Tag Archives: Friendship

When Do You Walk Away?

So a running theme in my life lately has been when to walk away from someone and focus on yourself. It is tough to tell someone you need some space to figure yourself out, especially when they are going through things of their own and you want to be a good friend. When does a person get to the point where you can decide to walk away? When is enough actually enough. How many times can you listen to someone ask the same question, with the same answer before you just stop letting them ask the question?

This is a tough choice, just as tough as when you decide to end a romantic relationship. However, we seem to have an easier time ending the romance. At least I do. For me it is easier to walk away from a difficult romantic relationship then it is to walk away from a friendship. In both cases when one chooses to leave this relationship, it is because something about it is toxic. You fight all the time, the other person uses you, you lose self-esteem from it, and any number of other things which are not good for sanity.

Now I advocate sticking around for people with mental health issues, so this is not about dumping someone from your life forever, but instead when to pull back a bit, so they have a chance to depend on more than just you. I am as guilty as some of the people I have decided to distance from, about being extremely dependent on my friends for all kinds of support. I also apologize when I realize I am doing this. Luckily I have friends who are honest enough with me to tell me when to shut up and leave them alone for a bit. However, I have some people in my life who I would help no matter what, yet make me feel like even more of a nut job than I already am.

This last type of person is the one who I really want to understand how to walk away from. I can honestly say that I am unsure in this area of how to do this. I had a conversation with a long-time friend recently, where we agreed that I shouldn’t read her facebook anymore because it was stressing me out. I can’t explain why it caused me so much stress, but she did understand and thought it a good idea for me to take a step back. This is a rare occurrence though, this is an oddity among the, at times, too much to handle friends.

How many times can you go pick someone up in the middle of the night, before you say you need sleep more? I am always willing to go out of my way to help a friend when I can, however, I have also been learning, that sometimes I need to take care of myself first. Well in fact I need to take care of myself first all the time, if I don’t help myself I can’t expect to be able to adequately help another. It is hard to say “no” to a friend in need. However, sometimes you just can’t spare the $10, or the two days to help. When this happens I feel guilty for not being able to help. I’m not sure why I feel like I should always help, but I know that I do.

I suppose the most frustrating aspect of these types of friendships is they tend to be one sided. One person needs something and the other gives it without question. This often leads to resentment of one of the friends, even if the other one is well meaning, it doesn’t always balance. So I think I have started to discover my answer—focus on the balance. If the relationship is give and take in both ways, with mutual respect, then it is healthy. If it isn’t, then I suppose that is when a person can take the time to distance themselves and reevaluate the relationship, whether it is romantic or just friendship.

Embrace the crazy, but search for the balance. Find that balance and the crazy and everything else will fall into its proper place. So will the friendships and everything else we look for to fulfill our lives.

But then there was this time, when my friend actually got stuck in a chimney… that’s when I knew it was time to distance myself. (We did get her out of the chimney first, of course. Don’t worry, her foot healed just fine, but I’m not sure about the rest.)


My brain is Chaotic and Shiny

So tonight was supposed to be a Chaotic Shiny night, but I could not decide on a prompt. After being given about twenty possible prompts, as well as religions, prophecies, and settings, I still had no inspiration. This is perhaps because my mind is trouble by other problems tonight. While fiction should get my mind off of my problems and move it into more interesting and less painful areas to explore, tonight it has decided to elude me.

My life itself has become more like a prompt from chaotic shiny. Where odd things are thrown together to make a story, somewhat believable. I don’t know when this happened, but it has been going on for a long time. My mom has told me in the past that my life would make a good TV show, and maybe she was right. These days however, the show would be fairly boring.

As much as I would again like to lead a fascinating life full of craziness, I’m actually happy that most of the drama is past. Now of course like everyone, there are some drama filled moments in my life, but it’s much more calm than it used to be. I prefer normal, boring days at the moment. Hanging at home or at a friend’s house is more appealing than bar hopping and getting wasted. Now these things do happen on occasion, but in the grand scheme of things, compared to my mid-twenties I don’t even drink anymore.

I am wondering tonight about friendships, much as I was last night. When I posted “Like attracts Like” I was in a very different mindset then I am right now. Same time of night, same chair and friend’s house, but with a different reality. It bothers me that this is bugging me so much, but someone who was a longtime friend, almost 16 years actually, just unfriended me on Facebook. This is where like repels like.

We have almost the exact same disorder, yet while I like to confront a problem and find its natural solution, my friend likes to pretend the problem has vanished, until she has gotten over it. By that I mean she avoids the source of the issue until she doesn’t remember why she was mad in the first place. It is frustrating, especially if what you really want to do, or what I really want to do is just apologize. So how do you apologize to someone who will not speak to you?

I have tried email, Facebook messages, texting, calling, and even tried buying an apology present. However, I have gotten no response and nine months in I discover the unfriending. Now I shouldn’t care about this, it is just a social networking site, it doesn’t mean anything. However, if it weren’t for her forcing me during my pregnancy to join FB, I wouldn’t be on there at all. Now if I just had anxiety I would take some medication, watch a happy movie and go to bed, but I am blessed with OCD, the kind which causes obsessive thought patterns. So not just my life is Chaotic and Shiny, but so is my brain.

Problems circle around in my brain on an endless loop like a song put on repeat, and it’s always a song that you hate. The questions are all why? Why is it like this? Why can’t I fix this? Why can’t I just move on and not worry about it? This is the one part of my crazy I do not like to embrace because then I can’t sleep. Not that anxiety is particularly fun to embrace; these thought patterns are only good for writing. They kill friendships, and my nights become restless. It’s like having a plot stuck in your head you can’t figure out, or a character whose motivations you don’t understand. However, instead of fiction, it is reality.

I try to own up to things which I have done to earn myself the anger of those that I have wronged. In this case however, I am not asking for forgiveness, just a moment so say “hey I’m really sorry this thing happened, and I know that I was in the wrong.” I wouldn’t even ask for another chance, it seems obvious that I’m not getting one. So with my crazy I end another great friendship, but all is not lost.

As I write this I sit with someone who understands me. I spoke earlier with another friend who also understands and speaks her mind. Speaking my mind gets me into trouble, but with a few people I never have to worry about judgments or wrath for being who I am. I screw up and they tell me as much and we move on, all forgiven, if not forgotten. We don’t forget so that we can remind each other of why we shouldn’t do that same thing again. It’s like knowing that you shouldn’t walk in front of a speeding car, but having a friend point it out if you forget. That’s comfort and safety, and support.

So to my friend who will not read this, I am truly sorry. To all others I have hurt I am also sorry. I am not perfect, and I never will be. But I will always be me, and that person still strives to help her friends no matter the situation, or the past. It is difficult for me to write someone out of my life. I just hope that in the end I have not been forever written out of hers.