I never really put much weight into my friendships with people. I moved around a lot so my friend pool changed often. I had a couple of pools but only one pool produced any people that I can sit down and talk about old times with. Not all our old times are so memorable but there were some good ones in between that stand out.
Growing up in a small town made it difficult to find and keep friends. My best friends were girls that moved to town not rooted there like most. Really by that age it’s difficult to create those BFF bonds and sooner or later they get lost in the haze. Not having a large group of friends never bothered me and being a “loner” was okay too. I had learned to live in my own world and I was quite comfortable there, until I got jumped.
That chain of events planted a seed deep within my heart. Each day’s torment fed and nourished it’s growth until it was so well embedded it penetrated my very soul. When I crawled out of that ditch everything moving in slow motion, my ears throbbing from the blows to the head, through the blur of tears all I could see were my “friends”. Perhaps acquaintances is a better term, familiar faces, some very familiar. My life passed before my eyes, history with all of these people, even the people trying to hurt me. We were friends and grew up together, where did all of this anger and hatred come from?
No matter, time will heal or make you forget, for the time being at least. When I emerged from the hospital new attempts were made to be someone else and again, I was failed. The darkness grew deeper with new layers of armor to dull the pain of abnormal. Why couldn’t I just fit in?
So here I am 25 to 30 years later watching my fifteen year old struggle with relationships. Very similar issues to what I faced in my day. Kids today are meaner though, this I have witnessed first hand. On top of their meanness they have no fear of parental figures or any adult for that matter. The same kids that declared themselves my kids best friends would the very next day be the bullies. I didn’t know what to expect from day to day, week to week.
Now with the internet and cyber bullying there is no protection against it. They hunt these poor kids down likes wolves searching for that lost lamb in the woods. Once they have them cornered they make them bend to their will and then dump them again the next day. It was emotionally exhausting for me, I couldn’t imagine what my kid was going through. Facebook has only added to the problem by being the means to advertise ones business and cause drama.
Again I see BFF’s one day turning seriously nasty the next. Where is our morale foundation to community, friendship, brotherhood? Outside of religion why can’t we all just get along? Accept each other for our differences and come together as real friends that would fight for each other, trust each other, and make sacrifices for one another.
My kids whole life all I ever wanted to give her was a stable home in a place she could grow roots and make life long friends. I know I have failed her since I can count at least twelve moves so far. In failing her did I not teach her a lesson of how to make and keep a best friend. I don’t think so because when it comes to BFF’s I have the best, and through all of my ups, downs and full on earthquakes she has always been there…even if it was from a distance.
So is it possible to make a true friend in this day of easy come easy go? For my kids sake I hope so every day. Can we reach out with our hearts and know that what we pull back is real and not without negative consequences. Finding friends, keeping them and nurturing relationships to their highest potential…well that is the journey. When I’m old and gray I pray that I will be able to look around and find myself surrounded by familiar smiling faces, my best friends.