Krissie: Guilt

Photo on 2013-02-15 at 10.35 Behind me is a throw I made for my mother out of Mary Engelbreit tea fabrics. I need to find a place to put it or a place to gift it.
Anyway, guilt. I’ve insisted I don’t feel guilt, and really, I don’t very often. Mainly because I really try to do things for other people, understand if I annoy them, don’t ask for much.
And I know the last couple of days I was feeling guilty about Sally, and pissed that I was.
I adore Sally. We’ve known each other since we were eight years old, and believe it or not she had a much more horrifying childhood than I had. (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is pure fact — Sally and I both came from academic families in Princeton). Anyway, we’ve had our ups and downs, including a long period, close to 20 years, when we didn’t speak. Well, she wouldn’t speak to me. She’s had a really rough life, and I understood. I can have a toxic effect on people, and she needed to protect herself. She blames herself now for it, but I always understood. I just missed her in my life.
But we’ve been bff (literally) and sisters for the last ten years, and we won’t have a falling apart like that. But maybe a small part of me is always afraid she’s going to walk away again.
She’s also very needy. I don’t mind — I was there, a witness to her childhood, and I understand. And she takes care of me when I give her a mental shake and say I’m a mess, but mostly I tend to be … reserved, I guess. I hadn’t realized this until I started typing this morning, but I guess I hold something back, despite how close we are, because I’m afraid she’ll turn her back on me again.
Anyway, I climb mountains for her. And when I got sick it was decided I shouldn’t come in, because her grandson has got low platelets or something and is very susceptible to bugs. But I’d sent a suitcase with my meds into the city with them, and I was going to run out at Jenny’s. So Sally said she’d have her husband send them (Tony was arriving on Thursday). Phew! I’d do without them for a weekend and then be fine.
But I couldn’t get home on Monday (icy roads) and then Richie called to say Tony (Sally’s husband) didn’t know anything about sending the pills. They were still sitting in my suitcase in Manhattan. I couldn’t go up to the apartment because I’d bring cooties (which I understand — we were sooo sick) but I thought maybe Tony could meet me at the bus stop. No, that was too complicated. So they sent them out on Tuesday afternoon, express, and they got here on Thursday, which made it a week without my meds.
And I was angry. Angry that she’d spaced it, angry that I had to make such a fuss, emailing and texting and calling. But mostly guilty that I had to insist someone do something for me, and guilty for feeling angry about it.
She emailed me, all cheerful etc., and the anger disappeared. I think it came from fear that she’d be angry with me for making her do this. Which I guess brings me back to the trust issue. I never realized that I can’t completely trust her.
As for Crusie and me, we got along fine. No grumps or blow-ups (because I don’t survive blow-ups). We managed to sort of camp in the house as she pulled it together (with my minimal help — I think I screwed in a switchplate). But I had good ideas (like move the bed, etc). So basically I’m pretty sure I helped more than I hindered (I could remember where I’d last seen things, etc. and I helped clean up the rental). It was too long a visit given that we were basically camping out, but we didn’t have any say in the matter. The Bubonic Plague and the northeast storm (and then the ice) made it impossible to leave sooner.
No, my vague issues were all about Sally. We’ll talk about it when she gets back — we’re so close that we can. I need to figure out how to let go guilt and anger when I have to ask for something.

Too much rambling, I know. But hey, it helped me work it out what was going on, and that’s one of the things I wanted Refab for. To work out what’s holding me back from my true fabulousness.

Anyway, I’m damned lucky to have Sally (and Jenny and Lani) even if I’m a little nutzoid sometimes.

13 thoughts on “Krissie: Guilt

  1. Kieran says:

    I think you nailed it on the head–you hold something back from Sally, and it’s because you don’t fully trust her. This thing with the pills brought that home to you. You needed her help. But in the end, in a roundabout way, you got it, on her terms. And she showed you some love.

    So…no relationship is perfect. I’m thrilled that you’re just going to love Sally anyway. Love has nothing to do with whether we’re getting what we need. It’s completely the opposite. It’s all about giving. And it’s a choice that comes from the center of generosity in us. It’s not some mojo magic that happens without our consent. We will it. We give birth to it. So I’m damned proud of loving. I don’t have to love anyone. But I do. Even the people who hurt me the most–I love them, dammit, because I give them that. It’s a gift.

