Krissie: Friends again

No, I’m not friends again with Rod and Nancy. There’s just more to talk about, especially after all the comments yesterday.
I agree — Rod and Nancy are the broken ones, and I need to rise to the occasion and be charming. Usually I am, but I’ve got a slow-burning rage at their dismissal of my mother. But I’ll either have it in check or won’t go. (I get a pass — we’re burying Walter two feet from my mother — by absolute coincidence Richie’s family plot adjoins our family plot, so his parents are three feet away from mine).
I think one of the things that’s so hard is that we’ve been through everything together. The births/arrivals of our children, their school plays, picnics, weddings (Richie’s cousin married Nancy’s sister), the day care disaster. So many Christmases and Easters and summers. So the history, the lost history is hard.
And I’ve been clinging — to the history and the pain. Time to let go. Maybe I could do a little ritual — write their real names on a piece of paper and burn it as a way of letting go the grief, resentment and sentiment. Sounds like a good idea to me — I’m good at letting go once I realize it. Let go and let god. Let go or be dragged. Love that.
As for making new friends — those of you who know me know I’m very open and warm and friendly. I suppose there may be a layer of reserve but that’s easily breached (breeched?) as soon as someone reaches out. My strong personality can turn some people off. In general I’m pretty comfortable with myself and who I am, and some people see that as arrogance and vanity. It’s not. I know what’s wrong with me and what’s not, and I work on the stuff I can fix. For instance, one of my cousins has a severe weight problem. She hates her body, seems to be very angry at her husband whom she accuses of hating her body, which I doubt he does, she won’t see people in her past because she doesn’t want them to see how much weight she’s gained, wouldn’t even let me see her in a bathing suit. I show pictures of me in a bathing suit on the internet.
But I accept that certain people find me a little hard to take. Accept it with sorrow, but accept it.
But I really am nice and warm and friendly. And I am reaching out.
And my BFF is around, at least for now. And she really is my BFF — since I was 8 years old. Of course, there was the 20 years she wouldn’t speak to me …
I guess I’m gonna have a hard time trusting as well. It almost seems better not to get close, rather than get rejected again.
But I’m stepping out, changing things. You gotta put yourself on the line if you want anything.
So that’s the lesson for the day. You gotta leave yourself open — to experience, to friendships, to life, instead of hiding away in your house all the time. Problem is, writers need to hide away a fair amount of the time. But you need to get back out there as well.
Today I finish clearing out my mother’s apartment. Today I work on the revisions. Today I get back to eating sparingly, with lots of veggies and fruit.
Today, I conquer!

30 thoughts on “Krissie: Friends again

  1. You go get ’em, Krissie. You will conquer. And someday you’ll get to be closer to your sisters all the time, that will un-isolate you!

    I’m sending a big hug through the Vermont airwaves up to you.

  2. Kieran says:

    I think you’ll feel so much more at peace at that gathering with Rod and Nancy if you keep reflecting on them as broken people. That’s what forgiveness is. You don’t absolve them of their cruelties or indifferences. But you do step back and see the bigger picture–that if it hadn’t been you, it would have been someone else they’d hurt (and probably did). Forgiveness is the freedom that comes with seeing the big truth clearly and accepting it without being tempted any longer to put your own spin on the situation. You’re free of the emotional bondage.

  3. Every day you conquer, sweetie! I’m so sorry Rod & Nancy have up and disappeared, but if that’s how they’re gonna be about it, fuck ’em. It’s too easy to isolate and wonder what you did, but you did nothing – I think you’re absolutely right to assume that it’s them, it’s not you. Luckily a grave site is not the same as family proximity, so you have a choice of where and when to potentially interact with them. Now’s a good time to purge those feelings of abandonment and celebrate being a full-blown member of The Orphan’s Club. If you want to chatter at somebody newish, I’m pretty much always available, once I wake up from this afternoon’s epidural πŸ˜‰

    Hugs and smooches and much love!

  4. I didn’t comment yesterday because I couldn’t quite articulate what I wanted to say. Not sure I’ll do any better today! I’ve had situations like that and have looked at the situations from every angle, analyzed things to death trying to figure out if I did something wrong (my default position) and usually end up coming to the conclusion that there are sides of the relationship I can’t necessarily see (from their perspective) and some relationships have a finite time-span and you have to just let them go.

    And sometimes relationships just diverge for a while before coming back together. I had a falling out with my best friend from HS and college when we were about 20. It really hurt for a long time, then I got angry – mostly about all that lost history. Then last year I found her on FB and we started emailing and it was as if we’d never been apart. I ended up living in her house for four months while I was in transition from Cairo.

    If you see Rod and Nancy just be gracious and civil. No need to be friends again but it is easy enough to take the high road in this situation.

  5. One more day before I eat sparingly. Yesterday, I bought Key Lime, White Chocolate Truffles and I have two left. Gonna scarf those babies down then I’ll be good.
    “Today, I conquer.” Wonderful, mine will be Tomorrow I Conquer.
    Hang in there, you’re amazing.

