Her initial response was coming from a place of pain and hurt over the loss of a friendship, compounded by years of a misunderstanding being allowed to fester. I understood that. She felt I had abandoned a great friendship when I walked through the “open door” that I was presented with. Since I try to learn and grow from every experience, my first step was to acknowledge that I had caused her hurt and I thanked her for the opportunity to make amends. I also realized that if she had a chance to get a view from the other side, if I had a chance to fill in the pieces for her, she might feel differently.
It is extremely hard to move on after a divorce. Starting a new marriage with children is overwhelming. It felt almost too much to deal with at times. I had fabulous friends and family that I left behind and I missed them terribly, but I was simply drained and exhausted by day’s end to try and stay in touch on a regular basis. Blending my past life with my new life was more difficult than I had anticipated. It was physically complicated given the distance, and emotionally complex as I was in some ways grieving for my old life while starting my new one.
There were days when it felt like I was an actress playing a role in someone else’s amazing story, but I would be lying if I did not say that there were times I wished that I could just wake up and resume life as I had known it, and go back to what was familiar.
Had I been tuned into these feelings back then, I could have discussed them with her; I believe she would have understood, but I simply did not have the clarity at the time to see things this way.
Fortunately we have both decided to open a new door and give our friendship another chance. I am sure that things will be different now; so much has changed in both our lives that we simply cannot just pick up where we left off. We are at a different stage now, with several grown children and many memories created without one another. We no longer live in close proximity so much of our contact will be by e-mail and phone calls, but I am looking forward and excited to see how this new/old friendship might develop.
I have learned a great deal from this experience and it is my hope that by sharing this story, people on both sides of similar situations will be more open and understanding of the process. Change is not easy.
This experience has also been the catalyst for my reaching out to friends past and present to let them know how much I truly cherish our relationships. I hope that by reassuring my friends of how important they are to me they realize that no matter what comes our way, or how far the distance between us, we will do our best to keep each other close in our hearts.