Category Archives: Friendship

Hello Twenty-Thirteen

I started this blog back in September I had no idea where it was going to go, but I knew that it would help my recovery from my past. I didn’t expect it to take off, or to find myself wanting to do more with it. I have written 22 (now 23) posts, had over 5,000 views on the blog, and 49 comments. I have loved every comment, and there are many times that I have needed those comments to make it through the down that caused a post that day.

There is much relief in knowing that I am not alone in what I have been through. There is relief in knowing that I am not crazy for having a difficult time deconstructing and not wanting anything to do with religion. I stopped going to church and it was after many conversations with my husband that we stopped attending the local SGM church, and I noticed an immediate difference in my uneasiness and anxiety about going to church. We ended up attending, most Sundays, a small Presbyterian church and have made a bunch of new friends. It amazed me how much stronger my blogging “voice” got once I was out from the influence of the people who’s opinions I feared. Removing yourself from the presence of someone you are afraid of and who has power over you greatly helps the healing.

I have greatly learned what tolerance looks like, there are still those people who push my buttons so hard I will not hesitate to say that I am not willing whatsoever to work on “our relationship.”  As I have said before, I value friendships very highly. They mean so much to me that I will willingly drop everything to help a friend out if they give one hint that they need help. I do not do this to gain favor for myself, or to cause someone to feel obligated to return the favor. I help my friends and am there for my friends because I care, and I care deeply. But woe to the one who breaks my trust or uses me.

Twenty-twelve was exciting, discouraging, new, and difficult. I enjoyed most of it, fought with part of it, and waited out more of it. I am eager to see what this year brings, and I hope that it will continue to bring joy and happiness into a life of working through the past and pushing toward the future.  I have several ideas for blog series and topics for the coming months and and I am excited to start taking this blog in a new direction!


Hitting a new bottom

Yesterday was pretty crazy for us. We moved the rest of our possessions to our new place, and spent our first night out from the frustrating place our old abode had become. I think it might because I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with being a new place, but I am hitting a weird low today.

I am finding myself doubting friendships, struggling over being self-condemning, fighting against losing any self confidence I may have. I am worried that I am too pushy, too annoying, and people do not like to be around me but only are because they can feel obligated to be my friend. I don’t know if this is all coming up because I am drained, still feeling a bit stressed, and I am reading into people’s actions way too deeply. I’m fighting the urge to take the dive again and bury myself for awhile; cut of all friendships except for maybe one or two, and then leave the rest to float where they may without giving direction from my end.

This may be selfish, but maybe not. I am reaching the point of wanting to shut people out again, and I think that has to do with the amount of stress I’ve been under for the past month. This is the first day that I haven’t had to wake up and hear people I can barely stand living above me. Am I too critical of people? Does my past color how I respond to those I can’t stand? It’s hard for me to be cordial to someone who has broken my trust. Is that normal?

I am losing sight today of what is normal, or what is okay. After having been after to work through all of the second guessing of myself a few years ago, this is unsettling that I am second guessing myself today. I don’t think I have anything legitimate to second guess myself about, but still, I am doing it. I am hesitant to text certain people, I am feeling anxious that I have annoyed others with my communications. I am recognizing triggers around me, and yet I can’t seem to stop those triggers from going off. It’s like seeing an icy path in front of you and watching yourself slip and knowing that there is nothing that will stop you until you reach the end. I am not despairing, oddly enough, but I can see myself slipping.

Maybe I’ll go to home depot and get some supplies for our new place and maybe that will cheer me up. Maybe I will limit my social interactions for awhile until I can find some self-confidence again and stop second guessing myself. Maybe I’ll quit facebook and turn off any notifications. Maybe then I will feel more sure of my actions and will be able to text, call, chat, and email with friends and not worry that I am annoying them with wanting to talk.

Maybe I’ll find my dark corner again and let the storm pass. I’m not feeling any strength to be able to stand up and defy the emotions that threaten and are drowning me.

Maybe tomorrow things will be brighter, but for now, I think I will simply cut off communicating and stick to just three people.


When I first met you – Courtship, Part 1

Having over 160 pages of my husband’s and my story written down, it’s difficult to condense our story into a readable amount. But here is where I will try my best to do just that.

