Tonight I had a long overdue talk with my dog about being there for me when I’m sad. I feed him, I walk him, I pat him, I hug him. In return, I want him to give me what my dog Bear gave me in childhood. Unconditional love. Bear knew when I was sad. He came to me. My current dog friend has now been put on notice: when I cry, I need support- please.
I know this might not sound entirely logical, but this is a conversation between my dog and my inner child, not my dog and my logical self. In the process, I am grieving and letting go of the past. I’m feeling my old pain- old pain that I never previously allowed myself to feel. And in doing so… I can move on.
I had a really close friend in childhood. She went away. That was okay. But when she came back she was… different. She was damaged. I couldn’t find her. I couldn’t reach her. She was never the same again.
I found another friend. We were so close. But then one day she turned on me. She said bad things about me at school. Some of the issues she had with me were probably quite reasonable- but she didn’t raise them with me. She bad-mouthed me to others when she was supposed to be my friend. We recovered from that but then there was another betrayal, and another. First she made me an experiment, sexually. Then she and the rest of my friends abandoned me when I was targeted by a bully in the first year of high school. It was all too hard for them and I was on my own. The same thing happened when my father committed suicide a year later.
But yes, I am expert when it comes to the fine art of blame and feeling like a victim. It is hard to be courageous and take other people’s crap on when it isn’t your own. They did the best they could. But it still hurts. I am still afraid to trust people. It is a work in progress.
I would love to feel I could trust my friends. But it is hard enough to have friends, let alone trust them. So I keep my distance, even though I know this behaviour is born from wounds, old wounds. All I can do is be willing; willing to heal, willing to trust, willing to risk being hurt again…. all in the name of friendship.