Last year, around February, something happened. I had cut out of my life someone that had been there for a few years and who I had considered my best friend. Except this relationship was growing very toxic and imbalanced. It does not matter who was right or wrong, who did what or who acted badly. What matters is that it led to a friendship breakup, something we do not talk about much.
I don’t know why friendship breakups are not so talked about often. There can be multiple reasons behind relationship breakdowns but when we hear about them, whether that be in books, on TV or in real life, it is always because one person has done something bad to the other. Stole a boyfriend, stole a friend, betrayed a friend, did something unforgivable. Often female rivalry and incapacity to create actual friendship is used as the main reason. I guess that’s what you get when you grow up in a society where the one most important relationship is the romantic one and that women can’t be friends with each other.
There are many reasons why you should allow yourself to break up with a friend. You do not get along anymore, grow apart, go very different ways, do not appreciate each other’s company. You develop different interests, your life takes a different turn, you are not on the same page anymore. And on, and on.
Well, as far as I am concerned, nothing of the sort happened. No female rivalry, no fighting over a man, no liking each other less, nor growing different interests. Maybe there was some growing apart. Me moving on with life, creating a life, and her staying stuck in one place, and in my opinion, throwing her life out the window. So I guess we actually grew apart, but in such an unequal and unbalanced way that it fueled jealousy and bitterness. Or at least that is how I perceive, feel and see it.
And it destroyed a friendship.
It did not happen overnight. There were signs. Small signs and small things adding up which all together made it a time bomb and had me say stop. We were a team, we were supposed to be equal but there clearly was an imbalance. Beyond me always putting more work into our shared projects or bending over backwards to make her happy, it is the toxicity that ended our relationship.
The bitterness and jealousy that led to dismissing me, my work and my accomplishments. The rant aimed at me on how everything I was doing was wrong and the reason why I was going nowhere in life. Or the double standards, where I’d be stupid to do something but it’d be fine if she did it. Also, on how I would get this or that job, this or that collaboration and she did not. Surely, if I did get those things, she should too. Because, she is much better than me after all.
An accumulation of things that hurt, were exhausting and made me miserable.
It is hard to break up a friendship. You are used to that person’s company and still like the friend. Indeed, you will happily forget all the nastiness because of the good times you have had together. But there comes a time where enough is enough. And it scared the sh*t out of me but it had to be done. So I did it. Maybe not in the smartest and most appropriate way. Especially because it got me a wave of insults and abuse. Which then again, proved my decision to cut things off .
After the first wave of abuse landed, I explained my feelings. What had pushed me to do this. How I had gotten there. All the things that had added up and the final straw. But I got more abuse instead of her reflecting back on her actions or apologizing. Had she apologized; I would have probably forgiven her. When I think about it, the conversation that had led to her being the most abusive she’d ever been to me, was so basic and innocent. But she had a point to make, a debate to win, and because she did not have any other argument, she used abuse.
That’s how I decided I was done.
And so I cut her out of my life.
The first thing I felt was emptiness. Abuse, toxicity and disdain were gone. No more starting a conversation being worried about triggering some nasty reaction. No more working for someone else but her getting just as many rewards. Yet, I felt empty.
We had been friends for some years, speaking everyday, seeing each other despite the distance, having fun and having a good time (most of the time). And all of a sudden, this was gone. The bad was gone, sure, but the good as well. And it took me a long time to get over it.
To remember that I could no longer tag her on stupid memes or videos on Facebook. That I could no longer text her when I had just read something or seen something. That my go-to person was no longer there. That someone to whom I’d talk to every single day was no longer there. On my own initiative, because I had taken the decision to cut her out of my life.
For so long, she was still in my thoughts. I was thinking about her, about the whole situation a lot. I’d check out her blog, her Twitter, and her Instagram. Just to know what she was up to, but also to see where she was at, to confirm that I was doing better and to prove myself that I was not what she said I was and that I was able to accomplish things on my own.
Moving on took some time. Even now, sometimes, I think about it and how things could have been different. Maybe if I had been open and honest about my feelings from the beginning, we would have talked it through and salvaged our friendship. Maybe me being honest about what I thought of her life decisions and the direction her life was taking would have helped. Or maybe it would not have helped, I would have still received waves of abuse and the different directions our lives were taking would have killed the friendship anyway.
One year on, I can say that it was a good decision. It was hard but it had to be done. I grew up, I got out of a toxic relationship, I put myself first. It was not selfish; it was self-preservation and staying sane. Breaking up a friendship that was taking so much of my time and became a comfortable shield forced to me get out there and meet new people. I met incredible people that helped me get through the breakdown of the friendship, whether it was before or after it happened. Thus, I was never alone and always had the support I needed.
I was no longer working for two or fearing that she might feel left out when I was getting opportunities even though she did not. My blogging journey has been great ever since, with my Instagram growing, my blog taking a new direction and my photography improving so much. Nothing is holding me back and it shows. I am much more adventurous and less concerned about what someone might say.
One year on, I have gone so far and I am so much happier. So much happened in the past year on so many fronts.
I am much happier and that’s all that really matters.
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Have you ever been stuck in a toxic relationship? Whether it be friendship or romantic? What did you do? Did you get out? How long did it take you to do so? How do you feel about it now?
Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.
See you soon,
*The dress is a gift from Shein (use my code 9TEA for 15% off if you fancy) but all opinions are my own.