The hardest thing in the world is to lose a friend. It's even harder when you have to make the decision to end the friendship yourself. Knowing, it is because the other person is no longer the person you thought they were, that they are no longer the type of friend you deserve. Knowing how much you gave in the relationship and how much they took, when you were selfless and they were thankless, when you were open while they were closed.
Actualizing this and finalizing it are separate from understanding it and emotionally intellectualizing it.
I have known for nearly three years now, that my friend Michael had turned into a person who was not a friend to me. I remained friends with him for alot of reasons, but none of them are reasons why I should have remained friends with him. All of them are based on guilt and are ultimately self sacrificing.
One of the main reasons was that he is an individual who lives with a terminal illness, a life threatening malady that deteriorates him by the day. I felt in abandoning him, no matter how poorly he treated me or my family, that I would feel suffering for him.
The other reason is that he was there for me during a really pinnacle time in my life, a time when I needed to know that men could be good people, that they could be caring, in touch with their emotions and supportive. Of course, later in my years, I realized that he was initially complimentary, positive and motivational to me because he wanted to get in my pants. After turning him down, he and I remained friends because we were in a band together and that alone strengthened the bond we developed.
Another reason for remaining friends with him was that he is also my husbands best friend, and in this band of ours, if I had decided to drop him as a friend, I would thereby lose a drummer and kill my husbands dream.
The final reason for remaining his friend, even after he left the band due to his illness, was that he was now dating my sister. I therefore, did not disconnect myself from him entirely, though our friendship did cool. He was preoccupied with my sister and phone calls and get togethers became less frequent. At this point in our friendship, there was no mutual gratification, common interest or shared joys and momentous occassions such as my wedding were marked by distance.
As with everything in Michael's life, he was simply going through the motions and as a friend, I followed suit, celebrating birthdays, holidays and going to parties, seldom acknowledging my malcontent and the gnawing dissatisfaction of our times together. When the initial bond was severed, all there was, was the memory of what once was.
Of all the things I should have said to him earlier, I wish I had told him how shallow our friendship was. How we never talked of anything important, or exchanged any real emotions or thoughts between us. He never opened up and he often abused me by saying derogatory things that he thought were funny, or berating me in front of people he felt uncomfortable with; making himself look better than he was by putting me down.
I realized these things, yet persisted in a friendship for nostalgia's sake and for others in my life, namely my sister Deb, who had ultimate faith in Michael's goodness.
Now that I realize that he was nothing but a fraud, a lie and a fake, I feel justified in releaving myself of him. Yet at the same time, I feel the sense of loss that comes with the loss of anything that was once important to you, even if that importance is shrouded only in memory and hope.
The loss of a friend is nothing new to me, it has happened multiple times in my life. I've almost become accustomed to shedding people as I would shed dead skin.
Mostly, these people fall out of favor due to the selfishness that comes with not being whole unto themselves.
I can remember Jenn, who became lost among her madness. My best friend from high school, who I would have done anything for. I watched as she self-destructed before my very eyes, becoming a lunatic child, reverting to babyhood, screaming and throwing violent fits, for only reasons that she alone knew. With her incumbant rage, she pushed me far away from her forever. I felt her loss as I would have the loss of a sibling.
Then Ryan, another high school friend. I was there for him through the birth of his daughter, the loss of his relationship with Shannon and watched his total deterioration from alcoholism, until he was so mired in self-pity, he was no longer capable of keeping his life together.
Amanda, a close friend from college, who was such a sweetheart. I never thought she would change, but in our second year, she became an unrecognizable person, prostituting herself for men and drugs and money.
Shannon, a friend all throughout high school and college, became increasingly jealous of my life and growing opportunities. She felt stuck with a child at such a young age and felt insecure and unattractive. Although I cared for her and helped her whenever I could, I could no longer carry the burden of her resentment.
Rhys, who in his own selfish paranioa, destroyed our friendship because of his own insecurities regarding his self-image, treated Erik as if he were nothing more than an inconvenience, when Erik needed his friends most at that time in his life.
There are many other acquaintances, more faces than memories, that are similar stories.
Ultimately, I lost a sister, who succumbed to heroin and that was the deepest cut of all. Now that Mike, who was supposed to be a friend, hurt the one sibling I have left, I seem unable to forgive his transgression.
