Tag Archives: friendship

Endship

Standard

In life we never lose friends, we only learn who the true ones are.

Two weeks ago I ended a friendship that spanned twenty years. I thought it would be hard to do, but it wasn’t. The problem that I was having with her was her love for gossip. And she gossiped about everybody and everything! Listening to her speak, you would have thought that certain celebrities were among her closest friends the way she discussed the most intimate details of their lives “I can’t believe Beyonce… Mike (Epps) need to be ashamed for talking to his daughter that way…”

She was also highly competitive and scrutinized my every move and purchase. She always tried to criticize me “on the low” as my students would say.  Often after being in contact with her I would feel so slimy. She was just too much!

Not to mention, her SIL has a son with Eliza’s brother and I wanted to remove myself from that whole drama circle. When her SIL was buddies with Eliza, she used to prank call my house and job on her behalf. So thus when we are in each other’s presence, it is too awkward for her, so much to the point where I started wondering if I had been the one harassing her!

A dog that will bring a bone will carry a bone so I was not surprised to learn that she had been talking about me with a friend of hers. Now when most people talk about you behind your back,  mind you, they don’t usually come and tell you about it and then blame it on the party that doesn’t know you, lol.

When I told her that I didn’t want to be the object of their messy drama, she was totally indignant that I was offended. Her text read Oh and one last thing. I do feel like u have a issue with me, and if that’s true then it’s displaced irritation and we need to keep it moving  because if it’s that “silly” then let it be just that!” She didn’t seem to think their discussion regarding how much life insurance I received when my husband died and what all I had been doing with the funds was a big deal.

I told her it was best that we end the friendship because it was pointless to explain that she is the only one I could have an issue with for discussing my business as I don’t know her friend. She just doesn’t get it and at this stage in life, I’m not sure she will. Unhappy with my response, she took it to Facebook writing “STILL learning that  people come into your life sometimes for just a season and earn no comebacks. All emotional cripples exit stage left.”

I hope she starts her exit soon.

Advertisements

Friendship

Standard

Friendship~1. The condition or fact of being friends: a friendship from childhood. 2. A feeling of warmth toward another; friendliness: friendship between two people who like the same things.

I guess the saying “Birds of a feather flock together,” is a true statement.

I remember meeting Morocco for the first time.  We met through someone we both knew in a department store.  We talked for awhile and exchanged e-mail addresses and phone numbers. 

I kept thinking how refreshing it was to meet someone else in my shoes.  Before Morocco, none of my friends were stepmoms.  In the beginning Morocco and I spent countless hours on the phone.  And when we were not on the phone we were e-mailing back and forth. 

At first most of our conversations were about our lives as stepmoms before we met.  Then because we grew into a friendship, we can talk about anything. 

I am so thankful that I met Morocco.  I honestly believe God brought us together.  We needed each other.  I know I needed her.  It just feels better sharing and venting to someone that really understands what you may be going through. 

“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”  I do believe that Morocco came into my life for a reason.  I also believe that we will remain friends for a lifetime, since we have passed over many seasons.

If the Crown Fits…

Standard

Remember a couple weeks ago I posted about Kierra’s Visitor? Well I almost severed a 17 year friendship because of the conversation I had with my friend reguarding The Visitor. Here’s why…

I was talking to my friend when everything was happening and I told her I would call her back. Later in the evening when I finally got around to, I filled her in on what was going on. My friend made a comment that I didn’t quite like and I quickly ended our conversation.

My friend, who is a BM, told me that she would be pissed too if her daughter was with her stepmom when she started her cycle. I was so offended by this comment. And let me just say that in the 12 years I have been a stepmom to Kierra, this was not the first comment made by her that didn’t sit well with me.

My friend has made many comments about things that she wouldn’t like her daughter’s stepmom doing. I took offense because I was doing most of those things her stepmom was doing and more for Kierra, and my friend’s daughter as well. What’s more confusing is the fact that I am her daughter’s Godmother and I do the exact things for her as I do for Kierra. And she does not have a problem what-so-ever with my involvement.

This is really upsetting to me. Stepmom vs. Godmother vs. BM. If Godmothers are allowed to be mom to these children with no problem, why not stepmoms?

