I stopped keeping up with an old friend; someone I have known for many years. I feel guilty letting go of relationships, no matter how destructive they have been. Through the years, people have come and gone in my life, mostly amicably. Knowing when to consciously walk awa always gives me pause.
My friend believes that her friends should “support” her no matter what. Through the years, she has engaged in a host of fool hardy, destructive and poorly conceived endeavors which have resulted in pain and suffering for her, and those around her. When this occurs, she wants us to rally around and try to help her “fix” the situation.
At the outset of these situations, she would either seek our advice, or justify her decision which would have already been set in motion. When I or one of the others in our friend circle point out the issues and potential consequences, we are ostracized. Through the years, she has fewer and fewer friends, with my being among the last to step away.
Recently, we had a conversation in which she said she was sad to have so few remaining friends, and doesn’t understand why there is no one left to support her. She blames us for not being good enough friends to stand by her. I disagree. Some of us have just grown older and wiser–no longer wanting to be enablers, and have grown tired of drama. We have tired of dancing around the “problem” in the room.
I decided to let go of this relationship because I have come to see that this is not what I consider friendship. It is not healthy for either of us, and though I have had a history of misguided loyalty, it’s time to let it go.
While friendships are very special and deserve care and nurturing, it is also important to know when its time for letting go.