Sticks and Holes…

Some time ago Chw was touching up paint for me, in our office. I love gray, and it so happens I have several shades of gray paint and he touched up with the wrong shade. It was funny, and easily fixable. No big deal… In the two days though, that lapsed between the error and the fix, the wall inspired deep thought. 
From straight on, it could be hard to notice. Sitting on the couch, however, and looking up revealed one perspective of incredibly noticeable “cover ups”, while inspecting it from the side showed quite another. 
It’s been over a month since the wall is back to it’s perfectly colored self, but I still find myself thinking about it. About how, beneath the seeming perfection there’s a color that doesn’t quite fit. Beneath that cover, there’s a layer of well sanded putty which is filling in holes. Flaws. Blemishes. Breaks… 
Like me. 
A very few, privileged people know the details of this particular hole.  For the sake of anonymouty and length though, I’ll change names and condense. 
I spent years and years begging God to send me a true friend. (I had friends, but those friendships only went “so” deep.) I wanted one who understood my darkness. One who would still love me in my light. In time I began to understand that it was my own semblance of porcupine quills which stopped this from happening. Self protection actually working as self hurt.  Go figure. Anyway, slowly I began to work on things. In the mean time my husband had a very good friend that he shares deep and personal things (about me) with. We’ll call this friend Tim. 
Well, after awhile Tim began to tell Chw things about his own wife, Kelly. I knew Kelly but we weren’t really friends. Tim and Chw concocted a plan that the four of us would hang out and Kelly and I could get to know each other. Both Tim and Chw thought that mine and Kelly’s darknesses were so similar, and our lights had so much in common that a deep friendship was a sure thing. {I don’t know what Tim shared with Kelly about this, but I do know that Chw told me all of this and the reasons why they thought this.} 
Moderately annoyed at my matchmaking husband, I went along. I actually gave Kelly a chance. I actually really loved Kelly. Kelly and I had all of the important stuff in common. We had a lot of fears in common and the more raw I allowed myself to be, the deeper I felt our friendship grew. Kelly became the keeper of secrets, the keeper of my brokeness (of sorts) and the same applied for me. When I reacted to a moment or thing, Kelly actually understood me. We’d been cultivated in dirt so similar… 
I knew, after time, that Kelly WAS that friend I had prayed for… 
Many moons of happy memories, moments, depth, etc. happened. I belonged. I had waited forever to connect and belong. Even better than having Kelly for me though, was that Tim and Kelly were awesome couple friends. Chw and I’s cups ran over. It was gloriously perfect, just like in the movies where couple friend brunch and date together. JUST LIKE THAT! 
I watched Kelly hurt and bad mouth a mutual friend. I heard Kelly’s side. I knew, loved and trusted Kelly. I couldn’t imagine my life without the intimacy of our friendship. OF COURSE I took Kelly’s side. One day, while talking to the mutual friend though, (who felt so shocked and abandoned by Kelly, whom she once considered a truly good friend) she warned me that it would happen to me too. 
I knew it wouldn’t. She was wrong. 
Kelly and I shared something two people shouldn’t share. A darkness two people shouldn’t know, but we did. 
Tim and Chw grew apart. Tim changed a little. It happens. 
Then, one day Kelly no longer returned phone calls. 
For a couple of years Kelly and I had done something every Tuesday. Sometimes it was morning, sometimes evening. One Tuesday Kelly stood me up. I found a long winded apology email waiting for me on Wednesday morning. I forgave. It happens. On Sunday though, a group of us were getting together for coffee and Kelly was late to show up. A mutual friend (different then the outcasted friend) was telling me about how, on Tuesday evening, Kelly had shown up at her house and hung out. How fun it was. When Kelly made it to the local coffee house i mentioned it- testing her. Cool as ice she stared me down and went on to talk about how great it had been. 
It was the beginning of the end, though the end was drawn out and heart breaking. I was excluded. I was gossiped about. I was taken advantage of and then stabbed in the back repetitively. I was replaced. Once, at a brunch, my own sister walked in on Kelly and my “replacement” completely badmouthing me. I extended grace and chance after chance because I clung to the Kelly I had known before she turned. When my life literally fell apart, I called Kelly and she was there for me for all of five minutes before turning snake like and making it worse. Worst of all was my daughter. My own daughter’s feelings were hurt by things that were said to (and around) her, about me. It wasn’t until I was far removed (geographically) from that social circle that I really saw how hurt and devastated my heart was, by Kelly. Over the past few years Chw and I have talked about how Kelly was more than likely the worst sort of villain because I did make myself vulnerable and trust her. 
And still, I see that I’m like my wall. 
I see her for who she is. I feel nauseous whenever I think of her. I’ve healed, in ways… 
But I haven’t been open like that since. 
And I feel vacant. 
Beneath the fresh paint and the putty, there’s a hole. I WANT that “you totally get me” friend. 
Not a Kelly though. Not a cartoon and shallow image that deceives people. 
I want a real and authentically good person to call my friend. We have friends. I have friends. We have good couple friends and friends we fly solo with. For me, it’s not the same. And I see my daughters not really intimately connecting with friends either. I see self preservation. I want more for them, than that. 
Truth be told, I want more for me. 
And when I’m really honest with myself, I really miss Kelly. 
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6 thoughts on “Sticks and Holes…

  1. I totally understand. I can't remember the last time I even had a friend that I could even spend that much time with and share all of me with them.

  2. Myst, I am and will ALWAYS be your "totally get you" person. I know that distance causes us to miss out on alot of friendship moments but you are and will always remain my very Best friends. I love you!!!

  3. I GET THIS. I know what it feels like to just wish someone was right there in my living room to have a chat with whenever I want, to run over to her house and have coffee, to tell the deepest darkest secrets, and yet still be able to be in the same place and be ok with it. To be secure. I have something very close to that (thank you Facebook!), and I would never discount the friendships I have now – or give them up without a serious fight, but there really is something about wishing for that RIGHT NEXT DOOR kinda friend. My last "next door" friend did the same thing to me as your "Kelly" did to you. I still bleed from the wounds in my heart whenever I think about it :(I'll be praying that God will fill the vacancy in your heart. He will… in His time.

  4. I am so sad… I've received emails from people today with their own "kellys" and their own stories… WHY?!?!? Why does it have to be like this. Why can't we women just be friends to other women? I've had over a dozen girls, today, express their hearts to me about their own heartbreak, voids and inability to have a good and healthy "best" friendship now. I literally hate that… And I've had conversations with friends, today… This very thing struck a chord and I'm sad that so many identify!

  5. Oh, I'm so sorry this happened to you. While I've never had my own "Kelly," I've certainly watched this sort of thing touch people close to me. It just sucks. Hope you find that wonderful, amazing friend sometime very soon!

  6. Wonderful post. So wide open vulnerable and brave. I can relate to all and wish I didn't as I'm certain most have a "Kelly" in their life. Sending good thoughts of community your way this morning from one sore heart to another.

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