This past year was a rough go for me and my friendships. In fact, I broke up with two of my friends. My two very best friends. Two of my longest friends. We’ll call them Brandy and Janet.
I could go into great depth about Brandy and Janet but I’m going to give you the TL:DR version. Brandy has always been selfish. It’s a product of her upbringing. She has a hard time accepting love, help, kindness, etc… from others because she’s always looking for what they want in return. And in my case, that’s nothing. I have big heart and when I love, I love big. And Brandy also has a hard time admitting when she’s wrong. And apparently listening to me and respecting me are just toooooo much to ask.
Janet is going through a major life change. I discovered that her soon to be ex, who has hated me since the dawn of time, wasn’t exactly always responsible for her not showing up to, and participating in, our friendship like she let on. In fact, according to Janet, I should expect more disappointment in the future since I don’t have him to blame. What. The Actual. Fuck? Also, Chris and my family are my #1 priority in life. I consider my friends family. Where are friends on her priority list you ask? 4th. They are 4th. Aside from lying to me for over 15 years about things big and small, we apparently do not have the same priorities and I have been caring about her way more than she’s ever cared about me.
After much, and I mean much, soul searching and heart ache that involved hundreds of dollars of therapy, lots of tears, and conversation after conversation that probably melted Chris’s poor ears with their patheticness, I am done. With them. Normally, when I’m done with someone, I’m just done. Removed from all social media. Anyone associated with them removed from all social media. No calls, e-mails, or texts. Done. Not so this time. Brandy and Janet have kids. Kids I’ve fallen endlessly and hopelessly in love with. This whole experience has been like a divorce. Negotiating when I’m dropping off Christmas gifts. Debating birthday parties. And the missing.
The. Missing. I miss Brandy and Janet. I miss them like I’m missing an appendage at times. But the kiddos? I miss them like oxygen. I try not to think about them because I literally feel it in my lungs. Even now, conjuring their little faces as I write this brings tears streaming down my face. This is totally uncharted territory. How do you break up with friends that treat you like shit but not their children? No for real. If you know, hit me up.
I have learned some hard truths through this process.
- I am not an easy person. Not to be with. Not to be friends with. Not to love. I have high standards. I want people to treat me the way I treat them.
- I have a very giving heart. Helping other people, fixing problems, buying gifts, all of that is my love language. I get so much joy out of helping others and seeing them happy.
- Not everyone gives as much as they get. In fact, they come to expect, and then take for granted, what you give and then get annoyed with you when you stop or when you need some of the same in turn. They actually see nothing wrong with not reciprocating.
- Every single friend I have has told me that I expect too much. I don’t believe that anymore. They just need to set their bars higher. I let my friendships with Brandy and Janet operate on their terms for so long, that I forgot about me and what I needed and wanted from the relationships.
- Sometimes you can love someone so much but that doesn’t mean they’re any good for you. You have to release them. It means breaking your own heart. And then, while still reeling, trying to put it back together… while blindfolded… in the dark. So basically, it’s impossible, but you have to try because you’ve got to find a new normal.
If I thought with my heart on this, I’d forgive and move on and we’d still be friends. But at some point, you have to look at a persons pattern of behavior. And if they continuously show you what is, and isn’t, important to them, you should believe them. We spend way too much time trying to change people. For better or worse, you just have to let them be who they’re going to be.
I’m past the break-up I suppose. I’ve stopped with all social media and only contact them about the kids. And just a note, the social media wipe out, that’s to save my sanity. It’s not to be a petty twit. I just can’t handle seeing their happy faces, the birthdays, get-togethers, etc… and know that I’ve missed out. For me, it makes things more bearable. I hate having written that because it makes me feel so ick and vulnerable, but it’s the truth.
What should you do if you’re breaking up with a friend?
- Find a therapist. Most Employee Assistant Programs (EAP) will cover a few sessions for free. Therapy helps you work through your own thoughts with an outside party. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a decent therapist that can give you some valuable insights into what you’re telling them and some resources.
- Use any and all resources available to you. For this process, I tried meditation and read a lot about being judgmental as suggested by my therapist. Google your situation. There are a lot of people that have gone through the same thing.
- Work really hard to try to put yourself in the other persons shoes. Try to see the situation objectively.
- Cut yourself some slack. Cry if you need to. Reevaluate.
I’ll leave you with a couple quotes that were quite a help for me. I hope you find the peace you’re searching for too!