Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bad Friend

It's been called to my attention recently, and rightfully so, that I've been a bad friend. And that got me thinking about all of you. Granted, I really don't know how many of you are out there but this January, I disappeared. And those of you who know me personally, reached out to me via Facebook asking what was up. I can only imagine how that must have felt, you regular readers getting a nice little "Access Denied" when loading my blog page. I know my first thought would have been, "Have I done something wrong?" The answer is "Nothing, I'm the one that did something wrong." I know fellow bloggers who announce an absence. I did not.

I owe you all an explanation AND an apology. I panicked when I found out that my well-meaning husband shared my blog address with a group of people this blog was not intended for and well, I shut it down until the smoke cleared. And then kept it shut down for 8 long months with nary an explanation or thought to those friendships I had developed here in cyberspace. And I have realized, thanks to this dear friend, that just because I can't see or speak to you personally, does not mean that you haven't been actual friends to me since I started this blog two or so years ago.

Many of you have cried with me, laughed with me and been there for me. And I too, had attempted to do the same for many of you. And then, one day, I discarded you all. And I'm so sorry.

The friend who called attention to my bad friend status had been a friendship that blossomed in cyberspace but also a person I had a physical friendship with. We had met, shared a wonderful day together and then for almost a year, we had little contact. My initial reaction when I read her email was to say, "Well, you didn't reach out to me either!" but if the shoe were on the other foot, I likely would have had her same reaction. "Is it something I said/did?" The answer is an honest "No." But the truth is, I left a beautiful, blossoming friendship without the nurturing it deserved and then I had the nerve to wonder how it could have died. And worse, try to "explain it away."

I've been thinking long and hard about how I could have let this happen. "I've been busy with work/parenting, etc." "They never reached out to me." "Sometimes you just drift apart". "Real friends can go long periods of time without speaking but when they do, it's like no time has passed." Excuses, excuses.

Having lived in two different countries in the last five years, I've gone through periods of loneliness, complaining about my lack of flesh and blood friends. You've all read the posts. Well, after 2 and a half years here in Sweden, I have developed some dear physical friendships but have ignored those more "virtual ones", the ones that sustained me and held me up during those periods of loneliness. And that's wrong and makes me feel sad, guilty and shallow. But it's not about "me, me, me" and how I feel and I don't expect anyone to pat me on the back and say "there, there". Not after this long absence. I don't expect anything in return for this post. But it is an apology. And it's up to all of you if you accept it or not.

I am asking for your forgiveness but do not expect it. Today I will reach out to those bloggy friends individually, who have been there for me and apologize personally.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your friendship.
Sincerity, Honesty and Love, SwedishJenn


Monica {bohemian twilight} said...

well, i have to admit that i'm one of the worst for correspondence. i have lost at least one friend because of that. ultimately it's who i am - i have to accept that and those i keep as friends accept that.

as long as i don't disappear unexpectedly, then i trust the other person would never wonder 'was it something i said?'.

it's an ongoing issue in cyberspace though - how it's too easy to 'drop' virtual friends.
there are many reasons of course but 2 i think are paramount are - not viewing them, or the relationship perhaps, as really 'real', and secondly, feeling it's so easy to get in contact (what with facebook and email) that we put it aside.

f2f or online, all relationships need nurturing, if we want them.

SwedishJenn said...

@Mon: Thanks! That last line is what I've just recently realized. I'm sure glad it was brought to my attention as I now fully appreciate that I am blessed with the richness that these diverse friendships have added to my life. In fact, the "anonymity" of cyberspace can lead to more intimate friendships than f2f as we somehow feel we can share more of ourselves behind this veil. Live and learn! xo

septembermom said...

No worries Jenn :) This friend will be here when you need me. It's tough keeping up with the blog some time. Looking forward to connecting with you here again.