Monday, November 10, 2008

Close Encounter

So, M. and I stopped at the local coffee shop for a latte before my therapy appointment. While we were standing at the counter, there came from behind us the sound of the door opening and closing. Naturally, we both turned to look at the new arrival. And who should it be but the Toxic One?

We both turned back around and put our backs to her without further eye contact or comment. M. moved to the "pick up" counter while I went further into the shop. Then I knew I couldn't stay there any more with her there. So I told M. that I was going across the street (to my therapist's office) and asked him please to bring my coffee to me there, which he said he would do.

I had not been in that close proximity to the T.O. in six years. That's how long it's been since the badness between us went down, but I still feel embittered by it. I took one look at her and just thought, "That's an ugly person." I feel it right down to my toes, like I've been bathed in slick black crude oil or some other nasty goo.

I think I need to be smudged.

I discussed this experience with my therapist, of course. She said I should be proud of myself for allowing myself to have my true feelings about the situation and setting good boundaries: i.e., extricating myself. And maybe she's right about that. Okay, yeah; she's right about that. I've wasted too much time and energy making excuses and feeling bad and taking the blame for what happened between us on myself.

But is it really okay to judge? I don't believe it is. I have spent a lot of time and energy learning compassion too, and forgiveness. So why can't I forgive this person and move on? I thought until today that I had: that I had forgiven her but just didn't want her in my life anymore. Now I don't think that's true. I don't know if I can ever forgive her for what she put me through in the three years we were really close, in the ill-fated band.

I do know she was my friend, it seemed, and now she's not. And that's a grief to me. After the hostility and the lies and the failure to communicate, why is that? Why can't I just let it go?

I have a headache now and feel sick at my stomach. I have no answers, only more and more questions. The vision of her standing there in the shop doors is frozen in my brain and I think that brief second in time is also something I will never be able to put away. The moment I said, "This is an ugly person."

This was the real end.

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