Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Big, Bad "D" Word...

Well, hey there Peeps! Happy Summer to you - is everyone SWELTERING in this freakish early summer heatwave? It was 101 degrees today when we got to the pool - and it's only JUNE! Holy cow...anyway - much is up with the Busy Momma and her gang. There is going to be one HUGE bit of news that will be announced in my next post. No, Busy Momma is NOT pregnant - I repeat - no new family members. Don't get that excited Dear Readers. Nope - no new family members, but a new endeavor for Busy Momma. I'll give you a few hints - just to whet your appetite...the new endeavor pays nothing, will most likely be unpleasant, and involves fire, mud, hay and a viking helmet!!! Any guesses? Now for those of you who ALREADY know what I'm talking about - DON'T ruin it for everyone else. But - if you have NO idea what on earth I'm hinting at - take a guess. Whoever comments with the first correct guess will win a prize from the Busy Momma herself! That's right! I'm handing out prizes...so take a guess - you have NOTHING to lose!

So - in the spirit of my last two posts: Rules for a Happy Marriage and a Love Letter to Hermione, I've decided to round out the theme with the topic of DIVORCE! Shocking, right? Such a bummer - especially in June - the month of love and weddings. However - I'm not taking end-of-a-marriage divorce here. I'm talking about a different kind of divorce. The kind of divorce that is unique to women and just rips your heart out - the FRIENDSHIP Divorce.

Have any of you experienced this particular type of torture and heartbreak? If you were born with a uterus, you probably have. Now, I'm not being sexist here - I know that male friendships also break-up and that those break-ups can be very painful - but it's just not the same. I didn't come up with the term "friendship divorce" - I actually stole it from Gwennyth Paltrow's blog/website: GOOP. (It's a good site - http://www.goop.com/) Sookie actually turned me onto this site for this specific topic. I was contemplating ending - or at least cooling off - a friendship that I'd had for a while that just wasn't really healthy for me. I won't get into the specifics, but let's just say that the person in question was/is an energy vampire. One of those people who thrive on constant drama and can't just be happy when everything is going along swimmingly. And somehow, for some reason, this person likes to involve me in every outrageous situation that she finds herself in. And we're not talking benign drama - like aggressive driving issues or nasty food service worker stories. This person has constant serious, dangerous, self-destructive drama. And no matter how you try to help her - she just won't be helped. In other words - she refuses to accept any type of help or advice that might actually help her or improve her life. Because that is not what she wants. She is not interested in resolving her issues - she just wants to bitch and moan about them and drain all of your attention and energy until you have nothing left.  And Busy Momma just can't TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!

So, anyway - in talking with Sookie about this situation - she mentioned this term - "friendship divorce". And it truly is a perfect turn of phrase for these situations. A "friendship divorce' is different from just naturally growing apart from someone. Or loosing touch with someone who moves away. A "Friendship Divorce" is just what the name implies - a divorce. Dictionary.com defines "divorce" as "a total separation, a disunion". It is something intentional and well thought-out. It's not that angry reaction one might have after an argument with a pal. It's the decision one comes to after much thought and one too many arguments, uncomfortable moments, conversations or hurtful words from a friend.

I've been through a few friendship divorces myself - and they are NOT easy. I've been the divorce-er and the divorcee. And I will say, being the one on the receiving end of the divorce is awful - just plain awful. It is painful and emotionally draining and in my case, simply devastating. Much like, I would imagine, a traditional end-of-a-romantic relationship divorce would be. Now, as a disclaimer, I've never been divorced, I've never experienced that unique brand of torture, and I hope I never do. And I certainly don't mean to take anything away from those of you who HAVE been through it. But all of the research that I've seen regarding this particular situation indicates that women who suffer the loss of a friend - particularly a "best friend" - describe heartbreak and emotional devastation similar to the loss women describe when a marriage ends. Interesting, huh? I think that says a lot about the intensity of female friendships and the role they play in our lives.

