That’s what friends are for.
For Easter weekend, I headed straight to Memphis. Three of my friends from college live there now, so I love getting to see all three of them in one visit. Between the four of us, we did everything from going to Cracker Barrel for brunch, squeezing in tight fitting rooms to zip me into wedding dresses and, of course, talking our heads off.
(That’s Kelly in pink, me beside her, Christan next to me and Brandy in the yellow.)
My weekend with my friends was wonderful and still bittersweet at the same time. I’m going through a situation in my personal life right now where I’m completely estranged (by my choice) from someone who I really, really don’t want to be estranged from at any time, but especially in the months leading up to my wedding. The problems have been going on for over six months now and it has left me pretty quiet, as you’ve probably noticed. And, well, defeated. I feel very, very defeated.
For the last few months, I have put a lot of my life on hold hoping that things would get better and that I would feel like it was appropriate to ask the person to be a part of the important events happening in my life right now. I’ve certainly tried to fix our relationship and I think the person has tried in their own way, but for various reasons that I don’t want to get into on a public blog, it just isn’t working for either of us. Relationships are just hard, you know?
One of the biggest things I’ve been holding off on was looking for a wedding dress while I waited for things to get better. Things have not gotten better, though, and I didn’t want to face it. Luckily for me, my friends decided to help me face it. A few weeks ago, my Knoxville-based bridesmaids gently prodded me into starting to look while we were together one night and, over Easter weekend, my Memphis-based bridesmaids took their turns helping me. Then, this past weekend, Cate and I went and found the perfect dress which I’m planning to order as soon as I get paid this month. Just thinking about how my friends have stepped in to try to help a painful situation be a little less painful has made me more grateful than ever for them. I feel like they’ve kind of circled their wagons up around me and said “We’re not going to let the time leading up to your wedding be a bad memory for you. We will help you make good memories.”
But the other thing that has made me thankful for them is that they’ve been willing to speak up when they’ve seen me be in the wrong about the situation, too. The situation has caused me to feel a wide range of emotion — from sadness, to anxiety, to jealousy — and, more often than not, it has caused me to lash out in anger because I have no other way to express how deeply hurt I am by this relationship. I hate what this situation has brought out in me and how I choose to react sometimes. I will start thinking about how hurtful the situation has been and, before I even know it’s happening, I’m suddenly lashing out at the person or overeating my feelings of rejection.
Anger has never been a big part of my personality so I have been so surprised to see what control it has been able to have over me. Sometimes, when the anger has welled up in me, I lash out towards the person who has hurt me because I want them to know and grasp how badly I am hurting so that they will change their behavior. A few of my friends have happened to be near me when it has happened and have spoken up each time to say “You know, you really shouldn’t react that way” or “You’re better than that. You can handle that better next time.” I’m grateful for the fact that they’re not afraid to say things like that to me. They agree that the events that have happened over the past six months have been profoundly hurtful in my life, but they also know that only I am responsible for how I react to the events. It takes a lot of guts in a friendship to speak up like that, you know.
I am really disappointed that there is any bitter in the sweetness of the months leading up to my wedding. But, if there is going to be bitter, I’m glad for friends who help take the edge off of it.
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