For the first time going to our monthly get-togethers with 4 other women friends felt like an inconvenience.
“I don’t want to be bothered,” I said to Samuel on the way out of the door to my car.
And though pleasantly OK, it still was a stretch to pay attention for four hours to their stories and input while playing cards. That night the shades were pulled even earlier than usual and bear-like sleep came.
And the ripples from one friends’ remark stuck like a feather in my throat, or more succinctly, a knife in the gut. She does tend to say stupid things. Once after reading my book, Shattered, she gave a critique. At that time, she was confronted.
“I laid out so many feelings and you give me a book report?”, I exclaimed.
She came back with a bit better response, “I heard your grief,” she replied sounding as if sorry.
This time after mentioning the 40-pound weight loss, while giving a hug bye, she said, “Lose more weight!”
Now I know she meant well, which is why no message has been emailed to her, like; my body seems content where it is, and I’m OK with that. She heard my explanation of the loss of weight but feeling stuck. So, that was her way of encouraging me. Yet the way it was put forward… well, it could use some refinement.
The others have more gracious abilities, only saying briefly how great I looked, and only after sharing my success. They were sensitive to my feelings. And in her own dysfunctional way, she is too, but it felt like nails across a chalkboard.
Through the years this one has used me as her own personal pin cushion. I knew no better than to take it. Until I didn’t- and began speaking up. Saying something nasty in a soft singsong voice, which is her way, doesn’t remove its bite.
With her I learned that picking friends sometimes parallels the tactics of my negative critical mother.
Three days later her remark still stings.