The First 6 Months

Year 18 of my life was strange. I was often told I was very mature for my age, but I never really knew what that meant. I would get cautious compliments on my accomplishments, but rarely did anyone take the time to draw me out. I had three friends that I kept up with, but everyone else either was never available to talk, or I had to fake my way through a shallow conversation. When I met Daniel* I pretty much wrote him off as another shallow guy, but there was something about him that intrigued me. We had just started going to a new church, and a mutual friend of ours introduced us. I met him while surrounded by my crazy siblings. I tried to find him on facebook later that night, but with no luck (I found out later he had his profile private). He never really left the back of my mind over the following two weeks. When we started chatting online two weeks later, there was a little click. I was still intrigued about something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Looking back, I can say that I definitely liked him from the start, but I wouldn’t have admitted it then.

In the midst of dealing with my parents, the stress of trying to finish school, and being in a ridiculously stressful job, Daniel started becoming my voice of reason. When I met him, I was coming to the end of two years of doctor’s appointments for my FM and those drs visits were increasingly depressing and discouraging. I would often get off work at the library, get online there and chat with him for two hours before heading home. The first 3 months of getting to know Daniel were refreshing, and we clicked almost instantly. Our chats are over 300 lines long, and we were constantly in communication of some sort. I figured out that I could send texts to his email, and since he was online all of the time, we would text/e-text back and forth for hours on end. I would hear from him first thing upon waking up and a text from him would be the last thing I read before falling asleep at night. This was all happening just 3 months after meeting him. I can see clearly now how much we liked each other from the start….:duh moment:

My family went on vacation that December, three months after we had met. I didn’t know if I would have wifi for my laptop, but we still texted through the vacation. A few days into the week, I asked him to cut back on texting me. I didn’t want to give him the wrong idea (gag me now) and I knew I was falling hard for him the more he communicated with me. He eagerly agreed to text me less, and hoped that he hadn’t “led me astray.”  We tried to cut back the text messages. We really did! It was so hard though. Really hard. Because of Daniel’s strict conviction of not talking to any girl on the phone unless it was for business, or because he was going out with her, I didn’t talk with him at all on the phone for the first year of getting to know him. There were many times that strongly frustrated me, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Allow me to back up a few steps and give some background. As I have mentioned before, I grew up under the ideology that courtship was the only way Christians did relationships. I read all of the right books, even some marriage books that were highly recommended by friends and mothers of my friends. Even though my parents were not involved with any of my friendships, I still tried to be careful with any guy friends I had. I can list the number of guys I’ve had crushes on on one hand. All of those friendships were one on one friendships, and I quickly outgrew my crush as I got to know them better. Only with one of them had I ever had a “let’s define this friendship” talk. That guy was just all over the map when it came to girls, and he had quite a trail of broken hearts behind him. I was quite determined not to be one of those broken hearts…and I’m not.

When Daniel came into the picture, I had already pulled back a lot from the other two guys I was pretty good friends with. Part of the reason for that was not wanting to become emotionally dependent on them, but also because I was withdrawing deep into a dark shell. Daniel came into my life right before I shut the door on any new friendships. You could say he made the friendship cut.

So when I told Daniel that I wanted to cut back on talking, I had several reasons for doing so. He had told me the previous week that he wouldn’t get into any relationship until he was done with college, and the next girl he got into a relationship with was going to the girl he married. I knew I liked him at this point, but I also knew that things were going to have to slow down or else this all going to blow up and we were going to be heading down the path he said he wouldn’t until he was out of college.  He had all four years of college ahead of him, and I knew neither of us were at all ready to support ourselves financially. It just couldn’t happen…yet.

I got back from vacation, and we went right back to our previous level of communicating. If anything, we probably talked more than before. I spent more time up at the library, and we started leaving voice mails for each other. We really figured out all of the ways technology allowed for us to keep in contact without actually talking over the phone. Daniel became the one thing that helped me get through most days as I sunk deeper into a very dark pit. He very quickly figured out that my family was dealing with some pretty dark things, and instead of running away and leaving me to my pain and ignoring me, it became his goal to make me laugh at least once every day. He listened when I cried about having a discouraging doctors appointment, and he encouraged me when I said I didn’t feel like talking that day. When we were together at church, he was the one who stayed by my side when I was in a lot of pain or having a really bad fibro-fog day. This guy was an absolutely true friend, and he is a precious gift.

