear you shouldn't blame yourself, it's just life. x

Kerri said...

Oh, I do so know what you mean! And especially around this time of year.

Just to let you know....I am VERY Happy that you are my blogging friend!!

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

I have been experiencing exactly the same Julie and I think we have both been suffering from similar conditions. I have moved around a lot in my life and lived on three continents in four countries and many friends have come and gone, including one that I would have trusted with my life until recently when they just decided to turn their back on me, still trying to get my head around that, it has hurt me deeply.

When my Dad passed away recently I got involved on Facebook, I have been struggling with ghosts from the past, the war all the trauma of moving again and again and restarting and different cultures etc. so I started searching around there a bit and within days I had regained contact with classmates and friends who I havent seen or heard from in 20 - 30 years. Some of those will stick and some will dwindle away but my greatest achievement is that yesterday I got hold of my one and only best friend who has always been there for me through thick and thin, divorces marriages, war and working, and whom I had lost contact with before I left South Africa. When she heard I am in my predicament her first response is "I will do everything I can to help you through this". Those are your true friends, not the ones that come and go. She was so excited to hear from me and had been trying to find me but didn't know I had remarried and I was listed with a name she didnt know. Fortunately she still has the same name so I found her. I have also regained comms with my 26 year old daughter living in London who I became estranged from when I left the UK nearly 8 years ago, we parted on very bad terms but because of this are now starting to rekindle and repair our relationship, it is going to take time.

So I suppose what I am trying to say is, you will always know who your true friends are, they may not always be right there but they will always have your welfare and happiness as their concern and care about how you are feeling and never have expectations from you they will accept you and like you for who you are. Even though I have never met you I have found that you are one of the few people that I have persisted with from the original blogging days which started 2 years ago and made sure to follow you as you have with me, there just seems to be a connection here for me with you.

Never make excuses for yourself or think that you have done something wrong, true friends will accept you for who you are. Feel good about yourself and try to find somethig that you can emerse yourself with when you are feeling down. I am trying to use my photography (it is sometimes hard to even drag myself out of bed) and I have started crocheting again!!!! I find that while I am doing that it lets me switch off and just ponder over stuff and relax me.

Of course with my history I am probaby the last person who should be offering "advice" but our lives are on similar paths and if I can ever offer any support please don't hesitate to get hold of me. I may be far away but the internet brings us closer than most realise.

Keep your chin up my friend, you are very talented, try to use that talent, that is exactly what I am trying to do at the moment, maybe we can do it together and offer each other encouragement and suggestions, I never work well on my own I always look for someone to help me along my way.

I am sorry to hear about your falling out with your friend, I think I may know who that is, is it someone I know? Put it behind you, forgiveness and understanding and acceptance are all part of a true friendship and if that person cant see past that you are better off not having it. Most of all LOVE WHO YOU ARE!! (((((Hugs))))))


Donna said...

Hi there, I found you through Lori at ProPhoto, thought I would drop you a line. I too lost a very close friend this past summer, someone that I'd known for 20 years. And by lost, I mean, something occured in our relationship and it is damaged beyond repair. I am still suffering from that lost and at times find it hard to even see that I have other good friends as well. Take care.

Anna said...

Hey Julie!!! Sorry it has been so long! Your post really touched me. I am the type that likes to have friends forever...and I am realizing now that God only has some people in my life for seasons or moments. It is OK. It has been hard to be OK with that and know that sometimes that is what God intends.

Miss you friend,

picperfic said...

Oh Julie...many wise words have been written in these comments. You are lovely, never doubt yourself!

The Quiet Rage said...

CG, I love you for better or for worse! Trust me, there is more BETTER than there is worse. You are a great friend and I can't imagine not corresponding with you anymore.

You are such a Leo..... Leo's think that everything is about them;) You Leos take everything to heart. I know, because my daughter is a Leo.