I had a roommate one time that I became really close to. At least I thought we were close? We lived together in a house of four young women for a couple of years post college. When she moved to a city far away to head a non-profit, she stopped returning my phone calls. Surely her new position required much of her time and though I tried to chalk it up to us going in different directions, it hurt. An acquaintance who was also a close friend of hers told me she had blown her off as well, which made me feel a little better, but not much.
This friend was from a wealthy family. I grew up poor. She was the first person from old money I’d ever had a friendship with and through her I learned not to automatically resent rich people. This was an important lesson for me which I do believe paved the way for more prosperity in my own life. It’s hard to attract that which you deem evil. She wasn’t stuck up at all, and my spoiled rich bitch stereotypes were dashed.
Still, when she stopped calling, it pushed all my buttons. Did she think she was better than me? Obviously she didn’t deem me worthy of her friendship? This set me on a spiral that lasted for years, wondering what I did wrong? Was I so rough around the edges at the time of our friendship that she found me repulsive? Was the friendship which I thought was real, a joke for her? While we were hanging out those last few months, did she know she would drop me as soon as she left? Oh how I tortured myself over this, but then my own life got busier and I let it go. At least I thought I had.
A decade later, when I was pregnant for Seth I started to think about her again. I knew she was from a prominent family that ran a magazine in a well known city. I thought maybe she headed home and worked for the family company? I googled the magazine and though I did not see her listed on the staff, her sister was. I e-mailed explaining who I was and asking her to forward a little note to my friend. Surely enough time had passed for any petty grievance to be forgotten? Her sister’s response was very friendly. She told me she’d forward my e-mail and informed me that my friend was expecting her second child. I was thrilled for her and couldn’t wait to tell her about my own little girl. To think, we had kids the same ages!
She never responded.
This took me straight back to a place in which I am very small, and convinced that I’m not worth anything. A place where I feel terribly flawed.
I offer this friend a prayer of thanks.
Had she not blown me off, I never would have had the opportunity to confront this view of myself as inferior. I might have received a few nice ego strokes had we reconnected, but would have continued to ignore the pain deep in my psyche.
Tonight I had the urge to google her again, but I’ve been working hard over the years and I’ve got more tools now. Instead of letting my mind go there.... “Why didn’t she like me?” Tonight I ask the more relevant question, “Do I like me?”
I stand in front of the mirror. I see someone who has come so far. The product of a teenage marriage. The child of an abusive alcoholic. The person I see can’t possibly be judged for who she was at 22. She was just getting started. I see kindness and compassion. Someone who loves strongly and tries hard. Staring hard into my own eyes, the answer to my good question is “yes.”
For reasons I’ll never know, a friend who once meant a lot to me rejected me.
And....if this never had happened, I might not have looked in that mirror. What a blessing she was.