Saturday, June 12, 2010

What to Fix ~ What Not to Fix

Been a troubled week for Peacefulbird...

A friend "closed the door" on me. She's not the female confidant type, but has always been friendly and as warm with me as she seems to get with anybody. Several months ago, we started a little business sewing a line of beaded kitchen angels, tea towels and potholders to sell at our local farmers market. We had a number of fun sewing days and started selling our line in April. She's not much for phone calls, so mostly we made arrangements in person or by email.

All seemed to be going well with both friendship and business relationship until two weeks ago, when she declined to come to my studio of a pre-arranged sew-day and ceased to respond to my emails. I tried the telephone... she didn't return my call. Today was our 4th scheduled farmer's market and I didn't even know if she would be there.

All week this troubled me. I wondered, "Did I do/say something to offend her and if so, what? Is she ill?" I called a mutual quilting friend to ask about that. No, she didn't think so.

So, this morning I went to my OA meeting (prior to the market) full of anxiety. When it was my turn, I spoke of the situation and told how it made me want to eat sweets all week (my old way of dealing with things like this). Then I heard myself saying (from some rarely heard wise-woman place inside), "The child in me has been abandoned again. She feels frightened and anxious and sad and angry and confused and most of all she feels lost. I need to help her."

Thus it's NOT about fixing the friendship... NOT about fixing whatever is amiss between me and my friend. It IS about fixing what is amiss between me and the child within (Little PB). On the way to the market, I reassured her that my husband will not abandon her, that my best friend (L) will not abandon her, that my quilting and beading buddies will not abandon her and most of all, that I will not abandon her. I told her I understand how she feels, especially given her loss of Daddy and Mommy.

I had been concerned about eating pastries at the market, but after talking with Little PB, a weight was lifted and there was no significant challenge to avoid food.

My friend/business partner did show up. We were business-like and cordial, but did not discuss our relationship at all. Without the insight about abandonment, I would have been trying to fix it and pushing her to discuss what went wrong between us. Who knows, I don't close that door... maybe someday we'll fix our friendship.... maybe not. In the meantime, I feel a whole lot better!


  1. That sounds like quite an epiphany for you and the child inside. And how great that you used this experience with your friend to grow and learn and NOT to eat.

  2. What a great way to handle the situation!

    And most powerful of all? "I will not abandon her." Big words that will show you amazing results!

  3. Its this kind of connection that I can't seem to realize in my self.

    About 10 years ago I did something that was out of character. Later a counceller told me the reason I did it was because I thought I deserved it. Not for my life then, but because of situations in my childhood. I was amazed and it made sense. But I have never made those connections to food or eating disorders. There's a block or I just don't WANT to make the connection. I don't know.

    Its wonderful that you were able to realize what really bothered you about the associate's disconnection.

    The Power is in the knowledge.

  4. Had a similar strange experience about ten years ago. I ran into my former friend a few months later and she avoided eye contact. I've always been eager to please but fortunately this time I just accepted things as they were. Whew!

  5. Wow, PB, that's quite an awesome connection you made there with Little PB! Good for you!

    "From some rarely heard wise-woman place inside." Glad you found that place!

  6. What a great way to handle this!

    And you said she's not the confiding sort, so perhaps this has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with something going on in her life that she can't or won't talk about. By not pushing her to "fix" whatever may be wrong, you're giving her the space to deal with whatever is going on with her.


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