Yesterday, I wrote about getting to the root causes of my issues, my insecurities and my hurts. Said I would use this time to reflect and heal. Well, decided to tackle my greatest issue– trust.
So, I began with friendships. I decided to begin there because it is where I feel I first learned to trust others. My first friend was my sister. She was my ride or die, even as toddlers. I always knew she had my back. My sister, Yvette, is 15 months younger and a brilliant person. No lie! I used to tease her when she was little because she walked slow, talked slow and was a little chubby. Perhaps I was jealous because she had more book knowledge than me. She was always reading something. I, on the other hand, used more logic, i.e., common sense, to accomplish things. And when I think about it, we have not changed much. Too funny.
Side note: Yeah.. I will admit, I was a bully. Wish I could take it all back because I now know I caused hurts and insecurities for my sister. And for that, I am so sorry. By the way, when she brought it to my attention, I apologized. I never meant to hurt my best friend.
Okay, back to my relationship with my first best friend. I never had to wish for a playmate, and I was never lonely. It was always Shaun and Yvette. We came as a pair. As we grew older, our roles began to reverse. She became the more dominant, outgoing person and I took a seat in the background. As teenagers, I loved how she brightened up places with her loud laughs and personality. She was the life of the party. During this time, I was more on a path of building my relationship with God. I was the one reading books and falling in love. Today, the roles have reversed once again. I am the outgoing one and she is more conservative. Life.
Outside my sister, I only have one other true best friend. Over the years, I have called people my “BBF,” best friend forever. However, this one is my BFF. Her name is Shawn. Yes, another Shaun/Shawn. We met when we were two years old and have been friends ever since. In our 44 years of friendship, we have never had a fight. Honestly, we rarely disagree about anything. She is the true definition of a best friend.
Now, there was this one time when I felt hurt by something she did. It was only one incident, but it must have caused a lot damage because I still felt the sting when I thought about it. We were in grade school. I believe we were passing each other in the lunch line and I tried to get her attention. She was busy talking to one of her classmates. I felt like she ignored me. Looking back, I do not think that was the case. She may not have noticed me because as soon as she got home from school, she came over to my house. After that incident, I never quite trusted anyone when they were in the presence of other people, and to this day it is the same. I automatically assume people I know will treat me differently, or like I do not exist, when they are with other people. Which is an issue that I need to overcome. As I said before, it is time to address the root causes of these issues.
Okay.. so, here is why I believe my relationship with Shawn is special. In our 44 years of friendships, we have never lived in the same city for more than two years at a time. My mom moved around and so did hers. We always kept in touch through letters and summer visits with our grandparents. We loved to write. We wrote so many letters, back then. Honestly, I could not wait to get one of her letters. They were like reading chapters from a great book. I still have a few of her letters from high school and early adulthood. Eventually, we traded our letters for cards. Now we text and send each other e-cards. We typically call each other once or twice a year, especially if the news is too good to put in a text. Yes, we would rather text than call. This is why I love her! We also try to meet up once a year, even if it is only to spend a few hours together as we pass through each other’s state. When we turned 45, we decided to start having annual girlfriends retreats. We spent the first two in New Orleans. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not decided what we will do this year. Maybe we will just go with the flow or do something spontaneous. We love adventures!
Anyway… y’all know I get off track, lol… a couple of years ago, we decided to redefine our relationship. We are no longer BFFs, we are sister-friends, because we are so much more than friends. I guess you can say she set the standards and expectations for other friends that came along, and for those to come.
Of course I have other stories about friends who have come and gone. Some of those relationships resulted in hurts and insecurities. Yesterday, I revisited those pains and released them. People are people. After 46 years of life, I realize people make mistakes. People say and do things that they later regret. As with my sister, I probably caused damage too. And if I did… well, let’s be honest, I know I did… I am truly sorry. We live and we learn.
So, most of the friendships I have today, I have had them for over 20 years. Within the last few years, I believe I have gained 2-3 more close friends. We are still learning each other. Friendship is not something I take lightly. My circle of friends consist of people who respect my space. Those who understand my sense of humor (because I will laugh at things that are not funny). Those who understand that when we do things for each other, they are gifts, no repayment expected (not speaking in terms of monetary gifts, could be a visit, or a call). We encourage each other. We cheer each other on. No jealousy– only admiration. These are the things that have resulted in our long lasting friendships.
Okay, this was trust between friends. The next trust issue I will address is trusting family. There are a lot of scars there. I also need to address trust and professional relationships. Those hurt too. The last will be trust and romantic relationships. Now, that ONE… Whew!! I cannot guarantee I will share them all, but I might.