Last night I went out for a “date” with my lovely other half. Conversation somehow found it’s way to friendships and one friend in particular. Or should I say, Ex-friend.
Last August I cut ties with one of my closest friends after a particularly brutal verbal attack. It was the last in a very long line of them but this time I just had enough.
She wasn’t a typically “nice” person. She did sometimes do and say some awful things, un-PC things, shocking things. I had learnt to laugh them off, shrug them off or just roll my eyes at her and shake my head. Don’t get me wrong, I did tell her she was wrong – countless times but it always fell on deaf ears and I didn’t want to always spend my time telling her what she should and shouldn’t say or do. That was up to her.
Anyway, cutting to the chase – I’ve been without said ex-friend now for about 5 months. We had been very close friends, at least in my eyes, for about 8 years. I miss her sometimes and particularly when I’ve had a glass of vino like last night or when I’m feeling lonely.
I don’t have many friends. I have some friends and I have my boyfriend and step-kids, but the horrible, hard truth is that ex-friend and my mother are both very narcissistic: I’ve “lost” them both recently, or so it seems.
Actually, I don’t think I should say lost because it’s been my choice – what would the right word be? I’m leaning to remove the negative things and people from my life. Both of these women hurt me over and over again, for years and I just used to let it happen. I’m not actually sure I even knew it was wrong at the time.
Trying to explain to my boyfriend that despite her/their horrible ways and the many ways she/they hurt me and knocked me down time and time again, I did love her and I did get something from our friendship, but it’s like persuading someone that Hannibal Lecter was a nice guy!!
I miss having someone I could go out with once every few weeks and have a drink with, talk rubbish with – connect with (although looking back, I guess it wasn’t an authentic connection) and just relax with.
I know deep down, I can’t have really relaxed, not properly, because I was always on guard for an attack or at least repairing the attacks she spat at the bar staff or innocent people sat nearby.
Realising that ex-friend and mother are exactly the same is still a shock sometimes. You know the kind of thing that you know, but you get reminded and it’s like you’ve just realised all over again?
The fact that I accepted and loved both these people for so long still hurts me. How was I so blind for so long? And now I can “see” how can I miss someone so bad for me?
Another example of the inevitable pain that comes with recovery I guess. Newly educated, logical mind tells you that “X” is bad. Old mind wants what is “normal” and misses it’s old creature comforts – be that abusive or not. Perhaps it is fear of the unknown or maybe it’s just that familiar is comfortable, whether it’s good for you or not.
It’s our default position and that is what we are fighting against all the time in recovery. Fighting against repetition compulsion.
Weirdly, I’ve noticed that I never want to text or call my mother anymore. Never. I guess I’ve replaced her with my new “good mother” – the therapist.
The journey continues….