Life and Loss

Breaking Up with a Best Friend

Life and Loss

I loved you in a way that only another woman who's had a best friend, at that age, can. I loved you like a sister, like we'd be best friends forever. I saw past the things that made others dislike you. I wanted to see you win in life. We were weird together, happy together, kept each others secrets and made promises we thought we'd take to the grave. There were times, after high school, that you and I lost touch. Babies have a way of doing that, so do boyfriends — bad and good — marriages, and geographical distance didn't help. But when other things in life failed we found our way back.

I always thought of you as prettier. Not just prettier though, I saw you as cooler, more worldly. I thought you were stronger and had more experience. I looked up to you for your different life and different parents. I didn't think you were perfect... But I thought you were awesome. I was glad you were my friend. You see through different eyes when you're older. It's funny the difference time makes and the way that clarity can only be grown into. No longer super-human, either of us, we stood there as flawed and broken as two girls who had children too young can be. We hugged and did our best to pick up where we left off.

In a way, I guess we did, huh. You went on being the "you" and I went on being the "me". We never really were Romy and Michelle, Posh and Ginger, Thelma and Louise. It sure would have been nice to realize it sooner. Maybe we could have both hurt a little less, and left less damage in our wake. It's my fault that I refused to read the signs. It's my fault that I let you carry on as you wished. I should have stepped in, spoke up. Maybe you wouldn't have been blindsided when I was over it... maybe you would have gotten angry and we'd have parted ways before we were in so deep. You were my longest relationship. And because of that I put up with things I shouldn't have. That was my identifier in those days... and even when I woke up and took pride in myself, I forgot that you were relevant to that change, and that your actions took their own toll.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not even angry now. I see that what it came down to was that I loved you more. You are a self-professed, self-centered person. I remember you saying, "I have no empathy". I really think you can't help it at this point, and I forgive you for that. I wanted to see you as someone who was hurting. So I did. I wanted to see you as someone who really wanted to be "good". So I did. I wanted to believe we were the same... so I did. All of that fault lies with me. The danger is that it's on us that love more to fix ourselves — people like you see nothing to fix.

These days, people talk a lot about eliminating girl hate. You probably tell people I'm nothing but a hater. I don't hate you though. I've said it. I've screamed it, "I hate her!" while struggling to see through my tears. You were so selfish and it hurt so bad that you didn't see who you'd become. It was so painful that it was easier to hate you then reason it. The truth is, you're sick and you need help, and you surround yourself with people who won't get you help. You resent everyone, even the people that love you. You hurt others. They are collateral damage in the storm of your "now". We've all paid the price for being close to you, I have... the children... your children. Your foundation is built on uneven ground. You rely on what people can do for you to fill the cracks. I hope someday you realize that you have the power to mend those holes yourself. Maybe then your life will be what you want to pretend it is.

The last words I spoke to you were that you needed to listen to your children and do what was best for them and yourself. Then you decided to paint me as the problem. I expected it. I forgive you for that too. We will never speak again, and I won't cry for you. I won't speak your name or hope for you. I will see you as you were, and as you are, and let it go. I'll give you this, you didn't change. When ten, then twenty years passed you managed to stay exactly as you are. Something I certainly couldn't do, and didn't want to. I really did love you, and I really did try to elevate you to a place that woke you up to your own worth, but you could only find satisfaction in being better than me... better than everyone, willing it to happen rather than just working at it. You said so many hateful things that I silently allowed you to believe I agreed with. I'm truly sorry for that. Being compliant ate at me, and certainly didn't help you.

Good luck out there, you'll need it, if you plan on staying exactly as you are.

friendship
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Johnna LaFaith

MOTHER + WOMAN + HUMAN

I'm a 33 year old, homeschooling mother of 3 and an English Major living in Ohio. I love literature, photography, painting, hiking and developing ways of fostering creative, sensitive growth in my children and myself.

See all posts by Johnna LaFaith