charles_hanon (charles_hanon) wrote,
charles_hanon
charles_hanon

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Mom and friends

The coming and going of mother's day this year got me thinking about my own mother and my friendships with other women. I think they have some parallels.

I respect my mother and we are fairly close. This is despite a particular wound that occurred between us in my formative years, and is still there in a way. It's not something that will ever go away and we have talked about it, but it's just kind of there and keeps us farther apart than we would otherwise be. It is something that my mother can't or won't change about herself & her life.

I have the same problem with friendships, I think. I can really feel a great connection with someone, but I'm always afraid of betrayal and perhaps that comes across as a certain hesitancy to get too close, or as an unwillingness to reach out when time, distance, or inconvenience are in the way. But just as I can't give up my mother, I don't like to give up on friends.

I recently was on the receiving end of something like this for perhaps the first time. A few years ago I was involved in an activity with a person, who I'll refer to as Z, who became a friend. This was not an instant falling-in-love kind of friendship, it was more a gradual thing that took a little bit of work on both our parts to overcome our respective reserve. When the activity ended where we saw each other regularly, I was still friends with Z. In the last few years both of us have experienced a number of ordinary life changes such as having children, moving, etc. My policy with old friends generally is to "pick up where I left off" whenever I do see them again. But this time it didn't seem to work.

I saw Z a couple of times, months apart, and it seemed somewhat normal, maybe a little cooler than before but not unexpectedly so. Recently, some things happened in Z's life which she sent out in kind of a mass e-mail to a group of friends. I tried to reach out to her, offer to meet for lunch or another activity, and I offered to share my experiences with a somewhat similar situation.

And I was met with complete and utter silence.

My mother and I TALK. That's why we still have a relationship. As Thomas Mann said, "Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, maintains contact. It is silence which isolates."

Hope everyone had a lovely mother's day.
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