Our friendship was one of my longest lasting relationships. After meeting through a mutual friend, we were soon inseparable. All through the first 15 years we had so much fun and I felt like I found a true confidant.
It wasn’t until the first pregnancy that things really started to change for me. She was making decisions that I not only disagreed with, but that made me worry for her and her daughter’s well-being. (I was even concerned about her choice in a partner.) I knew these choices meant she would depend on me even more, and I was dedicated to being there for her.
In those early parenting days we both struggled a lot.
I used what little experience I had to reassure her she was not alone, a bad parent, or crazy. Through months and months of her struggling (and me and my husband supporting her emotionally) I started to worry that we were really growing apart. I also worried that her fears of being a bad parent were rooted in reality and not the typical mommy-worry we all experience. We still had so much in common. But where we really differed was in the decisions we made for our kids. I realized I could not be a part of their life if there was never an effort to make things better and achieve real change. I like to think I am the first one to be there for someone in need but after months of coming to her rescue I realized I was a part of a bad pattern. This realization led me to consider distancing myself from her.
Putting some distance between us was the only thing I could think to do that would not directly insult her.
I remain supportive from a distance and via text because I know she still really needs the support. I wish I was more mature, eloquent or knew what to say or do but I don’t. If I was able to do that I still don’t know if it would be constructive for her to hear what I have to say. It has been hard letting go of this person who for years was so important to me. Losing my first long term friend has been sad and very freeing at the same time. I felt empowered by my decision and I am proud that I followed my intuition. I cannot let go of my worry for her and her kids and continue to pray that things will turn out all right for them.
A real friendship doesn’t seem to ever end does it? The friendship may have ended but the love and concern will never go away.