Knowing what we have gone through as a family in the past year, knowing how much we needed support from our friends and loved ones, knowing that it was hard enough not being able to say goodbye to Rachel, now torn between knowing how hard it will be not being able to say goodbye to him and knowing that he was not the person I thought he was and for him to be capable of causing such pain, I am terribly angry and overwhelmingly sad.
In the unconcious and shrouded existence that my sister Rachel lies in on a daily basis, I have been able to forgive her for what she did to our family. I recognize that she was wounded and sick and incapable of the strength it took to live life. In death, do I have to wait to forgive Michael for the same reasons?
What would you say to someone who has just had their heart ripped out and torn asunder? What words of wisdom could you impart to make them feel strong again to make them feel loved, even if they feel unloved? What if anything would you say to help them gain strength in themselves?
I joined my local food Co-Op yesterday! I am so excited to be a part of something where my money goes directly into the local farming industry and supports sustainable farming and the environment. It is such a good feeling!
I bought alot of nutritious stuff yesterday. Organic plums, bananas and broccoli sprouts. Farm raised turkey and tuna fish. Homemade maple walnut bread. Organic peanut butter. Locally produced chocolate milk. Raw food bars for snacks. It was all very expensive, but well worth it.
There is a kind of paranoia growing inside of me and I no longer am able to buy things from the regular grocery store. I don't want pesticides in my body, each time I've purchased fruits in the past few months, they have tasted sour and unclean. I don't want red meat in my body anymore, all the estrogen and extra hormones will make my body fatter. I can't have dairy, again unhealthy growth hormones. Processed foods are terrible with the extra sodium and tryglycerides. I may as well become vegan or at least Kosher because lately the only things that don't make me ill are fish and veggies.
Erik made a wonderful dinner the other night, I bought farm raised Salmon which he coated with crushed pecans, glazed in NH maple syrup paired with whole wheat couscous and green beans. It was the first meal all week that I didn't feel sick from and ate just enough to enjoy and satisfy.
We went to the coast last night and ate on the water at The Stockpot, I replicated my experience with the salmon and had a freshly caught peice with dill aeoli and lightly steamed carrots, red pepper and summer squash, a glass of Rosemont Shiraz and some mint water after dinner. I felt fine. When I monitor my food intake I feel better. If I just eat whatever because I'm stressed or rushed, I suffer. Mindful eating, thats where its at.
Today, we're getting tattooed. I'm getting a willow leaf on the side of my foot and Erik is getting the rune Uruz on his hand. I'm excited, we have been waiting to get these tattoos for a while.
Today started out rather poorly, as I woke with severe stomach cramps and was delayed getting to work unable to move. I felt pretty sick all morning and it doesn't help that it's that time of the month either. I felt disgusting. I sipped chamomile tea and it did settle down after a while. I mistakenly had chili for lunch though, which caused acid reflux. I should just stay away from food altogether these days, because everything I like, makes me feel ill. I love wholesome foods, don't get me wrong, but I haven't had time in the day to make a thing of late. My life has been on run, the past few months. Though mostly good, the times I have just needed some down time have not paid off. This morning my face looked 40 years old, rather than the mere 29 I am. I feel like a haggared camel. Always carrying one load or another, most of it not my own, volunteering politely to do so even though it kills me eventually. What a masochist I am. My listening ear, an open conch shell for all to bellow their woes into. I don't really mind it, but yes, I need people to hear my woes too. Thankfully my new soft brown leather journal with the manila lined pages, the one Erik surprised me with just the other day, is my new outlet for all the brief flashes of feeling I have throughout the day. It is fast becoming the single place for random thoughts and short reflections to occur. It is something I have needed, to simply pull out, and jot a few lines of a single moment down onto the page throughout the day. It isn't for the long winded proes that I write in my Live Journal, but for a smattering of the days toil, and how I feel in the moment.
Tonight I have band practice, which I am looking forward to, despite all of the ups and downs we have had with this band, the core still continues to remain constant and I am mostly satisfied. Things are on an upswing for us musically and we have come into our own chemistry with each other, which makes the music thrive.
I'm full from our late dinner of coconut curry shrimp and basmati rice with garlic naan. I'm trying to practice mindful eating, but when I get something I really love, I somehow can't stop putting the food in my mouth, no matter how full I can get.
