I think the dinner with Katie was a success.
I had shared with my family and friends what was going on, since this moment has been a long time coming. Just a few hours before the dinner, I was on the phone with my dad. He was like, “Does she know that you’re planning on talking to her about this?” I told him no, and he was like, “Well, when you start, maybe you should say something like, ‘it’s not my intention to ambush you.’”
I felt a little annoyed by his suggestion. I thought about it and wondered how the hell you can warn someone about a conversation like this. “Hey, just so you can mentally prepare, I’m going to be talking about how I’ve been trying to end our friendship for the past 18 months.” I mean, really?
On the way to the dinner, it occurred to me that we may have to wait to be seated. I wondered if it would be best to start up with the conversation, as soon as I arrive… or would it be better to wait until we’re seated in the restaurant? I decided the latter was the superior option.
Katie arrived first. When I got there, she ran up to me and asked if she could touch my belly. I said, yeah. Then she walked me over to her car where she was keeping a baby gift for Morgan, a gift for my daughter, Leona, and a bunch of hand-me-down maternity clothes for me. I smiled and said thank you. Things were feeling a little too comfortable by the time we got seated. It would have been so easy to side-step the whole damn thing.
I said, “There is something I need to talk with you about tonight.”
She said, “Uh oh.”
I said, “Yeah, uh oh. It’s kind of heavy. I’m not looking forward to it.”
I asked if she was ready, and she said yes. I started by saying that I’d been dishonest with her.
I told her that I’ve been harboring a lot of negative feelings, like anger and hurt, for a long, long time. I explained how this is a dynamic that is unique to our friendship only, and I believe it is because of the time our friendship was first established—when we were 12-13 years old.
I told her that ever since her baby shower in 2019, I’d been secretly hoping, if I didn’t ask her any questions, didn’t check in, and only engaged minimally… that maybe she’d just go away. Until now, the thought of addressing my feelings seemed too intimidating.
I told her that part of the problem is that, when I have tried to tell her how I’ve felt in the past, she’s been extremely defensive. After getting into several draining confrontations with her, I decided to stop communicating about feelings and to stuff them, again and again.
I told her that I’ve stuffed so many feelings that I’ve begun to associate the thought of her with negativity. I am not proud of this, but when she comes up in conversation, it’s very hard for me to not shit talk her. And that sucks. I don’t want to be a shit talker.
I gave her the example of how she acted when I bought my condo. I told her that it felt like the biggest achievement of my life—something to celebrate—and her reaction felt to me as though she shit all over it.
She said that she remembers bringing me a housewarming gift. I said, if she did, I have no recollection of it. The only memory that stayed with me were all the things she said (how it was too unsafe to bring her kids around, how it didn’t come with air conditioning) and how badly she made me feel. I pointed out that my love language is words of affirmation, so whatever gift she gave didn’t even register on my radar.
She acknowledged that day. She explained how her husband and father-in-law had scared her by spewing off crime rates and how she was literally shaking in her car because she feared for her life. She said she can see how her behavior was hurtful. She said she was only thinking about herself and so she completely overlooked how it all could have made me feel.
I asked her what it was like to hear me say all of this, and she became tearful and said it doesn’t feel good to hear. She did say that while she had an inkling that something was wrong, she didn’t think we were going to address it. For that reason, she did feel a little blindsided. She was also, however, very receptive to everything I said.
I said I didn’t feel like we needed to rehash every time I’ve felt hurt and angry, but if we decide to remain friends, the one thing I ask is that she be receptive to my communication of feelings moving forward. I asked her if she even wants to work on this friendship, or if she thinks it’s a lost cause. She expressed a lot of concern over whether or not I want to work on it. I said I’m open to working on it, but I asked her to take into consideration how she might feel after taking the time to process everything I just said. It was a lot. And I also cautioned her that I may have a lot more feelings than she’s used to me having. It may not be pleasant.
She said that she can’t imagine us fighting about anything, which is the same thing she said last time I ended our friendship and we made up. I reminded her of that. I can see that she still has a lot of blind spots, but she acknowledged that, too. She said she avoids confrontation in all of her relationships. I explained that what I’m suggesting is that we increase the amount of confrontation between us (in a healthy way).
By the end of the night, we’d both cried a fair amount, and we’d agreed that we’re not willing to throw in the towel yet. I feel like I was more authentic than I have been in years, and I believe she showed up the best way she knows how. There isn’t really much more I could have asked from her.
In other news, I’ve taken more steps toward planning our family-maternity and newborn photoshoots. I scheduled my hair cut and color. I’m talking about dates with my photographer-friend, and I’ve ordered a few props (an infant photography pillow, a wooden apple crate, and some red bloomers for Morgan to wear with her apple beanie). I still need to order another dress for myself and my daughter and we need to figure out what my husband will wear. Guys, this shit is expensive. (And also totally going to be worth it. You’ll see.)
Tomorrow is date night. My husband agreed that our favorite local spot sounds good, and we’re thinking of watching some kind of light-hearted comedy. Recommendations are welcome. We have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO.
I think that’s it! Until next time <3
Last updated April 12, 2021