If you have followed my writing since joining Persephone, you know this year has been mostly an amazing one for me. Besides marrying my beautiful wife, I have successfully transitioned. Though my life has mostly been on the ups, I have had a few downs. Lately one of these downs has been weighing on me heavily. For all that I have gained, losses seem to have piled up this year too.
This past week, I lost a friendship. It wasn’t a close one. In fact it was a relatively new friendship, less than three weeks old. It was born out of a mutual friend introducing me to two of her friends that lived in my fair city. I received a Facebook message after leaving their apartment after hanging out with them saying we shouldn’t be friends. It hit me with a bit of a gut shot but I accepted it. I was accused of being too familiar after only meeting these people three times.
I have a confession to make. I attach myself something fierce when I like someone. I might even be too attached at the beginning. I can understand that. Ever since about sixth grade, I have done this. I believe I developed it as a coping mechanism in regards to the abandonment I felt from my parents or projected abandonment. I was always instilled with a belief that everyone needed to like me so I squeezed and squeezed until something popped. I have cycled through plenty of friends this way all my life. I am fiercely loyal to my friends, but I do not know if this has always been true for my friends.
My last therapist mentioned how hard goodbyes are, especially the final ones. She attempted to prepare me to say goodbye to her after her internship ended in August way back in March. The first time she mentioned it, I pretty much shut down and cried. We revisited this several times, each time bringing up my abandonment issues. It got less hard, but even by the end I was so sad to see her go. I think the finality of not seeing her again after seeing her once a week for almost nine months took a bit of a toll on me. I hate goodbyes.
This is why I have not totally cut my mother out of my life even though plenty of people have advised it. In essence, by doing that, I would become exactly what I revile, exactly what I fear most. Total abandonment. I also believe that everyone deserves multiple chances. Remember being fiercely loyal? That’s where this comes into play in spades. I love my mother and I believe she deserves the time to actually get to know her daughter. Family is tough to say goodbye to, even in death.
My grandfather passed this May, you may recall. I do not know if I have properly mourned him or not. In fact, my transition has put a lot of my other emotions and life stuff into the back and they are just now bubbling to a head again. I am guessing I will be thinking about him more especially around the holiday season. It is still weird to think both he and my grandmother have passed and that I have no grandparents on that side of the family. I realize as we move on in life, people pass on and we have to say goodbye.
I would like to say goodbye to my grandfather. I would like to say goodbye to my therapist who helped me so much in learning that goodbyes can be OK even if they are tough. I want to say goodbye to my newly formed and lost friendship in two weeks. That friendship has stirred me to learn more about myself and to be a better person. I do not want to say goodbye to my mother. She will have to say goodbye to my old self as she learns to embrace me. I hope she can say goodbye.