I stewed over her last remark for a couple of days and even talked to Morocco about this situation. I was so upset. After I thought about it I decided to talk to my friend because it would be a shame to let 17 years of friendship go down the drain just because I didn’t tell her how I felt.

She ended up calling me first and asked how Kierra was doing. Perfect, this gave me an opening. I told my friend how upset I was that she made this comment and it hurt my feelings. I asked her if she viewed me as her daughter’s stepmom because of the comments she makes. I thought “WOW, she reminds me of Christine and must be wearing her (Christine) crown!”

My friend asked me why I didn’t tell her how I felt. I said that I didn’t know how to approach the subject. Even though she has hurt my feelings over and over again, I didn’t want to do that to her. She apologized and I accepted. Soon after we ended the call.

The next morning my friend called me crying saying that the night before she thought about all the things she has said to me over the years and she apologized again. She told me she could not relate to me because she is not a stepmom. But that she understands how I may feel when Christine does and says mean and hurtful things. I started crying as well. We ended our call on a good note this time and I am thankful that we were able to salvage our friendship.

Frienemy

Standard

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?

                                                 ~Abraham Lincoln

My goal regarding Eliza has changed.  I no longer want to pursue a friendship with her.  I just don’t think it can happen.  Simply put, I don’t believe that she is capable of maintaining a friendship.  There is too much mistrust, bitterness, paranoia, anger, and jealousy on her end.  

 

I thought it would be a noble thing to do.  But if I am honest with myself, she is not the kind of friend I would want to have.  It is hard to call a one-sided relationship a friendship; although she has made spradic attempts to reach out to me. 

  

In my mind I wanted to achieve the impossible—becoming friends with the enemy.  I was tired of the animosity.  I felt like God had provided me with this opportunity to heal some old wounds.  I wanted to partner with Eliza to help her stay connected with the boys. 

 

And it’s not that I “need” a friend because I have been blessed with enough. It is true that we have had a tumultuous past; but I still didn’t find it strange that I would want to befriend her.  Jesus still remained “friends” with Judas even though he betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver.  Nor did he turn his back on Simon Peter who disowned him three times before the cock crowed.  Now that’s what I call pure love and graciousness!

 

I have accepted that we are never likely to be friends with a little sadness.  It would have been cool for her and me to do things together with the kids once she is released.  I was looking forward to having an open, relaxed line of communication.

 

However, I still am willing to remain cordial to her.  I refuse to let my goodness sour because she desires something different than what I had in mind.  I still have hope for other mother and stepmothers who both are willing to do the work involved in interacting in a healthy manner.

 

I continue to escort Ethan for visits.  I am content to provide snacks and sit back and allow them their time together.  If she writes inquiring about the children; I respond in a timely manner.  However, I no longer “entertain” her by letting her draw me in for arguments.  I answer the questions she asks and refrain from responding to any commentary, accusations, or wording meant to trigger a response from me.

 

I have also stopped sending “encouragement” to her.  From time to time I would send her books, cards, articles, and other things of inspiration.  I have visited her attorney to obtain documents, checked on her niece who was in foster care, and coordinated activities so that Ethan and Evan could spend time with their other brother.  I stopped doing most of this in the last three months when I noticed that despite my friendly gestures, she continued to bicker with me.  I had to set up boundaries with her for my own contentment and sanity in this trying situation.  Now I only deal with her on a need to basis.  I no longer try to save her from herself if that makes sense.  In essence I’ve removed myself from the picture as much as I can.  I’ve started to focus more on building solid relationships with the kids instead of her.  I realized that having them in our homes is a gift.  She had taken the boys from our lives for years, but God gave them back.

 

Rhonda has commented that deep down Eliza really probably does want to be friends with me—she just feels that Eliza doesn’t know how.  She is very good at pushing people away and projecting her fears and insecurities onto them because she refuses to trust anyone.  Eliza always feels that others are out to get her.  It is as if she expects everyone to hurt her.  I think this stems from being an incest survivor. 

 

At a visit not to long ago, she introduced me to a fellow inmate as “Ethan’s stepmom and my friend.”  I was a little surprised by this term of endearment but took it with a grain of salt.  I know that her actions do not support her words.  I felt sorry for her and knew that it was an attempt to manipulate my emotions.  I think she knows that I have grown tired of her mind games. 

