Dealing with a Friend Break-Up

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Dealing with a Friend Break-Up

Post by InkAndComb on Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:43 pm

Can I get people's personal insights on this? Just...how you cope, what you do, etc. And how long it took you to grieve/feel like they didn't randomly pop in your thoughts as much?

Trying to find things on the internet about this is like finding the same how-to of "Go out and meet new people!" "Redistribute time with your new friends!" "Go to therapy!" "Keep yourself distracted! "Watch a sad movie!", but no personal aspects to it at all.

I know that I can't be the only one who's had to deal with this, be it from a toxic person you chose to cut out or a friend who just faded away and you miss. Yet there seems to be so few personal narratives or comments regarding it, and it's bringing me down a bit.

Help me out ya'll? Tell me your stories please
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Re: Dealing with a Friend Break-Up

Post by Enail on Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:39 pm

Your timing is a little eerie, InkandComb! I recently had a fight with one of my oldest friends, that might well be a friendship-ender. At the moment, I'm still angry enough with him that I'm not really feeling it as a loss, so I can't give you any insight on that front, but at least it's some solidarity? Neutral

I think it varies a lot depending on the specifics of the friendship and the break-up. Most friendships I've lost have been more the fade-out type, which feels sort of more melancholy than actual grief to me because usually if I wanted to I could try harder and see if it can be revived. Or else they've been ones where the friend moved away and it just doesn't work to keep up the friendship , which is a bit more of an immediate hit but pretty much the same thing (most of the friends I've lost like this were pre-'internet as a major social tool' or else I was only juuuuuust starting to be friends with them, so there wasn't enough to preserve yet).

I did lose one friend a while back that was more of a grieving situation. We'd been really close friends, basically family, for years, and then there was a looooong period of problems while she went through a bad time and dealt with it in ways that were not conducive to a happy friendship where I put up with a lot more than I normally would because of Reasons, but it eventually resulted in resentment and gradually realizing the person she had evolved into just wasn't someone I wanted to be friends with. I withdrew in the end and am no longer in touch with her, but I still feel a sort of family-like sense of responsibility for her, especially knowing she might be in a bad situation. I had a lot of missing her (or who she'd been at one point) and a lot of ranting about her with mutual friends who'd also ended it. The latter's tailed off now but I still miss her a lot, and I think I'll always regret things even if there wasn't anything I could have done to have a different outcome.
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Re: Dealing with a Friend Break-Up

Post by InkAndComb on Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:52 pm

Thank you for the response; I was a little sad I didn't get more feedback but on reflection, kind of glad? It'd be sad to see a ton of stories.

I am definitely regretting things and thinking a lot; recently have been trying to "accept" and "encourage" the thoughts. Because I struggle with anxiety, I know that if I try to distract myself or push the thoughts away they'll become mor intrusive.

The last friendship I lost was a huge one, my last BFF from highschool, and this one was only 3 monthes long.

But, I felt like I had a comrade and buddy-in-arms in a way. We'd both been vulnerable, we both had issues, and I valued how different our perspectives were.

Most of my losses have been fade-outs or general distancing; having someone suddenly go from snapchats/texting little things everyday to suddenly insulting/trying to cut me out and blocking me everywhere is rough.

Everyone I know, even his soon-to-be SO, has been supportive and let me know that it isn't me being oversensitive or weird; he flew off the handle and shut me out.

It's still a confidence shaker though, and I'm a very empathetic person; I can't help but worry or think of him, Iguess. He confided in me that besides me he only had like, one other friend and the person he's dating, and I just...I dunno.

At this point I'm so tired of him running into my thoughts; seeing things that remind me of him and his quirky sense of humor. Knowing I'm going to encounter him around town (small town) and this upcoming week.

Enail, do you have any tips? Did you ever run into friends post-friendship? I'm...I dunno. I'm so exausted emotionally and I'm trying to process things in a healthy manner. But I'm also trying not to burden anyone; I feel like nobody gets why I miss someone who said mean stuff to me.

It's awkward because the people who are like "Girl you are WAY too good to be his friend" I feel like have also had nasty fights with their bros, and I don't know how to say "But sometimes people say things they don't mean in anger. Doesn't make it ok but I understand it".

I don't know.
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Re: Dealing with a Friend Break-Up

Post by Enail on Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:46 pm

That sounds rough. I can sympathize with your 'miss someone who said mean stuff to me,' it's hard when it seems like the expected or "correct" reaction is "wow, now that I know what an asshole they can be I'm lucky they're out of my life," but you're remembering the good things, which I think can happen in even a really toxic relationship, let alone a situation where things went to hell in a moment of anger when the friendship was normally a good one. :\ I do think pretty much everyone has the potential to be a pretty big jerk, and most relationships have the potential to end badly even if they never do, so it can feel really sad to look at the ashes and be like "this didn't have to blow up like this," but it did, and that's done.

I wish I had some tips for you, but I can't say I have any particular strategies. Time, be nice to yourself, all those usual things, I guess. I hope the loss and exhaustion ease soon.
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Re: Dealing with a Friend Break-Up

Post by Werel on Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:28 pm

Hm... I was gonna come talk about my friend break-ups, but then you became happy to not see other stories. Now I am torn. Razz

The kind you're talking about, where it ends on a hostile note/with active insults, is also pretty rare for me, but those stick. Since the last time it happened, 4-5 years ago, I have essentially avoided developing friendships with anyone who reminded me of that person because I was so scared of getting burned again. I don't know if anything stings more than barbs from former friends who are now trying to hurt you. It helped me a lot to have other trusted friends look at the things former-friend had said, and confirm that they were unmerited and wrong (because when someone who was close to you insults you, they often know just where to hit the gaslight main pipes so that you'll feel they're entirely correct). It also helped to have external confirmation that the other party was definitely the one who pushed the FRIENDSPLOSION button, because it cuts down so much on the the "what could I have done differently" mental dance.

I'm glad you have other friends able to confirm that this guy flew off the handle. I hope you'll also take a little of his anger and shittiness towards you and use it to build a "well, fuck that guy" wall (for now). Like you and Enail, I definitely know what it's like to miss someone who treated you badly, and to excuse their misbehavior because of whatever problems they have. But it might not be the worst thing to dwell on his jerkdom for a bit, especially as you try to adjust to living in a reality where y'all aren't friends; if there were other moments where he showed himself to be an emotional/psychological danger to you, think hard about them. It helped me a lot to look back over the friendship with the "warning signs" goggles on instead of the "WHAT HAPPENED I MISS YOU Crying" goggles. While Enail's right that basically everyone can be a huge jerk, some people are more habitual jerks than others, and finding out that someone's jerkitude is habitual makes it feel a little less... personal?

Other than that, yeah, time and the presence of those who care about you. Good luck sorting it.
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