Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Road Less Traveled.....

I find roads like this relaxing if you're prepared to drive them. That means a car in good working order and a full gas tank, not to mention a fully charged up cell phone. In my younger days I would often venture down unfamiliar roads just to take in the scenery. So I guess you could say....'in the highway of life, I've taken the roads less traveled'.....but tried to prepare myself for the unknown.

I'm still doing that because, at my age, life in the fast lane would be more than nerve-wracking. Even though my career was one of high-stress and split second decisions that affected the lives of others, I chose to take things at a much slower pace away from the work-place. I am now in the twilight of my years and, due to my country road association in life, there are many things I have not done. Do I want to do them? Not so much. I honestly do not feel as though I've missed out on many important things in life, even though I never did find my soul-mate. I think that is the one single thing I mourn.

This last week end was a retrospective not only for TV but also for me personally. I whipped open the filing cabinet drawers in my mind and pulled out old memories; some happy, some funny and some regrets. Thankfully, the regret filing cabinet is not too full.

I guess I can attribute that to the fact that I usually think things out before doing them. It's that long quiet drive down a country road, rather than the freeway where life goes by in a blur. Oh yes, I've made mistakes, that's for sure. But the mistakes I've made never hurt anyone but me. In a nutshell, I think I've done pretty well with my life.....but one thing still bothers me.

The loss of who I thought was a good friend.

We met in high school and became close friends. We were both 'only children' and sort of adopted each other to be our sister. She and I were as close as any true blood sisters could ever be. For 35 years. We went through boyfriends, breakups, marriage, childbirth, new houses, death of parents and divorce to name a few. She was always there for me and I for her. I saw her nearly every day for those 30-some years. We were godparents for each other's children. We told each other everything. Or so I thought.

I didn't lose this friendship due to death......I lost it due to greed.

After the death of my father, she began to change. I found out she was stealing things from my father's house and giving them to her son. She attempted to push the blame of the missing articles onto my own daughter. Then she claimed serious injury on my property and sued me fraudulently. (eventually settled out of court for only 2 thousand dollars instead of the THOUSANDS she was requesting) Basically, she sold our friendship for 22 hundred dollars.

As long as I live, I will never understand why my best friend ever did such a thing. I thought I knew was obvious, I really did not.

All this happened way over 20 years ago and I still mourn our lost friendship. Yes, I've cautiously made other friends and most of those have now moved away either to another state or otherwise......I wish I could forget about this. Sometimes I want to call her up and suggest we forget about what happened and continue our friendship the way it used to be. But then I realize the reality of it all.......I could never trust her again and real true friendships are built on trust.

I really need to find a way to get over this. Can anyone offer me some words of wisdom.....some words that will give me the courage to put this in the filing cabinet marked "to be shredded".....and then forever be done with it?

On a brighter computer at work crashed. Most of my work is saved on a network server and is safe but some of it had been saved to my desktop (my fault.....bad move) and those things may be gone. Probably 20 documents. Tech support will attempt to retrieve them but he told me not to hold my breath. But the good thing is, at work I now have a new Dell that is so much faster. I also have 2010 Microsoft Office, which I will have to familiarize myself with, plus a new wireless keyboard and mouse. Not that I'm not grateful, but I don't like the feel of the keyboard. I suppose I will eventually get used to it.

Til next time.....keep smilin'.


Blissed-Out Grandma said...

That's a very sad story, and I understand why you'd love to call her, and why you can't. I once took part in a "let-it-go" ritual where we wrote regrets on little slips of paper and then tossed them into a fireplace. The symbolism is supposed to trigger a letting go. I didn't feel it so much at the time, but I found that it gave me a focus later, when I was tempted to pick up the bad memory. Instead I remembered that message burning, and I was able to let it go.

Josie Two Shoes said...

What a lovely, heart-felt blog post! I've always loved the backroads of life too, and as I get older I love them even more!

I think, as Frank wrote in recent blog post, true happiness is being content with your life, and you truly sound that, that overall it has been a good life and you like who you are and where you are now. That is a place of peace and contentment, and that's a wonderful place to be! There will always be a few adventures we passed on that might have sounded good at the moment, but in retrospect we were better off for avoiding them. High adventure has never been my calling in life either.

The story of your friend makes me sad for you. I think it is not so much even the loss of a very long-term friendship as it is the circumstances involved. I had something similar happen with someone on a much smaller scale and the relationship was not nearly that old, but I know well the feelings of shock and betrayal and you can't help wondering if you were wrong about them all along.

