Breakups with Relationships of Longetivity

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The beginning of this month marked a few significant changes for me. The first one was celebrating a birthday (I’m 32 now!). The other one is discontinuing a relationship I’ve had with a best friend of more than ten years. The latter has been eating me up during my quiet moments during the day even though I’m trying to move on and move forward.

Truth be told nothing much about my schedule has changed; I still have the same (over)load of variables to work with during the day despite it. However, I’ve found myself to be able to accomplish more things that I’ve needed to take care of to take care of me. The consequence is there’s a certain guilt involved in all of it because, for the most part, it’s generally hard to cease a relationship after that long of a time, and also, because it’s been a long time, you’d think there’d be a way to repair it. It’s strange feeling like you should have guilt for taking care of you and doing what you need or want to be doing with your time. But I think it’s only strange because I tend to be a person who doesn’t do those things normally.

I get that hurt people hurt people. My best friend was certainly hurting–for a very long while. But slowly, yet surely, I got to a point where I was living more for them than I was for me. Current activities would drop whenever they called. Potential plans would get overridden because I’d check on them and they wanted to do a certain thing. I’ve seen them more than my family, and my co-workers more than my family. Any other friends even less than my family. Strangers became more of an outlet for heartfelt conversations and catharsis than best friend or others because when all your time was spent on best friend you had to take whatever outlet you can take and be grateful for it. Pain does amazing things to people and tends to make people who care prioritize based on others' pain. But it doesn’t work. It didn’t work.

We had a conversation early in the month where they proceeded to tell me that I wasn’t being the kind of friend that a friend should be. What they said was, in essence, “I need you to be here; where are you?!” I explained my current situation and stresses and they were unconvinced and thought I could be there more. “Desperate times call for desperate measures; crises don’t happen on your timetable!” What I heard, in essence, was “after I’ve prioritized you over family and friends, after I’ve given every material need I can spare, after I told you what was going on with me, and even with the length of your relationship, you can’t trust that I’ve given you all I’ve had when I’m telling you that I have given everything? Are you really entitling yourself to more of my time and energy than I can afford even when I’ve already been giving you everything to the sacrifice of the things that I need to take care of for me?”

We cooled off, tabled the conversation. I talked with the same strangers that would come to at least help me sort out. I’ve asked trusted people that I considered friends. I’ve talked to professionals (thank goodness for union and company-provided EAPs). I returned to my best friend, via e-mail, a response I thought was well written and showed how and why I felt pained. They felt blindsided that I could feel offended over “one unsavory conversation.” We cooled off again and then they responded, asking if I’m depressed, and added nostalgia into the mix of good times in the past. It was disguised as a sentiment of care; it came out as a deflection and putting the blame on our ‘unsavory conversation’ and my response on me and my depression. There was no addressing what I’ve written.

I had to cut it off. I get it that hurt people hurt people, but personally I cannot bear the fact that someone can’t trust what I say to be true after this long of a relationship, I cannot bear the fact that my feelings about how I felt they were unaddressed, and I cannot bear the fact that me (or my depression) was put to blame for the current situation. I had to cut it off. I did cut it off.

It’s been twelve days since I’ve initiated no contact. I’ve gotten quite a few things done and I’m just trying to keep taking care of myself. I’m trying to reflect and own on things I may have done, yet still being gentle on myself. Yet this is still hard.

Are things like this always hard? Maybe they are, and I just need to be more gentle. Still, it’s hard.