Sunday, February 16, 2014

Contrary


Life is like that. Time is like that - always contrary to expectations, if you have some. I don't anymore. Too many surprises. No expectations on others sees me happy most of the time.

Life has taught me these lessons:

The family you might hope to have holding your hands through elder years are a no-show. Estrangement, distance, disregard, shunning and silence is de rigeur, their new modus operandi. Even though you were there for them in their times of greatest need.

The family you thought would vanish like the first snowfall of the season? They are there through thick and thin, checking on you, asking about Daughter's health and missing daughter - any news?, sending you little gifts, texts.

Lifelong, or just about lifelong, friends seeing you through to the bitter end? Gone. Never to return. It truly begs the question: were they ever really there?

Short-term friends? They call you out of the blue, making sure you're OK, cooking you dinner.

What brought all this deep thinking on top of me?

An acquaintance that truly irritated me. A friend of a friend. And one day she called me out of the blue. When I still had call display. And she shared her surname with another (good) friend. And I thought it was the good friend. And thus I was extraordinarily chatty and friendly with her. Asking her how she and her family were. And I could hear the surprise in her voice that I was so effing kind. Which should be the norm for me. And obviously isn't if you breach whatever standards I am holding you to.

And ever since then? We have a totally different relationship. We let each other into our lives. We're even considering doing a joint art project.

Go figure.





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19 Comments:

Blogger ViewPoint2010 said...

Like so many people, I spend so much time building so many effing walls, I’m constantly amazed that anyone/thing gets through!

It’s protection – against loss, hurt, disappointment, rejection, etc. etc. etc. For so many of us, it’s a natural defense so that our woundedness doesn’t grow deeper ... but like your surname-similar friend, there are those moments when a crack lets in some new light. Amazing what can blossom in that light.

Now, let me go close the window before too much of that light gets in. >groan< 

Sun Feb 16, 02:58:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read every blog you post
...I hope you write a novel someday....
I enjoy It so much
...I.love Irish writers..
thanks.............

Sun Feb 16, 05:25:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Secret Agent Woman said...

Your post reminds me of a friend who always says "everything's the opposite." What I have actually found to be true isn't that it's that clear cut, it's that it is seemingly random. Long-term friends who stick around and others who don't. Ditto short-term friends. Family you expect to stand by you but don't and other who do. Ditto family you' don't expect to stand by you - some do, some don't. If my divorce taught me anything, it's that you can't predict how people will act when times are tough.

Sun Feb 16, 05:43:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Oh my
as always you speak
to this ones
heart.
Have a good day.
Might add
children and grandchildren
love me
but wish they would call
or visit more often.
Everyone is busy
and friends
I thought would be there forever
now I wonder
where are they ?

Mon Feb 17, 09:16:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous nick said...

I still keep in regular touch with my 91 year old mother even though we have precious little in common. My sister and brother in law live in the same town and also keep an eye on her.

But it's certainly a big mistake to assume your children or relatives will support you in your old age. They so often prefer to spend time with their own social circles. I'm glad you have plenty of friends locally who look out for you.

Mon Feb 17, 10:12:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous LadyLuz said...

Isn't it grand that an accidental shift in your behaviour had a positive effect. The ripples went out with your warmer approach, to your mutual benefit.

I haven't had to put anyone to the test yet but like you, I don't have any expectations about the reliability of friends or family to come to my aid. If I need them, I'll ask them and if they turn their back, so be it (the bastards! LOL)

Mon Feb 17, 11:19:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Hattie said...

In families, duty sometimes trumps love. Look to the dutiful children, not the loving ones.
We took care of my mother in law for years, although we had very little "feelings" for her.
My emotional mother made it too hard on us to care for her, so my sister took over. She got along better with her than I did, because she was not as entangled with her.
One daughter of ours is very efficient and takes care of things. The other daughter is very emotional and I often get on her nerves.
What I am hoping is that I never have to lean on either of them.

