You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. And chose them wisely I did. Prioritising quality over quantity, the friendships I celebrate and maintain are the ones where the relationship is effortless, give and take is the norm and we are united by love and respect.
One particular friendship has deteriorated over time. I am only just coming out of a period of doubt, low self-esteem and you should never kick someone when they are down. She did, about a year ago and I remember being pushed into a corner filled with despair. I attended a stress management course last year and explained to my counsellor that every time I met this friend thereafter, I experience a form of PTSD. My counsellor asked why I continued to invest in the friendship – you see, I have known her other half for many years. He was one of my first friends in London and is one of those people you would be lucky to have in your life – caring, considerate and just lovely. I felt compelled to continue with this friendship, otherwise I risked losing him. A brother I wished I had, if you will.
But I couldn’t shake off the PTSD. Against my better judgement, I invited them over for dinner last Saturday. I spent three hours cooking and my husband helped tidy up the house. Throughout the day, I was in a state of panic – worrying about what she was going to say to me. I was filled with negative energy and kept trying to remind myself that what I focus on expands. Did I manifest a disastrous evening?
Well she didn’t disappoint. Verbal attacks commenced very soon over dinner. I stood my ground politely, and I saw how uncomfortable our husbands looked. When the next attack happened, I softened my stance out of consideration for my own husband – and carried on tidying up and putting away the dishes. I avoided eye contact and wished they would leave. I felt assaulted.
I betrayed myself. This was one relationship I should have severed 2 years ago. I should never have let her in again, and to be verbally assaulted in my own home, after I had spent hours cooking and making the house comfortable for their visit.
My husband and I both love our friend (the other half), but this is just not a healthy relationship to pursue.
A good friendship is meant to be nourishing for the soul, not detrimental.
And so, as I put an end to this friendship, I wish them well. Always.