Saturday, September 30, 2006

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

They say, "Breaking up is hard to do."

Well, they're damn-sure right about that, but I did it, anyway. "Wanda," whom I mentioned in a recent post, wasn't my girlfriend or anything like that, but effectively ending our friendship felt a lot like breaking up with someone.

I felt awful and stumbled through my words. She misunderstood my intent, telling me how, in the future, I can't get mad because she doesn't follow my advice. That's a poor description of the dynamics of our friendship or even of our bickering, to be honest. It's a great example of something that I told a friend, last night, though:

One of the worst things about "breaking up" with folks I care about is the fact that they may never TRULY understand WHY I did it.

Anyway, I clarified my intentions so she knew that there was to BE no future contact between us. She started crying and that was pretty much it.

Now, I feel like shit. Of course, I felt like shit BEFORE I called her, but still.

Just to be clear on a couple of things:
I called her to tell her because I thought it was the more respectful thing to do. Avoiding her calls or lying about why I'm not taking them really drags things out and does the other person a disservice, in my opinion.

Another point I want to make clear is that I ended communication with her, yesterday, for the same reasons I did so several years, ago: her abrasiveness coupled with the very dangerous and hard to observe choices she makes.

I'm convinced someone will call that an example of me not being able to deal with differing opinions. I really don't think that's a fair assessment, but I doubt anyone who feels that way will change his or her mind. So, I guess that's that.

Even without these dangerous elements, the friendship, though long-lived, was shaky. With them, it was highly unpleasant. On top of all of that, worrying about when I was going to read about my friend and/or her daughter in the news was absolutely unbearable.

Princess Dominique said something, once, about how certain things in my life will change once I surround myself with certain types of people. I think her point covers this situation, as well.

If I just need to grow up or something, I guess that will be apparent in time. The adult that I am RIGHT NOW, though, would rather not be cursed-out by his friends, be surrounded by irrationality and rusted chains of faulty logic, or have his genuine love and concern for others be used to make him feel bad.

Maybe a "real friend" would stand by "Wanda" no matter how she might act. But maybe, if Wanda were a real friend, it wouldn't be so hard to do so.

13 comments:

MzNewAgenda said...

It is better to amputate a limb than to risk infecting the whole body. That is what toxic friendships do and I think you did the right thing. I hope you recommended therapy to her though. Not that it would make you come back but so that she can go on.

West said...

I've recommended it to her multiple times, but I don't think her pride would allow her to do that... for now, at least.

Maybe she'll get the help she needs, one day, but if that happens, it'll probably be in spite of not because of anything I had to say.

I'm sure she sees this as a betrayal. Why would you want to consider the words of your betrayer?

Thanks for the encouragement, though, because, on some level, even *I* feel like I've betrayed her.

Anonymous said...

~~It is better to amputate a limb than to risk infecting the whole body. That is what toxic friendships do and I think you did the right thing.~

Wow, I couldn't have stated it any better. I was going to say something about having toxic people in your life, but she summed it up pretty well.

I still don't know how to bold words.

West said...

I appreciate it, though, Remnants.

By the way, a [b] before and [/b] after a word or group of words makes them bold, except replace these "[" with these "<".

It's hard to type because if I do, it'll just make the word bold.

James Meeley said...

West:

Let me just back up the others and say that I, too, think you did the right thing.

I know you might not feel it right now, but in time you will see that it is for the best. I'm sure "Wanda" does see you as a "betrayer", but that's coming from a purely emotional place in her. Once the shock fades, hopefully she'll think about what she might have done to bring about your friendship's end and try to get help to prevent similar situations in the future.

Really, despite how you feel, this is probably the best thing for both of you. At least, right now. There's always the chance the friendship could be renewed later (provided she mends some of these issues she has).

It certainly isn't easy, but that's why they call it "tough love." I wish both you and "Wanda" all the best.

West said...

Thanks, James.

She called me, today, and I took the opportunity to tell her something I regretted not mentioning, yesterday - that I still care about her.

It's important that, if nothing else, she knows that much.

This is especially true since she went on about how she never would've expected this of me and how she's known me since I was a young'un (just over ten years). It seemed that her reasons for us to remain friends were mostly related to the quantity of years we've known each other, as opposed to the quality of the present.

I didn't argue with her or challenge any of her ideas about our friendship or why this was happening. I just made sure she knew that I didn't make this decision lightly and that she still has a place in my heart, even though, to be blunt, there's no place for her in my life.

Again, I appreciate the encouragement and feedback. I just really wish this whole thing hadn't been necessary.

chele said...

I see why you assumed my post was about your situation. It honestly was not. I have a friend who is having a really hard time dealing with the fact that her daughter is gay. Instead of looking beyond this choice and loving her daughter anyway she says these really horrible, nasty things to her own child in an attempt to make her feel ashamed. Instead, she has successfully alienated her daughter. That is who I was addressing.

I'm sure you made the best decision for you. I hope it works out.

West said...

Thanks, chele.

Luke Cage said...

Damn West. I feel for you brotha. I've had to experience the same thing and it's NEVER easy to do regardless of who is at fault and even if your decision was just. I don't know about you, but I began thinking about the better times, less stressful periods in our lives. And that's the parts that start to get to you. I do hope that it all works out for you though man, and more importantly, for her.

West said...

Thanks, Cage.

When we were getting off the phone, she kept catching herself saying, "Talk to you later," then realizing, "Well, I guess I won't talk to you later."

The loss of that casual ease and phrasing seemed to really get to her. I'm sure I'd feel the same way, if I'd received a "Dear John" call.

Part of me hopes that this will give her the motivation to do what I think she needs to do. In fact, she shared the fact that she sees this as "another" failure on her part - relationship-wise. One would expect that to lead to introspection, but I've also seen her do this with people she wanted to marry and, ultimately, it didn't stick.

So, I'm hoping, for her sake, but I'm not holding my breath.

Son of Blog-El said...

When we were getting off the phone, she kept catching herself saying, "Talk to you later," then realizing, "Well, I guess I won't talk to you later."

Yeah, that's the worst part. Haven't been around in awhile but I see that you are making some changes for the better in your personal life. Sometimes you gotta do what's best for you. Staying miserable because you have known someone a long time is not wise and just leads to further frustration and anguish down the road.

West said...

Welcome back, Son.

And yeah, I'm trying to make some changes for the better. Fingers crossed.

I hope all's well on your end.

Anonymous said...

By the way, a [b] before and [/b] after a word or group of words makes them bold, except replace these "[" with these "<".

Yesss! Thanks, I was using the same tag to open & close, so it wasn't working. Oh, I am about to be a bolding, italisizing fool. :-)