 

I have been on both sides of the fence with her—her enemy and her “friend.”  Of course you know what side I’d prefer to be on.  I still pray that God is able to use me in whatever way he sees fit in this situation.  I know it has only been with Him that we have managed to make the progress that we have.  I still believe that anything is possible.

Eliza 101

Standard

The visit went well.  In fact, the two hours sped by.  Although we covered a myriad of topics, there was so much that we did not address.  I was not ready to leave when our time was up.  She seemed lonely and depressed, understandably.  We were both nervous.  When she came out we hugged and I asked how she had been doing.  Then I told her I was there to discuss anything that she wanted.  I had already written and gained her permission to do so; but I could still see a tiny bit of disbelief in her eyes as she replied “Just how the boys’ are doing.”  So I began talking about Ethan and Evan which caused her to recount the night of the murder again. I listened. 

The conversation soon shifted to me.  Eliza loved the Closer to my Children journal I sent her the week prior.  She also shared how in the beginning as I was reaching out to her she wondered what my motive was.  I told her that was a normal feeling because I still felt the same about her sometimes.  She also confided that she doesn’t understand how it could be that someone who used to be her “rival,” a person she hated so much, could end up being the one offering her so much support and encouragement.  Eliza shared that I had written her more than anyone including her own family.  She said she couldn’t explain why she had this “undefined love” for me.  At this point tears came to my eyes and she was openly crying.  She said she felt so bad for the way she had treated me in the past.  I told her the story of my stepfather and how I DID NOT like him in the beginning.  I had just graduated high school when my mother met him.  However, when they announced five years later that they were getting married, I felt like my life was ruined. Flash forward twelve years later and I love him to pieces.  That story made her smile.

On the way home I questioned her sincerity.  I wondered if she was simply saying the “right” things to make me feel good.  She had  shared stories that could be “used” against her later down the line.  My sharing was more guarded.  Although I think this vulnerability is essential to develop trust, I still do not want to be betrayed or mocked if it turns out she has a different motive.  I know she has trust issues as well.  She even said so a few times.  But I think for the most part she was being sincere.  By the virtue of her telling me how unsupportive her family has been and how she hates her sister for her involvement in the crime, was a lot for her to admit.  Eliza usually likes to present the perfect picture to me.  It has taken her a while to reach this point.  She was in denial for a very long time regarding her situation.  I think she is finally beginning to accept the reality. Just her being able to express her gratitude, wariness, and problems to me in person, signifies something.  We ate, talked, laughed, and cried.  Had the setting been different, it could have been any conversation with one of my girlfriends.  I know we still have a lot of work to do because whatever this “thing” is, it is still very fragile.  And it might very well fall apart one day.  But in the meanwhile it just felt sooo good to have made some progress.  It also felt great to be of encouragement to someone.  I do look forward to our next visit.

Help Me Rhonda!

Standard

When I need encouragement,When I need advice,When I have unpleasant thoughts, That really isn’t so nice…There’s someone I can count on, Who can make me think again-Cause no one checks my attitude, Quite like my sister friend…We tell each other all the news,We watch each other’s back,We lift each other’s spirits,And we catch each other’s slack[Rhonda], when it comes to true friends,You’re the leader of the pack!                      

 ~Unknown  

            She was a godsend to my life.  I couldn’t believe another person existed on earth that was going through what I was.  I had the good fortune to meet Rhonda through a coworker.  It was Fall Break and I wanted to check out the grand opening of a popular department store in my neighborhood.  Browsing down each aisle I ran into Patty, an acquaintance from work.  Her friend Rhonda was with her that day and she made the fateful introduction.  Almost three years have passed since then.

            Rhonda has been invaluable to me.  Not only does she help me process my feelings about my stepmom journey, but she is a natural encourager as well.  I trust her emphatically with my bad thoughts because I am confident that she will not judge me for being candid with my feelings.  I can vent to her because I know that she empathizes.  Sometimes she just listens.  Sometimes she offers at advice.  She does not always think that I am right and tells me so.  I need this.  She has a special way of getting me back on track by reminding me of who I am. 

            She encourages me to keep trying with Eliza even when her generous gestures are often rejected by Kierra’s mom.  Rhonda is a good role model for me because she loves Kierra unconditionally.  She continues to inspire me to be the best person that I can be. 

