I have a lot of what I like to call catch-22 characteristics. I have appropriately named them that because they are what make me who I am, and when functioning correctly, they are beautiful things. But they are also the things that are the most hard to keep functioning correctly, and as a result, they are the things that hurt people closest to me and the things that I hate most about myself.
A few years ago, the Lord gave me a very surprising best friend. Our friendship started in the middle. We skipped the fluff of getting to know each other and just started right in the middle. We started at best friends. And it worked. I don't know how, or why really, but it just did. I should probably mention that this friend of mine was a guy.
There is a long, exhaustive story that I won't get into, but as a result of some of my catch-22 characteristcs, the friendship ends in him getting married in 11 days and we no longer speak. At all. It resulted in more than one utterly destroyed relationship. It has hardened a part of my heart that is kept deep deep down in the depths. I was forced to put lots of irreconcilable space between myself and our mutual friends. I left the church I was attending. It has made me extremely cautious and guarded (sometimes overly so) in my opposite-sex friendships. It is one of the worst experiences I've ever had and I have lived my life doing whatever I need to do in order to avoid it ever happening again. Almost with shame, I admit that going through the same thing again is one of my greatest fears.
If I ever, EVER appear to be behaving in a way that might possibly put me in that position again, would you please slap me around a little and make me stop?