Monday, June 13, 2016

Friendships Forged in the Trenches

I'm in two minds about whether friendships that start and bloom in the midst of shared suffering are a good thing, or not.

Take my experience in the Mother Baby Unit, for instance.

I bonded with most of the ladies in there quickly, and our shared experiences led us to become fast friends. They understood what I was going through more than many of my other friends and family could. That's not a slur on anyone....sometimes we just can't understand a particular trial someone is going through, unless we've been through it ourselves. While in the MBU, one of the ladies started a secret Facebook group so we could stay in touch after we were discharged.  As we were all gradually deemed well enough to return to the real world, we continued to share our struggles and sorrows via Facebook, and tried to spur each other on.

Recently, I was wondering about how one of the ladies was going, as I'd heard she'd been back to the MBU. She was also on my personal Facebook friends list, so I went to send her a private message, only to discover she was no longer on there. I assumed she must have chosen to deactivate her account. Then I wrote a message in our secret group, asking if anyone had heard from her as it appeared she was no longer on Facebook. A few of the other ladies replied, saying she hadn't deactivated her account, that they could still see her profile, but that she had removed herself from our group. I then realised what had happened....she had unfriended and blocked me.

I was in shock, I felt embarrassed that I was the only one she had blocked (I would understand if she'd blocked all of us, assuming that maybe she didn't want to be reminded of the MBU), I was worried that I'd said or done something inadvertently that had hurt her. The other ladies reassured me that it was highly unlikely I'd done anything wrong, that she must be just going through some stuff, and it was her way of dealing with it, and not to worry. I still couldn't stop wracking my brains for a bit, worrying about what I might have done. I have no other way of getting in touch with her, so I have to leave it in God's hands and move on.

That's the thing about friendships between two people with much as they can be comforting, there's also the potential for much hurt when one or both of you are going through hard times. People handle things differently, and I have no idea what goes through their heads that leads to the decisions they make, although I guess it makes perfect sense to them (or maybe not). When I'm really down, I make decisions to reduce the hurt (i.e. putting up walls to protect myself from certain people). Sometimes I just can't bear other people's burdens.

Friendships forged in the trenches.....are they a blessing?

Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no.


Wendy said...

Hmmm, tricky. Sometimes I find friendships born in the trenches (different trenches to yours) are just for the season. As in, I don't keep up with those people after that particular situation has changed. Maybe that's more than "sometimes" perhaps, "often".

Sarah said...

I think you may be right about friendships sometimes being for a season, Wendy. It's just sad when I'd like the friendship to continue, but the other person sees it as having outlived its usefulness.

Tonight I discovered that this lady has now unblocked me. I received a Facebook invitation to another MBU lady's baby's 1st birthday party and I could suddenly see the person who'd blocked me. Unblocking doesn't automatically make us Facebook friends again (she'd have to re-add me for that), but I wonder why she's decided to unblock me?! Bizarre.

Wendy said...

I have to believe that some friendships are for a season, I get way too much traffic through my life for some of them to be anything else. I understand that that isn't the case for everyone.

Yes, when there's an uneven investment in a relationship, that's always hard!

It's not worth losing too much sleep over this lady's actions. She sounds as though she's acting a little bit irrationally, though she's probably got her own reasons she's unlikely to share them with you!

Sarah said...

Yes, as an introvert, I would be overwhelmed if all friendships were lifelong. I'm happy to let some go, it's just sad when ones I'd like to see continue do end.
I'm not losing any sleep over that lady's actions. I just thought it was very odd.

Iris Flavia said...

When the hubs got so severely sick a woman (?) from the United States, who is in the health sector found me looking for Braunschweig-related stuff.
She helped me through the hard times (and was the one who set up my FB-Account with my name in English).
When I happily told her Ingo is all well (I thought), she stepped out of my life.
To this day I wonder why.
And she´d been there for me for months! Telling me private stuff and all.

Sarah said...

Yes, people are weird.