Sunday, September 18, 2005

To Forgive or Not to Forgive, That Is the Question...

So anyone who knows me at all knows of the demise of my closest friendship with S last December.

We became friends during a transitional time for me, I was struggling to get my life together, and he came into it like a ray of sunshine. Having changed people, places and things, I didn't have any friends and was pretty lonely, and pretty broken. He became my friend despite my daily struggles, despite my feelings of worthlessness. I felt like I didn't deserve friends, much less one that seemed to like me so much.

We went on to develop a very intense relationship (plutonic...I wasn't his type...not having a penis and all, and he wasn't my type) that was devoid of sexual tension and competition. We made each other laugh, we shared common interests...and I realize now, we were both broken.

We became each others companions (we both had committment and intimacy issues, so this was pretty convenient), went on yearly and sometimes bi-yearly trips together. Our last was to Ireland in November of 2004. He spent Thanksgiving with my family in 2004, as he did most years. Mid December of 2004 would be the last time we'd speak.

Out of the blue, he stopped returning my calls. I called, emailed...repeatedly...finally expressing concern that something had happened to him. I finally wrote one begging for closure, that I wanted to move on with my life and that this pain felt ugly, dirty, and I wanted it gone. And then I stopped contacting him. I realized after that email, that I couldn't expect any type of reply from him, that I would HAVE to find the closure I needed from within myself.

And then he replied. Tonight.

He explained ashamedly the cause for the fracture in what had been a deep and meaningful friendship...a missed phone call, which he was waiting at home for, to let him know I was ready to go Christmas shopping with him. Having just received a promotion, completely overwhelmed with my new responsibilities, and stuck in a meeting, I made that phone call later than he'd have liked. And that was the end.

He profusely apologized and repeatedly asked for forgiveness...admitting that he didn't expect, nor did he deserve it. He took full responsibility for not resolving the situation when I so clearly tried, and expressed excitement at the idea of renewing our friendship sometime in the future.

And so, to forgive or not to forgive, that is the question...

My first response to the email was to immediately write back, excited to be reunited with him. On the other hand, I don't think I could possibly get past his behavior. It's been almost a YEAR!

And so, I'll wait.

If I were to email him now, I'd say, "I'm sorry for not calling you, thank you for the closure." But that's really a bitch move, and I don't want to be the bitch...especially since I feel he has the market cornered on that currently.

What I want is to grow from this experience. Yes, I'll forgive him...in my own time. I'm not done detesting him yet for putting me through this. I'll let him stew in his own juices for a bit, like he made me do for almost a year...not to spite him, but because I deserve the time to figure out the terms of my forgiveness.

I won't forgive him for him, I'll do it for me, and I'll do it when I'm ready, when I feel good about it.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is SO weird...after so long, and over so little? Very very strange.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh - by the way, that last post was from me.

-Ellen

9:08 AM  
Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

I think you're making a wise decision to let some time pass.

You've had several different impulses already. Which one is the true response of your heart? You won't know until some time passes, and you get a little distance from the shock of hearing from him again.

Meanwhile, you're under no obligation to respond immediately. After all, he left you hanging for a year, with much less provocation.

Did he say what prompted him to get in contact with you? Why the change of heart? And why now? There must be a precipitating cause, and it's a relevant factor in your decision, if he shared it with you.
Q

11:30 AM  

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