Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Post Mortem of a Friendship

When we met in college, my former friend was a talented theater major with an angelic singing voice. We had a very interesting friendship: she introduced me to industrial/goth and opera music, and I discussed books, movies, and philosophy with her. While some of my friends were put off by her eccentric behavior and quirky sense of humor, I found her endearing and genuine. Even when she moved from New Jersey to Florida to Arizona, we remained close. When I was in Java, Indonesia and an earthquake struck the island, she was one of the first people to call me to check on my safety. It did not matter that we lived on different continents; our friendship seemed indestructible.

After four years of not seeing each other, we decided to reunite at my best friend’s wedding in India. During the week we spent together, I was troubled to discover that my friend had become emotionally unstable and extremely angry. Maybe I should have known that her personal insecurities and dysfunctional relationships with emotionally abusive men, family members, and some friends would lead to the demise of our friendship. Hindsight is always 20/20, I suppose.

Soon after we returned to the U.S., I expressed my concerns to her as delicately as possible. She abruptly ended our friendship as a result. Our first serious conflict became our last. In the end, I told my friend that I wished her well and would always remember the good times we had together. She didn't seem to understand or appreciate the sentiment at the time, but I hope she will in the future.

It has been almost a year since we last spoke, but I still have lingering feelings of loss mixed with nostalgia when I think of her. She was one of my closest friends, and I will never forget the impact she has had on my life.

How do you handle the end of your friendships? Have you made peace with the past?

4 comments:

Ritu said...

hey.. that was really touchy what you wrote about your friendship. real friendship is one of the great gifts life gives u and it hurts when there is a breakup. the innocence, charm, and magic of a friendship is incomparable. with a true friend u can be urself and not have to worry about being judged as silly or whatever. and the playfullness .. i cannt believe i m writing this .. lol lol but its true ..

Zanade said...

This is a very common subject that plagues us everyday and the single most common factor is... The other friend is going through something or has gone through something therefore they "breakdown" or become "unstable" but let's look at it another way.

When you are friends for a period of time with someone you start to get these emotional ties to them and when there is a separation at first there is no issues but when you come back together to regain this "friendship" things have changed they always do in my opinion. Pauline in your case I think it's that your friend has been through some tough situations and cannot clearly express herself to you.

I advise that you leave things alone and wait it out. Wait for your friend to come to her senses.

In my case I had a childhood friend who did a total 360 after so many years and I couldn't believe it was the same person who had messaged me on Facebook. She turned out to be a narcissistic person and I am glad we sort of "disconnected!"

Good post!

feministblogproject said...

This is such a timely post for me.

About 8 months after becoming close in a short time, my best friend and I had a huge fight. And for the 8 months between then and when we made up, I couldn't get over it. We were close again for a year, and then had a huge fight about 2.5 weeks ago. And right now neither of us is sure of where we stand. I think we want to be close again, but we don't know how. Or maybe that's what I want and she wants something different - I don't know. All I know is that she gave me my house key back. So I don't know what the future will bring but I'm going to keep this post in mind as I'm dealing with it.

jennay said...

I must be the queen of making friends fast and losing friends awkwardly - but its so true what Ritu said, friendship is a gift life gives you. we should embrace and love the ones that God gives us, because its during those times of enjoying each other's company that we truly enjoy life! i view friendships now as more like the coming and going of great characters on the great hike of life - sometimes i'll hike it alone, and sometimes i'll hike it with a great companion or few of them. of course there are those steadfast and true companions that will be traveling on the same, parallel and/or intersecting paths for most of your life. i try not to take it personal anymore when friendships fade or end - i just thank God for knowing them and having shared the needed experiences i had to go through with them.

Pauline, good one!







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