Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It is what it is. Ie: Ode to low-maintenance.

There is a "friend" of mine who is driving me f-ing batty.
We were never close. Our kids are very different ages and... lots of other reasons.
She is so over-the-top ADD that she cannot hold a conversation longer than 45 seconds before it careens off onto some unintelligible path. She is inconsistant. She makes plans, asks to get together and has never once followed through without a reschedule. She is depressed. She is insecure. Under other circumstances, all of those things would be fine. I mean, I accept that I am not, actually, perfect either. I like friends who are different and real and tend toward melancholy.
But, I am a counselor and she treats our "friendship" like a session instead of a mutual exchange of life.

I decided years ago (when son #1 was born), that I do not have time for friendships that are not mutually giving anymore. I understand that friendships ebb and flow. I know that there are times I am very needy and times that others will be. But, I do not have the time or energy to be a dumping ground.

About a month ago this woman texted me- texted me- this: "I never hear from you. You never said you missed me when we moved away. (1.3miles away, by the way.) I don't know if you even consider me a friend."
Maybe it's just me, but, if I am having serious concerns over a friendship I sit down with the person and talk. At the very least, I call them. If I were absolutely scared of confrontation then maybe, maybe, I would write them an email. But a text? In less than 160 characters? I would have thought it was a joke because it is so absurd, but I knew better.

I wasn't sure what to do so I thought about it and talked to a mutual friend. Her advice? "You don't reply to crazy." I had to agree. After all, her passive aggressive self hadn't even asked a question. I didn't reply. I thought maybe she was just having a bad day.

The next day she followed up with another, similar text. I was fed up and rashly replied, "I am on vacation with my family. When I return I will be glad to talk about this with you. Until then I will not be replying to any more texts. Sometimes, ______, everything isn't about you." Ouch. Harsh, huh.

My husband said that I should tell her that our friendship "is what it is." I plan to. He says she is constantly over analyzing and wanting it to be something else or feeling guilty that she isn't a "better friend". I think he has hit the nail on the head. It is what it is. How much more content would I be with so many relationships and things in life if I accepted that simple idea. They are what they are. It is what it is.

In counseling chemical dependent clients we talk a lot about living "life on life's terms." Stopping the madness about always wishing and shoulding and why canting. Accepting. Being a low maintenance being. That is my goal for myself.

As for my "friend"? Her life is up to her. It is what it is.

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