A Friendship Deferred

It has been YEARS. Literally! I have so many changes that I went through, some good and some less then desirable. However, I can say that all the changes that I have endured has shown me growth. One of the most major changes in my adult life – beside giving birth of course, was losing my closest friend. Looking back, I can now say our friendship started deteriorating years before our big blow up. I didn’t want to admit it as it was happening because, she is my best friend, right? Well, in hindsight, that was wrong. I let a lot of things go unsaid and she has too and this is where we are here today. Like many old blog posts, I am going to list my lessons that I learned.

  1. You can’t fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed.
    • This was a big lesson for me when it came to my relationship with my friend. I wanted her to be happy. I wanted her to grow and find the thing that makes her heart happy again! I realized that I became engrossed in her well-being to where I wasn’t sleeping well. I even went to therapy. I was committed to the cause. I would not share my good news with her in fear that she would internalize it. She would speak negatively about herself and it would drive me crazy. So, I would try to speak life to her. Share stories on my issues that I overcame. Sometimes, it would work and sometimes it wouldn’t. When it didn’t, I processed that as failure. I failed my best friend. Here is the tea, I would have never succeeded in that because she didn’t want it for herself yet. She would have to do her own work in order to be happy. Not fake in front of people, tell them what they want to hear, happy. But truly happy inside and out. What I realized is that every time she regressed and I progressed, we began growing apart.
  2. When things bother you, say it.
    • There were times that I felt she let me down and there are times that I have let her down. It’s the ebb and flow of friendship. The issue is, when I was let down, I never said it. Even if she asked, I would say I am good and its no big deal. It was a big deal but I decided to not say anything, because during those times, she was dealing with things and I didn’t want to cause a burden. I am also sure that the same rings true for her. And when things fester…
  3. Know when it’s time to take a break
    • I knew the time was coming that I needed to take a mental break from the friendship. When asking friends their thoughts on this, I was told I should have just taken it without telling her but, I didn’t feel that would have been right. I am a HUGE energy person. And feeling negative energy for a period of time, it drags me down. She got to a point where she was my negative energy. Even typing this makes me feel bad, but it is my truth and there is no need to sugar coat now. I felt her sadness, her unhappiness. Through the smiles and laughter and “I’m great!’ claims. She wasn’t and I knew it. I had to revert back to lesson 1. You can’t fix someone who doesn’t see there is an issue or is in denial. It just doesn’t work.
  4. People grow apart and that’s ok
    • After 20 years of friendship – more like 22 years! People grow apart. I took a path of spirituality and healing. I worked on myself constantly and kept picking myself up after I fell and kept trying no matter how risky. I feel that if you don’t try then you won’t succeed. Her path was a bit different. She is more a play it safe person. And that is ok. But what ends up happening, we simply stop agreeing on certain things. We stop having the same interests. I began aligning myself with those whose interest resemble mine and she was doing the same. Instead of understanding each other, we judged. Silently. This is where blow ups start brewing.
  5. Delivery is essential.
    • I am the queen of being misunderstood. Sometimes, the things I want to convey, gets lost in translation. I forget to say what I wanted and can get side tracked. I am better at writing. So one day, I decided to send an email on my thoughts. I read and re-read. Kept it positive and stated my need of space for a while. What I got in return was every thing but what I put in. I got attacked. And I will say, when someone begins to throw things in your face for what they have done for you and what you never did, despite knowing the struggles you had is a low blow. The things that was said was hurtful. But remaining true to myself, I never said anything negative in return. I thought it, and I was in my right, but knew my harsh words would have done more harm than good. But what that let me know is that our friendship was already gone. There are things you don’t say to people and can ever take back and that is where we were. Funny thing is that, I told a mutual friend that I would have been ok if she called me a bald headed hoe because she was upset. But the route she took was friendship killing.
    • My lesson in that is delivery is everything. What I would have done differently is kept my email but read it aloud to her. I wouldn’t take my words back because I meant it all and words are power. But it would have allowed her to see my tone and not the tone she may have imagined. But what I refused to do is intentionally hurt someone by saying things I know would attack them to the core because I know her and what things to say to cause damage. It was just something I am not about. Sometimes it takes things like this to show you how those you value really feel about you. It is not about the gifts or the superficial things she gave through the years. I have never been about that. It is about how they treat you when they are backed against the wall.

I think losing a friend is a big moment in a lot of people’s lives. That was my moment. I learned and I grew from it. I continued to pray about it and still for her happiness. Because you can’t leave a 22 year friendship and still not wish them the best. Losing this friendship, as odd as it seems, was essential. A major realization was that I no longer felt good sharing my good news with her. If you can’t share your highs with your best friend, then are they really? No. At times, I ask myself, “do you miss her?” and my true answer is that I miss having her as my friend, but not the way it was the past few years. Since then, God has blessed me with great connections with like minded people. I will take my lessons and apply it with care moving forward!

Do you have a similar story? Message me and let’s chat! What were your lessons?

-V.

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