When someone hurt my father's feelings, he was out. That's it. He pulled away. He just couldn't take the interaction, couldn't do the work in healing, couldn't or didn't want to work through it with the person. So I learned to do the same thing. When I feel threatened, hurt, shamed, bullied, I pull away. Fast. If I feel I can't communicate with a person, or feel it's too overwhelming, I pull away. That's it. I'm not proud of this. I would like to hang in there. I do with certain people, but they are the ones who can really get in the trenches with me. I can't do the back and forth anger thing for too long (if it doesn't seem like there is a solution in sight). If my anxiety says leave, I pack. I've done this with a few friends. For some reason, I just couldn't handle them. I couldn't hear them, nor could they hear me. We needed a translator and when I couldn't find one, I packed. I am truly sorry for this. I've been thinking about a few of these friends. I wonder, if I had hung in there, would we have made it through that tough time? Or was it time to move on? And that's ok. I'm not sure.
I'm in a challenging period of my life now. I'm dealing with a lot of anxiety, anger, sadness - tons of feelings. I'm trying to hang in there with myself! But again, I do feel bad and hope in some way these friends either received love when I left to fill that space, knew on some level that I was in too much pain to deal at the time, and know I do send them love even though the relationship altered.
I want to write a letter to all of them. Maybe one day I can send it to each of them. Maybe it's ok to allow what is to be what it is.
So here it is:
I'm so sorry I abruptly closed off from you. I wish at the time I had more strength to explain all of my feelings for having to push myself away. I hope you know I will always have good memories of our friendship. I wish you well. I really hope your life is filled with so much love, and that one day (hoping it's already happened) you think of me fondly and really understand I only did the best I could in the situation I was handed with you. Pulling away from people is a learned thing. I'm really getting that now. I'm sorry if I hurt you. I'm sorry my anxiety lead me to believe I couldn't stand stronger and try a little more to explain my position to you. Again, I did the best I could with the tools I had at the time. I'm learning new tools. As I learn these new tools, I do think of you. I think of happy memories. I also do think of the sad ones. I think of the sad times when I thought you no longer understood who I am. But I guess, I actually forgot who I was which was why I had to cut off abruptly from you. Once again, I hope you are happy. I hope you feel loved. I hope you are cared for.
I send my best wishes to you through this letter. I'm hoping each one of you feels it right now.
My very best,