For a while now, I have wanted to talk about friendships, especially the toxic ones. Personally, I have suffered through toxic relationships and maybe you have too. Maybe you are not sure if you’re friends with a toxic person or maybe you need encouragement to leave a toxic relationship. For those who have severed ties with toxic friends and are having second thoughts, let me assure you that you did the right thing. It may not feel like it at the moment but it was the right thing.
You may have received the viral message on WhatsApp last week about a young man who was murdered by his friends. I should not say young man, because he was seventeen. So really, a teenager whose life was cut too short due to envy. When I saw and heard about this tragedy I was deeply saddened. I asked questions that will probably never be answered. Did he suspect they were envious of him? What were his last thoughts? Was he happy he took his friends out? One thing is for sure, if he knew his friends were going to kill him, he’d have ditched them a long time ago.
All of this caused me to remember all the relationships that I have had to leave. I did have a friend of six years (at least I thought we were friends) who apparently thought we were in a competition. It took me all those years to see it but that’s not even the relationship I’m going to talk about today. I’m going to share with you some bits of a relationship I ended last year. All in all, we were friends for four years and I became friends with this person at a very vulnerable stage of my life. After like six months, I started to notice some things. When I needed her, she would never be there. If I hung out with my other friends, she would be upset but when I freed up my time for her, she would literally ignore me. Then there were the mind games she played. You know how it feels like the other person is mad at you about something and then they go ahead to give you the silent treatment? And then when you confront them about it, they flat out deny it and act like you are crazy? She did that all the time! So I would begin to doubt myself and wonder if I was just reading meaning into stuff that wasn’t there. But I was sure in my gut.
When these things started happening I kept asking myself ‘how did we get here? When did she become like that?’ Because she definitely was not that way when I met her or i’d have walked the other way. What part did I play in the problems we now had?Fast forward three years later, we moved into the same apartment to save costs. In that year we lived together, our friendship crumbled and honestly, it was for the best. It became clear to me that she was emotionally unavailable and she didn’t care. At first I thought I could help her; you know, fix her. Boy was I wrong! It got to a point that I didn’t want to come home and I was not at peace at all. I knew I had to pull away from her real fast. I was so bitter to the point that I could not take Holy Communion at church because I was so mad at her. I didn’t want to feel that way. Besides, it wasn’t a marriage, so why was I holding on to her as though we were bound for life? Now that was the big question; why was I holding on to that relationship? I had so many chances to end it but I didn’t. Although it took me months to answer that question, it was a turning point in my life.