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.

The die was cast, for the rest of my life, trust would be hard for me.

The die was cast, for the rest of my life, trust would be hard for me.

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.