Monday, February 16, 2015

Where to go from here?

A few weeks have now passed since all the chaos rained down. The dust is starting to settle on it and my emotions are calmer than they were before, it doesn't mean I don't feel them though. 

As I have reflected on everything that happened, I realized a few things:

1. I have some amazing people in my life who are loving me, even with my flaws. 
-These people have listened to me talk and talk to get out all I was feeling without judgement or telling me to get over it all. They have helped me through anxiety attacks, crying fits, and general down moods. I would be completely lost without them and am so fortunate to have people like this. I do not take it lightly and have told them all time and again about my appreciation for them.
-People who have known me my whole life, those who have known me more of my life than they haven't been in my life - they have seen me through some incredibly terrible times without question or fail. I most certainly would be lost without them.
-They know my true character: I am an honest person, who sometimes says things that people don't agree with (my hubby calls it "opinionated," I prefer strong-minded, but basically the same thing) and it has cost me friendships, relationships in my life. I am not a good liar because I wear my emotions on my face pretty regularly, so when I do feel something - it is on display for all to see. I am not good at hiding that, but I do not run from it either. I am a caring person who will do everything in my power to help those I love if I can. I would give the people in my life everything I had if I could. I would live in my car if that's what needed to happen. Sometimes, giving to others is to my own detriment, but I won't stop being who I feel I am. I am a loyal person who values the people in my life to a fault. However, when I feel as though someone is questioning my loyalty and that trust is lost, I am done with that person and cannot feel a sense of trust with them again, even if I have forgiven them

2. I accept my responsibility in these relationships ending.
-When I was getting divorced 8 years ago (has it really been that long??? Amazing how much has changed), I had to accept that I was partially to blame for the relationship ending - either from not communicating when I needed something, or when I felt as though things were not working, etc. It was a hard lesson to learn and I brought those rough lessons into my relationship with Aaron, I now talk to him when I feel like things are not working for me, even when it is tough to do it because of frustration. It has been a great way for us to be happily married after nearly 6 years and not only that, we are good parents because we relay when we feel frustrated about being parents (let's face it, not an easy job at all).
-Now I need to take this and apply it to friendship side of relationships. These friendships didn't just magically come to an end with no one at fault. We both did things that allowed it to get to such points of frustrations that we decided that it was better to part ways.
-I know that I was not always the best at making the extra effort to be around when they needed me at a moment's notice. Since becoming a parent, it has been much harder to do this for a variety of reasons. I haven't wanted to leave my little family as much since we have been working so much, our time together is precious to me and I will not make apologies for putting them first. Aaron and I went through a serious version of hell to have our little girl, we love spending time just the 3 of us. Our work weeks are so hectic and difficult to spend much time together, so our weekends are mostly just for us. This means I am not around when people need me or want to spend time together socially.
-I do share my opinions with people, maybe more than I should. Maybe, from this point forward, I need to be more conservative about who I talk to about what. It's something I can work on, I just wish things I had said during private conversations would have been kept that way. I have not aired what other people have shared with me when it was said in confidences - I do wish that had been done in return. Having my private opinions aired in public is a tough pill to swallow and it makes me look like that is all I ever feel (which is not true, but was based on particular circumstances - though it doesn't matter now because it has all be hung out there, out of contexts, sometimes, long periods of time after the frustrations have passed). None of that really matters anymore, because I cannot control what others think of what I have said, but I will be much more cautious about who I share my true feelings with in the future. This was a large scale exposure of my feelings that was done without my permission and is incredibly hurtful.
-However, these people are not without their responsibility. When they decided that I was not being a good friend to them, they did not speak to me about it. They did not have a conversation with me letting me know that I was doing something that they did not feel was a good thing. I cannot change what I do not know is bothering them. When I am frustrated with someone, I prefer to have a conversation, uncomfortable or not, so we can clear the air and talk about things. If at that point, we still decided to part ways, at least it can be done amicably without the feelings being quite so hurt. This did not happen in this case.

So, the million dollar question is: where to go from here? 

I wish I knew. 

All I do know, is coming to these two conclusions has been a huge step in the process for me.

I do not want other people to brought into the middle of anything, I want everyone to continue to be friends who everyone they want to be friends with. I want a sense of calm to return to my life. I want to be able to keep my emotions in control when I do come in contact with these people. 

It is easier said than done.

Mostly, what I want to do is move forward with my life, with the people in it who see me through/in spite of the faults/flaws. I am not a perfect person, but I am trying to be a better person because of these experiences. 

I hope that people will at least think of this thought: "There's your side, there's my side, and then there is the truth." My truth is mine, their truth is theirs - the truth in the middle is left to be seen. I may never understand it, I have come to terms with the fact that I may never truly know/understand their side, just as they will not of mine.