Chapter 46: Small Reflection on Ended Friendships
E&HS: Small Reflection on Ended Friendships
Losing friends is just a part of the process. At least that’s what I’m told. There comes a time when boundaries are established that no longer can accept tolerance. The path you take requires leveled maturity, and in other cases, you just grow apart. In truth, when it comes to navigating life maintaining strong friendships has proven to be a challenge in my later adult years. I’m not the same person, and my goals aren’t lofty historical fiction reads anymore. In many cases, I feel that between 2017 to now I’ve been the truest to myself in all my life. What I didn’t expect was being true to myself meant that being friends with me would feel overwhelming. There are a couple critical instances in lost best friends that marked changes in my life that I think I’ll reflect on today. This is because I’m tired of my existence being a comparison game, but I’ll step into the mud of that later.
I attended Elmira College, with the hope that even with my background and economic status I could still make something of myself. I had hope, naivete, and a burning drive to soar. Yet in hindsight, that was extremely silly of me to think. I’m poor, I have poor people issues. Attending a school where people don’t regularly struggle with finance means that these issues while to me are just life, also make my problems seem really grand. To me they aren’t grand; they are only the circumstances of my life. I’ve never had the privilege of comparing issues as one is worse than the other because I just think that all these problems are problems.
In the case of two distinct friendships I had, both people told me that they felt I just had it worst and their problems meant little to me. I still don’t understand that concept, unless someone physically says “I have it worse” its odd to think that they view their problems as worse than yours. From both cases of these friendships, I stopped trusting a particular type of safe space. Instead, I started to vouch for brave spaces, even though I didn’t know the name for the term until many years later. I’m angered by “diminishment” now, it frustrates me because a part of that feeling comes from how those people perceive you and your problems. Perception can kill friendships faster than a romantic relationship. When I sense that someone feels diminishment, I now withdraw. Its an immediate trigger to the memories of this time and its aftermath.
Savage Day: August of 2017
I want to say that losing a friend in this manner didn’t impact me, but that would be a lie. We had been friends since elementary school. In my head I just thought “wow lifelong friends are special” and I believed whole-heartedly that when you have been friends for so long, I mean past a decade, nothing could change that. I was dead wrong, and that was to my emotional detriment. This ex-friend, another in the line of the questionable role of “besties” had ended our friendship over an online Instagram girlfriend. Yes, you read that correctly. Worse the friend break up message was written by that Instagram girlfriend in what became known as the fateful 8 sentences. Of all the things to happen that day, I think what stuck out was the fact that it took 8 sentences to end over a decade of friendship and memories.
From this experience, I second guessed what friendship should mean. It’s not Hollywood amicable. Its work, commitment and a lot of honesty. I learned to say what I feel openly, and say it with my chest. I don’t hold resentments or let things build up. I also learned to stop dishing out advice like candy. Not everyone wants help, and not everyone will be receptive to it. I learned to monitor the emotional labor better I put out in the world, and how to be more accountable with honesty with those I feel are close to me.