The ending of a friendship

When you’ve spoken your piece and tried to end things on a high note, saying you’ve just grown apart, you hope that will be the end of it. You know from previous interactions that this person is prone to going into a rage and you just want to avoid that at any price.

Sometimes people, particularly those who engage in “splitting” (a psychological term worth looking into and what it means), can’t deal with the fact of someone refusing to engage. Their reaction to being hurt or feeling rejected is to lash out with abuse. If you say “I’m not discussing this further. I hope you find help” and step away, it’s turned around into you being a bully.

If someone calls you their best friend and “hetero life mate” and a month later you’re the worst person ever, chances are you’re dealing with someone who has much bigger problems than you can handle. Hence why I told her I hoped she’d find help. I meant that with zero snark.

The only thing you can do is to stop engaging, stop reading the messages they send you. They want to keep fighting and if you reply, even calmly, you’re feeding the drama they crave and opening yourself up to more of the same.

Of course I’m sad that it ended. I’m not going to post about it all over social media because I don’t want attention from airing those kinds of problems. And I don’t need to try to get sympathy from acquaintances over what is actually a very personal and sad matter.

There are always two sides to every issue. We both behaved badly and I’m not holding myself up as innocent. Certain things trigger anger in me too and she often did push those buttons. I’m not proud of myself for regressing into feeling angry so much. I had worked very hard to stop reacting with anger when people pushed specific triggers and lost a lot of progress when we became friends again.

But things like ending a friendship shouldn’t require talking about how upset you are on all your social media networks and trashing the person you were describing as a best friend just weeks ago.

However, the fact that you’re not posting about it all over social media also doesn’t mean you’re not deeply sad or hurt. You just recognize that some hurts have to be dealt with less publicly. Nobody reads this blog and it’s not connected to my real name, so this isn’t very public.

I’m feeling pretty beaten up. I calmly wrote in my blog post the other day that I felt I had grown apart from a friend. I woke up the next day to a barrage of insults from that person. I didn’t even read most of the angry messages as there were so many and I tried to respond calmly to a couple. I completely stopped reading any messages from her even as she continued sending them. Still kept sending them a day later, which I will continue to leave unread. And yet that was somehow turned around in her mind as me bullying her.

This has been a cycle for all of our friendship. I love her and always have and always will. But for my own peace of mind, I have to respect myself enough to walk away.

My husband and kids know that when I become friends with this person again, it’s always going to end badly within weeks or months. They always warn me against it because they know I’m going to get hurt. They know how hard it is on me to recover from the fights with her.

I am not doing a great job of modeling self-respect when I can’t even stay away from what everyone else sees as bad for me.

It’s sadly time that I do value myself and my peace enough to say, no more. Even if it hurts. I really get it this time that the nature of the friendship is never going to change. My husband hopes I really mean that.

It’s frustrating to know that you can’t clear your name. You have to let their misconceptions of you stand and let all their friends believe the horrible things they’re told about you, many of which are either exaggerated or completely untrue.

That confirms that it’s right to get away. You can’t heal other people. You can’t control how they choose to view you or how they behave. The only thing you can do is walk away and try to avoid letting them hurt you anymore.

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