Friday, January 21, 2011

Letting go, and moving on

How do you decide when it's time to let go of a friendship?

That is something I've been struggling with for a while now. I know that friendships aren't always 50/50...sometimes they tilt 90/10, but eventually find their way back to the middle. But what if that shift never seems to happen?

What if you tell the friend that you can't accept they way they've been treating you? And by that, I mean almost bullying you at times. Not acknowledging that you have feelings about anything at all - let alone how they have personally been treating you. That conversations take a sharp roller-coaster ride with gut-twisting turns and twists, always dissolving into shouting and phones hanging up and bad feelings. Then later - it could be days, weeks, or months later - the friend will text or call with "I miss you" and it starts all over.

We're always on good behavior at first. Always. The honeymoon period will last for months until the bullshit starts up again. I bite my tongue until it's bloody and finally I snap.

I realized recently that the stress this friendship is creating is really creating havoc with my health. I've had to bump up my anxiety medication twice in the last year (and yes, part of it was my father's illness but most of it wasn't). I've had sleepless nights, stomach problems, grinding/clenching my teeth, chest pains, and the list goes on and on. I feel like I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it's agonizing.

Since our last blow-up, I haven't had the first chest pain. My shoulders have finally unknotted. My jaw isn't sore from clenching. I have slept like a rock. I feel like the biggest rock has been lifted from my back.

That tells me that I have to let go. For good this time.

I say that every time we fight like this. But I think this time, I have to listen to my head instead of my heart and realize that our friendship is toxic. It doesn't mean that I don't love my, not at all. It just means that I have to love myself more this time.


Mitzi Green said...

i end up feeling that way about most people i befriend lately. it's weird, i always thought i was nuts. then i started meeting the rest of the world...

Builder Mama said...

You know, the bad thing is that this shit has been going on for over 5 years. I don't recall ever having a relationship so full of conflict and bad feelings...yet for some reason, I keep accepting the apologies and trying all over again. I'm just tired. I can't do it anymore.

I have too many good friends - and real friends - to keep on settling for a friendship that is so toxic. And it's a shame, because when things are going well it's a wonderful friendship. But when they're bad, it's like throwing a match onto a puddle of gasoline.

MPPs Mom said...

I hate this is happening for you. But I can relate. HUGS :)

Gretchen said...

It's hard. But so worth it. If I still had your number, I'd call you and tell you so.