Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, May 24, 2014

i heard from an old friend

Last night, just as i was settling down and almost asleep, my phone pinged, and being the person I am, I had to check to see what e-mail was received instead of letting it go until morning like a normal person.  Well, I do not really know any normal people, so maybe they just have to check their phones, too.

Anyway, it was a message from a woman with whom I used to give journal workshops all over the place.  We were also super duper friends, and we lost touch when I fled that other life at the time she and her husband were pulling up their own roots and moving way-way out West to be near family.  We met one last time before they left; they drove here and we met at a restaurant.  I was still living in the shelter and was clothing-poor and looked it.  Not that it matters all that much, but it was a nice restaurant and I was already feeling adrift.  Not that it matters.

The e-mail last night was from her.  She must have found my address somewhere and decided to reach out to see if I was still around.  I lost all of information and paperwork and even more stuff and could not get in touch with some people during that mess.

A couple of months ago I tried to find her and him on Facebook, thinking that since the move that they would want to keep in touch with all of the other people in their lives.  No success.  But, now we have contact again and it makes me very happy.

In the process of reconnecting, I will need to hear more about their new life out in the desert and I will have to share some of the past two years with them, especially her.  I did some of that just now.  Late night rambling.  And, maybe to someone who might not be all that thrilled with the person I am now, which is not who I was back then.  There were too many lies and secrets and I was just a big, fat liar about what my life really was.  Oh, sure, the occasional slip let out some of my unhappiness, but never any of the gory facts. 

Anyway, I hope that she and I can still be friends.  My therapist assures me that I am still the same, basic person that I always was.  One of my greatest fears in those early months/year was that I would find out that I was not the person that I believed myself to be.  That released from all that crap, that I would discover that I was kind of a crappy person, not someone, gosh, like I thought or wanted to be.  That maybe all of the things that were happening, the whole survival thing, was covering someone not so nice. 

None of that happened.  I am still the same basic person.  And, yet, I am no longer that person.  I look like her, on the inside I am her, but in some way I am not.  You know, it is just not possible to come out of a life like that and not be changed. 

I know that I am changed for the better.  I am still a pacifist, but I am no longer a door mat.  I am stronger in so many aspects of my life.  I am more brave about trying new things, especially in my work. 

Today, or yesterday/Saturday, was a coffee morning.  I planned on going, told everyone that I would be there and when I woke I knew that I would be going back to sleep and staying home all day.  I did.  My coffee friends are important to me.  They, despite not really understanding much of what was happening (except for the one woman who was instrumental in the extraction plan and who gave me some of the strength to leave that day).  They have stood by me.  They have never judged me or interrogated me like other friends that are no longer in my life.  They never wanted to know the gory details.  Never wanted to wallow and relish in my suffering. 

The last time I saw them was over a month or two ago.  Something about me and what happened was introduced into the conversation and I said something that I have wanted to say for a very long time.

I told them that I know I am not the same person that I was before and that if they ever felt as though I had changed sufficiently to no longer be a good fit for the group, that I counted on them telling me that.  Of course, being the good friends that they are, they all tried to reassure me that everything was fine and all that jazz. 

I believe them, but I still worry about it.  Same thing with my other friend, the one who contacted me yesterday.  I am not sure exactly or even vaguely what I am going to want, but I do know that I want to keep my friends.  All of them. 


  1. I am sure your old friend knows who you really are deep down inside so don't worry so much about it. Take a deep breath and relax....and enjoy her friendship.

  2. I hope you are right. Just remember to breathe, yeah.