Have you ever had a friendship you thought was something really special, come to an end and you’re not entirely sure why?
This is not the first time this has happened to me, however usually I look back and find something was never right – this time it’s hard. I feel hurt and betrayed, I opened myself up and let myself trust my friend accepting their faults, loving them regardless.
Last time this happened to me the reasons became clear quickly. A number of years ago friends of my husband and I, started to become distant – they said some hurtful things (as we all sometimes do). However we started to see them less frequently and they were beginning to exclude us, unless they needed help photographing an event. I realised from their perspective, we were good to have around when they needed something. I was hurt, but aware of why our relationship broke down, therefore it wasn’t all that bad. I was glad not to be spending time and effort on people that made me fell ‘less than’ about myself. I knew in my heart they were using me, at first I was very hurt, however I reminded myself there are many people who are my friends because of my personality, not photographic skill. I was younger and less self aware of what I would accept as ‘friends’ behaviour. I know myself better now and have gone through a lot more not to waste time with people who take pleasure in making others feel they are not ‘enough’ – often trying to feel superior.
When recently a close friend of my husbands and mine started going through a rough time and decided to cut us out of their life for a few months. I felt sad to suddenly be ‘cut out’ when so much time was invested in our friendship and I wanted it to go back to how it used to be between us. I missed them terribly. Months went past and I learned to live without them in my life, it weirdly felt like a break up or the grief you feel when someone dies. Obviously it’s different because you know they are still here, however it can feel worse because when someone dies the end of a friendship isn’t a choice.
The friendship mended, they apologised for cutting my husband and I out of their life – our relationship became stronger than ever. If a week went by without seeing our friend it was strange, often seeing them everyday for 3 weeks straight. I felt the friendship was worth everything we put into it; we were all benefiting from the relationship. Supporting each other when needed, telling each other some home truths when necessary. We shared joys and sorrows. Then once again it came to an end. No reasons, no explanations, nothing – with the exception of letting us know not to contact them. Yet again we felt hurt and confused – like we lost something truly special. I thought we could have worked through anything; understandably I was sad they didn’t think our friendship was worth saving and ultimately I was left feeling the friendship must have meant more to us then it did them.
Although I felt terrible grief and sadness for our lost relationship, it also made me realise I am capable of investing in good, strong friendships. I know I have a number of friends I love just as much and unconditionally. I am grateful I have learned from this friendship, although it breaks my heart they don’t want to be part of my life anymore. Often when I laugh at something they would enjoy, I think of them and feel sad for a moment. I can only hope it doesn’t make me reluctant to open up once again for fear my time, love and emotion would be wasted or rejected. I hope the pain goes quickly and I can reflect on the good memories and let go of the hurtful feelings.
Has this ever happened to you? Did you feel hurt? Betrayed? Did you learn something about yourself in the process?