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Friday, March 9, 2012

The (un)Friend

Since my recent divorce and remarriage, I've had friends jumping the "Carissa friend-SHIP".

In all honesty, there hasn't been many… but there has been close friends-- people who I considered to be more like family have chosen sides when no one required it. I know I never did… For me, it wouldn't be fair to make friends choose between me and my ex-husband. It's childish and ridiculous. Besides, I don't dislike the man. I just didn't want to be married to him. There's a difference.

I've heard things like, "You didn't care what other people thought when you were getting divorced. You hid away because you knew I wouldn't agree with you… Why would you care now?"


"You've stood there, with your fists up, ready to knock anyone to the side if they don't blindly follow you."

The interesting thing is this…

I never expected people to blindly follow me. Nor to agree with me. My fists were and are always unclenched until someone directly attacks my character or my intentions without knowledge or justification. I never hid away, though, I will admit, for a time it was hard to get together with people. Not necessarily because I thought they might disagree with my life's direction… but because I was truly busy.

I had a new life to build. I had a new house to move into. I had to put my focus where it mattered most. Myself. My kids. My new spouse.

Everyone and everything else was, for lack of a better word, temporarily extraneous.

That included my blog. Facebook. Twitter. Even Pendomus.

Those friends who were true, understood the why.

Those who didn't, clearly were not.

Now that things have settled, I've been returning to a sense of normalcy. And extending my hand back out to friends and family previously outside my center of focus.

What I didn't expect was the hostility from those who I was mistaken about. Evidently, because I made a decision that was unpopular with them, I am no longer allowed to have feelings. About myself. About those around me. Because I wasn't as readily available, I was hiding. Yet, every friend who asked me to do something during my transition, I made time for if I could. If I couldn't, I offered suggestions for alternate times. Yet, that goes unnoticed.

If there's anything last year's narcissisticapades taught me, it's that people are going to form an opinion of you regardless of the truth. Regardless of YOUR own personal truth.

So, in times like these… when people cannot see who you are beyond their own perception, it's time to let them go. Transitions are funny like that. People come and go.

With this wave knocking a few people from the boat, there will be others, willing to climb aboard.

And with any luck, those who do, will be true.


Krista said...

I find it interesting how some people misinterpret what others do or say. I used to think it was a flaw in my character. That there was something I needed to fix.

Then I realized I can't control the way people react to me. Now I am content to be hated for who I am. Plus - it takes a lot less effort too.

Pavarti said...

geeze, people can suck. I'm sorry about that. I've lost friends over tings I had a hard time imagining losing friends over. You are a strong person and while I'm not in your real life I've never seen you do anything negative or asking anyone to take sides. I'll hop on the book again this weekend so we can get you up and running again full steam ahead :)

RhiannonPaille said...

Yep I've been here, but not because of divorce actually. People just do this naturally I think, they automatically pit people against people. Because my husband and I run a big event in our city, I've been called a biotch by people I don't even know, and vice versa. People have said they "hate that guy that runs that event" even though they don't know my husband from a hole in the ground. People are ignorant, they do form an opinion about you whether they know you or not. Half the time all they know is what you did, not who you are and that's often a mistake. I'm on board with you but then I don't know you that well, hope to change that!

Anonymous said...

I must say, in light of some recent upheavals in my life, the friends who I thought would always remain my friends jumped ship as well. In fact, if anything, they proceeded to tell me how I ought to act in a time when I needed them the most. That I should be "like this" or should be "like that". It was enough to laugh. And that's what I did. I laughed at their silliness! Funny thing about it is they wallowed in ire instead of understanding where I came from with my words. Gosh, but I didn't care. It's my life and I could choose to live it anyway I saw fit. If they didn't like it, tough. Life goes on. Anyway, Any chance on making this comment a blog post for my own site? LOL ;)

Heather Tel said...

People are stupid, they can all just go jump off a cliff =) I love you always Carissa, no matter what choices you make or what our differences are. I'm glad you're smart enough to move past the ignorant idiots in this world lol. And I'm happy that you found a new happiness! YAY COLLIN! lol

Amberr Meadows said...

To hell with them. if they're real friends, they'll be there. Fake friends are a waste of your time, anyway. Who are they to judge? Until their sh*t smells like roses, they should shut up. Good luck with the new marriage, and I'm glad everything is getting easier.

