Connected amidst chaos
I was in a new relationship yet not over my first love. She was in a long-term abusive relationship. Despite our own struggles and chaotic lives, we found refuge in each other. We were like two peas in a pod. The way we connected so instantly and naturally was not something I had experienced before. I didn't click with many people, but with her, she was truly my other half. If we wrote down our strengths and weaknesses, this statement would prove exactly that. What I lacked she possessed and vice versa. It didn't take long until our days were spent side by side and we had become each other's confidants. No matter what was going on at home, it didn't matter because as long as we had each other, we knew we would get through what life threw at us.
Amazing alone: Unstoppable together
As women who struggled with depression, anxiety, and lack of self-love, we sometimes struggled to find our power when we were facing obstacles alone. We knew we were amazing big-hearted people but struggled to give ourselves that validation. Boundaries were doubted and second-guessing had become second nature. But when we were together, we would lift each other up and boldly remind each other of our voice, our strength, and our undeniable worth. It seemed like we could now face any challenges on our own knowing that we had each other's backs. Most of the time, we didn't even need words. A glance was enough to perk up our self-confidence. Somewhere on our life journey, we had lost our backbone. Together, we were each other's backbone. This created immense friction in our personal relationships where abuse was present. We were not doormats anymore. We couldn't be manipulated. We did not fear any type of repercussions because, in the end, our sister was there.
Tests of time
Our friendship was solid, cemented with love, respect, and honesty. Life though did not refrain from testing our god-given connection. From boyfriends to siblings, parents, and friends, there always seemed to be someone disliking one of us and trying to tear us apart. My mom was the biggest thorn on our friendship's side. Every single day I would hear her comments and opinions about my best friend. She wouldn't stop at me though, she would broadcast her unfiltered thoughts to anyone she could. In the Summer-Fall of 2011, all hell broke loose. I had gone to my best friend's one day and she told me about a threatening letter she had received in the mailbox. The letter told her that she wasn't wanted in the neighborhood and that she should leave or else consequences would be inflicted amongst many priors. Our first suspects were my mom and my ex's mom, her next-door neighbor in a row of townhouses. I personally confronted both women, well in their 50's, hoping they would be mature enough to admit their actions. They didn't so I went on a quest for proof via their Facebook messages. No surprise, I found the incriminating evidence. I printed out every single message resulting in a stack of papers and presented myself at my mother's house, evidence in hand. I gave her one more chance and asked her to admit her wrongdoing. She didn't. I lost my mind. It didn't matter that she was my mom. She was wrong and I had my "sister's" back. My mother later admitted that she didn't like my best friend and blamed her for my newfound voice in defense of her actions. Nothing could come between us though, not even my mom's hate.
In our six years of friendship, we had become each other's biggest cheerleaders and pedestals even if it blinded us to our own personal demise. Eventually, our friendship did come to a halt as if the universe knew that we had become toxic together and couldn't embody the spiritual growth side by side. As we consistently looked out for each other's best interests and lifted each other above water so the other wouldn't drown, we weren't strong enough to keep our own bodies from getting sucked down our hidden vortex. Abusive relationships were, at long last, left behind once again making one of our oldest dreams come true; sharing a home. It didn't turn out the way we had previously envisioned it. Our abusive relationships had taken such a toll that our bodies had become mere shells affecting our sisterhood. We stopped communicating and sharing our deepest thoughts as we had used to and found solace in separate toxic lifestyles. It was like we were living double lives at first, trying to balance our truths. True Jekyll and Hydes. But like all truths, in due time, ours became unveiled. While I watched my best friend choose death through drugs daily, I submerged myself in alcohol and meaningless sex to fill the voids my best friend's absence had left. I was losing control in my life and still remember approaching her for help and was met with, "You should do this with me, you'll be happier", but I knew that wasn't the answer. At this point, we left each other be and the distance between grew larger. When I found out she was doing the drugs in the bedroom of our townhome, I knew I had to take action. I had to protect my kids. I wasn't going to lose my kids because of her poor choices, so I gave her an ultimatum: Quit or get out. She chose the latter. In the month leading up to her moving out, we became strangers riddled with resentment for each other. We triggered each other bringing out our darkest sides. I would get into fights with her teenage kids and she would call the cops suggesting they take my kids. We weren't fighting for each other anymore, we were fighting for ourselves even if it meant losing one another. We were drowning alone and we were drowning ourselves trying to save the other. Our severed connection turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Our saving grace.
A friendship's revival
Soon after she had moved out, she reached out to me. She told me she was in the process of healing and she was contacting me to get closure. I told her I wasn't interested. To be honest, I was relieved she was gone as the weight of holding her up had lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt like I could focus on healing my darkness without being dragged down by hers. That year though, healing did not take place. I stopped taking my prescribed anti-depressants and engaged in multiple one-night stands, neglected my children, and smoked my health away with cigarettes. It took another 4 years before I actively dedicated myself to my healing journey. Within those years, she and I had seen each other and crossed paths, but the energy was still toxic. She now admits that she wanted to reach out and kept tabs on me through mutual acquaintances but knew I wasn't ready. She was right. I wasn't ready to forgive her for not choosing me when I gave her the choice. I resented her for throwing our friendship away. I blamed her for holding me back. As far as I knew, I was better off without her. Then one innocent day, I was walking back home from the post office. I had dropped off a package from a sale I had made in my small business. As I crossed the road and was almost home, a car stopped to let me pass, rolled down the window, and shouted. It was her. But this time, it was like we had never gone our separate ways. No tension. No dark energy. "Oh hey!", the words came as naturally as breathing. Then my mouth started spewing out words about my life where she cut me off and said, "Do you want to come over and we can chat?". I said yes. She lived right behind my building! The weeks following our reunion, we talked a lot about the past and healed the parts of our story that we couldn't heal without the other. We are ourselves again, well, a healthier, more empowered version of who we were ready to take on the world together as we had always talked about. We realize now that the crossroad we faced where we were forced to make different decisions was needed for our own survival and the eventual survival of our spiritually derived bond. Our love is stronger than ever now.