Jewish Journal

Friend, Foe, Forgiveness, Faith & a Man in a Box

by Ilana Angel

December 28, 2010 | 6:44 pm

I know a lot of people and have many, many acquaintances.  I also have a small, really good circle of friends.  They are a blessing because my family lives far away, so they are more than just my friends, they are a support system and surrogate family to both me and my son.

I am a great listener.  I am supportive, nurturing, and can listen to people talk forever.  I am not really big on talking about myself though.  Hard to believe since I write a blog about my life, but there is a difference between writing about your life and sharing secrets.

I have an acquaintance who over the course of the past year has become my friend.  We are very close and share a lot of secrets.  Nothing bad or anything that would put us in prison, but things that shape a life and help define who you are as a woman, a mom, and a human being.

Yesterday this friend, who I love, became a foe.  My heart was broken by a bad judgment call and I don’t know how to let it go.  I shared something that was personal, and my friend chose to share it with someone else.  Someone that I never would have told in a million years.

I am now struggling with a feeling of loss.  I feel that I have lost my friend because trust is gone.  It’s not about forgiveness.  I forgive my friend for the mistake, but my challenge is forgiving myself for letting my guard down with someone that perhaps I should not have trusted.

Nobody died, nobody was hurt, nobody cares, but it hurt my feelings and feels like a betrayal so what do I do about that?  My friend asked if our friendship did not matter enough to forgive, but for me the question is did our friendship not matter enough to expect loyalty?

I am a wonderful friend.  I am able to give unlimited support and care, without judgment, to those I love and expect nothing in return.  I have embraced this friend in a way I never have before, so to see there was no loyalty is crushing and I am somewhat broken.

I’ve been upset all day.  Did not sleep, and am sad.  I went to Petco to get food for the two fluff balls who are my starter kit to Cat Lady status.  On my way in, a lovely man, who lives in a box and has no teeth, asked me if I could spare any change.  I gave him a dollar and wished him well.

He then said he would like to use his earnings to buy me a drink.  Maybe it’s because I was sad, or maybe it’s because my last date was a dud.  (By last date of course I mean last dozen dates.)  But it was fabulous, made me laugh, and put a smile on my face.

I thanked him for the invitation and politely let him know I would have to pass.  It was not the box, the lack of teeth, or the smell of urine, as much as it was that I heard him ask out another woman as I walked from my car to the store.  Even the homeless guy is a player.

It puts things into perspective.  I must remember to count my blessings and focus on faith.  It has always shown me the way in the past and it will guide me through this too.  I have survived bigger things than the betrayal of a friend, and am still 12 cats away from being a Cat Lady.

At the end of the day does any of it really matter?  A trust was broken, a friend became a foe, forgiveness will come, faith will be tested, and a homeless guy thinks I’m hot. It could always be worse and will definitely get better so I will pour myself a glass of wine and keep the faith.

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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