When is a friendship not a friendship?
I recall spending weekends, and spending time with a gorgeous couple each and every week back in 2004.
They would laugh and play with our kids, take possession my our youngest (who was a baby) and hug her the entire duration of their visit.
I loved them both and I thought that they were both my friends.
We enjoyed sailing trips, scenic driving tours, walking, meals and the kids even bought gifts on occasion for them.
I thought what we had was a friendship, but apparently, I had it all very wrong.
I had seen my friend outside of a Pizza shop where she related that her and her husband were enjoying a quiet night in together.
It was also at this time, that she decided to tell me with brutal force that she was not my friend.
She followed this with a statement that she was not interested in my friendship and advised me to find a female friend who was more suited to my company.
To say I was devastated, deeply hurt and in shock was an understatement.
I walked away, although I really wanted to run away. I was crying, but once I got to my car I sat and sobbed for what seemed like hours.
How did I get it so very, very wrong. Why did she even bother to spend time with me, if we weren’t friends?
Her husband some time later apologized for her thoughtlessness. However, she never, ever did say sorry for being so cold.
Sadly, this would not be the only time people who I thought I could trust ended up hurting me to my very core.
BUILD A WALL TO HIDE BEHIND
There are only so many times you can be hurt by the people you trust, that out of survival you start to build a thick, strong wall brick by brick to hide behind.
I believed that I must be an awful person, I must have done some pretty terrible things to people to deserve the treatment I was given.
I made a decision to hide behind a wall / a self made barrier so that no one would hurt me again.
MISSING OUT ON LOVE, LAUGHTER AND COMPANIONSHIP
I became lonely and resentful, my family and work became my haven from the cruelty of friendship.
I loved my work and my work gave my self-esteem, the positive feed back I needed.
But, apart from a couple of individuals I had no friends. My husband and soul mate was one of a handful of people I trusted with my life and happiness.
Everyone else became an acquaintance.
TRAVELLING OVERSEAS RETURNED MY FAITH
There is something about travelling overseas and meeting new people that help you to gain a new perspective on life.
In 2012 I attended a client’s wedding in India, because he wanted my company, and felt highly enough about me to give an invitation to attend.
In 2013 I travelled to a social media conference solo in the United States where old acquaintances became dear friends and new people entrusted in me their friendship.
I learnt for the first time since 2004 that I was a person who was seen as a warm, kind and worthy enough to be a friend.
I took a risk, a risk to face my fear of crowds, to travel by myself solo, attend a conference, meet and make new friends.
The emotions I was feeling became overwhelming.
I made a decision to take a break from the conference to sight see, cry and feel joyful.
From that day on, alone in San Diego, I made a promise.
A promise to chip away my pain and open my heart.
To welcome friendship and forget the past.
Three years on, I now have found new friendships and taken risks. The fear of being hurt no longer looms over me.
FORGIVE AND FORGET
The secret is to forgive the ones that hurt you, forgive yourself for not knowing the answers, and forget about what is the past.
Each and every morning holds adventure.
There are new warm and wonderful people to meet who will enrich your life, mind and heart.
The only person who can stop you from happiness and the warmth of friendship is…….. yourself!
HAPPY SNAPS FROM A FRIENDSHIP THAT NEVER EXISTED…….