An apology, even a sincere, proper and adequate one, does not guarantee the restoration of the trust or relationship that was broken — especially more so when there isn’t any apology extended, when there’s no effort to make amends. Forgiveness also does not mean reconciliation.
I was going through a most challenging time in my life last year. It started in December 2015. During such times, we look to our friends for support. Encouragement. To be comforted. To feel less alone.
But what I received — and heard — was the opposite. An outright rejection and dismissal.
After my misadventure in the province of Antique which left me ‘homeless,’ without any other place to stay, I decided to take up residency in the city where my friend resides. She and I even chose an apartment that was two blocks from where she lives.
At the onset, I forewarned her that I might end up being too clingy and needy, spending time at her place more than I ought to. I might overstep my boundaries without meaning to. I was, after all, so devastated at the time. I was at my lowest. I was, quite naturally, seeking comfort, solace, and company.
My fears, though, turned out to be unfounded. What happened was quite the opposite — to my disappointment and horror.
It was as if my friend and I weren’t neighbors. She was living two blocks away, but she felt far more distant — literally and otherwise — than when I was residing hundreds of miles away.
The growing distance and lack of her presence that I was feeling were getting too unbearable for me to ignore. I confronted her about it and expressed how unsupported and alone I felt in my ordeal. How I felt that she wasn’t there for me during the times when I needed her and her presence the most.
You know, as ‘true friends’ are wont to do.
I was shocked when she blurted out the most offensive words one could expect to hear when one is in despair and feeling so alone and reaching out — and to hear them from a ‘friend.’ A ‘closest, best friend’ at that.
“But my life cannot revolve around you!”
😮 😈 😮 ?!?!?!?! 😬😠😬 What the…….?!?!?!?! 😮 😈 😮
I couldn’t believe the words travelling over the phone line.
(The last time another ‘close now ex-friend’ blurted out to me such similar despicable words was when she was playing the victim role, playing small, willing to step aside and ‘sacrifice’ to give me the opportunity to shine — if I wanted to. 😮 I wrote about that here.)
Despite how devastated I had already felt by her display of lack of sensitivity, I was still able to stay centered — thankfully. I expressed myself respectfully and appropriately.
To my horror, after pointing out how hurt I felt with what she said, instead of apologizing, she even stood by her words and justified them! 😈😠😈 Her reaction was an indication of how far she has yet to master tactfulness and right speech, among others.
A few hours after that heart-wrenching conversation, she sent an apology via text. A most insincere one. No remorse. No regret. Nothing.
She was sorry not for what she said but for the effect that it had on our friendship. She wasn’t regretful of what she told me. She wasn’t apologetic for how it hurt me.
She was only sorry for the consequence of what she said — the likelihood of losing me and our friendship.
That was her first and only text message of ‘apology.’ All her subsequent text messages came across to me as shallow. Artificial. Motherhood statements.
Quite naturally, I didn’t respond to any of her text messages or phone calls. I avoided her. I needed the time and space to regroup and recover. To gain clarity. To be sure that I wasn’t just emotional or letting my anger get the better of me before I make a decision about what to do with our friendship — if it was, in fact, time for me to end it.
“We all have the ability to behave poorly sometimes, but you’ve got to own up to it. A friend that goes off on you, yelling at you or being rude online and then pretends like it was nothing has shown you that you that the friendship isn’t worth much to them. It’s not worth it to apologize or make amends, and it certainly isn’t worth addressing. When they show you this, what choice do you have but to leave?”
A Year Later….
Despite the lack of sincerity in her apology, despite the lack of remorse and regret in her text messages, I was willing to give her a chance to explain. I was open to hearing what she has to say — in person this time. I agreed to meet up with her after bumping into her a couple of months ago.
I was willing to give her the opportunity to make an effort to repair the damage. To make amends. To give her the chance to convince me that she is truly sorry. To show me that she wants to restore the trust that was broken.
I was open to the possibility that she didn’t truly know or realize her wrongdoing until much later after the incident — perhaps after self-reflection or after having consulted with others who helped enlighten her on what she did wrong.
I was ready to listen to what she has to say. To help me make sense of what went ‘wrong’ with our friendship or with her. That there was perhaps something going on with her — internally or otherwise — something that she couldn’t just tell me at the time. That I just became the convenient recipient of her unresolved issues and inner conflicts.
But I was just as shocked as when she uttered the most offensive words to me last year as when I sat in front of her two months ago.
To begin with, she acted as if nothing happened between us. I had thought that her reason for wanting to meet up was to apologize — finally and appropriately.