Anonymous said...


I "unfriended" you because some space was needed in this situation. I never disagreed with your life choices. You chose not to talk to me. Your justification was that you *knew* I wouldn't agree with you and you didn't want a "lecture". WTH??? I was your friend. At least I thought I was. You bet your ass I would have asked what the heck was going on when things took a 180 but it wasn't because I didn't support you. If I didn't care, why would I have taken the time to try and talk to you?

Yes, I said that you have had your fists up with everyone. Absolutely. Because it is true.

Write your blog post, find support from people who have only heard one side of the situation and feel justified. Unfortunately, your gratification isn't based in reality. It is based on people who have only heard your side of the story. In reality, there are three sides to every story, your side, my side, and the truth.

You personally attacked my 17 year old daughter because she "unfriended" you from facebook. Never mind the fact that she was at college and had no idea that you and I had "had words" (at your instigation). She unfriended you because she is 17 and wanted to have her FB page be for her college friends only. She was still following you on twitter. She still considered you her "friend". You chose to send her a message in which you accused her of "blindly following" me. Oh, and never mind that my daughter has been seriously ill for the past few months, at the point of being suicidal and on some serious anti-depressants. You have hurt her beyond words with your attack and now blog post as she was still following you.

I was truly happy for you Carissa. Unfortunately, your F the world attitude has hurt many people, including my daughter.

Carissa Andrews said...

For the record, I was never attacking anyone, but how about you, the people reading these comments, decide. This was the message "Anonymous" is referring to. It was sent to her 17 year old daughter, word for word. I was unfriended by her the same day her mother chose to unfriend and attack me, just as you've seen above.


I'm sorry you felt the need to unfriend me… I assume based on the way your mother currently feels about me. It's sad to see that you follow in her footsteps… that without reason, without talking to me and understanding the whole of a misunderstanding… you would choose to that path.

Honestly, I expected more of your family and it saddens me to see that all reason gets cast aside for… what? Do you even know?

I hope you all have a lovely life.

Know that I really do wish that for all of you.

But also know… you've both cast aside a friendship for no reason. All for a presumption that plays no role in reality.

Best of luck in your future. You're a great book blogger, --. And one day, an author to be reckoned with.


I can honestly say, I could have written it better. But it was also written with a heavy heart because I considered this 17 year old to be much like I was at her age. Probably more mature, even. So to have her unfriend me the same day was a disappointment.

But it was never written in malice or vengeance. It was written with true and honest love for her and her future. I think she's an amazing young woman. And one day, everyone will read her books. I truly believe that.

Anita Grace Howard said...

I'm so sorry you lost friends. But it's true that it opens up your time and energies for new relationships, with people who will try to understand instead of blame. Who will want to know you for YOU. Amazing, heartfelt post, Carissa.

Andrew Kincaid said...

It is funny how people will do mental gymnastics to make a situation about them, when in truth it has nothing (or very little) to do with them. It smacks of Ego, and unfortunately it is all too common :(.

Also, I think social media tends to make this kind of thing worse. People will post hateful things without thinking. It's truly sad that this sort of thing has to happen, mostly because it is largely unnecessary :(.

K.T. Hanna said...

Hmm it's probably for the better. They obviously weren't the friends you thought they were. Fair weather friends is the term, I believe.

*hugs* I'm proud of you - for being you. So many people spend their lives in misery because they aren't true to themselves.

Good on ya :D

Virginia Llorca said...

I find that people need to read their own agenda into stuff you say. I recently got into it with a comment I made on a blog that belongs to a well-known and respected person. The commentor chose to use words that were vulgar and ugly and decided my general remarks were designed to hurt her. I have no idea who she is. The blog owner discussed it with me privately and it is settled for me. I dare not even say, "So and so and I discussed how to handle it." cuz she'd just go off again and include the other very fine person. I reread what I wrote and I cannot see how she thought it referenced her at all.I think that is what they mean when they say someone has an ax to grind. I was just handy.

KendallGrey said...

Screw 'em. If they're not with you now, they weren't your friends to begin with. You don't need people like that. You've changed. They can deal with it or not.

Keep being who you are and don't worry what others think!