One thing that amazes me about writing a blog is that some readers actually sort of keep track of what’s going on with me. They read my posts, think about them, even comment – and maybe later wonder whatever happened with a particular situation I’ve written about.
So I’ve realized that I’m due for a couple of updates.
First, Julie. Groan.
My original post about Julie here was a very long, rambling description of an intense friendship that Julie ended by email, under pressure from her controlling partner. I was devastated; I went to therapy; over time I began to feel better.
Julie sent me an anonymous Christmas present. I was angry, and devastated, and went to more therapy.
Julie left me a chocolate bar in my mailbox for Easter. I was creeped out, still somewhat upset, and went to even more therapy.
Then, there were two events at my daughter’s school in the spring where I expected to see Julie. She was there, but we had no contact. I felt relieved and she finally became just a footnote in therapy. I hoped against hope that I could finally close all of those doors and fully move on, but I had a gnawing feeling that it wouldn’t be so simple.
The next potential event for Julie to contact me was my birthday in August. The day came and went, and there was no anonymous package in the mail or birthday treat in the mailbox. Relief!! Until…the day after my birthday, when I got an email. Julie said that she had been thinking about me, but she knew it would be difficult for me to acknowledge her. She just wanted to wish me a happy birthday and all the best for the upcoming year.
Next up? Maybe Christmas. But she didn’t wait that long. Yesterday I received another email saying that she wanted to apologize to me properly. She would like to meet me for dinner so that we can talk. She would be very grateful if I would agree to meet her. She had hurt me so badly last year because she was trying to protect me. She no longer has my cell phone number so she would like me to call if I can bring myself to do it. She has spent over a year building up the courage to do this.
I don’t want to see her. I don’t want to get caught up in her dysfunction, and her apparent need to keep pulling me in and then pushing me away. I’m healthier than I was a couple of years ago – much, much healthier – and I don’t want to expend any more energy on her issues.
I’m clear on those things. So I’ve decided not to reply, just as I have with all of her other overtures.
But…I was curious as to what was going on with her. With Google as my partner, I did some sleuthing and discovered that Julie’s relationship with her partner may have imploded as I had predicted a year ago. And that explains why her contact with me has become more frequent and more direct. On the one hand, maybe she truly is sorry and she wants to make amends. On the other hand, maybe she just wants to draw me back in, only to discard me when the next partner or dramatic situation comes along.
I don’t want to play any more. I’m convinced that if I reply at all, it will only fuel the flames – that she was able to get a reaction from me, that there was at least some possibility that she could get me on the hook again. It’s hard not to reply when I would love to hear an apology that I think I deserve. But I don’t think it’s worth it – the cost of my emotional health is too great. I’m just now learning what emotionally healthy friendships look like – and I don’t want to backtrack to the dysfunction and ill-health of a few years ago.
Hopefully this will be the last Julie update for a while – maybe for ever. Keep your fingers crossed. I certainly am.