October 20, 2014

when it's time to say goodbye

I'm the type of person who likes their friends to be lifelong. Once you're in my life, with few exceptions, I want you to stay there. I've always been this way. I blame my mother and love of relationships for this rosy outlook on friendship.

I've never really been bullied. I mean, there were definitely girls who were mean to me, but I don't remember it being even a fraction of what kids are experiencing today. I remember Whitney picking on me at Winter Retreat. Ironically enough, it was a church camp and she was in my small group.

I've only had a "friend break-up" once and it was mostly just me taking a break. This person and I had been friends for over ten years. I loved this person, but it seemed like our friendship became something I tended to out of obligation. There wasn't much joy left in it. I felt guilty for the fact that things were different. I felt guilty for liking my life while knowing how unhappy this person was. Maybe those are things I projected onto them, but every time their name came onto my screen, I felt uncomfortable. I was always bracing myself for what came next. We finally talked and I explained that things just felt different and I was sorry that they were that way, but I wasn't sure what to do. This person and I, once inseparable, took big steps back from each other. We still have a relationship, but it's nowhere near what it was when we were younger. We see each other sometimes and to be honest, occasionally it feels obligatory, but I feel heaps healthier, mentally and emotionally, than I did when we were in the thick of it.

I met someone a while back who quickly became a good friend. We naturally clicked and I was grateful for this new addition to my life. About a year or so into the relationship, this person became a little snippy with me. It wasn't anything huge or devastating, but it was enough to where it felt strange. I brushed it off and attributed it to stress. It didn't happen again for a while, but then it did. It made me feel so small each and every time it happened. Things got better, seemed back to normal. We spent time together. We laughed. I felt connected to this person again. Then, the snapping, the snide comments, the shortness all started happening more frequently. There weren't the gaps in it that there used to be. It was hard to shake off. It was and is currently also very hard not to internalize. I'm far more sensitive than people can usually tell. I get my feelings hurt pretty easily, but I'm also able to bounce back quickly. My ability to bounce back with this person got harder and harder. It's like I was a stretched out rubber band. I lost my elasticity. I was getting worn out. I didn't really like who I was around this person. I felt more guarded, more aware of everything about myself, and it was incredibly stressful.

It finally came to a breaking point the other night.

I realized, after being hurt again, that this would be the new normal. This was becoming standard. I know that people go through seasons and sometimes we need to journey alongside people who maybe aren't being the biggest rays of sunshine, but this was different. This "friendship" was causing me more stress and anxiety than any other relationship in my life. That's not a friendship.

I've made a conscious decision to step back from this person. It doesn't need to be dramatic, it doesn't need to impact anyone other than the two of us, but it has to happen. It needs to happen. My health, my emotions, and my spirit depend on it. There comes a time in some relationships, I'm learning, where it is best to say goodbye. Sometimes it will come quickly and sometimes it will come years into the relationship. There's nothing useful in holding on to something that's broken. It just gets more frustrating as you clutch that broken thing wondering why it isn't working and how come it can't be fixed. Sometimes you just have to say goodbye to it. Move past it.

I'm learning that I'm worth protecting and keeping people in my life who do nothing but bring me down is not a good way of living. One of the biggest blessings in my life has been the quality of relationships that I've been lucky enough to make. I have truly hit the jackpot with friends. I'm so grateful for those relationships because they show me what friendships should be like.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to a friend? What did you do?

1 comment :

  1. Are we the same person? I'm going through the EXACT same thing with my husband's brother's wife. She treats me exactly like this "friend" treats you and it's SO EXHAUSTING/STRESSFUL/HURTFUL. If you ever need someone to vent to, my ear is ready. I'm sorry you're experiencing this as well...it's so hard to walk away from friendships, but sometimes, it's so incredibly necessary for us to be our best selves.

    I also completely sympathize with you on the first friendship you talked about in this post as well. And I'm experiencing that exact same thing with a friend that I was very close to for 10 years, and she started dating people and completely changed. Our friendship hasn't been the same since, and it's hard to not feel guilty about that. Of course I could've or should've put more effort into the friendship when she was dating these losers, but I wasn't getting anything from her side. It was more out of obligation when she would ask to get coffee or whatever, and I would always sit there wishing I was doing something else. It's so incredibly sad. But what I've learned recently is that not every friendship is meant to last a lifetime. Friends move in different directions, and that's okay. But even with that being said, it's hard to not feel guilty.

    Praying for you.


Blog design by Get Polished | Copyright Jess Novello 2016