That’s what friend’s do!

This weekend as I was walking with a new friend, she was asking me how I do friendship, what it means to me, and how do I let people into my inner circle of trust. I love these kinds of conversations.

My new friend was telling me about how she and her friend are working through a big rift. Her friend knew a co-worker was saying some really nasty, and hurtful things about new friend professionally, and had even witnessed it happening and did not come to her defense. Her friend said to her, I just don’t like conflict and I don’t want to get involved, besides I wouldn’t know what to say. My new friend was crushed, hurt and couldn’t understand that kind of behavior.

She’s the kind of person, who sticks up for someone when they are being talked about, or something unkind is said to their face. Like me, my friend believes in right speech. That you don’t get to mow someone down with your words, just because it makes you feel better by getting it off your chest. As adults, we can have control over what we say to another person. Now, I’m not talking about the heat of the moment disagreements with our spouses or a respectful, but heated debate about a topic. I’m talking about well thought out emails, verbal assaults, or social media bashing.

I related to my new friend that I had experienced a situation like that in my life too. At a dinner party, a woman said something extremely inappropriate and mean to me. I stood there stunned, confused, and fumbling my goodbyes left in tears. One of the women, who was a good friend, said to me the next day, she thought it was extremely inappropriate and really wants to say something, but didn’t want to get people mad at her. Another woman who witnessed it, said to me, that if it made the person feel better by getting it out, then it was okay. I don’t agree. I would have come to the defense (and have come to the defense) of someone who is being hurt. I reassured my new friend, that if someone was being mean and inappropriate and I witnessed it, I would say something to that person.  I don’t let my friends fall unaided into the hands of “mean-girl” behavior. We continued our walk, I dropped her off at home and went about my Saturday business.

Little did I know how synchronistic our conversation was going to be. When I checked my email later in the day, I was treated to a few vicious paragraphs from someone who attends the same writing group I belong to. She has never had a personal conversation with me. Ever! But decided from reading my book, that she had permission to spray me with all sorts of venomous comments.

This woman offered to give my writing partner and I the name of a niece in New York, who works at a film school after we mentioned in our writer’s meeting that we are ready to begin to pitch our project. The woman wanted to read my book first, which makes perfect sense to me. She liked the book, the story was well written, she did not critique my writing, instead, she began to attack me personally, with comments written by a master narcissist. I felt like I had just received an email from my mother and was shaken to my core. The woman copied my writing partner, (who is also a good friend) so she saw the email too. I immediately texted my friend and said, I’m not going to respond, and then went in tears to my husband to tell him about the email.

After she funneled through a myriad of emotions from the email, my friend proceeded to write a beautifully crafted, respectful, direct response to this woman. She told her how cruel, and insensitive this woman had been, especially when she has never had a single personal conversation with me. Directly calling out her hurtful actions and letting her know, that it isn’t okay to treat another person that way. She was straight forward to the point, and included suggestions on what she could do, to right her initial email. My friend sent me a copy of the email separately so I could see what she wrote to this woman.

After reading the email, I broke down in tears. I’m blessed in my life, to have a wonderfully supportive group of friends. My inner circle of friendship is something I never take for granted. But this past Saturday, to witness a friend immediately coming to my defense in such a protective, loving way with no fear, of what someone may think of her, or if they will be mad at her, or will then be the target of an ugly email was humbling and stopped me from going down a dark road.

Not only did my friend write this email, because her core values wouldn’t let someone treat another with such disrespect, but she also did it because she respects me and feels I deserve to be treated the way I treat others. Remember earlier that day, I had that conversation about this very subject. It’s a strange, synchronistic world sometimes.

After tearfully, thanking my friend for coming to my defense, I told my husband what my friend did for me. His response? “That’s what friend’s do!”


image source: google images


Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph


42 thoughts on “That’s what friend’s do!

  1. I absolutely love everything about this comment, Marilyn! Im so happy to hear of your friend, blackberry cobbler (yum!!) and the declaration between two friends. It’s important to have our friends back, to stand up for them when they are hurt and to eat cobbler. ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn L. Davis

    Hi, Alexis. It is unfortunate that people have no qualms today saying anything they want while hiding behind an email, gravatar, or anonymous comments. I’d like to say that we all get them when we write about controversial subjects, but that doesn’t mitigate the hurt.

    I’ve squalled to my friends, and even had one don his armour and jump on his white horse. That earned him a blackberry cobbler as I knew he liked them. When I delivered it, he asked why. I simply said, “Because you’re you and you don’t let people run over your friends.”

