It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

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Saying goodbye is hard sometimes, but a necessary part of life for growth.

This week, I had to say goodbye. It’s long overdue. The one regret is probably that I didn’t do it permanently sooner.

I made a decision this week to part ways with someone who has been disrespectful to me at different times during our 20-year relationship and in different ways for years, including an instance of physical abuse. I’ve taken a lot of shit from this friend. They just can’t seem to get their shit together.

Time has a way of making things better sometimes, and sometimes it just confirms the shit we already knew. Sometimes we outgrow our friends, and that’s okay.

Despite forgiving and trying to forget, and the frequent warnings about the way I have desired to be treated, this friend consistently showed me their will shall be done in spite of any opposition, pleas, or arguments. I’ve asked nicely. I’ve written specifically how I wanted to be treated in the form of text messages, and I verbally made my petitions and concerns known in person.

No change. To my friend who I’ve known since the late 90s, we’re just old friends, and things are going to stay the way they always have been. Back in the day when we were younger and I was in a different place, I said and did things a lot differently than I do now. My mouth was sassier, my clap back was more fierce, and my patience was shorter.

But I’ve changed. We all have the right to change, and when we change real friends should respect our growth and development in our personal lives. We should applaud and appreciate personal growth and epiphanies. For some people, the change represents a huge loss. And while you may change and grow, they don’t necessarily desire to. And that’s cool, but it puts a strain on our relationship that eventually breaks from the tensions and stresses of the pulling, pushing, and friction.

That’s me and my old friend. Friction has done what it does. Rubbed the wrong way for too long causing the slight fissure to completely break.

No amount of aging changed this friend’s mindset about how I should be treated.

No matter how offended I said I was about the words used to communicate with me or the way our friendship has progressed over the years, I just got push back and trash talk.

I’m too mean.

I’m too sensitive.

I’m not clear.

I’m too clear.

I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I misinterpreted the overture or language.

I advised my friend one last time on how a person of my age, intellect, and emotional state wanted to be treated as a friend, lover, or just as a human being. I offered a prelude to help with future relationships, but the advice wasn’t received well.

My friend said to me, “Fuck you.” And that was it. Just like that with two words, our friendship ended. Wow, I thought to myself.

This was the end of our friendship but this time, for good. I’m tired of being kind, letting my guard down, and trying to maintain a friendship as I age that’s healthy for me.

And while I was surprised by the response, I really wasn’t surprised. I have made too many attempts to secure change in order to sustain the relationship to no avail. But it’s not worth it. My friendship isn’t valued, no matter how much I expressed my love. People have different definitions of love and different ways to show their affection.

If someone doesn’t know or understand your love language after 20 years, their either short on brains or they don’t give a shit about you.

So I’m letting the friendship go.

It’s hard to say goodbye sometimes, but it must be done. Just one more thing to let go of in 2018. While my spirit may be a bit heavy for a moment, in the long-term, I’ll be much better off without the stressors from receiving rude communications, disrespectful or inconsiderate requests, and a lack of human decency. I also can remain in the character for this era of my life.

I would find myself having really bad attitudes with this friend because of how they spoke to me.

I’m unfriending myself.

I’m taking the relationship off of life support choosing instead to stick with the tribe that loves me up, picks me up when I’m down, and treats me the way I desire to be treated. And while my tribe is getting thinner, sadly with a lot fewer men these days, it’s a quality tribe. Sometimes we get caught up in numbers of people we have in our corner without realizing someone people really aren’t worthy of being in our circle.

We change, we grow (most of us), we learn ourselves, and most of us strive to be better human beings as we mature. Some people just don’t get that. You need to be treated a certain way is seen as an insult to them. They make your needs about them, refusing to acknowledge their own behavior or your feelings.

Well, fuck them. Fuck those kinds of people. Life is too hard. Life is too short. We live with enough stress and personal problems to have a friend saddle your back with maltreatment. No friendship, marriage, or other relationship is worth staying in if you are not being treated the way you want to be treated.

I’ve been a terrible friend too. I’ve been a terrible friend because I kept going back for maltreatment after the first time. I acknowledge my part in the dysfunctional relationship. My continuance of the relationship was consent, and approval of their friend’s ill-treatment. I should have done both of us the favor of removing myself from the equation. It probably would have spared both of our feelings in this breakup.

Maya Angelou said when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

I am a believer now, but believing still doesn’t make things easier.

Sometimes, it’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s a necessary part of life. These days, self-preservation is the best medication for bad friends.

Out with the old and in with the new. To new beginnings…to more happiness.

Marley K., 2018

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