Friend, I do not control you and I feel sad that you treat our friendship in this manner. You don't want to interact with me now. I understand and I don't understand. I request that you verbalize when you feel discomfort instead of storing discomfort inside and then using it as a tool with which to dissolve a bond. I like you, and I'd like to know how what I said mingled with your experience. I also see it as your responsibility to tell me when you feel emotions that relate to our bond so that we can discuss them.
Blue Sky's timing with this relationship action is interesting. You see, the day prior to Blue Sky's "I wish you well" email, I'd told her I felt offended after she behaved in a particular fashion. I felt concern because her actions displayed to me that she didn't trust me, that she didn't give me a chance to speak and instead put her words and thoughts into my mouth and brain. Which is essentially what she did the very next day with her email to me.
Her email contained accusatory verbiage, such as, "You blamed me." She wrote that if one of her decisions didn't affect me, then she deserves my support. Um, no -- I'm not a fantasy. I'm a human, and I have limits. When I hear of a decision that I don't like, I won't support it regardless of which position you hold in my life -- friend, relative, boss, coworker, acquaintance, lover. I can support you in the larger sense -- in that we're all part of the whole sense -- and, at the same time, not support a decision when I don't like that decision. She said she feared she'd have to quit telling me things out of fear that I'd hurt her. Nowhere did she take personal responsibility for speaking when she feels an emotion.
It was, "Oh, what you said hurts my feelings, now I'll have to quit speaking," instead of, "I'm responsible for me and how I feel. When someone says something that prefaces hurt in me, I choose whether to discuss my feelings with the responsible party." Instead of, "I value this relationship and want it to last, so I'll do what I can to participate with it in a healthy way," it was, "I feel offense. You said things that prefaced a sense of hurt in me. You are responsible for that hurt, and I must avoid you to avoid hurt. I send you thoughts of good wishes instead of putting in the effort required in face-to-face discussion."
When she emailed me, I first felt shock and sadness, then anger and injustice. She could have asked me what I meant, and she didn't. She ran with her one-sided interpretations and then experienced emotion(s) intense enough to create a goodbye to our three-year-old friendship, something I considered worthy of effort beyond that which she displayed through her digital farewell.
I wasn't aware of her internal state. I thought we openly communicated with each other. My brain told me that she told me when she felt anger or hurt after I said words. My understanding of our friendship was that we told each other when we felt emotions that pertained to our relationship. I thought that we could both comprehend and accept emotions as the responsibility of each individual party and also talk through painful or awkward experiences together. My assessment was somewhat incorrect.
Blue Sky's methods with which she processes her emotions remind me very much of one of my sister's method sets. From my perspective, Blue Sky erupts into displays of anger and black-and-white when she feels offense. I can relate to the action, and I don't like to participate with it. I'd like to be able to talk with my relationship partners through every emotion and keep focus on a common goal of respect.
I'm working through my emotions related to Blue Sky and her decision to exit our friendship. EFT, art, journaling, exercise, writing here, playing fun games, talking with people I trust -- these are helpful actions, and I feel grateful that I know of and utilize these skills.
Well hello there.