Today is the anniversary of two very different things in my life, it is the six month anniversary of making a new friend, and the 18 year anniversary of when a person, who should have protected me, hurt me.

Other than the timing, and a blog post I wrote a while ago, these two incidents are mutually exclusive.  However today my head is flooded with thoughts of both.

Primarily how my friend has become most important to me, and that even though our friendship has noticeably changed, how the thought of them not being in my life is beyond contemplation. Some-days it feels as though we’ve known each other forever, others a mere blink of an eye.

They make me challenge my thoughts and actions; encourage me to be the best I can be; tease me ALL the time; remind me that life is for living, not spectating; is sweet, adorable and frustrating & demanding (post publishing deletion, apparently he’s not demanding ;)); yet always makes me feel as though my best interests are in the forefront of their mind.

I am also reminiscing of that incident so many years ago, how it stripped me of my confidence; made me challenge my sense of self and made me feel both weak and responsible.  How nowadays the thoughts do not cloud my brain every minute or even every day, but are still there, tidied away, though often dusted down to ensure I never forget.  An evil hatred experience I would not wish on anyone, and yet, a building block of who I have become.  Sometimes I think that enough time has passed that I can look at it and say, I SURVIVED.  Yet others I remember the taste and smell, and know I will never forget.

I am sorry I have not shared details, it is hard enough to write what I have written.  I rarely say what happened, as the words do not form well in my mouth.  Then the seriousness of the label makes me ponder “did that really happen to me?” “is it right to call it that?” (the answer I know is yes to these questions and it has taken a very long time to not take any blame for this happening).

Somehow recognising that it happened and allowing the pain of the memory to be felt and not undermined, seems to help, bring acceptance and allows me to move on.  This year is special, as it is the year, that the time I have had to live with the experience starts to become greater than the time of my life before hand (that is to say I was 18 when it occurred – numbers are important to me, they make me feel safe, so I often wrap memories with numbers, lest I forget.)

It’s nice that I have a new happy anniversary to share with this bleak, dark old one.  I just hope that I get to have an eighteen year anniversary of being a friend.  I have found in the past that if a friendship survives the first six months, the friendship becomes part of my life forever.  I could cite numerous examples of both the friends that fell by the wayside, and those that are so intertwined with my own life that they will not break free.

So to you, and you know who you are… be warned, you are stuck with me!  And bleak dark memory, you too are stuck with me, I hope to let the 18-year-old girl know she is not alone, that the 36-year-old woman is strong because of her strength.