I recently began writing about my reconnection with my best friend from high school and a little bit about what has been surfacing for me through rekindling this important relationship. I mentioned that she and I had parted ways in the early 90’s and that I couldn’t remember why. I discovered the other night that my friend, J, remembered.
She and I were sitting side by side at an event at the house belonging to one of the boys we knew in high school. There were many people in the room talking and bustling about, but somehow J and I had created this quiet bubble around us where we could talk and get further reconnected. We had only started regaining our friendship on January 9th and, since then, we have each individually gone through huge transformational experiences. For me, it has seemed that God turned her back up in my life specifically so we could go through these things together – these sort of things that solidify a relationship because we become one another’s Memory Keeper.
That night, as we quietly chatted on the couch, she revealed to me what had happened back in the early 90’s when we went away from one another. During that time of my life, I was going through a series of traumas and the period from 1989 through late 1991 has been boiled down to five specific events in my mind – my dad left on Father’s Day 1989, he got remarried in December 1989, my high school sweetheart broke up with me in July of 1990, he got married in September of 1990 (I think… It was sometime in the fall. *gasp* I actually can’t remember the details anymore!!! Wooohoooo! That is a good sign!), and then I met Charles in July of 1991. Those are the only five memories I have of that timeframe. And it was during this time that J and I fell apart.
It was a misunderstanding on both our parts. The boy she was dating was head over heels in love with her and wanted to ask her to marry him. He asked me to meet with him so I could give him insights on how to best win J’s heart so I was giving him all sorts of hints and pointers. At the same time, J was considering going on a mission for the church and was not really that “in” to this boy so she wasn’t anywhere in the realms of considering marrying him, let alone saying yes if he asked. I don’t know why I didn’t know this about J at the time. The only thing that comes to me is my life was in an upheaval and I was sliding into quicksand faster than I was willing to admit to anyone.
While this boy and I were together, we were seen by a mutual friend. I assumed this mutual friend reported back to J, although that was not the case. I began attempting to protect myself from what I assumed would be an accusation from J soon – a common stance of the guilty. Although I hadn’t been doing anything to be guilty for while I was with this boy, I assumed J would think the worst of me – one way that “I’m not enough” showed up in our relationship.
As I’ve mentioned before, J is not that kind of person and I knew that about her, but I still assumed she would think the worst of me. And for J, she shared with me that night, she was experiencing something as being “off” in our friendship and she couldn’t reach me anymore. She was scared that she had done something wrong, but was afraid to ask. She opted to go the route that she normally chose – be happy and act like everything is okay – and, eventually we drifted apart.
Because neither of us was willing to speak our truths, our beautiful friendship was destroyed.
That night, as we shared our awarenesses and she sparked to life in me memories that I had not remembered in a long time, I could see us in church, whispering to one another while we should have been listening to the lesson. She had gotten home from her mission just days before and I had just recently met Charles. I was all bubbly about this new love and certain I was going to marry him. She was happy for me.
At the same time, that night, I witnessed my Young Angie withholding the truth from J, still, because I knew I wasn’t good enough for her. I had slept with Charles. On our first date, no less (*gasp!*) and he wasn’t the first boy I had had sex with. I watched myself closing part of myself off to her because I wasn’t worthy of her friendship. I watched myself do it a year before that whispering in church event – right after I had sex for the first time with my high school sweetheart. I watched me protect myself from her judgment because I was unable to follow the teachings of the church. I deemed myself wrong and unworthy of her because I wasn’t like her. I wasn’t a “good Mormon girl” or a return missionary or someone who would be able to be married in the temple because I was unworthy. I was a wretched slut. I watched myself condemn myself and block myself so she wouldn’t be able to cast me out and… in the end… we cast one another out.
The very thing from which I had been protecting myself happened anyway and it was my own doing.
That night, J and I had the opportunity to forgive ourselves and one another. We had the chance to look at our young selves and see the damage we caused our souls and our friendship. We had the chance to apologize, be accountable, and ask forgiveness. We had the chance to mend old wounds, and reclaim the Love of our friendship.
And we did.
I am so grateful.