    Love is active. Not passive. Good for you for being a Lover!!! :>)

  2. jinx says:

    This was interesting. I have a best friend with whom I have a similar mix of issues — we love and value each other, we understand where we’ve come from and help whenever and in whatever ways we can. But things get in the way of an easy, straightforward relationship that’s always good.

    The “if”-yness of your situation last week seemed to make things particularly hard. You were sort of getting sick, and there was some bad weather expected, but would it get a whole lot worse? The husband was expected, the son had health immunity issues, so things looked kinda…

    What sounds like it would have made things better without the strong reactions afterwards would have been to call while stranded and say “What’s your situation? — here’s my situation and what I really need; can we find a way to do this?” but I don’t know that there were any moments when things were clear enough to fully fix things.

    I say you need to get your doctor to prescribe you an emergency week’s supply of meds to use when circumstances require. And keep your meds in your pocket or carry-on, rather than checking them or shipping them ahead of you. Those are my probably unhelpful ideas.

    I’m just happy to be snow-free in DC so far.

  3. Listen, you were crucial. My God, Krissie, I wouldn’t have survived that without you. You did ten tons of laundry, you cleaned the rental, you made most of the meals, you babysat my dogs, you set up my internet and cable, you showed me Miss Tatlock’s Millions, you read all the instructions I ignored, you took my fridge back . . .

    I’d go on, but I’m getting depressed that you’re not here any more. Come back.

  4. Ah, life. Never as straightforward as I’d like it to be. One of my friends is clearly unhappy. I think I know why, but I keep wondering if it’s me.

    I’m glad you have your friends and sisters. I’m glad I have mine.

  5. Relationships are hard. No doubt about that. We can get our noses out of joint for the oddest of reasons. And we can never, ever, really know what another person is thinking. When friendships go wonky it’s easy to worry and stew over things and project our own deep anxieties when for the most part we’ll be way off base.

    When we have abandonment issues those slights/misunderstandings/miscommunications take on huge proportions. We’re lost again and floundering. We’ve learned to trust ourself and only ourself. To have to rely heavily on another person is difficult. At least that’s how it is for me.

    I haven’t been married for a long time but I know that the trust is different with a spouse or a close relative, say an adult child, you’re a team then. Part of the same tribe. You have day-to-day history. You either understand each other at a deeper level, or can call each other out on failings and still maintain the love. The gaps that come in friendships make that kind of trust harder. We have to look at friendships as necessary and loving, but understand there is a difference in that love.

  6. Lynda says:

    You’re sounding better. You got your meds. You and Sally are speaking. That’s all good. And I have to add, speaking as somebody who has known you for a lot of years and has actually been waked up by you singing “Chatanooga Choo-Choo” at six in the morning, you are NEVER toxic. So banish that thought from your mind and concentrate on continuing to recuperate. Have a great weekend!

  7. Barbara Cameron says:

    Am so glad you went back and read yesterday’s blog after I left a comment–I had totally misunderstood. I left a note there…

    Love the throw. If you can’t think of someone–maybe one of your mother’s friends although since your mom was elderly like mine (she’s 90) her friends may be gone…if you can’t find someone I bet that throw would go so quickly at Goodwill. Imagine finding something that special there. Would it be something your daughter would like?

  8. Kelly S. says:

    I went to an engineering school where the student population was 90% male. My closest friendships started there. What I learned from this is that men are simple and women are complex. If you want a simple friendship, pick a man. If you want a deep, complex, rich, complicated friendship pick a woman. I am generalizing here as there are deep, complex men and simple women. But my experience, women friendships are more work but also may therefore be more rewarding.

  9. Micki says:

    Glad everything is a little better now. It’s impossible to tell what people are thinking, and easy to imagine scenarios inside their heads. And sometimes things are just . . . complicated.

    I was supposed to meet a friend for writing this Saturday, but my husband suddenly proposed that we get new cell phones (we need ’em, easier for work, too), and things rapidly got complicated. Thank goodness we could work it out and get the basics (a foreign food handoff) accomplished. I still resent that my husband sprung all this on me — I like to research things a little more. But . . . he’s paying for ’em, so I’m going to be grateful. Once I figure out how to use the damn thing.

  10. romney says:

    Absolutely! As far as I can see you bend over backwards for other people and don’t even realise. (compared to me that is!)

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