What I have chosen to do, it to separate those actions from the person I knew and loved. That person, as I knew them, would not have done those things. The friend you intereacted with all those years obviously loved you and would not have done such horribly hurtful and unfair things. So it isn't hard to realize that something was very wrong in their world or life at the time to make them behave that way. It wasn't about you, or the relationship, it was about them, and how far off the path of light they'd wandered. Hate the deed, not the person. I have even been able to apply this to my ex, so that I can put those feelings of resentment into the shredding bin and remember the times instead that were good and happy and warm. Cherish the memories of the friend you had back then that were precious, and let go of the things she did at the end. I'm not saying forgive and forget, that's much harder than it sounds and I'm not sure it's always the right answer. I'm saying let it go, if anything feel pity for someone being so disturbed as to lash out like that. You are right that trust once broken is hard to recover. Very hard. There are some people I could never trust again, but still I hold the memories of the time we shared close to my heart. Maybe you could send her a letter that says just that, and see if she responds. Just maybe her heart is waiting for an opportunity to say "I am so sorry". It doesn't make everything all better, but it sure takes the sting out of the wound. We can only do our part, but forgiveness goes a long way toward healing. Love and resentment can't abide in the same heart.

HUGS and happy new computer!! You'll grow to like that new keyboard before long, I did! It took longer to get used to my laptop's smaller keys, but I can whiz along on it now. We "old dogs" can still learn new tricks! :-)

Beau's Mom said...

You just made me realize that all the decisions I've made in my life concerning which pair of shorts to buy, to which car to buy, were always make with lots of forethought. Except for the first biggie in my life: getting married. It seemed like no big deal at the time....then for 30 years.... arghhhh

On the other hand, unlike Josie, I can't 'hate the deed and not hate the one who did it'.

If someone goes to those lengths to damage me, I hate THEM. THEY did the deed with forethought and planning. It wasn't an accident.

And it's a shame that the one who got hurt wishes it hadn't happened. I wonder if the one who did the hurting has ANY feelings except anger that she didn't win more money off you.

Of course, I'm a cynic. But sadly, I'm a cynic whose judgments have always been right.

Betty said...

In the immortal words of the Beatles, "Let it be."

Leann said...

I could not have said it any better than Josie did. Remember the good times and the blessings you shared together. I hear that you are regretful that you did not find the true love of your life and perhaps at this time in your life the friendship feels like such a loss as well. Be well, be blessed, and love and light to you.

lgsquirrel said...

Sorry about that whole incident with your ex-best friend. I tend to agree with Josie that something must have been wrong with her world at that time. I don't know about being wise but if it were me, I would contact her again to make peace and to ask her why she did it so as to better understand what happened. It does not mean that the closeness or the trust can be restored but it may bring closure with understanding.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Val, I don't think there are many things in life harder to get over than the loss of a long-standing friendship...and the realization that someone just was not who you thought they were. Greed is often the culprit for such a loss. It happens in families all the time when a member dies. It's a very sad and disappointing emotion to have to deal with...and one not easy to get over. I can only hope you can discard these feelings that have been gnawing at you and be over and done with them for your own mental health and peace of deserve that Val. ~Joy

Happyone said...

It is sad about your friend. If it was me, I would write to her and let her know how you feel and that you forgive her. I think you have to forgive her to make YOURSELF feel better. Maybe by writing to each other you can mend the hurt and start fresh even after so many years. People change and maybe she really regrets what she did to you.

Peruby said...

I am a tad bit late chiming in here, but here is my 2 cents (for what it is worth).

First - addiction. Your friend may have been an addict. Kleptomania or greed.

Second - envy. She may have been envious of you your entire life (the things you father had) while she did not have these things.

Third - she may not feel she did anything wrong. So if you write to her and say you forgive her, she may say "What for? You were the one that was wrong!"

If you feel you have to reach out to her, then do so. But I would just tell her the things I miss and the good memories, etc.. I would not mention that subject that tore you apart.

Either way, good luck.

Re: Your keyboard. You can always tell tech support you want your old keyboard back. It usually is not a problem as somebody always wants the newer "wireless" keyboard. I imagine your mouse is also wireless, so there is still good reason to keep the wireless device that controls that. This should not be a problem for them.

Paxie said...

I'm sorry and I really do understand what you're going through. Over the past few years, I've slowly lost my best friend as well. Also, her fault. Long story, but I still grieve the friendship.

I'm still at the angry stage and am working on that. A friend told me to pray for her, which I've been doing. It helps, but occasionally I get the sad pangs.

I'm afraid if you contact her, she'll do something to anger you and you will be worse off than you are. I keep repeating to myself "It is what it is" and then sigh.

It's hard ((hugs))

ain't for city gals said...

It always amazes me how little it takes to buy someone's soul...I have seen it over and over. It starts out with little things..and then moves on all the while thinking...oh that wasn't so bad..let me try this. All the while rationalizing in their minds. Maybe you just want to know the why...if you have her address write her and ask...but don't apologise for did nothing wrong. take care...

dc said...

I really agree with Happyone. It is quite therapeutic to write that letter, sort of like writing it in the blog here. But after you write it you can read it a couple times then decide if you want to mail it. Personally I think you should mail it and let her know how much her friendship ment to you over the years and how much it hurt you. You can forgive the person but not the act.

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

My heart breaks for you. True Friendship is such precious thing it is a pity that this woman did not realize it when she had it. You were obviously a better friend to her than she was to you. It hurts when you learn that. Just know someday she may realize it.