We've been trying to eat mostly organic foods. This morning Erik and I awoke around 11am, it was our day to sleep in and he usually makes me breakfast in bed. This morning we had pancakes with a little bit of powdered sugar on top and strawberries. All of the ingredients save for the coffee beans he used to make my coffee were organic. The milk, the eggs, the strawberries. It was nice knowing that I was putting fresh, sustainable food in to my body. Later, I had a slice of the Spanish fig bread I bought at the Durham Marketplace along with some cheese from the same region and strawberries dipped in espresso chocolate sauce. Perhaps this was too much for my system though, because I had a stomach ache thereafter. Deb tells me that you have to watch out for some organic foods though because the processes that typical food goes through aren't utilized and they may not be the cleanest foods. I don't know about that, but would like to verify it.
So, ever since yesterday, my mind has been alive with creativity. In part of my healing journey, Wendy said that I should listen to my head voice and sing. I did, and today wrote it into piano music, it is my latest masterpeice called "Ode to a Burned World" and is about a futuristic society who realizes that it is finally going to die out because of all the havoc it has wreaked upon it's own planet. When the main character of the song turned 18, he became an astronaut in a program that was to lead a mission in search of another planet to inhabit. There were five people, two women and three men, given 20 years to locate a sustainable planet. The group went up and located a new galaxy and found a world that could be considered liveable, they found this new world in 13 years. The group decided it best for one person to go back to the earth and gather the surviving people together to be brought back. The main character goes to the earth to collect the inhabitants that are left on the planet, there is already a plan in place to do so. But when he arrives, the planet is black as pitch, the earth burned, nothing has been left alive, they have destroyed themselves and he's too late. As he lands his aircraft in the place that was once his home, all he can smell is ash. There is nothing resembling humanity left. He gets out and begins to run toward where he knew his home once was, and then toward where his girlfriends home was, and then back toward where he has landed. He can see for miles, blackened fields of scorched earth flattened by a massive attack. In his pain, all his memories flood into his mind, the times when he was a child and would play in the streets with his friends, his first kiss, the children he longed to have, the memory of his father and of his mother when he had left, even the family dog. Now he must return to a world that is equally empty to others who will become empty because of this news. He is not going to let their mission fail, he must return and as he realizes this, he also realizes that they must begin again, or all will be lost. At the end of the song, he turns and runs back toward the aircraft, gets inside, looks forlornly at the wasted landscape and sheds a single blackened tear, starts up the engine, turns away and never looks back.
I went to Misty Meadows this weekend to have somr reiki done by Wendy. I went there and unlike many other times, did not feel the power of the place rejuvinate my spirit immediately.
I walked the gardens, noticing how this year's apprentices weeding styles differed from last years group. Our group was so in sync with each other, our weeding styles matching in perfection to make the garden spotless, while the group of this year haphazardly cares for the gardens as their minds seem to be elsewhere.
I walked the woods, naming plants that were familiar to me, spotting my favorite wintergreen low to the ground, white pine and sarsparilla. A digestive tonic would be a good blend of these three plants I later thought. Much of the wood was wet from all this rain and untraversable. The Mosquitos were out in abundance and the high grasses a breeding ground for ticks. I saw a wonderful array of multi-winged silver dragon flies and Erik spotted a black butterfly with blue wing tips.
Shortly, we headed back to the teaching center to stock up on products before our session. I purchased St. Johnswort tincture for my stress and anxiety to tonify my nervous system, Chickweed tincture to help in my skin problesm with eczema, Bee Pollen & Propolis to aid in vitality and Dandelion Root tincture for Erik when he goes on his medication. We also bought a bag of our favorite summertime treat, Lavander Lemonade. Erik picked up some coconut incense and coco orange incense. And I got some bug juice to keep those bad boy mosquitos away, some Basil Essential Oil for my collection, a cinnamon basil plant and a sage plant.
Finally, Wendy took me in for Reiki. As I began to tell her the things that I have been experiencing with Erik, and how I have felt my chakras to be closed, save for the three, she told me a different perception. She saw my third eye to be wide open, receiving input from the universe to lead me to the path that was most correct for me. It was almost surprising how she saw my third eye to be bright and vibrant whereas I perceived black. Thinking on this, I have been getting clear and perfect directions on what to do on the path I am on and have known remarkably exactly what to do and when to do it. Perhaps she is right in this and I am merely perceiving black because I think I am.
During our session many guides were present, my Panther, my grandmother, Spiderwoman, and some I did not know. Wendy laid her hands on me, advising me from her vantage point that I should stay the course, and remember my silver cord, connecting me to everything. That I should not seek to control Erik's path and that it will be what it is, as it is meant to be. That I need to step back allowing him to make his choices without leading him. She told me to sing with my head voice, which later in the day, I did and came up with a song that will for certain, be my next masterpeice. She told me that I had much turmoil on the inside but am perceived by others to have it all together, that if I beleive that it can come together as it appears on the outside than it will. Once Wendy was done, and the symbols for Reiki implanted upon me, I felt lighter, more awake, balanced. Erik had his session and though I don't know what took place specifically, he too left feeling more aware, more confident and grounded.