    Coffee and cobler eaten, we decided that loyalty and the courage to stand up to wrong is in short supply today – along with good cobbler.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, it can be really hurtful to know things are being said about us. Sometimes its a matter of, we cant like everyone we meet and sometimes its bullying. At any age its not okay to bully someone or attack their character. I feel so sad for kids that get bullied, especially in this age of social media. My son is a high school teacher and has shared some stories of what kids to do each other.
    You were correct, right speech is part of the 8 fold path.
    I love how you stated we cant stop what people are thinking but we can certainly help them keep it to their selves. That is so true. It takes putting ourselves out there in a protective role. But, hey, that’s what friends do. 😀
    Have a great day today, Theseus and thanks again for your insights!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Right Speech,” that’s part of the Buddhist Noble 8 Fold Path, isn’t it? I find this to be a very helpful guide in my own journey and pursuits.

    This is an interesting situation. To be honest, it seems to me that the only way to stop a bully (which is what this kind of stuff basically is) is to stand up to them. Of course, if your not there, it’s good for someone to squash that kind of stuff right away. Usually, when I hear this kind of talk about someone I know, I usually interject and say “Well, I don’t know, I rather like so and so” and then try to move the conversation in a more positive direction. That often works, but not always.

    I do have to say, though, that the few times someone gave my son a hard time, my wife had a hard time tempering our responses. We don’t let anyone bully or talk smack about our child. They can do it in home, in private, but oh, don’t mess with our little man in a way which will hurt or intimidate him.

    I don’t know, though. My wife had some friends who said all kinds of things about me to each other (and behind my back). For 10 years they tried to poison our relationship and end our marriage. Addressing it with them didn’t help, so I tried to play nice for her sake (I don’t want to tell my wife who she can be friends with). As my wife is a loyal friend, this put her in a tough spot. But the fact that no one stood up for me has caused lasting scars in our marriage. It hurt. It hurt a lot. I suppose what was said out of my hearing didn’t bother me as much. But the fact that my wife didn’t more aggressively defend me and set limits with them wounded me very deeply.

    Yea. I get what you mean.

    For myself, I guess that sometimes I will say something and other times I won’t. However, you’ve given me something to think about and I expect that I’m going to be more active in intervening from now on. Reading your story reminds me that we all need to look out for each other. We can’t stop what some folks are thinking, but we can certainly “help” them keep it to their damn selves!

    Thanks so much for this awareness and revelation!

    Be Well,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bethanyk

    I know this feeling where you are glad you can help someone because they are nolonger alone but you realize that they had to experience the bad to be able to relate.
    I cannot tell you how much your book is helping me. Thank you truly for publishing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bethanyk

    I just wrote a blog post and said I was reading your book and listed it as how I had this huge revelation. THank YOU. I appreciate you and your words and how they have helped me immensely!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, Thank You so much for reading Untangled. You cant see me, but I have a huge smile and tears in my eyes. Im so glad you can connect with the words. Although, there is always a part of me that feels sad when people can relate because of their past trauma. Big appreciative and supportive hugs to you!


  8. bethanyk

    Your book is already giving me huge revelations as to why I have always sought safety and how I thought my house had a terrible energy but until you said it, never realized it was the people in it that gave it that energy and not the house itself.
    Ok i will refrain from commenting every revelation I have as I read your book I just wanted to share that one thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. bethanyk

    I just downloaded your book. I’ve read the first 10 pages and just had to tell you you are an amazing writer. I keep getting chills as I can really connect with your words. Today I am reading your book and can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. bethanyk

    I’m so sorry someone chose to say hateful things to you. Even if we know these things are not true they can still hurt. But to have a friend have your back like that had to feel so wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. That’s great insight! I respect how thoughtful you are in sitting with a situation and then deciding how best to advocate for another person. Thank You so much for sharing this. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Benevolent_Son

    It’s good to hear you received genuine support in a time of need because being retraumatized can lead to us feeling isolated and diminished in value, almost as though we’re being reintroduced to our abuser(s) as you implied.

    I typically watch a person and listen even more so than usual when they cause harm to others because it gives me a chance to understand whether or not they consciously, unconsciously, repeatedly, or accidently do so.

    That way I know how best to approach the situation in terms of offering empowerment to the victim, bringing the foul play to the attention of the source, or more subtly disregarding the negative by invalidating it before offering something positive.

    The last one seems to be the most effective since it has two upsides: 1st it makes the victim feel better, and 2nd it makes the attacker feel embarrassed for being a turd since the present company will notice the negative nancy for what they are.

