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Elegy for my Past - Catherine Fischer — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Catherine Fischer

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Elegy for my Past [Jun. 11th, 2005|10:41 pm]
Catherine Fischer
[mood |drainedhollow]
[music |Faithless Love, Linda Ronstadt]

Having a rough time right now; just finally got a response from an old friend, and she acknowledged that she let the friendship go the last time we saw one another. That we'd grown apart, and rather than try to figure out who we were long distance, she bid me adieu.

I've always hung onto friendships fiercely, as I never made real friends easily. I never let them go unless somehow there was something horribly wrong -- perhaps I'm sentimental (and she is decidedly not). But this is someone who was closer to me than anyone else at times in my life, whose kindness got me through some very rough times, and bidding the friendship farewell -- dismissing it out of hand like that -- feels like casual murder. Like sudden death, with no time to make peace or say farewell. I feel like I need some sort of funeral, or elegy, for closure.

We do have distinct differences -- but then, who doesn't? I learned to stop looking for my twin, who, if she had lived, would have been different from me anyhow. I have said, over and over, how much the crucible of vet school changed me... perhaps this is just evidence of that, and that the friends I made at Ross -- and going forward from here -- are the friends of my new life, my new self. That everything from the past has been burned away. But I feel the core of me is still the same! I'm still me! All that was valuable about me then is still part of me now! Aren't friends -- those people who actually get into the core of us, without the layers of superficiality and current experience and other nonessentials -- worth the effort of seeing truly? And worth the effort of hanging onto?

Her rational, not-worth-the-bother approach to an old friendship with a lot of history -- and through a lot of changes -- is perhaps an indicator that she's changed irrevocably into someone that I do not know, could never know. But I thought I saw the same spark within, last time; it was just guarded. Withheld. Perhaps I represent some part of the past she wishes to amputate. I just don't know. Part of me blames myself, even though I know that's foolish.

I probably should stop trying to analyze this, let it go gracefully, and go do laundry or something until I'm tired enough to sleep, but this has violated a very fundamental inner keep, put a crack in the foundation, and suddenly I feel both defenseless against the vagaries of change and wonder truly who I am... if anyone truly knows me... if I even know myself.

Meeting with my ex and talking with him as if I knew him, but feeling NOTHING was shake up enough for me this week. I suddenly feel as though I've burned every bridge to safety, and have only the choice of groping blindly toward the future, with no past to anchor me. As if the past happened to someone else, and I know the story like someone who reads a book or watches a movie. I felt so deeply a part of those people, those experiences, and now... I don't know. Perhaps the feelings attached are just the unthinking associations moviegoers have when remembering cathartic films.

I was going to come home and tell you about how much I enjoyed the movie -- how much fun and chemistry there was, how much I enjoyed some of the tongue-in-cheek interplay and references. But now all the superficial junk I fill my life and my time with suddenly doesn't seem to matter much. I guess I just need to know that there's someone out there who actually understands me, who KNOWS me, and can tell me so, so I'll know myself. After all, it's only in looking at myself through others' eyes that I ever perceived any value, or that the picture was ever whole.

[User Picture]From: renae127
2005-06-12 06:34 am (UTC)

Boy, do I know this one

Yes, there is someone out there who knows you, and also feels you. I knew something was up today. Your self worth is not determined by other people. I know this is hard, but you are dearly loved...you will make it through this. Dust yourself off and move forward, one step at a time. You will be fine. I love you and miss you very much.
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[User Picture]From: copper9lives
2005-06-12 06:41 am (UTC)

Re: Boy, do I know this one

Thank you, love. Thank you for always being there to pick me up and dust me off. Thank you for being willing to see the dubious good things beneath the junk piled on top, the accretions of vet school and past damage and each new heartbreak. I feel like my past is unspooling behind me, unraveling; thanks for being willing to be part of my future.

Love you.
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[User Picture]From: supersera
2005-06-12 12:50 pm (UTC)
Cat - you are a truly unique soul who has an appreciation for things many people (including myself) will never understand, like literature, poetry . . . and the list goes on. I admire that in you - you are different, unique. Embrace it.

There is a huge amount of uncertainty - you are feeling it now. This is the career we have spent years pursuing, and all other aspects of life have fallen or been pushed to the wayside to get here. And now you're almost 'there' and its like, now what? Where do I go from here? There is no certainty.

You really just have to take it one day at a time. We have all either been in your shoes or will be at one time . . . all in our own different way.

Have you heard the saying - people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Think about it. It may give you some peace regarding the loss of a friend you considered very dear.

Thinking of you . . .
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[User Picture]From: copper9lives
2005-06-12 07:24 pm (UTC)


I guess Ross has been a crucible, in more ways than one: burning off the old, as it forged the new. Just glad I had such good people on the journey with me. Thanks.

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[User Picture]From: easyaudnsage
2005-06-12 02:14 pm (UTC)

No worries...just love yourself & your friend who has taken another path in life that may not include you at this point or may again in the future....who can really say how the future pans out. All you have is this moment right now as you read this & today (I hope). People change, but you have to let them & accept that you may not fit anymore into their life. You have those experiences with that person...enjoy them & love them for who they were to you then & who they are today even though it may be very different from what you EXPECT or WANT them to be to you today.

