Thawing inch by inch


I blame Disney for making people forget how awful the word frozen is. It doesn’t describe a winter wonderland; it describes a relationship isolated. Its two icy syllables drip of rancor and malice.

The sudden severing of contact between two people is nothing like the conventional drifting away to which we are all accustomed. Two people either both think that the other is wrong, or it is clear that one person did something very wrong. The term falling out is absolutely accurate. You two didn’t fall apart, you fell out. Instead of a relationship crumbling away, the trapdoors beneath your feet suddenly gave way and it’s like you’ve disappeared from each other’s eyes. A schism, they call it, a split due to differences in belief or opinion. No kidding…

The worst thing about these unfortunate occurrences is that often, there’s not a solid explanation, leaving you with no closure. The issue remains split open in your head, but the matter is a conversation topic iced shut between you two. Your time behind the iron curtain is spent wondering why, leaving you with nothing to do but create scenarios in your head, crafting explanations that make you believe what isn’t actually true.

Silence is a teacher, and our pondering reveals personal faults that we didn’t want to acknowledge at first. We feel regrets about not handling the situation better than we could have, but these regrets don’t just ball up inside of you; they mull over you like a wave and leave you with a learning experience.

It takes a long time to get over the abrupt cessation of a relationship, and I mean in more ways than just romantic. How long does it take us to realize the depth of situation? After being reserved from each other for so long, only then does the confusion begin to clear.

Someone asks, what happened between you two? Well, I’d have to sit you down for an afternoon. One sentence wouldn’t even begin to explain it all, and if you gave me an hour, all of the relevant details wouldn’t fit in the time allotment, leaving you rooting arbitrarily for one side or the other. The most that I can say is, it’s complicated. I’m still figuring it all myself.

When you all of the sudden stop talking to someone, the pace of your life is disturbed. The person that you wanted to talk to, that you almost took for granted, is no longer there for you anymore. Who can blame them, really? Sometimes it’s partly my fault, sometimes it’s all my fault, and sometimes I feel like the victim.

But our stories are so constantly evolving that one might even say that they’re…never stationary?

As far as I’m aware, there are not many people that I purposefully don’t talk to; I can count them all on one hand. It seems to me like everyone deals with these issues differently. Some turn inwards and bottle up their feelings; others turn outwards to others. For the past few years, I’ve sort of turned towards writing as an outlet for me to try to figure these kinds of issues out.

But what is there to do between you and that person? What can you possibly do? Very little; there’s no breaching this social contract. It binds you into reticence. We’ve all cut people off, sometimes not by choice. Over time, you come to terms with who did what and who is at fault; you might have blamed yourself for it, but eventually you learn to forgive them, and then yourself.



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  3. Wordsgood

    Very nicely put. It’s true that we all have relationships that fall apart over time, but one thing I’ve learned in recent years is how big of a treasure those few core friendships are. I have friends I’ve know for decades. We all started young, idealistic and naive. Some of uus maaried and had kids, some didn’t and while we may go years without seeing each other, or even talking – phone numbers lost in during moves, etc. – we always seem to pick up right where we left off when we do connect again.

    I agree that keeping one’s personal judgement’s out of it is a key factor in maintaining long-term relationships together. You are not always going to agree with everything about everyone’s life, but you don’t need to. Accept that they, like you, are doing the best they can. :)


    • catdiggedydog

      In the large scale, you have reminded me of how easily people can still connect, over the span of years. That’s very reassuring, thank you. And since I’ve written this post, I have experienced that the ice does thaw in some cases.


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  6. sarahwbartlett

    thanks for this post – it resonates with some life experiences of mine. however the concept of blame troubles me, as polarizing and pat. deep listening without agenda or attachment to outcome – so helpful. the only way i know to move past ‘the thing that happened.’ we really do live in shades of gray rather than black and white and we all contribute to greater or lesser understanding, tolerance, compassion. what we put forth we receive.


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  18. lunamoth

    Very true…I recently stopped talking to a friend that I’ve had for over 20 years. And honestly, I can’t even tell you what went wrong. It would take a million years. So I get it. And it’s sad. Thanks for this.


    • catdiggedydog

      We can’t really do anything except deal with it, and slowly get over it. Of course, we should never try to forget because I’m sure there are great memories with you and your friend, and you wouldn’t want those memories to be tainted. Thanks for reading!


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