Whoa, that was a crazy dream! So, last night we had my almost 7-year-old's birthday party! He wanted tacos and Star Wars, so we had a crazy afternoon of 8 kids running around, eating and watching a movie. So Fun. He had a great time! After the madness calmed down, I went back to my LiveJournal to reread the entries from around his birth. SEVEN YEARS. I can't believe it. It was really interesting, but also painful, to reconnect with that time. I had these two friends that I met when DS1 was tiny - like 3 weeks? 4 weeks old. We were together *all the time*. After DS2 was born, it all fell apart. I really don't know why, though I have my speculations. Of the two women, one went out of her way to make sure I knew I was the one being excluded. The other, who was really the one I had thought would be a friend forever, (B) tried a bit, but for her personal reasons, couldn't stay my friend. This was one of the most painful experiences of my adult life - it truly broke my heart. Being dumped by the women who were practically family messed me up in really big ways for a long, long time. So anyway, reading about Walter's first 6 months brought a lot of that up, because that's when it happened.
So I went to bed and had a really interesting dream. I dreamed I was at a store in the town where B lives now (which is not the place where we had all been so close) and I ran into her. She came over to me, and gave me a big hug and told me she missed me, wanted to talk, and tell me what had happened. She apologized (note, I don't think anyone needs to apologize for a friendship having run its course, and B was never cruel to me). In the dream, I was so happy to have...resolution? I guess? Understanding what had happened? That's what was so hard for me, never having an understanding of *why* they didn't want to be my friend anymore. It hit me very deep on that core insecurity of being not good enough and unlovable. I don't believe that *now*. In a way, the experience helped me grow and be more independant - I have made a wonderful community with amazing friends here where we live now, but I don't let myself depend on *anyone* the way I did with those women. And, my belief now is that the birth of DS2 changed the dynamic so profoundly for all of us. We also were coming to a place where we parented quite differently, and how I parented just didn't work with them. How you parent with two kids 20 months apart is different an only child! But instead of letting the friendship naturally drift away as we went on to preschool and life, I was cut off. So ANYWAY - that part of the dream was really powerful for me, and made me realize that this is not as finished business as I thought it was (JUST WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW, HA HA!).
What was interesting was where the dream went from there. The store we were in was a mama and baby goods store, and I was looking at diaper bags. Note: at that point in my life, I had a HUGE diaper bag and stroller obsession. I still have a large collection of expensive bags, which is amusing because I am SO not a designer-type of person, really, I'm Target and Kohl's (another big difference between me and B & S). So, I found this amazing bag which apparently retailed for $199.99 but was on sale for $19.99, so OF COURSE I was going to get. From there the dream went to a classic anxiety dream - my car had been towed, all my stuff was strewn about the streets and I couldn't even remember what I'd lost, and I realized that it wasn't 1:00, it was 2:00, which meant I had missed picking DD up from preschool by an hour so I had no idea where she was (funny, in my dream, I knew she was with one of my friends, either D or J, so I knew she was fine), and I couldn't make my phone dial to confirm it. That's when I woke up.
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. Like I said, there are ways in which that experience was actually really valuable for me and pushed me to grow in an uncomfortable, but necessary, way. I learned that I can get through what felt like one of the worst things I could go through (and I've lived through rape and violence, so that's saying a lot!) and be really okay. And, it's not like I've spent every minute since then mourning those friends. I grieved, hard, for a long time, but it felt resolved to me. I'm not sure that it is truly UNresolved, or if it's that so much of my past pain has been mucked up recently that it's just part of the parcel, or maybe I just stirred the pot by reconnecting with those memories. It really makes me sad that so much of Walter's first year was so painful. And, it's very interesting to me that the thing that would be the biggest terror of my life, not knowing where one of my kids was, was actually ok in my mind because I knew she was with one of my friends here - people I can truly count on.
I don't think there's anything to DO at this point. I found a therapist that I liked and connected with (the woman who on the phone I didn't think was going to be a good fit turned out to be great)! So, I'll definitely bring this up to her. I don't think I would reach out to B mainly because she made it clear she didn't want to be my friend, but in the dream I was so happy to think we could have a connection again. If somehow magically she reached out to me, I'd be receptive. Mainly, I just hope she's happy - she was going through a very hard time herself at that point, and I guess is that that was why she couldn't be my friend. I do understand that. As I'm thinking about this, I want to consider the possibility that it was something I had done, but honestly, I can't think of anything other than having a second child.
I continue to focus on gratitude and thankfulness in my head. I feel like it's really easy for me to get derailed by anxiety and fear, and that if I let my head go to that place, it gets very dark. Can I have gratitude for the awful experiences too? That's hard. I feel like if I have gratitude for those, it's somehow saying that what other people have done to me is okay, and it's not (this is more about the violence and abuse I lived through, not friendships ending, because that is part of life). Is the gratitude for getting through and being okay now? I don't know.