A few months ago I ended a longstanding friendship. I had hung onto this friendship hoping things the that had changed, the things that made us friends in the first place would return. In reality we had nothing in common anymore.
I let it go on too long and didn’t end it when I could or should have. I hung onto hope, hung onto the past, and was a simply afraid to let her go, to hurt her feelings. In truth I was a coward.
What I didn’t realise was how much she affected my whole life and not in a positive way. Only now do I see how oppressive the relationship has been. Unable to say what I felt for fear of hurting feelings I could not stop her ringing and texting multiple times a day, coming round 2 -3 times a week to eat, a routine maintained for years and years. She had no other friends for most of the time. Maybe that was because she didn’t need anyone else.
The change came in February. She had made a few new friends and they seemed to get on. One day she dumped them all for a minor infraction. At first I was OK about it, it was her life, her choice. Over the following weeks though I got more calls than usual from her because she was lonely. I wasn’t left alone for very long even when I said that I wanted a day without contact. I got angrier and angrier and my apathy about our friendship disappeared. One day I could take no more and went to her house, ended it and left.
It took approximately 5 minutes.
I did not feel elated, but I did not feel bad. I knew I had done the right thing. If I am honest I am angry at myself for not doing it sooner but I know the time was not right.
The first few weeks were odd. She stopped sending texts and I had no calls. I was always on edge, waiting. I did get a letter saying how much I had hurt her. I had left her with no friends. I could understand her feelings but at not point did she ask what she had done that moved me to end our friendship. Maybe she knew that there was a problem but was like me, couldn’t do anything about it through fear. I experienced a sort of grief.
Then, on day after a talk with a good friend and a cry, I was OK.
I now feel the pall lifted. I look back to many of those years as enshrouded in a grey cloak tied so tightly that I couldn’t move or breath. Energy has returned and a sense of peace.
I do not miss the feelings I had when the ‘phone rang or when I saw her car. I don’t have to think about her on my food shop. My husband comes home earlier from work.
I hope she finds a better friend soon.