Grieving the Loss of a Broken Friendship
The last month has been full of ‘opportunities’.
Not opportunities I would’ve asked for, but ones that came up to enable me to learn some type of lesson.
I wrote in a previous blog abut some things that were going on in my life — one of which was a situation that involved the police. I didn’t know if I wanted to expand on that and I’ve decided that because writing is so healing for me I want to share it with you.
The truth is, the police were involved because a friend physically assaulted me. It was shocking to me because she had never hurt me in the past and we had always gotten along so well.
Something snapped in her one night.
She wanted some information that I wouldn’t give her and we got into a heated discussion about it. Eventually she just lost it and I saw a side to her that I’ve never seen before.
I feel that it was a quick subconscious decision based in fear.
I know she regrets it and that she probably didn’t even realize what she was really doing at the time, however I am still hurt by it.
I came out with a broken rib and some other back injuries, however the emotional pain has been far worse.
I have spent the last month mourning a friendship that has been an important part of my life for over a decade. It hasn’t been easy. All I want is to go back to the night I was at her house and do it all over again without the fight, without having her choose into physically attacking me.
I wish we could erase the whole experience, yet we can’t. It can never fully be erased and I am still nervous to be around her in case she snaps again.
I do forgive her.
I understand that she did something she wished she hadn’t. Because of my loyalty to friends I imagine having her back in my life one day. The truth is she has said so many unfriendly things since this argument that I know she isn’t open to a friendship in the future. I know that she is broken over this too — it hurts both of us.
As much as I want her in my life, I know this is for the best.
As I look back over our friendship I know she was bringing me down. Not that she wanted to, but as I spent time with her I saw that I was experiencing things that did not bring me joy. For awhile now, my husband thought that this friend shouldn’t be in my life. I wasn’t ready to listen to that before and I am open to his opinion now.
Sometimes when we’re deep in a relationship we aren’t open to other people’s opinions because we think we know best.
It took a violent incident for me to be able to see what he saw.
The truth is I was embarrassed to tell people. I was scared that people would think less of me because I let something like this happen to me. I asked myself so many questions, wondering whether I brought this upon myself in some way…
How could someone who I’d been friends with for so long do that to me?
Did I deserve it somehow?
Did I cause her to get angry by not giving her what she wanted?
Was it my fault?
Could I have prevented it?
What had I done to attract this drama into my life?
This line of questioning shocked me. How could I even begin to think this was my fault? I’m all about taking responsibility for my part in a situation, however thinking this was somehow my fault was not helping me at all. It was causing me to feel guilty, unhappy and even more of a victim.
I still don’t know the answer to some of those questions and maybe I never will. Maybe I’m not supposed to. Maybe I’m just meant to choose the answers that serve me and let the past go.
Having these thoughts and questions did change my mindset in some ways. They helped me empathize with others who have been hurt and don’t want to tell. I wonder if they struggle with feeling that they brought it upon themselves — that they are at fault in some way. Or maybe they are ashamed that it happened in the first place. I can completely relate to all of those feelings.
As I write this and say these words ‘out loud’ I know that I am in a powerful place. I am able to step into authenticity and vulnerability, releasing some of the hold this violation has had on me.
After much deliberation I understood the truth. I am NOT responsible for her actions and there is NO excuse for what she did. Even if I ‘made’ her angry, she could’ve chosen a differen course of action.
So I’m choosing into peace around the answers that feel right because that’s what will serve me best moving forward.
Most days I am able to get up and do life well. Some days I just cry because I miss her so much. I miss our friendship and our bond. I always called her my “soul friend” because we were so connected. I guess they’re right when they say you hurt the people you love the most. I know she loves me and she hurt me.
I’ve thought about this quote a lot recently:
I AM a worthy friend and I deserve to be valued.
Losing a close friend is kind of like a death or break-up with a lover. There is so much to sort through during a loss and I have progressed through all the stages of mourning over the past month.
It started with Denial, thinking she and I could go back to the way we were before and forget this ever happened. We couldn’t do that and I knew it.
Then I went through the Anger stage. I was angry and hurt and that’s when I chose to forgive because I knew it would take some of the pain away.
Then I moved on to Bargaining, thinking that I may be able to save the friendship if we could just talk things through and I could get her word that she would never do that again. I knew that reaching out to her at the moment and trying to figure out a plan would not work — things were still too raw.
Then I got sad, which is the stage of Depression. I needed to mourn the loss of someone I thought I’d have in my life forever. A woman who stood up for me at my wedding and is in all the beautiful pictures alongside my other bridesmaids. Looking at any pictures of her still makes me sad — I haven’t looked through my wedding album lately.
I’m on the path to Acceptance right now. I don’t quite accept things and I keep cycling through the stages of grief. I am looking forward to the day when I can accept what happened and completely face the loss of this friendship.
I have taught myself to look for the silver lining. I ask, “What am I supposed to get from this situation?” The circumstance happened so how am I going to move forward better than before? I had already forgiven and it still didn’t take away all the pain. I needed a way to make sense of it all.
I have started to see a glimpse of the silver lining. I’ve begun to understand that she was no longer supposed to be in my inner circle. She was taken out because we are not meant to do this journey called life together anymore.
This saying I read recently summed my feelings up well:
“The reason why some people have turned against you and walked away from you without reason has nothing to do with you. It is because they have been removed from your life because they cannot go where you’re going next. They would only hinder you at the next level because they have already served their purpose in your life. Let them go and keep moving. Greater is coming your way”.
I love this idea because it enables me to think that this situation will actually serve me in the long run. And since my reality is perceived through what I think, I believe that this line of thinking serves me right now.
I am stepping into that strength.
I am moving forward and choosing to let her go. I miss her so much and I know that I am creating space for other friends to be brought in closer and for new friends to enter the picture.
I can’t change what’s happened so I get to change my attitude about it.
My broken bone will heal and as time goes on my emotional state will get better and better.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” — Nietzsche
Sometimes we hold onto people in our lives even when it isn’t good for us. We just don’t know any other way and we keep them in our lives because we think we need them. We hold on too tightly sometimes.
In this case I was keeping around a friend who I thought was so pivotal in my life. Maybe she was for a time, however it’s time to move on now. Not that I would’ve chosen that, yet it’s been chosen for me so I get to step into it and focus on the silver lining.
I look forward to the day when I no longer miss her.
I am visualizing a day when tears don’t fall from my eyes when I think about the loss of our friendship.
I am currently stepping into peace every day so that I can continue to accept what has happened.
I see that true acceptance will come.
Like any relationship that matters, when it’s gone it hurts.
Now, I get to focus on how to properly grieve and move forward.
I have faith that as time goes on I will be better and that this heartache will enable me to help others. I will be able to see the purpose brought from all this and be 100% healed. I’m on the right path — one day at a time.