Saying goodbye to a friend
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|Mon, 10-22-2012 - 9:15am|
This weekend my dd and I spent away at a friend's home. I've been friends with this person for about 30 years and we've been through a whole lot together. Her son and her granddaughter are both addicts, he is in rehab, the gd is not, but is trying to get there. My friend has several illnesses that she has no control over. However, in dealing with her ds and gd, and the people who are part of their circle, as well as her own illnesses, she has developed some behaviors that are very unhealthy, negative and in a way, violate the boundaries for what I can tolerate being around or that I will not let my dd be around, not to mention the general negativity of her outlook on life now. This past weekend was the third time I've been around her and spoken heart-to-heart with her about it, about my concerns for her and her lifestyle. In the past I have told her that if she continues on the path she has chosen I can no longer be a part of her life. I have told her I will still love her and consider her a friend, but that I will not expose myself or my child to the negative energy that surrounds her and her home. Well, this weekend was the final straw and I have realized that I have to make this break, not only for my dd's sake and my own, but for HER. It's painful, it hurts, I don't want to do it, yet I know that I MUST, to protect us, and, hopefully, to help her find her way back. So it just goes to show that even when we DO get rid of the abuser in our lives, there are others that come along that we are sometimes faced with having to make the same decisions about. HOWEVER, it wasn't all grief and sadness. On the 2.5 hour drive home I had lots of time to think because WO was sound asleep.
While I grieve the letting go of this friend until she can get herself back together (and you all KNOW I'm talking personal empowerment here, and how SHE has to make the choices for her own life), I also got a MAJOR dose of gratitude because I was able to look at my current, healthy, happy relationships with a group of three FABULOUS women who are all like sisters to me and KNOW that this is where I belong. We're all such close friends, and we get on each other's nerves at times, and sometimes we argue and/or "fight", but it never lasts long and we all kiss and make up. I am SO, SO grateful for them, because they've been straight with me and vice versa, when it was needed, but none of them has ever "used" me for their own gain, so in facing this grief, I have managed to come out knowing that I"m where I'm supposed to be in my life right now. I guess the point of this ramble and "venting" about this sad situation is to let you all know that even though we have let go of the abuser in most of our lives, there will come a time when we have to let go of others who are not healthy for us and that the principles and practices that we learn and adopt from breaking free and rebuilding our lives without abuse are also VERY applicable and useable in other parts of our lives, and that's something in which to find peace. It's sad, it's heartbreaking, but sometimes you truly DO have to love someone enough to let them go so they can find their own way back. The lesson is that we CAN'T fix them, heal them or even help them, until they are really and TRULY willing to do it for themselves. And surviving abuse and the lessons that we have learned in doing this serve us well for the rest of our lives. It may not always be pain or sadness free, but once you've said goodbye to an abuser in your life and learned that life goes on, it carries through to other toxic situations in your life and the strength and the courage you used to get out of abuse will, once again, rise to the surface and help you to do what you know you need to do to protect yourself and your own personal peace and happiness. Let me know if this ramble does or doesn't make sense and what you think about what I've said.