Last year, somebody who has always been very important to me and somebody I believed I was also very important to, did something that truly hurt me, and I wondered for a while if I was supposed to cut that person out of my life...for good, forever, never speak again, "you don't deserve me", etc. etc. etc.
I was so crushed by this person's behavior, I couldn't imagine things ever being the same with them, and figured I had to shun them completely.
And I realized I really didn't want to do that.
This wasn't a romantic relationship, and it feels like that would have been easier to do so had it been one. It's easier to accept a hurtful betrayal from a romantic interest instead of a good friend.
Instead, this was somebody I truly always shared a pure, unadulterated friendship with, and that's what made it so painful. This person wasn't supposed to hurt me, and they did, and seemed totally oblivious to the fact that they did. Did the fact that they had no idea that they hurt me so much make it okay, or was it even worse?
I found myself defending this friendship to other people. They found it hard to believe I would even want to be friends with this person. I kept on repeating the same answer--that I wasn't defending their behavior, but I also wasn't going to defend myself for sticking by them, that this was somebody I had shown love and loyalty to for a very long time, and I wasn't going to take it away now when they likely needed it the most.
A few weeks ago, I found closure in this situation. It wasn't closure that involved detaching from this person, but closure in accepting that it was okay that I didn't want to to detach. I realized that I had to forgive this person, even if they didn't quite know that I had been so angry and hurt, and that there was an unspoken understanding that we'd always in each other's lives and didn't owe anybody else an explanation.
There's a novel called The Object of My Affection by Stephen McCauley. I've seen the movie a million times, partially because of my hero, Wendy Wassertein's, fantastic adaptation of a screenplay.
The novel ends with the pair of friends on a ride at Coney Island.
The ride starts and the narrator says that, "We must have stayed on that thing for twenty minutes, spinning in circles, getting tossed into the air, thrown against each other in the corner of the slick seat by some centrifugal force as inevitable as death and much stronger than love."
I remembered that passage when I was coming to terms with my situation and reread it, and related to it very much. It suddenly made so much sense.
Sometimes there ARE just things that keep us cemented together and nobody else is supposed to understand it, and that's okay.
I realized this person is supposed to be in my life, and will always be in my life, no matter what, because that's how it's supposed to be.
I'm not being a pushover by forgiving this person, and I also am not going to let this person hurt me again, either...but I know they're supposed to be there.