Monday, December 29, 2008

That it's too late to apologize...

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are getting ready for a peaceful new year. I had a different kind of post planned for today, but something just happened here at work and I need to share it because it has left me sad and confused.

I had written a brief little something last year about a good friend that I work with, during the whole "monster" drama. You can look back at it here: if you are so inclined.

So when I was caught in the abusive relationship with the Monster, I was not "allowed" to be friends with this lady, and even if I was, she was not interested in being my friend anyway as she did not approve of the relationship and kind of had the vision to see what was to come, that the relationship would end up violently if not tragically.

After all was said and done and I came to work broken, bruised and beaten, she came over to me and didn't really say I told you so, but expressed her sadness at what had happened and hoped I had learned and would finally stay away from this man. I did and I did.

We managed to slowly rebuild the friendship. It was difficult, as she had really felt I had hurt her, and I know that I did say some terrible things to her, but I was the one who was in the abusive relationship. I was the one who was forced to tell her things I did not mean because this horrible man was going to knock me across a room if I did not.

So fast forward to last week. She asked me to giver her a ride home as her car was in the shop and invited me to come to her house for a quick visit after work to have a glass of wine and see her Christmas tree. I gracefully accepted. Grateful that I would be welcomed in her home after all the pain and drama of the past year. As we sat chatting, I shared this gratitude with her and we got into a conversation on the rebuilding of our relationship and a few stories of past hurts, etc. At some point in the conversation, I extended an invitation to her and her partner to come to my house one day this week to come to my house and see my tree and maybe have a bite to eat. I did not realize she fully accepted this invite without consulting with her girlfriend and that it was set in stone, that the day would be today.

So now it is Christmas Eve, and Christmas, and a million things to do and a busy week and at some point during the week, I invited new guys parents to my house for dinner tonight, completely forgetting about the invitation I extended to my friend from work. I come back to work today and we are all catching up, and chatting and I mention that the new guys parents are coming for dinner and a few minutes later I get this email from my work friend:

"I need to just kind of “put this out there” because it’s a little unsettling to me that, well, I guess you totally forgot that you had invited me and *** to come over tonight to see your tree and “possibly meet new guy” – but of course you’ve made other plans. It’s awkward for me --and while *** asked me to thank you but said she couldn’t make it because she’s working until 8, I guess tonight when she asks what I ended up doing I can just make up some reason that I told you I couldn’t make it – or I could tell her that we were sort of uninvited because you’d made other plans – but in any case it puts me back to a place I don’t want to be in.

I wouldn’t say anything like this in front of ** (our officemate) but there’s no other time I’d be able to talk to you. I know I used the word “unsettling” but the truth is it’s just plain hurtful. On Tuesday you’d made it very clear that you were extending this invitation. I know I didn’t misunderstand it. I just don’t know what it means that you would just forget about it. "

So of course I sent back my deepest apologies, how flaky of me, how sorry, etc. Only to be followed up with a series of emails about how my behavior makes her vulnerable, and my friendship is conditional, etc. etc. etc. I acknowledge I was wrong in forgetting, but it was not purposely. And certainly never intended to be hurtful.

Ten emails or so later, I have been forgiven, but basically also made to feel like a total loser and bad friend and person. Since when did EVERYTHING have to be so much work? Am I wrong to feel a little miffed about this? Was what I did so awful? Is it no longer acceptable or in vogue to be human and make a mistake?


Syd said...

I had a similar situation with a friend. I made amends but I got a lot of judgmental stuff back. I don't want to be around judgmental people--heck, I've beaten myself up bad enough that I don't need it from others. I prefer to stick with those who can accept me for my foibles. Unfortunately, the people outside of the program don't seem to be able to be accepting.

vicariousrising said...

It sounds to me as if she hadn't bothered to inform you her partner wasn't coming. I would have thought someone banking on such set plans would have made a point to do so, in all politeness to you. Maybe see ifcshe could bring anything? Check on a time for coming over?

I smell a complaint without basis, unlessnshe was sitting around waiting on you to extend further instructions. Which is rather childish in an adult friendship. If she couldn't be bothered with following up with you, then I can't see that she has a right to be so huffy. Then again, I do understand you perhaps being on a bit of probation after treating her badly before. Still... it was Christmas freaking Eve. It sounded like an informal get together at some nebulous time from how you first described the invite.

I dunno. Maybe she's over sensitive. Maybe it was mutually bad communication. I don't think you should take the full blame for this one.

Cat said...

Way too much work for taht friend - seriously - if it does not work out in your plans - it does not work out - iof the friendship is more work than fun then something is wrong and having a 'freind' berate me about forgetting or rearranging plans - really makes me think that maybe its not such a friend i really need in my life.

hey it is my two cents... obviously relationships of any kind take work - but how much work does it take to ask a friend to accept an aopology and reschedule?

Have a great new Year!!!

Wife de Dingus said...

You know what I say Kel, don't be friends with anyone crazier than you. In this situation, don't be friends with anyone more high maintanence that you. She told you she was hurt, you said you were sorry. That really should of been it! Especially since you had cleared the air about what had happened in the past... Good luck!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

In AA we have a saying that you are as healthy as your friends. It sounds like your office friend my have some things to work on...friendship should not be traumatic for people and it needs to be safe.
It sounds to me like there may be some projection going on with your office friend? Who knows.

Many Hugs,

pat said...

I doubt I can say anything better than what has been said. Happy New Year.....

Pen to Paper said...

been there... done that... both end of it unfortunately. Best thing to do is start over and slowly. It really sounds as if she has issues of her own to work through.

someone who wishes the best for you said...

You had dissapeared
hope ur doing well girl


Pen to Paper said...

Come out... come out.... wherever you are... I need my NYC fix lady!

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