Have you ever had a friendship that was toxic? It happened to me a number of years ago and I still think about it. I’m proud that I had the courage to end it, but I miss the friendship. I didn’t really realize it at the time, but in retrospect I can see how difficult this friendship really was. Although it was hard, I learned a lot about myself through it all. Friendships come and go sometimes, especially when you are young, but when it happens as an adult, I think that if you take the time to think about it, as painful as it might be, there is much self-knowledge to gain.
I know that I present only my side, but it always felt as if there were a heavy burden on me. Everything that I said and did was over analyzed. ‘Why did you say that?’ ‘You should have said this’ and on and on. It was just too hard. I tend to be somewhat of a ‘peacemaker’ and so I went along and tried to adapt and ‘say the right thing’. The interesting thing is that I didn’t even recognize it at the time. It took years to slowly become aware that I was being smothered and it was then that I began to distance myself.
I probably could have handled it differently and been more confrontational but that isn’t my nature. I simply tend to walk away. Years later I can honestly say that I miss the friendship but not the toxicity. I feel good about the fact that I did something about it. It has been really revelational. I now have a clearer idea about who I am and what I give and don’t give in friendships (and relationships).
It’s a grown-up thing, I suppose.