As time goes on I find that I dwell on the past less. There are times however when the past does seem to catch up with me and this morning was one of those times. What I mean by the past catching up with me is how I label when the pain of the past causes me deep fear; causes me to barely able to move and causes me to curl up in bed crying out in an internal pain that I can barely voice.
I don’t know why this happens. Perhaps its part of the grieving process! This morning I woke up thinking about the destruction of past friendships. There are three friendships in particular that my ex wife destroyed which cuts to the bone. While there are others she caused to become distant within the marriage; I have in some ways resumed some contact with them, but in particular the loss of these 3 friends really hurts.
2 are a couple whom I have known for 25 years. We spent time together, helping each other out; got drunk and in general had a good time. Another is married and though I know her husband and got on well with him; I was closer to her then he.
These friends were there for me when my dad died. They were there for me during many other times. I went to their weddings, children’s baptisms, anniversaries, birthday parties. We went on holidays and went interstate with each other.
There was one time when we went on a road trip to Melbourne. I was driving my friends car, he was in the back with his wife and I found myself stuck behind a tram… his words of advice to me were...there is another tram coming up behind you. On the trip home we caught up with other friends at Albury where we stayed for the weekend… and we left as a group and his car broke down… being the adventurous type and having done much hitch hiking in the past I was sent off to try and catch up with the others. … some time later I find myself 50 kms up the road hoping for another lift, having waited for some time….and they come trundling up the road and he cheekily stops and asks if I would like a lift.
There was a time we both were sick; I found he had the day off and we decided to drink 2 bottles of port. Our reasoning being if we are going to be sick ,we might as well enjoy it. Another time he borrowed my lawn mower and told me that as he was mowing the lawn; the disk and blade unit came of and scattered across his backyard. By now you can get the drift that we shared a lot of good times.
Years ago one couple moved up to Queensland. We saw and heard little from them, apart from a yearly visit and phone calls. Despite this I still considered them friends.
8 months ago I discovered them on face book. They have my two brothers on their group of friends and rejected my contact with them. The other friend has done likewise; though she doesn’t know my brothers…I have since found out that when I separated from my wife in February 2009 she rang all of my friends telling them lies about me.
Losing friendships hurts. It makes you wonder what was the point. What was the point of those past experiences. And so deep grief raises its ugly head about deep losses and not only is it a loss; it goes deeper then just loss. It comes from the helplessness and hopelessness that comes about from death. It’s the death of friendship. There is pain from rejection.
And this pain of rejection feeds on the pain of abuse. For abuse is all about rejection. It’s all about the rejection of your right to be treated with dignity and respect. Abuse is all about control and manipulation. Its all about destroying who you are as a person. And so this morning I found myself under the weight of the past abuse. The memory of the hopelessness. The memory of the despair.
Yet there is hope. There is joy. There is new purpose. I find when I hit rock bottom like this; I try to take my thoughts captive and think about mercy and justice. I think about when I met my current wife and when we married 6 months ago. I think about the new friendships I have made since. I think about the hope I have as a Christian. And this morning I found an email in my in-box from someone who is taking the issue of intimate partner abuse of men seriously and is going to promote it via the media.