Yesterday, I wrote about getting to the root causes of my issues, insecurities and hurts. I said I would use this time to reflect and heal. Well, I decided to tackle my greatest issue– trust.
I am beginning with trust and friendships because this is where I feel I first learned to trust others. My first friend was my sister. Even as toddlers she was my ride or die. I always knew she had my back. My sister, Yvette, is 15 months younger and a brilliant person. No lie! When we were little girls, I used to tease her 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 one of my sister’s bullies. Wish I could take it all back because I now know I caused many of the hurts and insecurities she experienced throughout her childhood/early adulthood. And for that, I am so sorry. By the way, when she brought everything to my attention, I apologized. I never meant to hurt my best friend.
Okay, back to my relationship with my first best friend. Y’all, I never had to wish for a playmate nor was I ever 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 church girl reading books and falling in love. Today, the roles have reversed once again. I am the outgoing one and she is more conservative. Life.
Besides my sister, I only have one other true best friend. Over the years I have called people my “BFF” (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 y’all, we rarely disagree about anything, or you could say, we agree to disagree and leave it at that. As I said, she is the true definition of a best friend.
Now, there was this one time when she hurt my feelings. It was only that one incident, but it must have really hurt because I still felt the sting just now. It happened when we were in grade school. I believe we were passing each other in the lunch line and I tried to get her attention. As usual, she was busy talking to one of her classmates and never looked my way. I felt ignored. Looking back, I do not think that was the case. She may not have even noticed me because as soon as she got home from school she came over. After that incident, I never quite trusted anyone when they were in the presence of other people, and I still feel the same way today. When someone I know is with one of their other friends or acquaintances, I automatically assume they will treat me differently, or act like I do not exist, so I keep my distance. Clearly this is an issue I need to overcome. As I said before, it is time that I address the root causes of my issues and insecurities.
I believe my relationship with Shawn is special because in our 44 years of friendship, we have never lived in the same city for more than two years at a time. Throughout our childhood our moms moved around a lot. Neither of us lived in one city for more than a few years. When my family lived in Jackson, hers lived in Detroit. When we moved to Topeka, they moved to Chicago. By the time we were in high school, she was in Milwaukee and I was in Junction City. We were always moving. Although we were forever moving, we kept in touch through letters and summer visits with our grandparents. Y’all, we loved to write. We wrote so many letters, back then. Personally, I could not wait to get one of her letters. They were like reading chapters from an adventurous novel. She always had something exciting going on. To this day, 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, or 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. So far we have spent our first two in New Orleans. This year, since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not decided what we will do. Maybe we will do something spontaneous. We love adventures!
Anyway… y’all know I get sidetracked, 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 human. They are who they are. 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 hurt them 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 over 20 years. Within the last few years, I believe I have gained 2-3 more close friends. Right now 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 often laugh at things that are not funny); and those who understand that when we do things for each other, they are gifts, no repayment expected (not just speaking in terms of monetary gifts, but visits and calls). We encourage each other. We cheer each other on. No jealousy– only admiration. These are the things that have contributed to our long lasting friendships.
Okay, this was about trust between friends. The next trust issue I will address is trusting family members. There are a lot of scars there. I also need to address trust and professional relationships. Y’all, those hurt too. The last one will be trust and romantic relationships. THAT ONE… Whew!! Listen, I cannot guarantee I will share them all, but you never know, I just might.