Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Find Out Who Your Friends Are...

I admit to reading the Reader's Digest. I even own a subscription. The latest one has a Quotes page and the theme of the month is Friends.

The two that stood out the most are the following:

"You find out who your friends are when you're involved in a scandal"
"Friends are God's way of apologizing to us for our families"

I've found this out a few times in my life.

There is nothing more scandalous than getting pregnant at 19 (technically 18 - didn't know it till I was 19) in Alabama in the last 80's while single. I was at college. I wasn't allowed home until the 'issue' was taken care of. And it's very hard to go through something like with so little support.

I tried to get a friend to let me stay with her (i was able to pay rent) since she had a house off campus, but her mother said no, because it would look like they were condoning my behavior. Sigh. Granted this friend, while caving on that issue was extremely helpful after the baby was born and I couldn't pack my stuff for when Dad came and brought me home because I'd had a C-Section.

Finding a place to rent off campus was almost impossible once they found out I was pregnant.

Other 'friends' wouldn't even let me in their place because just being around me made them uncomfortable.

It was hard. I won't sugar coat it. It sucked toast hard. But the two friends that were there for me through the whole thing are friends to this day. I'd do anything for them.

But it also makes you wary. You don't trust people. You don't want to risk losing these people when things get tough again. And at some point they always do.

Second scandal was my divorce. Which, while mostly amicable, still meant people took sides. One friend no longer asked me to be the cookie manager for her daughter's Girl Scout troop because her husband worked with my ex. Most of our friends don't know the full story behind the split. Things might have been different. But even some family members on my side were ridiculously gleeful that I had fallen so far as to get myself divorced. Even better for their opinion was that I lost my job shortly after the divorce was filed. Double whammy. Yah! The golden child has fallen so far off that pedestal, she's never getting back up there. Charming, eh?

With family like that who needs enemies?

But stuff like this helps shape the kind of friend you are. I'll go to the mat for my friends. Not necessarily no questions asked, if they are in the wrong I'm going to tell them.

But if they need my help they know they can call me and I'll do whatever I can to be there for them.

I've got their back and I certainly hope they have mine.

funny pictures of cats with captions

What kind of friend are you?


Katherine said...

I hope I would be a friend like those who supported you! Isn't it amazing how some friends and family members think they know more about how our lives should go than we do? I know that was a hard time for you, but you came out of it with some very good friends and I'm sure it made you stronger. God bless you!!

T said...

I totally agree that adversity teaches you who your friends are. I am sorry to hear about the trials that you went through. When my sister lost her place I let her stay with me for over a year. Though I am happy it was a temporary arrangement it is nice to have siblings/close friends you can depend on. I will not let people take advantage of me, but I would never deny my friends/family help I am able to provide. I know you would be there for your true friends as well. Am sure your future is brighter for the dark times you have shed in your past.

AlisonH said...

I cannot begin to fathom how a parent, much less a friend, could fail to take you in under such circumstances. My stars! There's this lovely phrase of, Let him who is without sin cast the first stone--and the rest of that story is that it was the oldest in the crowd who threw his stone down on the ground first and walked away, judging himself in that moment, finding he could no longer judge the woman.

We're supposed to go through this life to learn to be compassionate, darnit! And I'm sitting here being angry rather than being compassionate at the people who should have done better who didn't treat you better when you needed them to. I so hope they've learned...

Anonymous said...

I soooo have your back.....

I can't believe what people did (or didn't) do for you, especially family. If I had known you then, I would have taken you in a heartbeat!!

I'm so glad you got out of there......grrr!!



p.s. You are coming to Stitches, are you??

Anonymous said...

For a moment there, I thought you were talking about me - been there.
My gram once said after I broke the baby news - "remember, you aren't the first person this has happened to and definitely won't be last."
My family/friends know they can count on me for whatever comes their way...comfort,help, support,prayer - whatever.
Bless you

Barb said...

Had the same experience when I got divorced. Isn't it amazing how "family values" only extend to family who adhere to the picture-perfect vision of what a family should be? And yet, I don't know a single family who looks like that.

Cyber-families are pretty good, though. We're here and we don't judge.

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

Great post honey. As always, you speak to my soul.