Monday, July 30, 2007

Not having done it in fifteen years didn't make it any easier

It never gets easier. I count myself lucky that I've seldom had to do it. I've been blessed with good people, I've chosen well. But recently (and reluctantly) I had to let someone go.

It was sort of like firing; I had to fire her from being my friend. The chances were out, the strikes, way beyond three. I gave it time, a lot of time. I thought having the bigger heart and waiting it out was the way to go. After all, my friend was going through a hard time, and if I couldn't hold on then, what sort of friend would that make me?

I held on, I let time pass. I let the emotional roller coaster cycle through, time and again. I thought as long as it wasn't my emotional roller coaster, I could let it pass. But then, she discovered this. She realized that somehow, my choice of not letting her decisions affect me meant something was wrong.

We now know this something as drama.

I saw right through it, though it wasn't her plan. She wanted to pour oil on the flames, I had the extinguisher. She was sliding down a steep, slippery spiral, I wouldn't sacrifice to go with her. I couldn't. It wasn't because she was asking too much, it was because she wasn't. She assumed I could be there, without question. Or morals. Or self-preservation.

I did question, though. And chose morals, and self-preservation. I had to.

The entire thing felt very business-like. Sort of similar to when I'd have to give bad feedback reports on volunteers, in my college internship days. I didn't want to ruin anyone's day, I didn't want to be negative, but when it came down to it, I had to be. It was hurting the cause, affecting more than just me.

She wasn't always bad, which is the part that makes it difficult. There were good times, times of hard work and play. But choices were made, and roads were chosen. Priorities changed, in ways I never expected, and very few people surprise me. (Us closet cynics have that sense.) Sooner or later, things like that just bring everything to a halt. A grinding halt.

So I let go. It's not easy, not without a share of guilt. But it's right.

17 comments:

Bre said...

Oh Lord! I'm going through almost the exact same thing right now! It's unspeakably hard and it's so emotionally draining - there just aren't words to describe it right - except for yours of course!

brandy said...

Yikes! Those situations are never easy. It sounds like you handled it with grace and thoughtfulness, which is all anyone can hope for when faced with such a situation.

Airam said...

Letting go of a friend is never an easy thing to do. I've had to do this before many times ... I hope I never have to again.

Sizzle said...

i've had to do that too and it was not easy. but we have to take care of ourselves. just because a person once earned our friendship doesn't mean they keep up the work to sustain it.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Lawdy, Lawdy. Sister Sing & I were just on the topic tonight of letting go. Letting go, imho, allows us to leave with good memories... hanging on to a sinking ship minimizes the good times in our memories & leaves us, sometimes, with only the crashing end and a bitter taste. Sometimes, it's just best to let go.
peace, girl... i trust you enough to know you did the right thing...by her & by you.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Just played catch up on the posts from the last week, which I'd missed... So happy you & your sister are close together! You know how much I appreciate sisterly love.

I think there is something funky going on with the moon. Last week I rec'd horrific assaults via email from s stranger. Lol, I'm just glad it's a stranger & not like a next door neighbor, coworker or someone whose words I actually value deeply.

GirlGoyle said...

I've never had to bring it up and discuss it as it would make me feel like we were in grade school. However friendships change I have noticed and one then gets tired of being the only one working at it. There are only so many times I'll ask if you got time to catch up and chat and then...I stop asking and move on. We all got to do what we got to do.

The Exception said...

It kind of sounds like you have been letting go, in some ways, for a while. It is never easy to end something, but necessary when it is "you" that is at risk of being hurt.

sue said...

Dare I say, "you did good"...?

Danielle said...

Letting go is never easy, but sometimes we grow up, and we realize what is important in our lives and when it comes down to it, it's important to keep those around you that are helping keep you where you want to be. Friendships can become poison, and you don't want to poison yourself. Life is too short to keep that around you. I have a few that I wonder sometimes if it's worth keeping...I think you made the right decision. And you never know, a few years down the road, a few changes from this person and maybe she will see how much she misses being the person she was and the friendship can start anew. I have a few friends in my life, some very good friends, that I never thought I'd call a good friend.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You did the right thing. If it was time for that relationship to end and she wasn't letting that happen, then you had to make it happen.

justacoolcat said...

What a bummer. Losing a friend is never easy, but it's easier to actually be done than have a lost friendship linger.

Ames said...

I always remember an Oprah episode (I know I'm sad) that spoke about toxic friends. These are the people that take and drain and have no consideration for what they ask. It's never an easy experience but remember that freeing yourself from this will allow you to devote more time to the important relationships in your life!

appletini said...

Letting go of a friend is HARD! But if they are drainng you more than giving the relationship a positive feeling, not reciprocating and especialy blaming you, then you made the right choice!

OC said...

Letting go of friendships is sometimes harder than letting go of romantic relationships. It hurts and you question... but once you feel a little bit lighter because of it, you know you did the right thing.

brookem said...

it isn't easy to let go of a friendship like this. even if it's for the best (like a romantic relationship ending), it doesn't make it any easier. sounds like you handled the whole thing very well.

Sempre Libera said...

Sorry to hear you had to go through that. Friendships change, and that can be hard enough without having to end them all together. Ultimately it will have been the right decision for you, of course, but also for her now that her needs have changed.