I’m not sure if I can remember enough of what happened during this time of loss. For a while I thought it can’t get worse, but it just kept on getting worse.
The person I was closest to when I first entered seminary was another student in the MSW program. We studied together and hung out together when her husband was working in a psychiatric hospital. We went to get groceries together because I didn’t drive. We went out to eat. But many times we just hung out at her apartment.
At one point we stopped hanging out with no explanation. Soon I learned she had had a child, a baby boy. Suddenly she was open to me again, and I helped her care for her baby. If she needed a babysitter, she never hesitated to ask. I always did if there was any way possible. She confided some of her past (for which she was in therapy), and I did too. We gave each other support and friendship in a very difficult time.
The baby soon grew to a toddler who expressed his delight every time he saw me in his doorway. He always tried to help me take my coat off so that I would stay a while. I loved him and never thought the next events would happen.
My friend was pregnant for the second time and had come off her meds until the point of the pregnancy where it was safe to go back to them. Just a few days before that happened, I spent the night at her apartment because the weather was bad, and she took me home the next morning (Saturday). Sunday morning she called me and asked if I had noticed anything about her son that weekend. I said no.
I started getting some weird calls on that Monday. Luckily my “friend” had called another friend and told her everything and that she was calling CPS. Those were the calls I didn’t answer because I had no idea who they were. Of course, they requested me to come in and answer some questions. I did that as well as I could. They must have not needed anything further from me, because I never heard from them again.
But I started getting hangups on my phone. I suspected it was her, and finally the telephone company traced the calls to her phone when she called and actually spoke to me one day. She begged me to tell her what happened. I said, “If I knew what happened, I would tell you. But I don’t. ”
This was the last time I had any connection with her or her family. When I filed a claim for the harassing phone calls, we were assigned to mediation. I knew there was no way that was going to help, and decided not to show.
Another friend I lost in the aftermath of this was one I had known for many years. He was three years behind me in high school and attended the same college as I did. When he decided to go to seminary, he settled on Southern Seminary.
I had been so badly shaken by the events with the other friend that I clung very hard to the two friends I truly trusted–the two I had known the longest. My high school and college friend decided to cut ties not long after it all happened. He felt that he wasn’t able to support me anymore. It was just too difficult. It hurt me, but on some level I understood. So I let him go.
The third friend is difficult to talk about. We had been arguing, because I was trying to test her to prove to myself she wouldn’t leave me. Of course, that plan only insured that she would go. She did her best, I did my best, but one morning before she started work, she called and said she couldn’t do it anymore. She didn’t want to fight, so she wanted to cut ties.
There I was. I had boxed myself into a corner and been left alone. Since then, I haven’t known how to approach people. It still hurts.
I got into contact with two of them through Facebook. The friendships are nothing like they were. I never really expected them to be. I’m thankful that there don’t seem to be any hard feelings. I guess that’s the best we can do sometimes.
The “friend” with the babies, who are in their early 20’s now, is on Facebook. I don’t expect a connection to be sparked between us. I admit to looking at her profile sometimes to see how she’s doing. She’s now divorced. I’ve looked at pictures of the kids I never got to see grow up. That will just have to be enough.
I’m left with memories and the shadows of what used to be.