Please don't let your past go...the people & story line has changed remarkably...but it is a part of who you are today. Every bit of you is made up of those people in your past whether it was for the good or bad. Take both love & heartbreak, desires & disappointments, dreams & reality & all the stuff that happens to all of us & see it as something good...as a positive influence in your life. That truly is the lesson of life. No matter how much hurt you may feel, try to see it as something that needed to happen so that you could learn from it...see only the positive.

I feel so fortunate that in my life for I have 99% of those who I have loved dearly still in my life (ex's & close friends). Sometimes it's alittle awkward when the ex's are telling stories about who I was & what stupid things I did then to Hillary...but everyone has a good laugh! What I'm saying is that we all change. I am a different person from who I was at that time but I still am made up of all the love & hurt that may have occurred at that time with my ex. The only difference is that I personally CHOOSE to love that person today as yesterday & have them in my life...no matter what hurt may have happened or path they may choose to take away from me (or vice versa) for whatever time. Just give it time...& let them go for whatever time is needed. One day your friend may reappear back into your life...maybe not...but just love them. I know how hard it can be.

And the only person who knows you is YOU. If you don't...then that is the most important journey very few people in life take & need to take...but so few do. The real question is...have you? It's definitely a long process...but only you know the answer. I think then will you feel less broken & scattered like a mirror that is broke in a frame but still holding onto the security of that frame.

Wowacintanka (wo-wah-chin-tan-gah) is a Lakota word for perserverance. "Keep on keepin on" is my phrase for the same thing. :) Cantognade (chan-doe-gnan-keh) is the word for love. So my friend...go with perserverance & love & only good things will come into your life. No worries.....

Take care & I'm sorry for your hurt.

Sage sends kisses & wags!!

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[User Picture]From: copper9lives
2005-06-12 06:08 pm (UTC)


Yeah, it's all about choices... have journeyed within into self-awareness many times, as I continuously change (and change radically) every few years. (Last year, after the divorce and before I met Brent was the last time.) Each time I have risen from the silence inside as the phoenix from the ashes, but I still do it with the help of my friends; still define myself by the people in my life, more than by what I happen to be doing at the time. Yes, our experiences do in part make us what we are, but doing is not the same as being, and while the doing part fell out of communication, I guess I wanted her to validate the being part by choosing to renew the acquaintance. Feeling that the core of me was somehow overlooked or unappreciated is not the same as throwing away the past; I just wonder how much she really knew me, despite how well I perceived she knew me. The disparity between my perception and reality are disconcerting, and make me doubt how much I really know.

Wanting to hang onto what is good in a person, and hang onto the association is not the same as clinging to the past; I am what I am because of the people that have flowed through my life, and there have been times that I've let go of friendships that weren't healthy, and moved on. I just never willingly let go of a relationship that I perceived as good, even if it was a bit rusty. No discussion of any cause of unhealthiness ever occurred, although I keep wondering if I did something wrong - part of my nature.

Very few people have come into my life that I cherished as core friends - those that touched some deeper part of me, and were part of my life during the Great Changes. These are the people that I used as landmarks by which I defined myself. Losing one feels like having a pillar kicked out from underneath me. It makes me reevaluate just how very much vet school has been like a death and rebirth - all of the old tenets no longer hold true, and I must redefine who I am. At this point, I have very few touchstones left from my past before school.

I'm grateful I've made such wonderful friends in school. You will all travel with me down our parallel pathways, so that reality and understanding are bound into our footsteps forward, however far apart our paths lead. Thank you for your particular wisdom and caring and cantognade. Thank you most of all for your friendship.

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From: jamminvet
2005-06-12 05:43 pm (UTC)
Hi Sweetie,

I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you last night. I read this message first thing this morning and I almost cried for you. I am so moved by your ability to express yourself so eloquently. I could feel your pain. All I wanted to do was to be able to hold you close to me. Hug you tightly. Wipe the tears from your face. And tell you everything will be alright.

I, too, have lost many dear friendships, mostly due to my own lack of communication. Time slips past me and memories become a mere whisper, a puff of smoke.

There have been so many phases of my life and friends associated with those phases. Some of the friendships I regret losing, but mostly I figure that I'm blessed to have had so many positive relationships and experiences in my life. If I had not taken the road I did, I wouldn't have found you-my true love, my soul mate.

I know my words probably aren't of much comfort at a time like this. As I said, I wish I could hold you. Know this-we will always be together and we will make many friends together in the various phases and places of our lives to come.

I love with all my heart. The true you. The one who sees me with such wonderment and passion. The one who continues to impress me and to move me in ways I never thought possible.

I will always love you.

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From: hollywood1965
2005-06-13 03:31 am (UTC)

Soon to reunite with my friend!

Hi Cat,

We had just become friends before you moved so far away. At the time, I thought: "This is how it always is for me--I meet such great people--and either I or they move far, far away. It almost feels like death to never see them again."

I feel bad for you with regard to your situation with the old friend. I have never had a friend formally break up with me, but I have basically lost the majority of my friendships since childhood to distance.

Well, with the invention of email, you and I have been able to keep in touch during these 3 years apart--more so now that I have a computer at home.

I am so excited that you may be returning to California in the future. I look forward to seeing you again and further developing our friendship.

And just yesterday, I heard from a friend after six years who I have known since 7th grade! We once had almost a decade apart from meeting face-to-face, but somehow managed to keep in touch through the years with an occasional letter or phone call. This time I thought she had joined the ones who wrote me off their friendship list. What a surprise to reunite over the telephone!

I keep you in my thoughts.

Lots of love and hugs,


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