This week has been a huge lesson in the value of friendship.
This past weekend was the first weekend in months that I have been home both days, with no reason to leave the house. We had a coworker/friend of Mr. Unicorn's over on Saturday, and I had a great time getting to know her.
There was a small blip of unhappiness as another friend of mine (Pearl) said something very unnecessary to me on the phone. I refused to rise to her challenge and politely ended the conversation, but it really sat badly with me. There has been a current of discontent for years now, but she's the wife of one of Mr Unicorn's childhood friends, so cutting her out of my life isn't an option for me. It doesn't help that I have been friends with Pearl's husband since before they met. I feel like I have tried very hard to be her friend, but whenever I call her I feel stonewalled, as she always tells me she has no available time this week, or this weekend, and next week is out also. Recently there's been a sense that she's been ignoring me during big social gatherings. I'm tired of waiting on half-built bridges, and I decided I was done feeling obligated to attend her events and done feeling guilty about not wanting to participate in things that I really have no interest in.
That brief phone call rankled, but the rest of the weekend was still relaxing. On Monday, things started to go downhill. After work Mr. Unicorn and I were not communicating very well--and we knew it--and we worked very hard on getting to a place where we weren't crabbing at one another.
In addition, there was an e-mail from Pearl waiting for me, full of "we need to talks" and "I don't know what's wrong with yous" and "is it because you hate our other friend?" that showed that once again our relationship was really all about her. I sent her an e-mail explaining that I was sorry, but I was not able to discuss things with her at this time, and I did not know when I would be.
Tuesday morning Mr. Unicorn and I finally got things straightened out between us, and I was feeling really great, but by the afternoon things had really started to fall apart for me. I generally have a very happy outlook, but when I crash, I crash hard. The stressors in my life all pushed to the forefront at once, and I was left feeling overwhelmed and helpless. I really needed some support, someone to tell me everything was going to be okay. I sent a few texts out, hoping for some kind words, and I ended up finding it from a surprising quarter: Maca.
My need for support was so great that when I got his text offering to drop by my work for a few minutes... I nearly wept with relief. The fact that this man I had never met was willing to carve some time out of his busy day to show up for someone he'd only exchanged a handful of texts with, just so that I'd be able to feel better--that touched me on a very deep level. I tried to beg off, but he insisted, and he was right. A hug and a sympathetic ear was exactly what I needed.
The whole thing made me realize how isolated I've kept myself. How close I hold my cards. Even now when I'm exploring and meeting new people, how very little I've been sharing of myself. And that it really is a choice I need to make.
That evening when I got home, I got in touch with Lamnidae and let her know I could really use some time together to just chat. She invited me over, and I had a great time venting and listening and just getting to know another woman again.
I have a coworker who is becoming a good friend as well. It's happening slowly but surely, and I'm quite glad of it. She's been an excellent outlet for all the poly talk. She thinks it's interesting and crazy and terribly romantic, though it would never be something she'd do. I love her perspective and gentleness. She's in her early forties and I truly appreciate her experience.
Wednesday night Mr. Unicorn and I went to meet with some college friends of his (who are also friends with one of my other friends) whom I had never met before. It was awesome finally meeting these two that I've heard so much about for so many years! They're a poly couple as well, and Mr. Unicorn had been looking forward to talking about it with them, but it happened that we all had so much in common that we ended up talking about all sorts of other things and barely brought up the topic at all! They were a fun pair. She is intense and creative and random, and he is super sweet and thoughtful and silly. We paired off in different combinations all through the evening, and stayed far later than we probably should have. I hope we get to see them again soon, because I really enjoyed myself!
Another Thursday with Zen was a lot of fun! It's been interesting getting to know him better. I was happy to see him laughing so much, and gratified that we had some serious conversation as well. I gather he'd had a rough week at work. Well, eleven days on will do that to you. I'm glad I could be there help kick off his four day weekend in style.
Friday I had lunch with Maca and we just talked about how our lives are going. It's been interesting getting to know him.
My life continued to just go, as during lunch Mr. Unicorn called and said Pearl had called him that morning and bitched about me for twenty minutes. Mr. Unicorn, being the nice guy he is, lent his ear and later came to the conclusion that she's trying to impress her value system on me, and it obviously isn't working very well for either of us.
Friday ended awkwardly, as I was sort of shoehorned into dinner at an expensive Italian restaurant with Pearl and her husband, Mr. Unicorn, and the other friend who Pearl was asking if I hated. Dinner was civil and downright funny at times, and I tried to be as neutral as possible, but it's clear that Pearl is ready to reconcile and doesn't understand that I need more time. We set a lunch date for Tuesday to just go talk, but then she made some awkward ploy to get me to go shoe shopping with her and our other friend after dinner. I had to politely turn her down, as to be honest it sounded like a recipe for disaster.
Saturday morning Mr. Unicorn was full of bouncy, nervous, excited energy about the day's D&D session he was preparing for and I just needed a break in order for me to find my own excitement. I had wanted a relaxing morning and it was clear I wasn't going to get it. Maca invited me over for a cup of coffee and I got to meet LR and GG and Sour Pea, who was an adorable ball of energy, all in a whirlwind 40 minutes. All the excellent chaos was exactly the sort of distraction I needed, and I came home feeling refreshed and excited about the day's game, which ended up being a lot of fun.
All of this is a big change from my previous routine of "I stay home with Mr Unicorn and do nothing" and things between the two of us have been very good because we're appreciating the time we have together much more.
I feel more balanced, more myself, and I am beginning to realize I can't feel that way without the support of others. It's scary, but it feels so, so good.
Last edited by FormerUnicorn; 10-10-2010 at 10:51 AM.