But I was so wrong.
She just wanted to ‘catch up’ with what has transpired in our lives. 😔😠 I had to redirect the conversation to what I wanted and what was appropriate — to address the still unresolved issue and shed light on it.
And she wasn’t saying anything different from what she said last year. She was still narrating the same story and giving the same justification. She was dealing with the situation and her wrongdoing the same way she did last year — not extending a sincere and proper apology and attempting, instead, to ‘win my sympathy’ by painting the picture of how miserable she was when I was no longer in her life. You know, playing the victim story, attempting — unconsciously most certainly — to make me feel guilty as if her misery is enough reason for me to disregard what she said and give her, give our friendship another chance. 😠
When she was telling me all these, and I was seeing the repugnant old energies unfolding in front of me, it was evident that she was still in the same energetic space as a year ago. She hasn’t actually learned her lessons; she hasn’t grown from the experience. It made me wonder if, in fact, she even reflected on the incident.
But she simply did the best she could — within her capacity and given her level of maturity, awareness, and consciousness.
As do the rest of us.
The Moment of Truth
I only had two questions for her.
When and how did she realize that she was wrong in saying those hurtful words to me last year? And what made her say them?
And I was shocked — again — to find out that, apparently, at that very moment last year when she mouthed those hurtful words, she knew right away that what she said was wrong. She knew. She already knew. At. That. Very. Moment.
Why did she not say so then? Why did she not say so when she sent me all her text messages none of which had any reference to that incident and how regretful or remorseful she felt? What stopped her? Why the refusal, still, — intentional or otherwise — to offer a heartfelt apology?
“I don’t know….” was all I heard from her, cluelessness emanating from her words.
“Could it be pride?” I probed deeper.
“Maybe…” was her curt reply.
It was almost instinctual for me to put on my therapist hat and point out to her how I could see that it was her fear of speaking up that was showing up again. I had mentioned this to her earlier on in the beginning stages of our friendship — something that was often at the crux of the hiccups in our friendship which I shared in a previous post.
Thankfully, I held my rein this time.
Back in my rescuer days, in the Old Energy, I would have interpreted the situation as gifting me with the opportunity to ‘be of help.’ To come to the rescue. Her rescue. I would have readily enumerated — with much pride (arrogance?) — what I felt were her growth opportunities.
But I gagged myself. Rightfully. Thankfully. 😉 👏
Instead of laying out for her all of her lessons and what the Higher Purpose is for this episode in our friendship, I opted to practice self-love. To focus on my growth. My self-mastery opportunities.
A while back, I had already made a commitment to break my rescuing pattern and had succeeded at it. This incident is yet another most appropriate opportunity to practice it — for which I’m most grateful.
I may see with much clarity what her lessons are, but it isn’t my job to point them out to her. Not anymore. Besides, I could also be inaccurate in my assessment.
But as I said in an earlier post, it became much clearer to me how there was an imbalance in the exchange of energies between us. The teacher-student, mentor-mentee type of interaction just isn’t my thing anymore. I’m so over my rescuer days, thankfully! 😉👏
And I certainly wasn’t willing to wait for the time when she would have grown, matured and become better skilled to give me what I deserve. I wasn’t and am not going to settle for less. No more crumbs for me. Not anymore.
All those are so Old Energy.
Wishing Her Well….
I may have been at the receiving end of my friend’s lack of skills and maturity which left me feeling dismissed, dishonored, and disrespected. But I’m choosing to rise above it instead of being victimized by it — or remain angered by it.
I’m focusing on the growth and self-mastery opportunities — my growth opportunities — and I’m much grateful for them.
Admittedly, it may take a while for the pain to dissipate. After all, I’m not just losing anyone. I’m not just losing any friend. I lost my closest, best friend. The only friend I’ve got. The only friend, the only person with whom I can speak openly, freely, and deeply about consciousness, spirituality, self-mastery, et al.
But the fear of being alone and without any friend and any like-minded in my life isn’t enough reason for me to hold on to a friendship that is no longer serving me. Again, that is of the Old Energy. In the New Energy, I love myself enough to say no to relationships, places, situations and all energies that do not honor and respect me — even if that means being alone and on my own.
This, while trusting and knowing that I am never truly alone anyway. That I will come out of this wiser and much more empowered. At the same time, believing and knowing, too, that my ex-friend’s Soul is divinely orchestrating her Life Blueprint for her — however that may look like and without me being its orchestrator.
⭐ ❤ 😀 ❤ ⭐