Richelle is a mom of 3 kids, learning to mother while emotionally and physically motherless. She writes about all things healing.
I cut off my best friend of 23 years this year.
But she will tell you she cut ME off. Because I hurt HER.
We were friends since we were 12 years old. She was fun, funny, and exciting. I was quiet, shy, and a rule follower. She hated rules. We were opposites in so many ways, but quickly bonded and became “best friends”.
Her love of fun and “adventure” (i.e doing questionable things and getting into trouble) was exciting.In high school, we shared a locker and social circle, and even dated other boys who were best friends. She was always setting me up with her new boyfriend’s friend.
We had so many good times, so many laughs, sleepovers, and were inseparable.
But she would talk behind my back. Or get jealous if I hung out with her sister or another mutual friend too often.
I always wrote it off as well that’s just “best friend”, she obviously loves me so much she wants me all to herself.
Her constant need to be the center of attention was fine for my shy self. She was so much fun, after all!
The years went by, we graduated high school and ended up eventually going to the same college
We remained close, doing everything together. She got married after college, I was in her wedding. She was in mine. She became a mom, I became a mom.
She moved out of our home state, and we slowly began to drift apart. Not so much talking everyday, because we did that…but I became more aware of who I was and wanted to be. Her values were pretty much opposite of mine. She was more of the “god will save you” camp, whereas I was in the “be kind and value everyone” camp.
We accepted our differences for the most part, partially because we didn’t discuss certain things. She loved saying things she knew I didn’t agree with, just to instigate - and I would usually just stuff my feelings and roll my eyes at her.
But my 3rd pregnancy was a shock to me. I had a 10 month old at the time I found out I was pregnant, and the thought of having another baby was terrifying. I needed support, and we had always confided in one another.
She Didn’t Support Me
I told her. She didn’t support me. In fact, she judged me. She told me as soon as I showed her the positive pregnancy test “ I don’t know what to say, I’m still processing this”. As if SHE was the one pregnant. It crushed me.
She then continued to ignore the fact I was pregnant, and didn’t even say congratulations once. For two weeks. So I called her out on it.
She said I was spot on (she was ignoring me) and apologized. Followed by a bunch of BS about how she felt she was encouraging me in other areas, and that the baby would somehow throw us off our plan, a plan SHE made, for me.
It was like she made the situation completely about her.
She also said being pregnant and having a baby is so hard, but you’ll be fine. In fact this was how she was most of the time. Let me dig at you a little, and then say “just kidding”.
Not Ready to Give Up
t was toxic, but I wasn’t ready to give up yet. After the birth of my son, she still wasn’t supportive. Our relationship continued to be strained as the events of 2020 continued. We were not on the same page anymore, at all.
And then one day, we were having a discussion we didn’t agree on (the global pandemic). She said something that I disagreed with, and told her so. She retaliated by crossing the line by calling my infant son something she knew would hurt me very badly, emotionally.
I couldn’t let this one slide. I couldn’t let her call my beautiful baby something that she knew would hurt me so badly. I called her out, and apparently it upset her enough that she blocked me on Facebook. She turned the whole situation around on me. Playing the victim, because I was “too sensitive”, and “overreacting”.
She reached out about a month later and we tried to work through it. She continued to play the victim saying “I hurt her”, in between trying to justify her behavior. Not taking ownership or accountability for her actions. I finally saw through the manipulation. Enough was enough.
I told her I was really hurt, and what she said was completely not okay. But it went no where, because, because she literally cannot understand how she was wrong. She couldn’t ultimately understand where I was coming from, and why her deflection made it 100x worse.
This is what manipulators do. They literally cannot be at fault, so they deflect and somehow turn it around to being your fault.
When we heal, we began to catch on to toxic people and their tactics.
I was pretty angry at her at first, but now I feel sad for her. She is a hurting person, who doesn’t know how to heal.
I wish her well from afar, but I can no longer tolerate toxic people in my life.
Sometimes it’s okay to love from a distance.