for more than 12 years I’ve had a good friend, even best friend at the time. Same profession, nearly same age (I’m 52 now, she’s 55). For some 5+ years or so things have changed: I’ve been really successfull, loving my job, creating more and more successful projects, planning even more. Working a lot, also. She’s been deciding to do it differently: focussing on spare time activities and spas, dreaming of (and now realizing) retirement. Briefly, I found it more and more difficult over the years to touch common ground with her.
A year ago or so, she wrote me an email saying, how very hurt she was about my withdrawel. I suggested to meet and talk. When we did so, she confronted me with her many years of frustration with me not being as available for her as previously. I tried to explain and to be constructive, suggesting different options. She refused, it was too late, she said and that she was hurt too much. We left with nothing resolved.
Now more than a year is gone and I’ve realized, I don’t miss her at all and it’s good for me the way it is. A few days ago, though, she unexpectedly came to my office (15 minutes before an important meeting). Apparently we had just passed by on the pedestrian zone and I hadn’t seen her. She stood there, nearly screaming (not wanting to enter my office, so the situation was obvious for clients and all), saying I had ignored her and she didn’t want the situation between us to be this way. At least we could be on polite terms. With that, she handled me a bag of muffins (?!). I must admit, I freaked out. I was extremely tense because of the workday ahead of me. “Freaking out” means in this case, that I got very angry and ice cold. I literally felt a wall around myself. I told her very quietly that I hadn’t seen her on the street, that I wanted her to leave and that I wished her the best, but never again this way. But in this icecold attitude I don’t really know in myself (she certainly doesn’t). Shocking to myself (I normally consider myself a friendly and open person, open to difficult conversations, also)
Now my question and where I need help with is my (of course) thoughts and emotions. I find it hard to find out what to make out of this all.
I feel shame (how could I so lose it!), then I justify myself (how could she! She must have known), anger (incredible! She has to manage her own thoughts! She cannot reproach ME about HER feelings! – of course she doesn’t know scs), insecurity (I’m a bad friend, my career comes above all kindness).
How can I find out, how I want to think about it, withought going the easy way and simply excuse my bad behavior with her bad behaviour? Thanks so much!