I am a most patient friend. I am a thoughtful (albeit occasionally forgetful to be thoughtful) friend. A solid friend. A friend who is there when the chips are down more often than when the chips are up. I love my friends for all the right reasons and I ignore all the wrong reasons.
I am fiercely loyal. F.I.E.R.C.E.L.Y. Fiercely.
Fiercely loyal. That is, until you mess with Miss Emily. Mess with her and all bets are off.
For two weeks now Miss Emily has been planning on having a few friends over to celebrate her birthday. Miss K., Mr. R., another Miss K and of course, her One True Love. All of her friends have their own special needs and so when things 'crop up' I handle them (the things) delicately because understanding is not always the first strong point to be noticed. I mean nothing bad by that comment. It's a fact of life that you have to listen, judge, pay attention and think quickly and on your feet so that all bases are covered and everyone understands what happened or what is going to happen.
So imagine this afternoon when Miss Emily gets a phone call from her One True Love. (Silly girl is fiercely loyal like her mother. Trust me, it's really a curse) and he tells her that:
We break up. You annoy me. You bother me. And, well, then he hangs up.
"Hello? Mother of One True Love? You couldn't have called me yourself? You couldn't have the common courtesy friends of over twenty years extend to each other and picked up your friggin' phone?" No? Well, great. Go pound sand.
Gotta let the anger go. It's counter productive, isn't it?
Modus operandi status quo. Eff you.
I consider the possibility that Miss Emily may not have understood what he said, but in my heart of hearts I know it's true. How do I know? Well, One True Love's mother, just two weeks ago told me they would be down for her birthday celebration and they would stay over. I stupidly thought she'd come through, but should have known better. History repeats itself; earlier this week I sent messages and called and haven't heard anything back, so I knew, I just knew, that this would probably happen. When I tried to discuss it with Miss Emily before this afternoon, she wanted nothing to do with it so I had to let things unfold the way they had to unfold even though it was making me anxious and worried and, yep, angry.
Give me a second while I FLOG MYSELF before I go on. Let me BERATE myself for thinking, yet again, that this woman cares at all about Miss Emily and me. You know. Her friend.
Her One True Love is not the young man he used to be. He's mean to her and nasty to her and although he'll tell you he doesn't want to hurt her feelings, he does it routinely, glibly and without a bit of hesitation. He has turned into 'all about me' selfish and it is not pretty in the least. He didn't know how to be this way before and I know he learned it from someone. Who wants to take responsibility? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Did I mention One True Love has DS too? So I extend an awful lot more patience, kindness and understanding than I would to say, that idiot my oldest daughter used to date. (yeah, that one)
His mother will make excuses; he's not the same since his surgery. He's really not doing well, Kath. Okay, that may be true, but, um, you aren't the same since your divorce and that's really when he started to change. When you and Knuckle Head couldn't see beyond yourselves to know how you were affecting One True Love.
Whoops, a little anger creeping in there ... stop it. A little more SELF FLAGELLATION please.
When Emily told me first and then her sister what he said and then asked, "Where's One True Love now, Mom?" My heart skipped a beat or two. I tried to gently lead her into the One True Love isn't coming most likely conversation and all that got me was a beautiful, fiercely loyal young woman reduced to tears.
Thanks a boatload One True Love and your mom.
Thanks a boatload.
Life changes and things happen and we sort through, we work through, we understand, we don't understand but we accept it anyway. Let me ask you this: Why? Why accept what is completely unacceptable?
Insert more FLOGGING right here.
For his part, One True Love, for a long time was a sweet little guy until Mom and Dad got too busy one-upping each other with work hours and outside friends and what-have-you. Until One True Love was left, very often, unsupervised in some naive game of chance, which didn't always work out well. For him. And then it was all about his being a victim. And I'd have to agree that yes, in many ways he was (or is) but not of the world ... more a victim of his parents inability to, um, I dunno know exactly.
This has happened more often than not in the last year or so and about a month ago I had to take the phone from Miss Emily and tell One True Love not to call her. I told him that he upset her and she was crying and there was no reason for him to keep calling her over and over to, essentially, just be a prickly little bahstard. No. No. I didn't name call. I was calm and nice and kind. And I let his mother know what happened. She finally sort of discussed it with me via e-mail. Way to go.
Shame on me. I'm being judgemental. It's easy to be that way when you aren't walking in someone else's shoes. But you know what? I don't care. I'm sitting in my chambers right now and I am thinking about what sentence I am going to impose.
Sadly, whatever the sentence, it will have the most effect on Miss Emily and on her family. We are the ones who will pick up whatever pieces have to be picked up and we will work to build her self-esteem back up. We will be there for her and we'll even be nice about One True Love because that's what Miss Emily will expect from us. We'll be nice because she'll want us to. You know. Because she's fiercely loyal. Just like her mother. Poor girl.
Let me go outside and find a nice willow tree SWITCH.
At the moment I am not a woman who wants to say I will never let Miss Emily see One True Love again. I am not a woman who wants to throw away a friendship of over twenty-years. A friendship entrenched in the 'battle of special needs' and you know, trust.
But, um, I think I have to. I think I have to let it all go. I absolutely have to do what is best for Miss Emily. And sometimes, doing what is best for her hurts. A lot.
I'm no stranger to pain. Good thing.
Pass the Willow Switch, will ya'?