Monday, November 17, 2008

Encountering the Enemy

A few weeks ago I reconnected with an old enemy.

Her name is Beth and she was my nemesis throughout high school. To be honest, I never really had any major grievance against her, except that she hated me.

Recently, as I was new to Facebook and trying to figure out its ins and outs, someone suggested I be "friends" with Beth. I thought she was asking me to be Facebook friends with her, so I clicked on it, thinking she must be over her hatred toward me. Well, come to find out, I had asked her to be "friends."

She responded in a respectful but hesitant way, and I thought letting the past stay in the past was the best way to proceed. So we shared a few pleasantries and that was it...or so I thought.

Then, a few weeks later, I get a private Facebook message from Beth addressing the 20-something-year-old conflicts, as well as the lingering hurt she felt from them. I learned a lot from what she shared. I had no idea what all she had been dealing with as a teenager, and I was too young and naive to understand.

She vented and apologized for her responsibility in the falling out, and she mentioned some regrets.

I didn't know how to respond. I felt embarrassed that I was too ignorant to know how hard of a time she was having back then. I was also painfully reminded of how hard of a time I was having back then. I appeared to most people, including Beth, that I had it made in high school, but I was just as miserable as she was.

High school can be tough.

I pondered on her note for a fews days and finally wrote her back. I spilled my vulnerable guts back to her and felt sufficiently purged. I was depressed for a few days afterward, having re-lived some serious rejection and plain-old meanness, but I'm on the mend, feeling good, like a bridge was built over some rough waters.

At first it seemed that stirring up something that is nicely settled is a silly idea. But there is a big difference between settling and healing.

Connection is good. Truth is good.


chris said...

Good for you guys. You both probably carried more baggage from that than you realize.

SHC313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SHC313 said...

High school is such an intense time--Few, if any, kids that age can see past their own feelings. I'm glad that you and Beth could "meet again" as adults. You have such a big heart, Lori!