  6. You say things like you’re hard to take, and I just don’t see it. I remember the first time I met you, how glorious and charming you were. I’ve seen you at your best and in your worst moments, and there was never a second when I didn’t want to throw my arms around you and hug you tight. You’re also so comforting. Whenever times are bad, I just think of you and cry because you are always so loving, so kind to me, even in my worst moments. I cannot imagine a world in which you’re hard to take; I just can’t. I love the way you burst into song, even when it’s a song I hate that will get stuck in my head all day. I love your enthusiasm, the way I can always buy you a little trinket and if it’s purple and glittery, know you’ll love it. I love the way you are so brave with your heart; you hand it out to everyone, without reserve, and that sometimes means you get kicked, which sucks. But you continue to hold your heart out to everyone anyway, and you give people more chances to screw up than anyone I know.

    You’re enthusiastic. You’ve got a big personality, and that can be intimidating to people who would rather hold themselves back, and maybe that’s how people in Vermont are and I can see how that might be a tough fit. But if there’s a failure to make friends, it’s their failure and their loss. Whenever you claim your awesome, or say something like, “I’m magnificent,” without irony or reserve, I feel so grateful that my kids get to see you role model for them. I can’t do what you doβ€”yet, I’m working on itβ€”but it’s wonderful to see.

    I know you didn’t open this up so we could all tell you how glorious you are, but I think anyone who finds you hard to take is unworthy. I think you deserve better. And if you keep doing the plays and getting out in the community, I think you’ll find worthier people.

    Love you, babe. You’re fabulous.

  7. I’ve only attended RWA events when you were either the speaker of the workshop or the MC so I don’t know about hard to take, but I know my reaction was, “I’d love to be friends with her.” So maybe that makes us both hard to take and we’re kindred souls. πŸ™‚

    I prefer to think that we all have our quirks and some folks tolerate certain quirks better than others. Doesn’t mean one quirk is worse than another, just a matter of personality and preference. You’ve found fabulous sisters who love you, quirks and all. That’s something to remember.

  8. Danielle says:

    So, ditto what Lani said (‘cept that I don’t actually know you, but whatever).

    And I want to add: Damn, but you’re awesome!

  9. Can you envision Rod and Nancy as a character test? Your own. A real growth opportunity and challenge. I would attend with Richie because my objective would be to support my husband. I’d try not to make this about them but about me and mine.

    I’d offer a polite smile and a hello and I’d be open to whatever eventuated from that. They won’t outright snub you. And you might even chat. And you might not. But either way I think you personally would gain some benefit from the exercise. You would walk away knowing either you did not want them back in your life, or that you were willing to leave the window open a chink.

    An example: After letting a toxic woman out of my life, and telling her why (she was clingy and calling me three times a day, attempting to coordinate our calendars etc. and I told her it was too much. She didn’t back down and really got worse. So, first time I ran into her face to face I said good morning and smiled. She said “Eh.” and walked swiftly past me. I walked away with a big silly grin on my face because any guilt I’d had about letting her go had vanished.

  10. There’s a club? LoL. Gotta find the local chapter …. πŸ™‚

    Krissie, I, too, am available for communication of any sort. Of course, I think inkgrrl is probably far more entertaining. πŸ™‚

  11. “So that’s the lesson for the day. You gotta leave yourself open β€” to experience, to friendships, to life, instead of hiding away in your house all the time. ”

    This. I’ve been so closed off, so afraid to break my heart again, so afraid of leaving the safety of my apartment, as untidy and small as it is. Okay, so it’s summer and Houston and most of the sane people stay inside a lot, but I can open up in other ways.

    Good lesson for today, Krissie. And I hope you are happy with whatever choice you make regarding going to the event. Hugs and warm wishes.

  12. Lee says:

    When confused, think “Once more into the breach” – breach with an A means a hole or gap; breech(es) with 2 E’s indicates pants.

    … and now that I re-read that I’m snickering like an 8year old making a potty joke, sorry.

  13. Windrose Betty says:

    You enjoyed being part of the play. Do more of that – whether it’s acting or tech stuff. When you do things you love that involve other people, you find people that you already have something in common with. It gives you something to build on. Be patient and enjoy the activity. As you get to know the regulars, you will be drawn to the ones who resonate with you most. Take advantage of social opportunities or suggest getting together for lunch or a picnic with some of the folks you’ve met. Get to know them a little more away from the main activity.

    I’m convinced that each of us should try new things, and find new joys whenever we can. And when we do, we’ll find people with an initial built in connection, something that can, if the chemistry is right, be built upon.

    Not everybody out there is afraid of strong, ebullient personalities. Don’t worry about the folks who are put off by that; you don’t want to change who you are to hang with people who can’t accept you as you are. Be yourself, enjoy your interests, express your passion, be open to new people. You’ll draw people to you and they will draw you, and in time, new friends will become long time friends.


