So by now, several of you are wondering, “Why the fuck are you putting up with any of this?”
The Dude and I have known each other a long time. We’ve been friends through:
- our middle school awkward phases
- his parents’ divorce
- his mom’s coming out
- his sister’s coming out
- his mom’s partner’s cancer
- my dad and wife separating
- his dad getting remarried
- his girlfriend’s pregnancy. in high school.
- his girlfriend’s miscarriage
- his dad starting a new family
- his wedding (when he was 18)
- my dad’s divorce
- the birth of his children (the first when he was 19)
- my friends’ almost dying in a car wreck
- my dad almost dying (the same weekend)
- my divorce
- his divorce
- my dad actually dying
- my divorce
- my joblessness
- my early months of single parenthood
- my grandma dying
- Alex’s terrible threes.
These are the major markers of rough spots in our lives that we have held each others’ hands through. That of course doesn’t list the countless bad days, good days, fun days, all the good and bad that comes with a friendship spanning a quarter century.
He’s a hurt, fucked up, mildly sprained person.
Who yes, has fucked up and hurt me. Who yes, needs to make amends. Who yes, needs to sack up and take responsibility for a whole lot of things.
I put together a long list of people he could go talk to as sounding boards to help him heal from all that life has dealt him. I have reached out to some who will help me screw on my own head.
Today I put a bunch of things out on the table with him. I laid down my absolute “do this and I won’t be your friend” line in the sand.
I told him I loved him, that he was worth me loving and that I would always fight for him. And it is true. He is my family, he is in my heart, he is part of my tribe. There has always been and always will be a Dude shaped place in my life.
And now it is up to him to decide how he wants to take care of me. How he wants to repair our friendship. I can’t do that work for him, I can not control what he chooses to do.
Life isn’t over yet, The Dude and I have plenty of time to figure out the present and the future. I’m just done looking over my shoulder. I have a life to live today.
I am done talking about the past and the shit and the mistakes. I have exhausted all my words on those topics. Today marks a new chapter. One where I will focus on my friends, on fixing up my smaller home, on repairing my own mistakes I have made with Alex in the last four years.
The sun is bright, summer is here, it is a new season. I’m throwing open the windows of my heart and letting fresh life in.