By Gracilis,  Friendship

Keeping it Real

It is quite rare that I get the opportunity to write on this blog for two weeks consecutively. In as much as I love to write, I am plagued with mixed feelings as I would have to continue to recount some more relationship disasters but just like a little red can turn yellow orange and not the other way round, I am hoping that this recount will help someone else’s relationship for good.  
Growing up, I found myself avoiding people who were given to emotional outbursts. I was sort of quiet and did not know how to be vocally intensive especially on the spot. What I lacked in vocal expression was made up for with my pen . This was further enhanced by the kind of home I spent most of my childhood in  coupled with a father that would make me write several essays .
I clearly remember being puzzled whenever I watched two people fight in the boarding school I attended. I never could imagine what would cause me to engage in a fight mainly perhaps because I could not even fathom how to actively exchange words or even go physical and strike a blow. Physical outbursts were a no no.
But I vividly recall an encounter in the university. I had this friend who I had stayed with, no not the right word, squatted with the year before(let us call her Rita ) and in this particular academic session, she(Rita) had some challenges with accommodation. So she came to live with me. The only issue was I was already living with another friend, however we accommodated her . I am not claiming I did everything right but I would say that there were perhaps somethings I should have talked about rather than remaining silent. There were some things I should not have done to show this friend the futility of her living off our generosity then. It appeared like she never had any money to spend once it involved the three of us but she was well capable of receiving. Any which way whatever I didn’t like, I bore it all believing that it would not be forever.
 So the fateful day came and this friend of mine(Rita) decided to leave for her own accommodation. She did not  inform myself or my roommate( Lovina) but decided to share with another friend who was a classmate and lived in the same flat. This other lady inquired from her if she had told us she was leaving to which she replied we did not care(this was recounted to me later ).
Her exit was not unceremonious as she left a stinker note for me which unfortunately  was seen  by my roommate first.Yes it was addressed to me but she read it especially as she was puzzled that our lodger had moved out.
Like I said, I do not claim to have done everything right but the contents of the letter did not help issues. My roommate was so angry and when I came in, she showed me the letter.
I am not sure why I was so angry, perhaps partly due to the insults and accusations in the letter and also the pain that she did not really realize how much a sacrifice it had been for us to accommodate her. But I think the real issue was that I did not want my current roommate to think I did not also appreciate her allowing my friend to squat with us. We talked late into the night (screaming) and I think my previous lodger friend(Rita) passed by and got a wind of how infuriating her note had made us.
The next morning, she paid us a visit and entered the room with a  pseudo (that’s the way it felt then)cheerful “Good morning”. I am sorry to inform you but I went completely out of character. “Keep that good morning to yourself” I replied and went on. My current roommate also went on expressing our anger and disappointment.
She was shocked at our reaction but it appeared she was more pained at mine as she had never known me t behave in that manner before. She actually reported me to a mutual friend of ours(whom I will call Ayo) who called me to order . I did try to defend myself though but Ayo was not taking any excuse for my behaviour   and I left her presence feeling ashamed  of  my actions .I am not sure but one of the reasons I went ballistic was I thought I needed to show my roommate I was in sync with her hurt. To be completely honest, if I had seen that letter first, I would have kept it away secretly.
This happened almost twenty years and it is an incident I remember because the friendship I had with  Rita never ever was the same. She actually eventually came to live in the same flat with me the next year  but did not extend anything more than  a polite response  to courtesy greetings. The friendship was over because perhaps I had done the unpardonable.
I look back now and I think I overreacted because I was trying to please someone else. Or maybe I did so because I had been piling up things and not really dealt with issues , cooking like a pressure pot till I exploded. No, I almost said I have never exploded like that again but remembered another incident two years late(another foolish action ). Let me stay on this one. If there was any lesson I learnt, I learnt that dealing with matters as they arise is one of the ways to avoid blowing up later. I also learnt that I had to be myself at all times, I paid a price dearly for the shouting I did… and I must say, I think I apologized but unfortunately  Rita  never gave the friendship another shot .
It is almost two decades now but the pain has never really left my heart. The fact that one single incident was enough to end the friendship still hurts . You may not really understand my pain but perhaps I could get you to empathize with me when I say I am one of those people who happen to be extremely loyal, if you are my friend, men you are my friend and I mean till death do us part.
Also I have learnt over the years also that it is equally almost stupid to pen down or try to convey one’s  hurt in words . Written words say more than we intend especially in times of offence.These notes written in anger/hurt  most times also have the ability to leave a stabbing knife   in someone else’s heart causing unnecessary damage to our relationships.  Sometimes when we are hurt, in a bid to keeping it real we end up keeping it hostile!
Lastly I would also like to say that if our friendships cannot go beyond hurts, then we are not prepared to have deep, true and lasting relationships. I am not aware of any one of my very closest friends now who has not hurt my feelings in the past before or vice versa.. It took   a decision  to take the bad and the ugly as well as the good of the relationships and forge on further in our friendships. With each hurt forgiven we understood each other more and walked better together .Keeping it real for me in a relationship is keeping it simple, uncomplicated by unresolved hurts and unnecessary hypocrisy.
I love to write,
 Dishusbandmata….passionate about relationships


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One Comment

  • Anonymous

    Wow Gracillis it took another reading to appreciate some of the depths and the truth of what you have shared.please continue writing .

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