Reaching Out

Standard

Today marks the one month anniversary of my mother’s death.  It has been overwhelming living in the wake of her loss.  And as much as I have wanted to stay in bed forever, I knew that I would have to continue on with life…eventually.  My first foray back into the land of the living was taking Ethan to see his mom.  My mood was quiet and reflective. I had no intention of sharing my loss with Eliza.  It wasn’t because I was uncomfortable around her.  Our encounters have been surprisingly amicable.  And not to say that there are not awkward moments, because there are, considering that all of our interactions previous to her incarceration have been over the phone or in a courtroom.

 I had several reasons why I didn’t want to share this news with her.  One, I didn’t want to burden her with my problems during her parenting time with her son, two, I have been trying to keep things on a less personal level with her (I was tired of having my kind gestures  rebuffed), and three, it was still difficult for me to speak about.

So when she asked me how work was going I was caught off guard. Generally she never asked anything directly about me. Sometimes I would offer bits and pieces about me in an effort to humanize myself. I wanted her to see me as someone other than her ex-husband’s (relatively) new wife whom she hated.  She would respond politely by asking a few cursory questions, cautious not to convey too much interest.

 I carefully replied that I had been swamped at work because I had been out for eight days.  I coughed for added effect.  I figured she would assume that I had been too ill for work.  However, this time she pressed on.  Were you sick? she wondered.  I took a breath and replied, No, Eliza, my mother died.  She instantly reached over and hugged me.  She also provided me with a few encouraging words before we continued our game of Scrabble. Periodically she would reach over and rub my leg or pat my back.

I had not expected any further mention of my loss.  After all she had already offered her condolences during the visit.  But a week later I received a letter in the mail. The following day, a card.  The letter read:

Morocco,
Hello friend, how are you? I pray you’re doing better. As I know these times must be very hard on you. I want to extend my deepest sympathy to you. When things get rough–as they sometimes do–we may think about giving up. However, I want to encourage you to be encouraged and know that trouble don’t last always. The sun will shine again. I say this from experience because after my mother passed on and began her journey with the Lord I felt like the sun would never shine again–how could it? But after allowing Jesus to be my comforter–the sun did shine again. Morocco, my friend what doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger. Your blessing are on the way. Know that you are in my prayers with each passing day. Be blessed lady!
Isaiah 41:10 “I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Jesus loves you–You’re not alone! God will be your strength!

I was touched and a tad suspicious.  I didn’t know what to think.  My old insecurities surfaced.  Was she writing to taunt me because I was finally suffering?  Was she sincere?  Did she want something in return? Of course I let Rhonda read the letter and she felt that it was indeed heartfelt.  I could only hope.  Tired of being paranoid, I decided to reply to her candidly.  Rebuking my wariness of her motives, I concluded that she was reaching out.  She did not have to write in attempt to provide my grieving heart with comfort.  So I wrote:

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor heights nor depth, nor any other created things shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:37-39 5 March 2008 

Eliza,Hello, I hope all is well with you.  I am fair.  I want to thank you for your kindness. This is indeed a vulnerable time for my family and I.  It’s funny that you use the analogy of the sun and death, because that’s how I have always felt. At the hour of my mother’s demise, it truly felt like the sun had set and would never shine again. No pun intended, but I know that someday the Son will rise again!A couple of days ago I had this desire to call my mother. I had a general question that I probably could have asked one of my aunts, but I just wanted to talk to my mother and no one else would do. It is in these moments that I am overwhelmed with sorrow realizing that she is no longer with us.Having been down this path before, I know you completely understand.  It is easy to stay faithful when things are going smoothly, but ever so difficult when you are facing troubles.  I know that my faith is being tested.  I am admittedly weak and I pray that I am able to remain steadfast.  I am working diligently to do so. I am attempting to be thankful for this opportunity to draw closer to God.  I need him right now because there is no one here on earth that can ease my heart the way he has and can.  I am still in mourning, though I am determined not to wallow in a puddle of self pity. I am reaching out to others because it makes me feel better.  It also puts the purpose of life into perspective for me.  I really think God meant for us to provide encouragement to one another.  So I thank you friend for reaching out and providing me with much needed encouragement. Be blessed.

When my mother died I remember confiding in the hospital chaplain that I would not be able to survive this tragedy.  She smiled before saying You will.  God is going to put all kinds of people in your path to get you through this.  Could Eliza be one of those people???