I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about the relationship that I have with my ‘selfish’ friend Lisa and the demands that she puts on me. As some of you know, the reason I started the Hump Day Poetry thing on A Whispered Wind was because Lisa issued me a challenge. In some ways, it was indeed a challenge, but in other ways, it was more of a guilt-induced demand. She saw that I had writing goals lined up for the entire year – some fiction and some poetry. She much prefers my poetry to my fiction and grumbled about how little poetry I would actually be writing this upcoming year. I tried to explain to her that it was difficult for me to switch back and forth between a fiction mindset and a poetic mindset, so if I was writing fiction, I wouldn’t be writing much poetry. She used the “what about me?” card. But if I truly loved her, I would write poetry, just for her. And that’s when she came up with the idea of me taking one day of the week to write a poem just for her. Reluctantly, I agreed.
I should have said no. I know my writing schedule for the year. I know the demands it will be making on me. I know how switching back and forth is difficult for me. So why did I agree? Partly because I didn’t want to hear her whine about how I didn’t love her enough to do this for her once a week. And partly because my word for the year is Abundance and I made a promise to myself that when opportunities came knocking, I would rise to the occasion. Especially if they were writing related. Still, I should have said no. What started out as a whimsical endeavor has become a soul-sucking one. I dread every Wednesday that rolls around. I become moody and dark, and these emotions last for several days. I don’t want to talk to her on the phone and I don’t want to read her emails. I’ve grown to resent her for pushing this on me.
So when I wrote last week’s poem, it encompassed everything that I’ve felt about writing these poems just for her each week – all of the anger, frustration and resentment. After reading it, she sent me this message late that Wednesday:
Well are you really have trouble in
finding the words that you can write
a poem each week sorry to hear this
& I will release you from writing a poem
just one more & you are free as a bird.
And this is where my frustration has grown. Knowing that I am struggling, knowing how I feel, she still wants one more.. one more before she releases me from this challenge.
So I expressed my concerns about this with my friend Claire and she gave me this to think over:
You did tell me you were diagnosed “borderline personality” right? Remember common borderline reaction/behavior: Snap judgment ~ snap-pullout from relationship to save oneself ~ running scared, resulting in abandonment of a friend who may (or, granted, may not) have your best interests at heart.
Ask yourself these questions:
Did you offer to help? even insist??
Is this how she has taken advantage?
Look closely, deeply…
So I’ve been doing as she suggested. And here is where it is time to make a confession. Some of the anger and frustration over this is MY fault. It all boils down to me not being able to say NO and then getting pissy when I have to actually do what I have promised to do even when I know I don’t want to be doing it. And I think because I know some of it is my fault, this is why I can’t bear to talk to her or read her emails. But I don’t think this is a snap judgement issue at all. Lisa and I have had many battles in the past over her demands. She only has time for me when it suits her (i.e. when she has no one else around to keep her company or entertain her) or when she wants me to prove to her that I love her. And no, I don’t think she has my best interests at heart.
I am left with quite a dilemma here. Do I continue to give into her demands and remain friends? Or do I set myself free? Only time will tell. I still have much to ponder here.