Ode to a needy friend

I went for a walk with my dear but needy–her descriptor, not mine–friend, L., the other day and, as our visit was nearing the end, she whined (which is uncharacteristic of her I might add): “Why have I never been the focus of a post?” She caught me off guard because: a) I’ve never seen L. as needy; and b) our discussion that day did not lend itself well to a post.

I should mention that L. and I are very good friends. We have known each other since I arrived in this fair city and, although our contact has waxed and waned over the years, we have maintained a special friendship, or at least I think we have. L. has supported me through thick and thin, and I have tried to do the same for her. We talk openly and frankly, as many psychologist-friends do with one another.

On this particular day, L. and I had a lovely visit. Since she knows what’s up with me from my blog, when we get together, I try to catch up on her life. Sometimes she allows this. In fact, on this occasion, L. moved into full disclosure mode. When she was finished sharing, she said: “You are not to tell any of this to anyone.”

You may be surprised to hear that despite my disinhibited nature, I am capable of maintaining confidentiality. They drill that stuff into us in graduate school, as you might imagine. I may be terrible at keeping my own secrets–J. still doesn’t know what I’m getting her for her birthday, by the way–but I’m very good at keeping those of others. Yes, I can zip my lips if I’m instructed to. L. may not be my client but the same rules apply.

And so when L. asked me why she had not been the focus of a post, I reminded her that moments earlier she had insisted that our discussion remain private. Were I to blog about what she had told me, I would not be respecting her privacy, would I? Wouldn’t you agree that she shot herself in the foot on this one?

And then I reminded L. that a long-ago talk we had indeed led to a post on discussing my cancer with people. A very astute question she had asked me got me thinking. So she had in fact inspired one of my posts; she had just forgotten. Initially, I was deeply wounded that L. had not committed my every post to memory…but then I got over it.

I will most certainly be listening carefully during my next conversation with L. for blog-appropriate material. But I will remind L. that if we are going to have our usual mutual therapy session, I may not feel comfortable sharing the material on line. I only disclose too much about myself, not others, in my blog. Maybe L. should write her own blog so she can share unreservedly about herself with the world.

And I say the same to you, my dear readership: If you have been clamouring for my attention and I have not been listening (be sure to clamour in my left ear since I’m mildly hearing impaired in my right), if you too have been pining for a post, let me know. I’ll see what I can do. But first you’re going to have to give me something to work with.

Man telling woman a secret, woman's mouth wide open in surprise

And you expect me to keep that a secret?


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