While I would never choose to go through one of these situations again, I did learn a lot from my "divorces". I'm sorry to say that I learned far more from the situations that I didn't initiate than from the ones that I did. I think we all get to a point with some people where enough is enough. And when I did choose to end a friendship, it was really a no-brainer. I think all I learned from that situation is that I respect myself and love myself enough to remove myself from a bucket full of crazy. Duh. Unfortunately for me, the real learning came through loosing people who meant a great deal to me.

The two most devastating "divorces" in my life looked completely different. One came after an awful, completely out-of-control screaming attack that I truly did not see coming. The other took the form of a stony, unending silence - that I DID see coming. I don't know which one was worse.

The first divorce came suddenly and swiftly - like a baseball bat to the head in a dark alley. It happened more than a decade ago, and I've had the advantage of plenty of time to get over it and to look at it with the perspective that the years  can bring. While I was completely shocked at the time - I think it wasn't really a surprise to anyone who knew us. Our lives were going in two completely different directions, it was a time of intense stress and pressure for her and a time of intense, wild happiness for me. I was completely absorbed in the beginning of my adult personal life and she was completely absorbed in the start of her professional life. One person walking on air while riding a unicorn over a rainbow living with another person slogging her way through a jungle armed with nothing but a nail file to cut through the underbrush is not a good mix. Both of our heads were completely up our own butts, and the pressure just got to be too much. She, as described tearfully to Fifi that night, "freaked the F#&K out!" for "No good reason, other than the fact that she is obviously a total freaking psycho-path!" That night, and to be fair, for many years after that night, I could not IMAGINE what I had DONE to provoke such an utterly awful and inappropriate scene. And, as I recall, after freaking the f#&k out myself that night, I returned to the scene of the "crime" filled with righteous indignation and all of the anger that I think I had ever felt up until that point. I remember the first time I saw her after the big blow up. She tried to apologize - but I was having NONE of it. I stared her down and I remember telling her off. And let's remember - Busy Momma is from JOISEY Peeps! When it comes to telling people off - girls from North Jersey can do it in their sleep. Hell - we can do it while giving birth - while in a coma - while facing down a shark...ok, I digress. I remember saying something about her speaking to me the way one would speak to a dog - and that she had better NEVER speak to me again. And, in fact, that after she had shown her "true colors", I'd really prefer it if she never opened her ugly assed mouth to me or at me ever again.  

Classy, huh? And, to add to my mature handling of the situation, I slammed doors, walked out of a room when she entered, muttered under my breath and pretty much refused to talk to her about the situation. I was "punishing" her for hurting me. And while I will never, ever think or be convinced that what she did was right or justified in any way, I am able to look back at the situation and identify how I actually contributed to the death of the relationship. I was so convinced that I was the innocent victim, I was unable to even contemplate that I might have contributed to her stress at the time. That while I was well within my rights to enjoy and celebrate all of the joy life was handing me on a silver platter, she was also well within her rights to feel that maybe, just perhaps, I could have been a bit more discreet about it. Especially since, as I recall, for every great thing that was coming my way that year, something not so great seemed to come her way. There were no more big blow-ups after that. I think I might have let her apologize, eventually, when I felt that she had been "punished" enough. But, unfortunately for both of us, by that time it was too late. I didn't believe that she was truly sorry for the hurt she caused me. She certainly didn't seem hurt or upset by what had happened - while I was completely devestated and shaken to my core. There were other things swirling around me at the time that she was not privvy to - big, serious things that were causing me a great deal of personal stress and trauma. I was sworn to protect a secret that caused me great pain and heartache at the time. I think that if she knew what I was carrying around in the days that proceeded the blow-up, things might have been different. But she couldn't know - and now she will never know. I was truly unable to forgive and forget. I couldn't get past the hurt, the feelings of betrayal that surrounded the situation and the rejection that I felt. The situation was really much more complicated and, like many epic fractured fairy tales, there were other players involved - villans and heroes - who added to the melodrama and the hurt. Eventually, despite half hearted attempts on both of our parts, the relationship just ended. It was too broken to ever be fixed. And while I'm over it and can look at the incident now for what it was - a growing pain, I still think that had the situation been different - maybe if we had been a little different - we would still be friends. And that saddens me. I think we would have been even better friends as moms than we ever were as girls. And we were great friends as girls.

