Thursday, March 03, 2005

I guess sometimes you gotta know when to fold 'em

I got into a very heated exchange with someone I have known for more then 12 years now. In the past, I would have said we are friends, but our relationship has grown increasingly superficial in the last two years. Frankly, I am not certain why I maintain it; I guess out of a reluctance to fully accept how much my life has changed. I know it doesn't make sense to hang on to the vestiges of a past that was not constructive or in anyway something to be proud of, but I guess there is a part of me that was/is not ready to divorce myself from it entirely. Anyway, this person called me this morning to tell me that she had watched the DVD I sent of the NBC segment we were in. She opened with how fun it was to see us on TV, then immediately went on to describe it as "boring" and "autism 101," which it was. It was the beginning segment that kicked off the "autism-palooza" on NBC last week which grew increasingly in-depth as the week progressed. Regardless, it sort of made me feel a little defensive first thing this morning, I mean it wasn't even 8 AM. Anyway, one thing led to another and the next thing I know she is defending the very irresponsible advice we were given by the DISD/ECI autism "expert" and basically saying we got lucky with ABA and a whole slew of other remarks that I can only excuse by the fact that she is woefully ignorant in the matter. The content of the arguement is neither here nor there as to why I am posting about it anyway. What is of importance is that her complete lack of self-control when it comes to her tongue "It's my right to have my opinion,":rolleyes: and her lack of sensitivity to me and my obvious closeness to this issue has illuminated the true discord in our relationship. She called me later and left this half-assed, back-handed apology on my voicemail, which I personally think is a very craven and lame way to do someone, and laughingly said we just needed to agree to disagree on the subject and "perhaps we should just take it off the table for discussion as we have so many other subjects." And you know what? If we do that it leaves us almost nothing to talk about anymore. Seriously. My faith is off limits, as are my politics and now if my children and our all-consuming battle with autism is taken off the table too, that leaves only her obsession with her weight and her home improvement plans and to be truthful I am way, way too busy for that kind of superfulous kind of chatter. If that sounds selfish, I guess it is then. The other day another mother with a child on the spectrum who has been in the trenches longer than us took a casual poll asking if any of us had any friends left and not one of us said yes. And at first I was kind of shocked, but then I started evaluating my own life circumstances and realized why that is probably a real truth: Battling autism is never ending. Even when your child recovers to the point that Abby has it is still not finished. There are still more considerations to be made, ground to be taken or even lost and retaken :( . It is all consuming of every resource that you can fathom: time, money, emotions, and even friendships. Either they can stand the test of fire or the are consumed by it. A Christian friend of mine who is a mutual friend between myself and Sarah, who I had this altercation with, said that I am in a position to tell Sarah some hard truths about herself in my "articulate and diplomatic way" and that I need to do so, but I am not so sure that that is right. I don't feel any peace about that tact at all. I am drawn to the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. I think I need to write her a brief note that apologizes for having hurt her feelings, cites this scripture as having straightened my path, tell her that I love her. And without stating it, I will no longer persuit the relationship. I will pray for her and her family and I will always love her of course, but we truly differ in such fundamental ways and I do not have the energy and at this very moment, even the inclination, for pretense. I have had a similar experince with an old roomate of mine recently. These are people I have known for almost half my life. It is so weird. And it really isn't me. They claim to espouse tolerance, but they really aren't, not in the truest sense of the word.
Anyway, I am feeling a little sad now. But at the same time pretty secure in my decision.
Anyone else ever been through this kind of thing? If anyone thinks I am making a rash or immature decision here, please speak up.
Thanks for reading.

Quote:

1 Corinthians 13
The Way of Love
1If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.

3If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.



4Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.

Love doesn't strut,

Doesn't have a swelled head,

5Doesn't force itself on others,

Isn't always "me first,"

Doesn't fly off the handle,

Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,

6Doesn't revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

7Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.



8Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. 9We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. 10But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love

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