I’m not really sure how to start this post. Been staring at the screen wondering where to begin. I want this to be a clear and concise (as much as it can be) explanation of my thoughts and feelings and not a jumble of emotional vomit.
Which is why I thought I might never write this post I am writing now. I’ve felt that there was no way to express myself in a way that would be appropriate to share like this. That my emotions would be too raw and I’d spew all my pain and hurt and in the end the effort would have no purpose. I’ve spent the last few months working through it all, writing in my journal to gain clarity. About a month ago I realized I was ready to share. Like people who write letters they never send but light them on fire or set them floating down a river…this is my letter and my readers are the fire.
Some things just aren’t meant to be. We can want them but they aren’t going to work for us. Sometimes there are things and people in life that are not meant to be ours. I think there are people in life that we are not meant to be close to, they’re better at a distance. And I think that was the fundamental issue in my friendship with Mary (name changed). Closeness was our poison. We were alike enough to like each other and different enough to not be boring. But if you dig deep those differences grow. When we became so highly involved in each other’s lives the chasm of differences became apparent. There are differences that make someone interesting and therefore acceptable and then there are differences that are so opposite of you it’s like trying to mix together oil and water. No matter how much you want them to mix, they’re going to keep separating. They simply do not blend together.
These differences created problems. It would be so easy to sum this all up with pointing fingers: She did this and I did that, yada yada…Who’s to blame? I don’t think there is blame. I’m sure we can both point fingers but those issues themselves are not what broke the camel’s back. Issues can be talked through and changed. But you can’t change something about a person that is at the base of who they are. The fact is Mary and I view many things in the world very differently. We interpret events and people differently. We expect different things out of life and people. We have different standards. Our worldviews are oil and water.
A major life event showed us how wide these differences were and the effect they had on our friendship. I needed to put some space between us while I processed how I felt about it all. One part of me raged, one part of me felt lost and sad, and a small part of me was a voice of reason telling me to not make any decisions until the rage and sadness had ebbed away. What I wanted was a little less closeness, a little less conversation, a little less seeing each other. Perhaps that way we could find an equilibrium. But Mary confronted me about my distance and my rage and sadness hadn’t ebbed yet. We didn’t fight, we didn’t accuse. I expressed how I’d been feeling (the emotional/logical jumble that it was) and she responded calmly. But in that conversation was the realization that there were differences in each other that we were not able to accept and it caused cracks in our trust. Perhaps if my logical side had been ruling we might have been able to find a way to scale things back, to set boundaries. Instead my emotions got the better of me and I was tired of trying to find all the right answers. My answer in that moment was to say I felt it was better for both of us to go our separate ways.
I don’t regret that decision. My friendship with Mary had a lot of good memories and warm feelings in it. I treasure that. I also treasure the emotional calm I’ve had since then. It might not have been the best course to take but it has been a good course for me. It has been a weight off my heart and body to not live under the strain of trying to make something work that just wasn’t working anymore.
I’m not sure what to call us now. We haven’t turned our backs on each other, we aren’t ignoring each other. We’re no longer connected on social media sites, but a couple of text messages have been exchanged. I guess it’s like when you reconnect with someone you were close to in high school and as much as you loved them you just can’t quite find a place to fit them into your life anymore, so you’re friendly in passing and maybe once a year find time to grab a coffee and catch up. Perhaps one day we”ll get that coffee together and maybe we’ll figure a way to be each other’s friend without history repeating itself.
To be honest, I’ve been sad. That emotion has not gone away. I’ve teared up writing this. I’ve had about as much heartbreak going through this as I did when I broke up with my first love. It’s never easy or simple to lose someone no matter why they were lost. I’ve wished there was an instruction manual, a social code of some kind, on how to deal with this. Everyone knows what you do and what you say and everyone’s supportive when you go through a divorce. But if you split from a friend people get weirdly quiet about it. Like its arsenic to mention let alone ask how someone is doing. I don’t like tip-toeing personally. Which I guess is why I’ve put this “letter to burn” here on display. To maybe put an end to the tip-toeing. To answer the questions people won’t ask.
So there you have it. Now let me grab the match-box. *flames*