An open letter to the best friend I shed to become stronger.
Breaking up with a best friend has to be one of the most painful of losses, especially when your heart tells you it's for the best.
As I write this, I am choked up and sincerely second guessing publishing this post. Not because I am afraid of any judgement or replies, but because I now know this break up is permanent.
All the women who are reading this can validate how amazing it feels once you have time and space away from a toxic relationship.
You feel such a release once the tears dry and some sense comes back into your dull cheeks. You are lighter, free, and happy without the heaviness of a bad relationship on your heart or using up your time any longer.
But when you lose a best friend, the pain of the breakup lingers for a long time after. Even if the friendship is severed by a really CATASTROPHIC event.
No one forgets the love they had for their very best friend.
A hard realization I had to make recently, even as an adult that is almost 30, is that not all friendships are forever. And the "Best Friend" kind is not any different.
Friendships end for all sorts of reasons. But what happens when a friendship ends because two people are the same as they always have been, and one finally realizes they need to change.
I had a best friend for almost 20 years. We had many ups and downs in our personal lives, from traumatic childhoods to rough teen years + abusive parents. We both had our first baby in our late teens and each got married with more kids following. But then our twenties came and things started to improve. With personal growth, business opportunities and a lot of aspirations, we each had the chance to grow.
Time and time again we stayed in touch and our friendship remained in tact, like a swaying river through the rapids.
So I never expected that one week without warning, I would be the one to feel the need to cut the bond loose.
I realized this year at 28 that I had been depressed and had anxiety for so many years after breaking free of my abusers and toxic situations. I decided I wanted to actively work on healing myself, now that I had the time this year while finally working from home (with my kids) to put in self-care and attention on my own health.
To be honest, I needed to prioritize my mental health and healing for far too long. But all of a sudden in May, leading up to my 12th year away from my first abusers in my life (my parents), I felt within my gut that I needed to change.
So many things in my life needed a makeover.
Most important was my self-care and health. Following suit, my relationships.
I began to analyze what things in my life were not working for me, triggering my stress, or not productive in helping to achieve my goals.
One of these things was my first blog, a project I started before Jaded Savior but after several months was not feeling too into. I outgrew the concept and felt stuck when trying to come up with content. So every time my gut warned me to stop, I trusted my intuition and took a break.
I had followed all the rules and steps in creating a perfectly attractive + attracting blog in a popular niche and had built all the right marketing platforms for it. But it just did not resonate with "me".
One day the feelings I had about it boiled up and I let my husband/business partner know I was ready to make a big change and ditch my 7 month long project.
I felt so scared leading up to that conversation because I had already dedicated so much into it, but I knew it was the best for me to switch gears. And I no longer wanted to be held back by something that did not serve me.
Within that same week, I felt an ache in my heart that gave me the same inner turmoil.
Stress. Negativity. Overwhelm.
Then I had a conversation with my bestie that QUICKLY turned into an unexpected argument. The next few days after that just completely sucked. I no longer felt like I was able to reason what was going on, and I decided to speak my mind. I let her know that whatever had prompted the argument, it just did not feel like "us" or what we had ever experienced in our friendship.
She had accused me of something that was completely not me to do, which she usually knew, and honestly everything just felt off. I took some time to analyze it all and realized though the argument was petty, the bigger message wasn't.
The same things had been bothering her for a while, about her own life obstacles and relationships. But it seemed like we just circled around negativity and problems all the time.
Friends are supposed to be an ear, a shoulder, and a life line. But there has to be a line.
That day I finally drew it in permanent marker.
I decided though I loved her very much, I was no longer willing to play a role in the friendship. I did not say those words lightly and I drafted them for hours before finally sending them.
I was not going to be in an argument or a dynamic that revolved around any sort of bullshit.
For two days of silence from her, I mulled over those tiny details of the situation that had occurred. And then it hit me that I had been transparent and honest always with this person. But even when I explained that over again, she was not actually willing to hear it.
I left one last message explaining how much I cared for her and how I hoped some day in the future we could grow down the same path, but that it just did not feel the same at the moment between us. That I would never do anything to hurt her. And that I did not exactly understand what she was going through to act in a way she never had before with me.
It honestly felt like she was pushing me away on purpose.
Days later, I would receive an email with an explanation that still did not go over everything in her mind and some apologies that I do think she meant, though I don't think she really understood why I severed ties.
Then I was deleted from everything, including shared projects.
I knew she was cutting any last strings.
The truth was, I had always felt similar struggles and sadness about my own life that she had felt in hers. But I was tired of it and ready to LEAP into something new.
Even if that LEAP meant I had to jump alone.
To the girl who seemed to always understand me, relate to me, know how to comfort me, or make me laugh. To the best friend that no matter how far they lived or how much we went through or how much time passed between our talks.
I will always be grateful for my first best friend.
A person who showed me how to hold my own head up when times got rough. Who wanted to cheer lead for me and let me cheer her on too.
To the girl who took part in most of my happy memories and knows most of the untold stories of trauma I lived and survived...
I love you.
And I know the pain I felt after letting you go helped propel me into who I am now.
I am moving faster and farther in such a short time.
I am waking up and doing things I thought were impossible before.
I have a clarity and purpose, with a passion now causing me to SHINE.
And even though I was always scared, just like you, that I would never make REAL friends. Even though I hated always being hurt by the same toxic kind of person. And I cried as much as you when I got stood up by women who claimed to have interest in getting to know me. I decided to follow my own advice when you wouldn't.
I now show up as the woman I want to be. And I remove BULLSHIT from my life immediately.
I will not humor or hold space for anything that does not work for me.
I just never expected that person to be you.
My heart foresees so much growth and beauty in your future. Though I am sad, I am not angry.
In fact, my love for you was greatly due to the potential I saw within you.
Beyond your own trauma and pain, is an amazing woman wanting to break free.
I always thought listening to you and advising you when you needed it was the way to encourage you to grow. I thought that agreeing with you about the TOXIC people in your life would wake you up.
And I damn well wanted to validate your pain.
But now I look back and I see that I wore the pin of your hand and enabler, probably way longer than I should have.
I sincerely hope your healing journey has either arrived finally or that you are just around the corner from its' starting point.
And some day if we meet again, it will be something new and more beautiful than before.
Published by Jean Soto JS Jaded Savior blog: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: email@example.com
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