Mon Feb 17, 04:56:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Veep:

Yes I know whereof you speak. The hurts tend to pile up and overshadow the 'good stuff.' I had to really focus on all that was positive in my life as the dark was taking over. I do lists now and again to remind myself of all the good. Including people as when I look at my family I tend to get so down and depressed, forgetting the ones who are always there for me.
XO
WWW

Mon Feb 17, 06:45:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Anon:

Oh you made my day. Thank you so much for writing that to me.
Novels are coming very soon (note the plural)

XO
WWW

Mon Feb 17, 06:46:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

SAW:

Yes, you've nailed it. Especially in the darker times when others run and hide, I know it's their own 'stuff' but it sure hurts. A lot. Or used to.

When I don't expect care and consideration I am always warmed when it is offered.

XO
WWW

Mon Feb 17, 06:48:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

OWJ

At times, the surprises in our lives aren't always pleasant at all. Especially as we age and the sands of time start galloping and former strengthening relationships turn out to be built on sand.

I find that forming new friendships/associations has truly helped me.

And creativity. Yes, that has saved my life.

XO
WWW

Mon Feb 17, 06:49:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Nick:

Not being in a partnership makes a huge difference too, I think. It is a shame there is no closeness with yourself and mum. But that is the way it is, right? My father and I had our difficulties also, challenged many times by the fact he would stay with me for huge lengths of time.
Yes, I am very glad I live in a caring environment.
XO
WWW

Mon Feb 17, 06:51:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Pamela:

Yes, no expectations is extraordinarily freeing and realizing that it is often me who puts up the barriers with others. And I reminder to not necessarily be kind but to be also warm and receptive.

XO
WWW

Mon Feb 17, 06:53:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Hattie:

If wishes had wings, we never know who'll be our sustainer in later years. I've seen far too many elders abandoned, it is a frightening scene.
But I don't go there mentally. And I try and support elders where I can even if it is just a cup of tea and good listen.
Planting karma seeds? Maybe. :)
XO
WWW

Mon Feb 17, 06:55:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous Ursula said...

As so often, WWW, a poignant post and comments.

I have a happy life. Marred by having to bury the living. If I have related this before please do forgive me. There is a grief which has abated but will not go away. A little over five years ago one of my sisters, ably helped by the one she never got on with, betrayed me. The fallout spectacular. All round. Such is their guilt they can't bring themselves to accept any of my peace offerings. Or explain to me what on earth they were thinking of. Silence. My life - and perception - has done a spin. Took me three years to get over the worst. Not quite there yet but at least the last two years I don't cry over it every day. The bond between them and me (I am the eldest by a long shot) is not so much 'broken'. More like a sailor's worn rope which could be mended. I have thrown so many (life) lines. They can't bring themselves, not even for my mother's benefit, to say something, anything. I dread the day we'll next meet (at one of our parents' grave). They will cry crocodile's tears.

Odd how, relatively late in life, I have learnt more than I ever knew.

U

Tue Feb 18, 09:29:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Ursula:

I truly sympathize, how painful and baffling. Much like my own situation of missing daughter and a beloved niece and brother who have turned their backs and basically FOAD -d me.
I would prefer rage and anger and venom spewed at me.
Silence is the real killer.
So far, my crime is to stay alive.
XO
WWW

Tue Feb 18, 09:51:00 AM GMT-3:30  
Anonymous Rummuser said...

I have figured. You are a nice person.

Tue Feb 18, 12:00:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Ah Ramana:

Seriously? I hope so. It takes one to know one, my friend.

XO
WWW

Tue Feb 18, 11:27:00 PM GMT-3:30  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

Life is truly extraordinary indeed. And often completely unfathomable. Then there are some long-distance friendships which you find only work long-distance and fall apart if one or other of you moves closer. I hope the estranged will realise their loss as soon as possible. My partner has not seen either of his daughters for over two years after his ex-wife poisoned them against him and even made false criminal allegations against him of a nature guaranteed to make them never want to see him again (if they believed her - and who would imagine their own mother capable of lying about such things?)

Fri Feb 21, 06:45:00 AM GMT-3:30  

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