I have always believed I was prepared for anything. Not too many things surprise me, maybe I am a bit cynical, pessimistic even. Mine first line of defense in life is keeping people at a distance. Never revealing too much, expecting the worse, never trusting anyone with totality. Life experience has taught me people lie, they are self-serving, inconsistent, and unreliable. Honesty, loyalty, compassion…these characteristics are greatly important yet rare. Most friendships come at a high price. Friendship should be a gift presented without intention for personal gain. Family is where you go for comfort, love, safety. A place where conditions are void, judgement is no concern, acceptance without question, support beyond measure. Two relationships where you should find sanctuary not question their validity. Friends and family are really not that much different. The one thing separating them, in general, is DNA. Unfortunately blood is often not a guarantee. Many of us make our own family, blood or not.
A deep need to connect, trust, and bond is suppressed and prevented by a more intense need for self-preservation. The ability to effectively keep people at a distance, family or not. The inability to love naturally, instinctual. Love is something that takes consistent effort, constant learning, and attempting to disregard previous experience. I was taught from the beginning not to trust mothers, fathers. As time passed relationships in general proved unworthy as well. Sixteen years as a mother, eleven years as a wife, thirty-three years of life experience; these years have been rocked to their foundation by the last six months. Thirty three years of knowledge, hard work building indestructible walls, devastated by weeks, days. The discovery of deceit and the realisation that I had put my trust in a friendship, someone I’ve known for over twelve years, given more than anyone before or since, was false. A hard lesson to learn. These last months have thrown us so much chaos, financial strain, stress. Testing the durability of our committment to each other. With my focus on my family, ” the force of nature” threatening to destroy our faith in each other, I was caught off guard. My husband and Mother-in-law snuck in. Finding out your attempts to ward everyone off are not always effective is mildly disconcerting. Though not always a bad thing.
After the passing of my MIL I was hit with the realisation that I loved her. It never dawned on me how important she really was to me. The three of us an unstoppable team. A team that has been broken. A shift in how much I am needed, depended on is much more than I expected. The sadness I feel is unlike me, never having been affected much by death, has caught me off guard. Being expected to maintain, support, and be the glue holding everything together. A job I was once prepared for is now incredibly overwhelming. Needed beyond my capacity to give.
Now a team of two, we have to rebuild. Start over and strengthen each other. So many friends have been dishonest, disloyal. Family is guilty as well. After all that has gone down, things have to change.
I need people in my life who accept me, not agree with everything I do or say. Mutual respect for opinions, thoughts, values. People who like me, my family. Equal effort.
I thought I had it all figured out, thought I was prepared for anything. As it turns out I have been weighed, measured and found wanting.