Wow. I just this read this blog from Kristen over at Chasing Blue Skies and boy did it hit home. Here's my story and how I can relate….
"I think I'm too real for you", she said.
I stood there not having any clue how to respond. (in my head I am thinking "what the fresh hell?)
We were on the sidewalk, enjoying the warm fall sunshine and waiting for our kids to come out of school at the end of the day. I had just apologized and lamented about how bad I felt that life had been so busy up to that point that we hadn't met for a morning coffee since school had started back up, but that next week was looking good.
And she says, "I think I'm too real for you".
She is working thru some stuff, some pretty deep, unimaginable but very REAL stuff. I get that. She has openly shared some of it with me. She said when someone is sick with disease or cancer it's easy for people to care for them, but when it's head and heart stuff, past physical and emotional pain or mental health, she said people don't know how to care for you. They don't bring you meals or offer the same kind of help as when someone is physically ill. Except that I would, if I thought she would accept it. I have offered to pick up her kids, to just come and sit and be with her over coffee, to be a friend who is willing to just listen. She talked her way out of any help every time. And she had already canceled on me twice since school started. Perhaps if I was a better friend, I wouldn't let her talk her way out of it.
My dilemma is that I counted her at the top of a pretty short list of women who I called friend.
And she says, "I think I'm too real for you".
I have no idea what she was trying to say to me in those 7 words. If she is "too real" for me, is she saying that I am am NOT? not real enough for her? Not authentic enough? Not vulnerable enough? Not transparent enough? Or is she saying she doesn't think I can handle the things she is struggling with? I don't think I have ever judged, or acted or said anything to give the impression that the things she has shared with me make me uncomfortable or I wish she hadn't shared them in the first place.
Just prior to this statement, she had also said something about how she gets that some people are handed different lots in life, that some people just have it better, easier... whatever.
But I realize NOW that was another slightly backhanded commentary on my life compared to hers. I do have it good. I know that. I have an amazing husband who loves me, is unselfish with his time, works hard and strives for excellence in all he does and has his priorities straight. We both come from families of faith and commitment and long marriages. We have great relationships with our extended families. We don't have generational cycles of addiction or abuse in our past. We are financially stable, have worked our way out of minimal debt; we get to travel and do fun things without much trouble. Our kids are decently smart and make good choices (most of the time). We are connected and have an awesome church family.
So I know it appears on the outside that I must "have it better" than others, that things have somehow come more easily for me. But I am lonely and struggle with self-esteem issues; I second-guess just about every choice I make - nearly everything I say, do and wear. I am 30 lbs overweight. I question my "friend-ability" nearly every day. Most days I feel pretty insignificant and that anything I could possibly contribute outside the walls of my own house wouldn't make a difference. I wonder, especially now that I am in my 40's, what my purpose is - the big picture and greater good of what my life really means. I am very lazy in my walk with God - neglecting time spent in prayer and reading the Word more days than not. I question my parenting, yell at my children too much and am terribly impatient. I can be really (really) lazy and procrastination is one of my love languages.
So no, I really don't have it all; I don't have my act together.
But, I also think I am pretty darn "real". I am loyal to a fault. I know how to laugh and cry. I see things for what they are and have a pretty good gut instinct that I have learned to trust. I trusted her. I made time and invested in this friendship. Does she think I am too good for her? or not good enough? I am sad that she has chosen to cut me off like this because I truly with my whole heart thought we were the real deal…she was THAT friend (the one my heart aches to have) Even still, nearly three months later, replaying those words over and over, I don't know what she truly meant. My gut is to forget it and not look back. But then am I proving her right? Was it a test? Was she testing my "realness"? My loyalty? To see how I'd react and if I'd stick it out? She has pushed me away before. She is a complicated person and I have tried to stick it out, but this has thrown me for a loop.
I just wonder how many times does one get pushed away before you just stop reaching out? Do I go to her and tell her I miss her friendship and ask her what she meant? Was it a "bluff" that needs to be called? I just don't know.
I thought she was a "safe friend", the friend I have prayed for, and I know I was trying to be one to her, but now...I just don't know.