Around March he told me that he wanted to take a week to cut back on all communication except for email, and only when I was online. He told me that he needed to take some time to figure out his and my friendship, and what my place was in his life. By now, I was 100% he liked me a lot, but he wouldn’t and didn’t admit to anything.  At the end of the week, the mutual friend who introduced us was having a birthday party that we both were invited to. I should probably mention that when talking with one of my closest friends about Daniel, she had cautioned me to not get too attached, because that would end badly. I told her not to worry because I knew things were right where they should be, also, I knew this guy was special. She didn’t believe me, so I stopped talking about Daniel to my friends. His name rarely came up.

The birthday party as a big question mark for me. I was going to know at this party where Daniel and I were going next with our friendship. I knew it would either just fade away and become nothing more than an acquaintance-ship or we were going deeper. I called my friend and told her that I wasn’t sure if I was going to come or not. I didn’t tell her anything about Daniel, but I was very nervous and anxious about seeing him after a week of almost no talking. At the last minute on the evening of the party, I decided to go. My stomach was entirely made up of butterflies and I could barely contain my heart as I rode over to the party. This was it. This was the first of many turning points in our friendship.

I got there early and helped my friend’s mom finish up with getting the food set up. I was so nervous my hands were shaking. I finally heard Daniel’s voice in the hall and I just about fell apart. He came around the corner, and it was then I knew.

We were moving forward.

*Name changed


Friendship – the wiles and graces

I have gone through times of being a loner when it comes to friendships. I’ve had too much crap that I’m trying to work through, or that was weighing on me. I’ve found that it really takes a very special kind of person to be able to put up with someone who carries a boat load of bricks around with them.  Honestly, it has been my fault as well, being in those lonely times. I was so depressed that I was seriously sucking the life out of the friends who were brave enough to be near me and listen to me.  But, through the concerns of three dear friends, I was able to see what I was doing to my friends, and immediately turned things around.

That didn’t mean that the depression/discouragement let up, or that things were all warm and fuzzy. I really did mess up a friendship really badly, and it was only through my heart completely changing that this friendship was able to be restored. That friend is now one of my closest and dearest friends, and I am so, so blessed to have a friend like her. I love our 2 and a half hour conversations full of tears, laughter, verbal hugs, and gasping over recent drama.

I am a loyal friend. I will fight tooth and nail for any one of my friends and God help you, should you try to mess with one of those friends. I believe that a friendship should be two sided, both people working on a friendship together.  I find it extremely hard to give up on friends, even if I am wearing myself out trying to keep the friendship alive. My husband can attest to the small handful of friendships that I still mourn to this day.

I have been greatly hurt through friendships, and I have also been given a lot of grace and love through other friendships. Friendships are finicky, especially when there is a certain level of distrust, or distance, intermingled with the friendship. I have had friendships where those I thought were friends have stabbed me in the back, or who have simply just fallen off the face of the earth, no explanation at all. I have had friends who weren’t willing to work  out issues, and I still wonder if I could have done anything different to mend that friendship. That’s when I realize that it’s  not worth the energy if there is no reciprocation from the other side.

I wrote a blog post, on another blog, a few weeks ago, talking about the importance of compassion and grace towards those who are hurting. I also shared in my post on slander, that I had had several people come to me and try to tell me how what I am writing about, or sharing, is slanderous to my parents and disrespectful. Here’s the problem I have with the way these people came to me. They were so concerned about what I was doing “wrong” and how they felt I needed to change. There was no compassion, no grace, and above all, they felt they were being faithful friends. I feel bad for them, and for their friends, if they feel like tearing someone down and pointing out their “sin” means that they are being faithful as a friend.

I have seen several instances where someone has shared, on FB or in a blog post, how their life sucks, or things are just terrible.  It has made me so mad when those who comment are so worried about how the post is slanderous, or how bad language is a sin, or they should be grateful they are even alive. Heck, where’s the grace, people?! where’s the care for the hurting? I wish more people would care and ask questions for those who express even the tiniest bit of sorrow.  I read something the other day about how it isn’t having emotions that causes you to doubt yourself. Those who say that your emotional reaction isn’t legitimate, are the ones who cause the doubting.

I desire to be the kind of friend you can trust. The friend who cares how you really, truly are doing, and the one who will listen without judging. I mean to be the friend who will correct, if need be, but will do so without judging, and instead will have compassion. My experiences, of having people verbally beat me down for sharing my story, have given me a lot of grace, compassion, and tolerance for others who are hurting.

I say bring it on people, I’m here to fight for my friends and to be the most loyal and caring friend that I can be.

With that in mind, and without further ado,

Chryssie Rose


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