After my initial fear of her, I came to adore my first grade teacher. She seemed to reciprocate that feeling throughout my first grade year. That summer, I missed her and at the beginning of the next school year, I couldn’t wait to see her. First chance was at recess and I happily ran up to give her a hug; she stopped me cold- “you aren’t in first grade anymore so you are not mine!” And pointing to my 2nd grade teacher, she said “now you belong to Mrs. Jones.” I remember walking off sorrowfully. I never trusted Mrs. Jones and never fell in love with her. I don’t even remember what she looked like.
My best friend cousin was just 3 weeks older than me. We were inseparable. When we were 8, she was killed in a freak train accident. I never had another friend as ‘best’ as Vicky.
When I was 10 we moved away. I missed my little neighborhood friend. We had done all kinds of mischief together. A few weeks later we visited the people renting our old house. Their daughter and my neighborhood friend played together as if I wasn’t even there.
The die was cast, for the rest of my life, trust would be hard for me. It didn’t help that I was in a legalistic church group that tied friendship to performance and forbid or discouraged it at will of the leadership.
To counteract what I feel is an unhealthy distrust of others, I am stalwart in my loyalty. I stand by a friend even if I never see them for years at a time and even if they are not as faithful to the friendship, as long as they are not mean, cruel, or ‘two-faced’ with me.
This past week I again encountered this phenomenon. My former director and I were very close but with both of us receiving promotions, she has moved on. As I walked cheerfully up to renew our friendship, it was obvious the relationship has changed. I later was told to limit our friendship because of business politics. Well, she made that easy- she probably got the message first and chose the easy way out. I would have limited the business side but fought for the friendship.
Anyway, as I tried to reason my way through what happened, these thoughts came to mind. I am stronger for what I have lived through. I don’t expect too much of others. I love and sincerely appreciate small kindnesses more than people realize.
I am happy and blessed and thankful for the ability to understand myself and why I am who I am.
It helps to put it in writing.