Updated: Dec 17, 2021
What is a friend? What is it to be a friend?
In the spring of this past year I was in an extremely dark place, my home was clearly falling apart due to my depression and anxiety, my children were hungry, things were literally dying around me. I had a friend who had tried and tried to pull me out of my funk, tried to get me to wake the "F" up to see the damage that I was doing to myself and my poor children. I refused and or could not hear her warnings as I was too far down the hole to even hear my own thoughts.
And then, it happened.
I got one of the calls a mother dreads. You know the call, "Hello we're are calling with concerns about the welfare of your children". I was under full investigation.
My heart dropped as I knew immediately who had made the call. I was devastated, betrayed and oh so wounded. I was also terrified that I would lose my children.
That was NOT going to happen.
So began my journey, I availed myself of the resources that were provided to me, a pulled my bootstraps up and pushed through the pain and got healing for wounds that were decades old but still affecting me daily.
Now for the really hard part;
I totally separated myself from this friend, partly out of pride and anger at FEELING betrayed. However, she did NOT betray me. She loved me through something that I couldn't do for myself, but the hurt came 10 fold when she could not admit to me that she had called. And so I cut her completely out of my life, and let me say we've known each other and been inseparable for over a decade. This was not an easy choice by any means, she is one of my true soulmates. However I value honesty amongst my people more than anything. Which we had always done for each other. So when she couldn't tell me even though we both knew I knew. I could not believe it.
Over the year I did reach out several times to try and "break the ice" to give her opportunity to clear the air. I was not angry that she called to report me, not even a little bit - as the entire escapade saved my life and that of my children. NO Joke.
All of this to question, what is a friend, how long do you let something go before you push the subject? Do I really want her back in my life if she can't talk to me? What's going on for her? I know she's hurting too and we are both missing the light we do bring to each others lives.
Everything came to a head about a month ago now, I had a couple other friends that had given her an ultimatum of tell me or they would. Now I would like to note that I appreciate their concern for my friendship and that I deserved to know the truth. However it really bothered me that it was behind my back, or thats how it felt. They were having my back as they say and giving her one more opportunity to clear it all up. It did not go down as any of us expected.
I eventually confronted my wonderful friend and to which she came "clean". It had torn such a hole between us and we missed quite a few big milestones in each others lives because of this, that it has taken us both a minute to settle back into ourselves with each other. She was carrying guilt physically which I could see in her body language around me in any previous encounter we had had up until the "come to Jesus" moment. It was killing me and it was killing her and not softly.
We are healing for which I am beyond thankful for and I write this in hopes that maybe you are the friend who NEEDS to make that call, or maybe you're the friend that was CALLED on. Either way, if they don't hear you, you do have the right to try and help make a change. And also no matter how much it might be uncomfortable in the heat of that moment, the truth surely does set you free.
So what is a friend?
Someone who loves you enough to "make the call" when you can't, someone that is willing to own up when they do screw up. Guess what it took on my end? Honesty and forgiveness, and patience.
Do not let go completely, true friends are so rare and you may go through bumps in the road and even a crash once in awhile, if you have someone who is willing to fight with you to be better and to fight for you, that is worth a little upset here and there, a swallowing of the pride and forgiveness all round.
I know I have screwed up before so my friends get to screw up too.
A friend by any other name is not a friend unless honesty, trust and love abound.
Go forth, be friends, protect each other and above all else, love yourself enough to heed the call of your friends when they challenge you to grow!
All in all this was so raw for me as my hurt was more about honesty then it was about what she had "done".
I love you my friend and thank you for your courage!
Much love my people.
Until next time,
"Iphelia Mann" is the pen name of a very articulate, creative, amazing human on a journey of self-discovery...with the goal of unpacking her baggage and throwing away the suitcases.