How do you break up with a friend?

 How do you break up with a friend? I guess it depends on the friendship and your personal communication skills; or lack of.

Recent experience has put me in a few different spaces. I have made a few friends in the process of my children’s befriending people. This doesn’t always work out so well. Often the kid’s parents have nothing in common with you and it is just plain awkward. Sometimes they are assholes, and unless you were three sheets to the wind on a barstool you wouldn’t even talk to them. There is the rare occasion you find a mom or dad that you just connect with. Your parenting skills may be similar and they may not suck to be around. 

For instance, The Girl’s best friend right now—I love her Mother. We are very different and don’t have similar lives or backgrounds, but we gel. We laugh a lot and we play up each other’s strengths.

The Girl’s oldest friend, this is where the trouble is, I also love the Mom. She is a strong, down to earth woman. She has traveled, immigrated and has very interesting stories. But The Girl doesn’t want to be friends with her daughter anymore. It isn’t all bad, I think their friendship may have just come to an impasse.

{That happens, but I don’t need to get too involved in that}

I didn’t originally want to break up with the Mom. I‘ve responded to a few texts and emails, and then I just stopped responding. It just sort of happened, which is almost worse than “breakup by text. I don’t want to hurt or offend anybody so I continue to feign apathy. Miss Carry always says, “Ask for what you want”. But that too is easier said than done, as I am not real good with that line of communication. Quite childish for a girl my age.

{Who knows, maybe it was a relationship based on convenience, that too is a common ground for us moms}

In a totally different scenario, I have a childhood friend that I recently broke up with; employing the same amount of interpersonal and communication skills. Over the past twenty some odd years, she and I have bounced off each other. True, our lives became very different when she had kids in her teens, marrying her then boyfriend and moving to the country.

{Actually, the armpit of the state, but considering all the geese czaczko she has in her house I’ll call it country—ick!}

I continued to nurse this friendship and watched as her kids grew and her husband cheated on her; while she proceeded to gain two hundred pounds. She is an amazingly dedicated and loyal mom and wife.

Throughout our lengthy relationship, I repeatedly apologized for my choices of men, drugs and booze. I apologized for political choices; defending my right to choose about childbirth or abortion and my choice to circumcise or not my son.

Over the past two years I have had some of the most challenging choices to make in my life and at my lowest point, I called her to share and have somebody who knows me listen to my story. We spoke and I cried. I cried because I was sad and I cried because I was happy I could speak without “back story”. We talked for an hour. I was in a parking lot of course. She has not called me since.

{Who really broke up with who}

Maybe I was the last liberal straw that broke her back. I really want to be mean and bitchy. I want to call her all the names she has been calling me for all of these years. Yesterday, I almost emailed our other friend from childhood to say, “by the way…”

I haven’t done any of that. Apathy is working in my favor because quite frankly our friendship is a perfect example of why I should let The Girl decide now, when and why she doesn’t want to be friends with somebody. It is a hard lesson when you have invested so many years.

Which brings me to Miss Carry. A new friendship—built over the past year, under and with circumstances in both of our lives of which are out of our control. We have similar likes and dislikes yet we have very different backgrounds. We are both big dreamers and both trying to find our places in the Universe. She and I are different in so many ways; yet we don’t judge one another.

I think I am working on a grown up version of my old friend. It’s not always easy; as people live their lives, have different opinions and experiences. At some point we need to take the leap and be true to ourselves. Let the qualities and character defects shine brightly and learn to accept that we are faulted and gifted in so many perfect ways. It is then that we will experience love and friendship fully and wholeheartedly.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” –Rumi

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