The dissolution of friendships isn’t discussed enough. Wherever you go, people always talk about the malaise that their significant others inflict on them. Go online and it’s one video after the other on any chosen platform. Thousands of hours of deeply rooted pain are illustrated by wounded lovers who have been wronged. Then you’re met with videos of therapists and relationship experts. I mean, you have to give the people what they want. Do you know what I rarely find? Videos of people talking about friends who have wronged them. Even when I found those, it was always about a friend who wore white to a wedding or brought an uninvited guest. Moving on…
I have friends from all different parts of the world. I have experienced many types of friendships from First Friends to Fickle Friends. Some of these friendships have sparred over two decades and we just understand things. No time nor space ever affects us. Those are called Low Maintenance Friends. They understand you and you understand them to a T. You grew up and made mistakes together. I look back on these friendships that I still have and feel very lucky. I also look back on the friendships that ended and still feel lucky. They were mistakes but they were the right mistakes. Those friendships were necessary for me to learn lessons. The universe will always make sure to teach you a less
on, even if it’s more than once. It's the type of lesson when you give the uncouth too much leeway. I'm very much guilty of that. I'm from Brooklyn and this little story may ruin my street cred.
I had this one friend who let’s call her Sidney. Sidney was a very high-maintenance friend that was allegedly diagnosed with a form of intrusive thinking. My heart ached for her every time she had a mental relapse. I had no problem whatsoever listening to her issues. It’s what friends do. Sidney and I had many similar worldly views. We also disagreed on many other things, but it was cordial. It had to be on my part because debating with an autocratic personality is quite laborious. I had other things to do like grow my black lipstick collection. I’d attributed her meltdowns and occasional indifferences to mental health disorders. She wasn’t the first nor the last friend who had something going on. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I was wrong. Let me preface that I either chatted or spoke to her almost every single day. One day she told me that she needed to be around friends and family that were “reachable”. Excuse me? How reachable did she want me to be? I was on a 10-hour ride two weeks prior and listened to her for 45 minutes because she was upset over a friend’s passing. Very understandable. I had told her before going on my trip to call me because I wanted to be there for her. Unconsciously, she was slowly becoming the emotional vampire that was gradually sucking what was left of my will to live out of me. She started ignoring me out of nowhere. Long story short, I took matters into my own hands. I searched the five boroughs for fucks to give and found none. I fizzled out that friendship because I knew the universe was trying to teach me a lesson that I had refused to learn in the past. When I gave her a taste of her own medicine, she didn’t like it. When she called, all she wanted to do was talk over me. She loved the sound of her voice, and who could blame her? She did have a nice speaking voice. Lady, you called me and demanded an explanation. Then, you talked over me. I finally told her that not everything was about her in life. I meant it. I had other things going on that required my immediate attention.
I wasn’t going to give her my time any longer. I didn’t owe her an explanation after she demanded one. I no longer wanted to wonder what version of this person I was going to encounter that day. I truly loved and cared for her, but this was the end of my candle wick. The unreasonable expectations, lack of empathy towards other people, and the constant need for praise and admiration were akin to someone sticking a straw in my medial cubital vein and just sucking all the blood out of me. I felt bad for her partner. I grew indifferent to the whole fallout. I had no qualms. I didn’t even think about her the next day. Not a single thought. Nothing. Death can be beautiful sometimes.
I didn’t go through the stages of grief after that because I had already experienced them during the last two weeks of our friendship. I wished her well in my heart and that was it. I did my due diligence as a friend and my conscience was clear. I didn’t badmouth her. I didn’t say anything. If someone asked me, I would just say that we’re no longer friends. I would leave it at that. I don’t go around badmouthing former friends, let alone spill their secrets. It’s uncouth.
Almost six months had passed, and I had not thought of her once. I had just wrapped up a casual business meeting at a café and saw a message pop up. It was Sidney. She had previously blocked me on all platforms. I had only blocked her on a messaging app. As I was reading through the apology, not even halfway through it, she mentioned the expansion of her business. I re-read the apology and it became apparent that she most probably contacted me for that. There was no mention of hashing things out. In a nutshell, I told her I wished her the best and that I would always be supportive of her endeavors. She is good at what she does. I was being sincere. I left it at that. I had an interview for a writing gig that day and couldn’t let anything get in my head. I came back home that evening and she had re-added me on all social media platforms as if nothing happened. She expected to pick up where we left off. I wasn’t having it. I made the mistake of doing that once with a friend when I was younger and naïve. It didn’t end well because there were so many things left unsaid. Why would this be any different?
She sent me another message the next day about how confused she was at my initial reply. She didn’t give me time to even process anything. Moreover, I was dealing with work. She’s always expected people to do things asap. She was treating this like a work deadline when in fact I had a real work deadline. She then retrieved and blocked me again on all social media platforms. I felt relieved. I no longer wanted to be a real friend and tell her exactly why she had so many failed friendships. I would be doing her a favor. I no longer did favors. I no longer equated her bad behavior to her mental disorder. I needed to recognize that some people are just that- they exist in their own realm where time and space are made up of their own molecular structure. In the end, the only person I owed an explanation to is myself and my uncompleted black lipstick collection.