Wendy recommends Reiki once per month and I strongly agree. I think we need to have more healing done each month, including massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, accupuncture. Since Erik and I both tend to think outside the Western mindset, I feel we would really benefit from these healing traditions, both as a couple and as individuals.
Well, I just got home from having a massage, but I don't feel very relaxed at the moment. Erik is off balance and I came home to many accusations and agitation as to my whereabouts. I'm so frustrated at this point, because it happens so often. He can't start his medication until after the weekend so I just have to deal with this the best I can. The only thing I can do is try to stay centered myself and not get upset, because it will just turn into a battle of denial and excuses. I was feeling so positive after my massage and all the great ideas I've been having since my sister mentioned doing a fundraising event for Cystic Fibrosis.
I guess in a way, the band and my goals for the show are what will get my mind off of the troubles I am having at home. Deb and I are meeting tomorrow to do an outline and brainstorm ideas. It will be alot of work, but I think with the help that I could get from Merchants, it will be easier than just winging it on our own.
I like having goals, I don't know if Erik has his goals straight or if he's just in a holding pattern. I can't communicate with him in this state because he holds me responsible for everything he imagines is going on in our relationship. This morning, we cuddled and I was having as stomach ache before work, it was nice to lie there with him and relax, but then when he got to work, somehow he got it in his head that I had been mad at him, but there was no rational explaination for that thought, it just came out of nowhere.
Sometimes I really have to dig to find my strength from within, because being in a relationship with this many ups and downs is very hard. Sometimes I feel so alone with him, he doesn't have the strength to be a husband to me. I often wonder how long I can do this, but I remember the vows that I made and I know what I was dealing with when I got married. Of course, like anything manic, this too shall soon pass, right?
Today was just one of those days where I couldn't complete anything and couldn't stay awake for the life of me, even after having three cups of coffee.
Taking stock of the day, it was a stressful one, one in which I realized the value of teamwork and also of being thorough. As I sit here drinking my third cup of stale coffee just to get through to band practice, I also realize the value of slowing down and catching your breath after a day like this.
Tonight, when I got home, I meditated for the first time in years. It was enlightening to say the least. For one, I used to be able to break Alpha in a matter of minutes, now it's like an old lady climbing up stairs. Secondly, I still have my visualization skills, that has never failed me and when I took inventory of my chakras, I realized that I need to get some Reiki! All but three Chakras are severely blocked, Root, Solar Plexus and Throat, which is really no big surprise considering that I am putting all of my energy into communicating with the doctors and others about my husbands illness, all of my energy toward willing us to get to a point of stability and all my energy into grounding my own energy to be a pillar of strength for the both of us. Is it any wonder that I have no connection to Spirit, or to Love or to Sex? Needless to say, I called Wendy right away and scheduled an appointment for Reiki.
The final thing I realized is the benefit of LJ, when you have a question, or a desire to know something, in the right environment, people just come through. Now, I've been on LJ since 2004 and there have been some Nasty people out there, but when I posted on Apothecarium the other day and Escential, the men and women who answered me were like god sends. I was so proud to be connected!
Writing down my feelings and thoughts in these times is extremely therapeutic for me. I feel weight being lifted already. As fast as my mind spins out thoughts, I can type, it's heavy.
I'm reading an Amazing book right now by Hurst Ruchenbacher, the founder of Aveda. Finally a Spiritual Leader and Representative of the Natural Holistic world that actually and truly speaks my language. I mean the guy is deep, but he's so down to earth and right on. The "Business of Being" he calls it, and he's studied with Yogis and Shamans and Gurus, but he's not phony, he's the Aveda guy, kind of like the Juice Guys from Nantucket Nectars, he speaks like he's one of us. I love it and he's got some of the same ideas I've read in books about spirituality before, but he's speaks so honestly that I feel like I'm talking to a friend. It's great.
All in all, I'm feeling largely supported these days, which is what I totally need.
I absolutely love the imagery of this one. See how the tree limb is positioned right above the tomb stones, I appear to be sleepig right on top of them, as if death were just beneath me and I am hovering in a world above it.