Innocence and blame

There was this song from the 80s that now sounds a bit cheesy, called No One is to Blame by Howard Jones.

Even though I say it was a bit cheesy, the music was pretty and I really liked the song overall. Some of the lyrics were like a precursor to Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”, mostly a litany of metaphors about sad things that suck and don’t go your way.

But the plaintive chorus, in which he repeats over and over “no one, no one, no one ever is to blame” seems to go through my head a lot lately. I actually think the song accurately describes about how I feel about the ending of this friendship that’s struggled on and off for years because it’s just not meant to be.

I decided I have to finally break the cycle but unfortunately the only way I can do so is by walking away. I haven’t gone around trashing her on social media or posting about how upset she made me. Most people understand that fights are never one-sided so I don’t need to try to get them to take my side.

I tried to calmly state in my previous post here (where very few people read anyway) that I felt that we had just grown apart and that our interests were too different. But I also made a very clear point to say that I didn’t think her interests were worse than mine or that my interests were better than hers.

And somehow she still took from that post that I was insulting her intelligence because of what she was interested in, even though I went to great lengths to say that wasn’t the case.

We just have different interests and values and priorities and that’s okay. If anything, I feel more self-conscious about my interests, because I don’t keep up with current movies or TV and that makes it hard to make small talk with people.

She’s telling her acquaintances terrible things about me on social media. And I can’t clear my name. I have to let those misconceptions stand because I’ll just look worse if I address them. That’s tough. Every bone within me wants to stand up for myself, even though I know it will be pointless.

I’m not angry at her. I don’t think I’m better than her or that her interests are stupid just because I don’t share them. Yet she feels victimized and wants to stay in that role for a while, and I can’t fix it. I just want it to blow over.

I am just lonely and depressed, which is a major function of my illness. And even if my husband knows that my friendship with this person always ends with me getting hurt, I’m often so lonely that I resume a friendship with her anyway. I have to work on respecting myself more and knowing that loneliness is better than a very unhealthy friendship.

I want her to find peace as much as I want to find it myself. But I really don’t believe we’ll ever find it together.

Because honestly, I really do believe – like the song says, as it plays over and over in my mind now – that no one is to blame.

Most fights always involve two (or more) people. It’s rarely as black and white as that one person is evil and the other is innocent and injured. And in this case I don’t think either of us was all innocent, nor that either of us was all evil. The truth in relationship conflict often exists in that shade of gray.

But facing the reality that no one is to blame (or that in your own separate ways, you’re both to blame) and that something is just over, is a lot harder. A lot more painful.

I’m just sitting here feeling sad, trying to process, trying to avoid engaging any further and bringing on any more anger against me. I think it’s at a stage where nothing I could say is being clearly heard, anyway.

I’m not angry. I’m not feeling superior. I don’t think she’s evil. And I also don’t think I am, either. I’m still the same person who made a point to sing happy birthday to her less than a month ago because she was upset that no one else had. Obviously, I cared about her then and still do.

I’m bewildered and hurt that she went from calling me a “hetero life mate” and best friend to hating me within the span of a month. It seems so strange to go from being highly valued by someone to completely devalued by them a few weeks later. I’ve just never experienced that kind of friendship rollercoaster before with anyone else.

I’ve never gone from so loved to so hated over one argument, which makes me wonder if the friendship was ever as deep as I thought it was in the first place (or as deep as she said it was.)

But nothing changes the fact that I’ve realized that this friendship isn’t healthy. We have a long pattern of hurting each other more than helping. And I think we both deserve to be healthier and happier than that.

I wish I could convince her that I don’t think any of the horrible things about her that she thinks I do. I wish she could reread what I wrote with more clarity.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve had any kind of breakup with anyone. But I see this more like a sad ending, the kind of mature breakup where you talk about the fact that it’s over and cry and hug and feel really sad about it. (Or you would if you felt like they would let you.)

I’ll feel sad about it for a long time. I’ll always wish that it could be different, but I know that it just can’t. I’ve already tried so hard and have always had the same outcome every time.

And I’m not sure what’s harder: the fact that I keep trying and keep getting hurt or the fact that we just can’t make it work. As much as popular culture likes to say love conquers everything, sometimes that’s just not true.

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