The other divorce was one that I did see coming. It was at a completely different time in my life and a completely different situation - but still painful and hurtful and devastating - for completely different reasons. Whereas earlier in my life, the end of that friendship left nothing unsaid - this one left EVERYTHING unsaid. The simple explanation for this one was that this person and I had really grown apart. Really, really apart. The sad reality is that we were childhood friends and held on way too long. We grew into wildly different people. And while for some relationships that can be a good thing - it wasn't for us. We weren't a Lucy and Ethel - we were more like a Limbaugh and a Maddow. And the more we tried to hang on to who we used to be, who we actually were always got in the way. Instead of a big, dramatic blow-up - this relationship imploded over simmering resentment and unexpressed anger. There were one too many broken promises, broken dates, insincere apologies and passive-aggressive slights. We couldn't understand the choices the other one was making in her life. I didn't understand many of the choices she was making as a wife and mother. And I'm not talking about "hot topics" like breastfeeding or watching Baby Mozart. I'm talking decisions that she was making that she KNEW were wrong and harmful for her health, her marriage and most importantly - choices that she was making that would forever change and affect her child. I'm not proud to say this - but I never said anything to her about these issues- but looking back -I'm sure my displeasure and disapproval were written all over my tone and woven into the fabric of our conversations. And I'm not sorry about that.  I am sorry that I never confronted her and that I never told her how I felt. Not that my words would have had any affect - she was on a path to self-destruction and she eventually crashed and burned. And took her baby with her on the way down. That's MY take on what happened to her life. If asked, I'm sure she would say that she has no idea what I'm talking about - which is another reason why her choice to sever ties was probably the best gift she ever gave me. While it was painful for me - really, incredibly painful - I'm glad she did it. I don't think I would have been able to do it. I didn't like who I was when I was with her. I wasn't myself. I walked on eggshells and all in all, it wasn't healthy for either one of us. The biggest issue I dealt with, at the time of the big divorce was "What did I DO to deserve this?" I remember thinking: :"I kept your secrets, I know where the bodies are buried. I covered for you, I listened to you, I held you as you cried, I offered you a place to live, a soft place to land! And you do THIS to ME? You cut me off with nothing? Did I mean anything to you? Did my friendship mean anything to you? Did you just chew me up and spit me out? What kind of person ARE you?" And, in many ways, I still think that. But there is no hurt there any more. It's more saddness that someone that I thought would turn out to be a good friend for life didn't turn out to be who I thought she could be. And that's ok - it really is. I wish her well. She has a new life and I hope it is a beautiful one.

I've added links to two books that look like they might be good resources if you or someone you know is going through this. I have not read them, but the reviews look promising and I'll be downloading them to the Kindle. This topic really does fascinate me - as someone who has been through this experience AND as the mother of a girl who will undoubtedly go through one or two of these in her lifetime. All in all, while I would have REALLY liked to have learned these important life lessons another way - I'm glad that I learned them. I truly believe that our failures are only TRUE failures if we don't learn something from them. I'm glad that I was able to come out on the other side of these 2 friendships better than I was when I entered into them. And I want to thank those 2 women for helping me walk through that part of my journey. Someone once told me that we are all the villans in someone else's story. I hope that my account of these two "friendship divorces" does not paint either of these ladies as a villan - they truly are not. My sincere hope is that I am not the villan in their story either. And if I am or I was- I apologize.   

No comments:

Post a Comment