  14. If I could “like” Lani’s comment a dozen times, I would πŸ™‚ I’ve only met you a few times, but I thought you were lovely every time (even when you were hurting and tired) and frankly, a HOOT at dinner in Salem. (Remember the boob shot?)

    If you ever need another friend, babe, sign me up. Hey, upstate NY isn’t *that* far from Vermont.

  15. Catherine says:

    I’ll throw my two cents in about potential hurt. I think in life situations, expectations, mixed communication, lack of communication, different values … Some hurt will fall. For me stepping out and being true to me I’m going to get hurt. I’m also going to connect and revel. I trust I can deal with hurt and joy. I might get some speed wobbles. I am not the poster child for physical grace let alone grace of the spirit. Lol, but I trust that I can deal.

    So yes Krissie be open. Yes be true. Yes sing and fuel yourself with good things and trust that you can deal with disappointment and joy too.

    From my perspective you’re deliberately and with care building your own support into your everyday. What a strong loving base to conquer from. Yay.

  16. stephanie says:

    I’ve ‘liked’ several of the above comments, too, but I’m adding my spare change here. I’ve met you at RWA randomly – once when I practically sat on your lap while getting our picture taken. I’ve seen you as a speaker. I’ve had a lovely conversation in the car driving to the airport. Those are all different arenas and slightly different ‘Krissies’ were available but all of them were lovely, personable, reasonable. In no way were you hard to take or overwhelming. I know overwhelming and hard to take and I don’t think you were either of them. I think you have a great personality and I hope you are able to appreciate that about yourself.

  17. Lynda says:

    When we met–nearly THIRTY years ago!–I felt as if I were meeting my long lost sister. You are an amazing woman, Krissie, and over the decades I’ve realized that one of the most amazing things about you is that you have the gift of making anyone who’s open to it feel that way. Love you, babe!

  18. misspiggy don'twannabe says:

    Rod and Nancy are apparently only interested in Rod and Nancy. My husband and I have friends that just aren’t there any more. One couple had too much drama for us so we backed away but Rod and Nancy have too many connections to be so shitty.
    You’re loved by friends, readers and most of the rest of the world folks who know who you are.
    You are amazing, keep on keeping on.

  19. I’ve not met you in person, but I can tell by your posts that what Lani said is so true! You don’t need people around you who treat you badly to the point of abuse. These kinds of people bleed you dry. You might have history, but nothing’s going to change the future will be the same as the past. Yeah…let go Rod & Nancy, let go …or be dragged. πŸ™‚

  20. Leigh says:

    I’ve been away these last two weeks, and have missed your posts. My deepest sympathies, Krissie. Burying a Mom is painful, no matter what the circumstances.

    Hugs to you.

    I’m betting now that you’re getting out more, you’re going to find you have so many friends that you’re going to have to start scheduling them. 15 minutes for you. 2 hours for you. 1.25 hours for you….

  21. Krissie, I doubt you remember this meeting several years ago but I do. I entered the concierge lounge at an RWA Conf. You were sitting alone at a table and I sort of nodded a quiet hello. You gave me a big smile, greeted me and invited me to sit down. I thought, “Holy shit. Anne Stuart asked me to join her. Don’t gush or say something stupid.”

    I don’t remember the conversation but after the second or third time I called you Anne you smiled and said that you really thought I should call you Krissie.”

    Warm, open, friendly, putting a nervous, intimidated woman at ease and treating me like a peer. That’s you, baby!

    Always remember that there is nothing enlightened about shrinking your fabulousness. “Playing small does not serve the world.”

  22. Micki says:

    So fun reading these testimonials from people who have really met you! They just reinforce what I’ve gotten from your on-line persona: you are good people.

    If people are getting overwhelmed by you, that’s probably a function of *their* personality, not yours. I think it’d be different if you were sitting down next to people and converting them to the Krissie Way of Life, but it sounds like that’s not your thing. You are just you, and they can enjoy that, or run away and hide. Yeah, it’s sad, but you can’t change people.

    I just want to say, there’s a possibility that Rod and Nancy had something happen in their own lives that was really focusing their attention. I would think that they meant no disrespect, and since you haven’t been close for a while, it’s entirely possible that they have things going on that they don’t choose to share with people outside their immediate family. I would say cut them a break. You don’t have to go and make nice-nice or ask for a beating.

    But it would be healthier all around that if they don’t explicitly say it’s about you to assume that it’s not about you.

    I think Saturday sounds like a great chance to reconnect with all the people you do have a relationship with, and the people who *have* shown you particular kindness during your bereavement. But you know best what you can handle, and like you said, you have an out. Do what you gotta do. It’s hard to handle toxicity in the best of times, and just a few weeks after all the stuff that’s happened certainly isn’t the best of times.

  23. jinx says:

    There’s a Janis Ian song of this title, and your post brings it back to me.

    Channeling the late 60’s…

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