The Monkey Wrench Catfight

I know I said I was going to write three letters….and I am. However, this is not the letter I was originally going to write.  When I first came up with the idea of this trilogy, I knew who the letters would be to and what they would say. The first two just flew from my fingers (not a great achievement given who the recipients were) but the third one…I struggled with…no one wants to emotionally distance themselves from their friends, especially friends who you know need you, no matter how right or justified you feel the reasons are for the emotional separation. And then, there was the catfight that threw a monkey wrench into everything…an in-house Panel catfight that neither party (myself and Oscar) saw coming and had both of us wondering who needed enemies when you have friends. So this post and letter will (hopefully) express my regret and the reasons behind my change of heart.

 First thing I have to do is issue an apology…I try to be a responsible writer and an even more responsible friend. In a previous post, I shared some news about Oscar which she never gave me permission to write about.  I did ask her via email but she never responded…that is when I took it upon myself (and based on our history) to give myself permission. In my defense, I honestly thought since Oscar is probably the most open and honest person on the Panel (sometimes far more than myself), sharing that piece of news would not be a big deal and that she would see the love and concern that the Panel and I had for her, but again… I was having conversations with myself and did not take into account any of how Oscar thought or where she was emotionally. So right here, right now…I would like to issue a public apology to Oscar for overstepping the boundaries of our incredible friendship.

Dearest Oscar:

First, I must tip my hat to a most worthy competitor. I admit, you surprised me with your retaliation to what I thought was regular, routine stuff for you and I…never have I been told/asked to do what you suggested. I think I know how him felt when him told me he had never heard the things that could come out of my mouth…ever. And the way you never fell when I came back with my attack…you traded me verbal blow for verbal blow until we both realized that lines we never knew existed had been crossed.

I know now you feel that I had betrayed our friendship and violated your trust, but we have never had boundaries….oh, I know that even you have “behind the blog” things that can never be talked about except between us… I didn’t know that I was doing anything wrong. And this makes me realize how important communication and patience is in any relationship…if I had waited…if I had known where you were emotionally, if you had reached out before lashing out…maybe there would be no Conversation that Never Happened.

I do appreciate you being willing to talk things over  afterwards  and able to give me more insight into us and myself. One of the things you said was I “preach” to you…and that bothers me. I try so hard not to be preachy or judgmental…I want to be loving and fair and objective. Please know that the advice I give you is given out of love and caring, and I know I can sound like a mom or an incredibly overbearing big sister at times, but it is because I have already been down most roads…good, bad and ugly. I try not to speak on anything that I have not been through or privy to myself. The suggestions I offer, the point of view I put out there…it is from my experience either with the situation or my experience with you and what I know of you. I know that hurt people hurt people, and most often the person we hurt the most is us. I know nothing changes if nothing changes and the longer one stays stuck and mired in misery, the harder change becomes.

You said I showed you a side of myself that you never even knew existed….and all I can say is I have always said I wear masks. We all have a dark side, a mean streak…I cannot make excuses for that side of me because there are none. The things I say and do once I am hurt are unbelievable and apologies do not even begin to cover the damage…I can only say I have been incredibly blessed to have people who know my past, my history and understand that I am not lashing out at them, but at their hurtful words and/or actions. And I must say…you floored me for a minute and had me wondering who the hell is this chick?  You also thanked me for letting you talk and express yourself so freely…but that is nothing to thank me for. That is what friends do because they are your friend…they care and want you to be yourself, regardless. If you cannot be honest with yourself and your friends…what’s the point? You never have to worry about how I or the Panel view you….we see Oscar: pretty, intelligent, funny and totally misunderstood. We see and we know because we are the same. We know everyone has issues and pretty much, we are all fucked up. We just all keep the masks in place as long as possible.

And now I am going to thank you…because I was (and still am) feeling so great for the first time in like…ever, I was ready to leave behind someone who needs a friend to be there for them, not yet another someone they feel the need to catch up with. Somehow, Him and Sister Someone do not fall into this category and they will stay in their respective corners until they do the next thing to make me shake them or want to help them because it is so utterly ridiculous. You told me that you were where I was so many years ago, and that I was an inspiration to you. And one cannot be an inspiration or helpful or a friend when they are moving far ahead of the pack, forgetting that they are part of a support system or that they are still in need of one. And yes, I am growing and moving forward but not as much as I would like to think…I am still impatient, I still react versus respond and I still have denial, especially when it comes to admitting my faults and mistakes. I am still needy and insecure and in need of more validation than I know. I am still fragile.

This has made me realize I still need each and every member of my Panel to both keep me grounded and help me move forward. Hell, I need all of you anyway because who else will put up with my randomness and ridiculosity but I have to remember that when I was stuck on stupid and hardheaded and had incredibly convoluted ways of viewing the world…I had at least two Panel members who were there and never, ever gave up. They were my hope and my love and my positive attitude when I had none. They moved forward into their lives but somehow, were always there when I needed them…and when I thought I didn’t.

So, it has been an incredible 24 hours and even though this never happened, I am glad it did. It gives us a new starting point in our friendship, and that we can freely go deeper into the underlying issues we both have without fear of judgment or breaking up. We know that there are boundaries and we can respect them. It made me re-think a lot of things and put myself in another’s shoes…the catfight has done what was needed and threw a monkey wrench that somehow has turned out to be a positive….I was definitely in a place of complacency with a lot of things and beginning to take people for granted. Now things are shook up, I am ready to make more positive changes and put forth more efforts to make sure that not only I but my friends move forward into a future not burdened by our past.







5 thoughts on “The Monkey Wrench Catfight

  1. Beautiful…
    I am SO glad as well that we had our first cat fight in many years has it been?!
    I think this will ultimately bring us closer, because like you said, we now have boundaries.. We know what lines are okay to be crossed and what lines are not..
    I respect you so very much as a writer, a person, and someone who has grown to be my very best friend.
    I feel like we now can understand each other on a more deeper and personal level, and I know that nothing but good can come from that.

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