• author
    • Hannah Sullivan

    • August 28, 2013 in Columnists

    Letting go of lost friendship

    Where is the point in time when we agree to forgive and forget? Are we just agreeing for the sake of a friendship (or relationship) but not really over what has happened? How long is too long to go without speaking to someone? These are just some of the questions I found myself asking a few weeks ago.

    About a year ago, I had a falling out with my very best friend. She was the sister I never had. We did everything together. For one reason or another, we had a fight and it ended with us not talking. We exchanged some harsh words and that was that. I was truly heartbroken. It was so devastating to me that it felt like someone had died. When something funny would happen after our fight, I would want to tell her about it. When something upset me, I really missed our friendship. Not having that person who I relied on emotionally for so many years on my side was really hard.

    With certain people in my life — I don’t tell them many things. From past experience, I feel judged from people I thought were good friends. I thought telling friends a secret was supposed to be a secret — a no judgment zone. I was mistaken. There’s a lot to me most don’t know. I’ve told strangers more about me than my actual friends. My friend would have been that person I would have gone to.

    Flash forward to now — I feel like a totally different person. When I think back on what our friendship, it’s as if I don’t even recognize those girls anymore. After years of friendship, we’ve grown into two totally different people who obviously want different things.

    After what we have been through, is there a happy ending for us or will we continue to be strangers?

    A mutual friend to both of us is dead set on getting us back together. I’m a stubborn girl, so I never agree to any of their attempts. It’s not because I don’t want to — it’s because I’m over it. Honestly, I don’t think there is getting over a lost friendship 100 percent. It’s that little piece of you that you just learn to live with. There was really no closure with the whole situation, so I think that’s why I’m a little bitter.

    For a while, this mutual friend and I agreed we’d never have a friendship like the one I’m writing about. Anytime this friend and I would get together, she seemed to be the topic of discussion. At first it felt therapeutic but after awhile, I had enough. It’s like people bringing up an ex once you’re over it.

    From what I know, my friend didn’t really talk to her. The last time (and what seems like the final time) he tried to convince me that she missed me, they ran into each other and ended up hanging out. He was telling me how fun it was and how great her boyfriend is. Really? Because that’s not what you were saying months ago.

    As for the emotional things I want to tell her or just being reminded of her in general — since we haven’t spoken in so long, I’ve stopped doing that. I have a new support system now.

    Here’s how I feel about the whole thing: Not just in this friendship but in a few of my friendships, I feel like I always have to be the bigger person. I always have to be the one to plan things and get everybody on the same page. For the most part, I have to be the one to make contact first. For once in my life, I would love it if someone came to me and said that they honestly missed my company and was dying to see me. I don’t ask for a lot, I really don’t. I’m not saying this is true about all of my friendships. I understand that any kind of relationship is work, but honestly, I’m just so tired of the b.s.

    I actually had a friend at the beginning of the summer text me, saying we should hang out. We talked about getting together for awhile and just never got around to it. We’ve been friends since the 5th grade. We hadn’t talked in awhile and it was the best thing that’s happened so far. She’s been my partner in crime every Saturday night since. Thanks to her, this has been the best summer I ever had. I wonder — if that other friend and I had stayed friends, would I have had this much fun over the summer?

    I would’ve loved to have mended our friendship a year ago. We tried and it didn’t really work out. I’m sure with some effort it could have. Right now I’m not going to burden myself with the thought of “will I ever talk to this person again” because I don’t really care either way. I know that sounds kind of mean, but if she really wanted to see me or missed me then she should have contacted me. I refuse to be the first one to break. It’s not that I’m holding a grudge — it’s that I’m tired of being “that” person. I’m tired of having to chase people around, begging them to be my friend, when they should want to see me because we are friends.

    I understand everyone is “busy.” That’s always the excuse, right? I’m busy too, but at least I’m willing to make the effort. I’ve noticed that I don’t hang out with some of the people I used to as often, if not ever. If someone doesn’t want to make the effort and be in my life, then why should I make the effort for them?

    I have some friends that I can go without seeing for quite some time and when we get together, it’s like we never missed a beat. With this falling out, it wouldn’t be anything like that. It would be very awkward and I wouldn’t know what to say. I’m not going to apologize and I don’t expect or want one in return. I don’t want to go through the process of opening old wounds, and for what? There’s no telling what’s going to happen. There’s no guarantee that meeting up with this lost friend will fix anything. I don’t want to go backwards. I had my grieving period and now I’m over it.

    The past is the past, and I’m only looking towards the future. I only want people in my life who are going to add to it, not take away. A lot has happened (and is still happening) this year and I’ve had no one to hold my hand. The flakers flaked and the people who cared stuck around. I’m very thankful for the ones who are still here. I’m not quite sure what I’d do without them. I know I’m not perfect, but I do try with the people I love.

    I never answered any of those questions. I don’t think I ever will.

      • Maya North

      • August 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm
      • Reply

      I used to be “that” person, too, and it left me feeling like a hybrid between a puppy and a perpetual also – ran. Sometimes, especially when I know the error was mine, I will make that conciliatory effort. Other times, I just walk away. It was hard to learn and took years, but sometimes that’s the choice that says “I am worth more than that. Hugs…

        • Hannah Sullivan

        • August 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm
        • Reply

        We all deserve better. Although, my mom always tells me that if you write off every person that hurts you then there will be no one left. So sometimes I am torn.

    • Hannah, I don’t know how old you are but I am 64 and I just wrote about this on my own blog. I am happy you are making choices and learning what you need. http://madgew-musings.blogspot.com/2013/08/friendships-shift-and-old-and-new.html
      Check out my discussion on this very topic.

        • Hannah Sullivan

        • August 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm
        • Reply

        I’ll be 22 soon 🙂 I can’t wait to check that out. Thanks for reading!

    • I’ve discovered in the past couple years that certain friendships are only for a season or two and can be very dependent on where you are in life (e.g. spouses/partners, jobs, living situation, etc) and that it’s OKAY to let those friendships end naturally if they’re headed that way. People change. Situations change.

      On the other hand, embracing those friendships that are truly meant to last forever, always seem to require little to no work and are the most satisfying for me.

      Cutting out toxic people in your life and focusing on the positive friendships is something that’s taken me a few years to wrap my head around, but the no BS attitude will save you lots of time and heartache in the long run. Good luck with everything!

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