    Cheers and blessings! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. summerSHINES

    People can be mean spirited, but you don’t have a mean bone in your body. That’s why you’re my valued friend and I’d never associate with bullying accusatory poisonous eejits. I can do without them. The fuckers! I love Brene Brown and I love you ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Its really hard. My therapist had to be my corner coach last night, kept putting it in perspective. I remember listening to Brene’s 2nd Ted Talk when she was saying how mean people were being to her after the success if her first Ted Talk. Her arena message about keeping a few, trusted people around you has made an impact on me too. You’re in my arena! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Its not easy to put our lives out there in a book for all to read and scrutinize. Remember why you chose to publish your book and try to sit in that light. Read the positive reviews and the feedback you get on your blog. You are wonderful and brave. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. summerSHINES

    Really? Ugh. That’s horrible 😦 I think growing a thick skin is super hard…I just remember the Brene Brown quote about being in the arena…that always makes me feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good to have friends like that. Maybe I could have a friend come in and respond to the personal critic, but I did put in a petition to have the review removed as it was a author attack vs. a review of the book. That crosses a line so hopefully the system works. Obviously I think I did horrible things as mother…but I was also for a long time a very good mother and wife. Something went wrong in my head. It isn’t an excuse but a reality. I was hurting a lot of people while I was hurting myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank You! I appreciate that. Part of the deal when you put your story out there. % wise I’ve been really lucky. I am trying super hard to grow thicker skin. Im not that great letting personal attacks roll off my back. Im sure the more books that sell, the odds increase that I hit the nerve of someone who probably hurt their kids like we’ve been hurt. You could tell from that persons email that was probably the case. I love you Summer! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  19. summerSHINES

    I am so bloody angry that anyone said hurtful offensive things to you…as if you haven’t already been through enough traumatic shit in your life! I’m so sorry 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank You for sharing and for your insight Anne. I can so relate to all of it. That mama-bear protection that I have for others rarely shows up for myself. But, honestly sharing this experience today and comments like yours has given me a whole new level of strength. Thank You so much. Have a good evening. ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  21. That IS what true friends do! When it comes to my personality, people can say things about me and being a sensitive person, I get hung up on it and put way more tears and analyzation into it than I should. When someone attacks someone close to me though, friend, family, someone weaker than someone else, I have no qualms about speaking my mind in defense for them. Weird how I can be shy and introverted about myself, but then a mighty beast of confidence surfaces when I see others being treated unfairly/hurtfully. To me there is just no excuse for that type of behavior! Just try and remember, when someone treats you like that, it is on them and a reflection of who they are, not you! Keep your head up and be proud of the wonderful person you are!❤~Anne

    Liked by 2 people

  22. You hit it on the nail. It’s HER issues she was projecting. However, you were triggered by her comment- something you may want to work thru so it doesn’t bubble up again. I’m in a class working thru “past stuff” and this is what I’m learning now. Not easy. Much love to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. mjwriter

    Love your blog post. Good for your friend for sticking up for you. As I look back, I’m afraid there have been times I haven’t spoken up when I should have. I don’t like the idea that I’ve been weak. Everyone needs a friend like you. “Let the weak say I am strong!” So–I am strong

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Thank you for your wise and insightful words. Ugh, I wish they weren’t coming from your experiences though. What a painful thing to live through with your ex!
    Yes, its been a weird and steep learning curve and we have already experienced the Hollywood Hustle. Lots of lessons learned the past few months and neither my partner nor I will sign anything without proper professional representation. Im sooo grateful for your comment! And will truly listen to your IMHO!! Thank You! 🤗


  25. Tamara Kulish

    Terrible that this person felt she could do that to you!

    Having been married to a narcissistic man who sacrificed 5 marriages and his kids in his obsession to get his screenplays made into movies, I know firsthand what damage can be done.

    I’ve seen 2 people my ex, and the ex of our partners literally lose their minds and moral compasses, because they wrongly thought that anything and everything was allowable in the quest to get the films done. I’ve seen otherwise nice people lose their ethics in these quests too.

    No, the films never got funded, and there’s a trail of personal carnage behind those people.

    We’re on this planet to learn and to teach very important lessons.

    Please be sure to hold onto your moral compasses as you follow this path to seeking to make your book into a film. You will meet many people who feel that if they hold a whispy key to your dream that it somehow gives them the power to make you jump through their sick hoops!

    That woman’s connection isn’t even a solid lead! Her neice is in film school!! She isn’t a seasoned film producer, doesn’t have a company and isn’t an investor! Dust off your sandals and leave that woman behind!

    You have a good story, and it’s based on truth. IMHO you need professionals to work with you! You will meet a lot of people who have stars in their eyes and who will want to latch onto you.

    Follow your gut! Stay true to yourself! There’s many, many ways of getting films done, but the first part is networking.

    I wish you much luck.

    Peace, Tamara

    Peace, Tamara

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s