This week, I decided to end a friendship, a 6 year friendship.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I am glad I did it.
This friendship was toxic in so many ways. I shall explain. I’ll refer to this person as ‘M’.
- Let me just say that this person did have a very traumatic childhood and rightly deserved to be called a victim. However, in every. single. aspect. in M’s life M was a victim. No matter how positive of a spin I tried to put on thing, no matter how positive something actually was, M saw it M’s way, and only M’s way. I know many victims of the same circumstance and yes everyone is different, but the constant negativity, one breath of positivity does not hurt. So I would be there trying to convince M not to be negative, not to see things negatively but just when you think M’s got it, M goes right back to M’s way of thinking. In the end, I learnt that the best thing was to just agree with M, so I stopped having my own opinions and just absorbed all this negativity. That in itself was draining for 6 long years.
- Everyone was to blame but M. Everything and anyone who threatened M’s way of living, you have to let M be or M’s response would be ‘don’t judge me’. For instance if M would never meet someone half way, no everything would have to be M’s way or the highway, even in someone else’s house.
- Every time M texted or called, anxiety would hit me out of nowhere. But I’d still pick up. There were periods M would call very late at night, I would always pick up because I knew that M needed someone in that moment. I was always there for M. All M needed to do is say ‘jump’, and I would say ‘how high, your highness’? I was going through a lot too and I did have a traumatic childhood, but I never could let M know because when I reached out in my most depressing of times, she was never there. Never.
- At the end of our relationship, M started to call and cut the phone on me. Just abruptly whilst I was speakin- beep. That deeply hurt me because now M was purposefully ignoring me. M came to stay and ignored me and my entire family in real life too. M ignored me in my own house which made me feel extremely insignificant. M couldn’t see how deeply disrespectful it was and that it crossed a line.
- M would never apologize. M always said, ‘I will apologize when I feel I’ve done something wrong’. M always said quite insensitive things, but I always let it go, I would tell myself ‘ M is going through a lot, give M a break’. I’ve been giving M second chances since 2012. So I’d only pipe up when M crossed the line, and that was once in 6 years. For 6 years that was my excuse to just allow M to keep hurting me. I had hope that M’s suffering would end and M would finally see the light of day. But M never did so I piped up for the second time in 6 years. M’s first response to my feelings, ‘this is just how I am’. M apologized in the end when I explained the extent of my feelings, because the fact that M could physically see that I was hurt was not enough to warrant a sincere apology.
- Every time a conflict presented itself M would shut down, walk out, ignore you or whoever it was before it became an actual conflict. It was their fault, never M’s. So to live in harmony with M, everyone was suppose to walk on eggshells to preserve peace. Uncomfortably miserable peace, but nonetheless it was peace.
I thought to myself, am I going to be 50 years old, still feeling like shitt, still walking on eggshells, afraid to say the wrong thing that can set M off or make M walk, afraid to be frank, afraid to have normal communication, always understanding M’s point of view, never sharing my honest opinions, absorbing all of these negative emotions whilst trying to sort out my own?
There was a time I needed this friendship because I didn’t have any self-worth. I was ready to be psychologically tortured because the good moments with M were worth it. I was helping someone too and I hoped one day our friendship would improve. I believed I didn’t deserve to be treated any better, because I wasn’t worth it. In my warped mind, the psychological torture whilst helping someone made up for my lack of self worth. No. It was categorically imbalanced. Now I’ve worked on myself, I realized
Hell to the No. I’m not suffering any longer, 6 years of painfully waiting for someone to change how they treat you is enough patience, loyalty, whatever you want to call it for a lifetime. No, thank you.
So I ended it in the most non conflict way, a text. I told M that it would best for both of us if we parted ways, I wished M the best. A few days after I was quite depressed, couldn’t get up to do anything, doubting myself of my decision to end a friendship, calling myself a failure. So whilst wallowing in misery, M hadn’t responded yet. The fact that M didn’t respond immediately or even within 24 hours clearly showed that the friendship never mattered in the first place. M responded a few days later, and really M tried to be nice but they were empty words because M needed to come pick up some stuff M left at my house. I wrote M a letter, told M exactly how M made me feel and left it in M’s stuff. That was the end of it.
Moral of the story: If your gut is telling you this is bullshit, listen to it.