Have you ever been dumped by a friend or been the dumper of a friend??.
Friendships can be very complex, as we make our way through our teens & twenties, we quite often have a lot of friends who we socialise with & unfortunately most of us have had experiences with toxic friends and narcissistic friendships which can be very difficult to terminate. In my personal experience, you have usually weeded out the majority of the friendships which are not mutually pleasing by your late twenties to early thirties, no offence to these people, but circumstances present themselves that make some friendships impossible to maintain. This quite often happens naturally, people go in different directions in life, move cities, work long hours, have children and make new friendships. For those who don’t organically weed out their friendships through time, leads to my question, how do you end a friendship?. Other than having a fight and not speaking again?. How do you end a friendship that appears to be a good friendship but one party isn’t feeling the love for whatever reason?. If it was a romantic relationship, the majority of people would sit down their partner and discuss that they no longer wish to be with that person anymore and that is perfectly acceptable and in my personal opinion, a polite way to handle the situation whilst still treating the person with respect. This may be the way it’s done in romantic relationships but in friendships it’s usually just one party dropping off & not returning phone calls and cancelling plans etc. It is a drawn-out process. I am a no-nonsense person and I would have much more respect for someone who confronted me with honesty, although very hurtful, at least you have closure and know where you stand with someone.
This leads me to a personal experience I had with a friend breaking up with me. Rochelle was the partner of one of my good male friends, who I had been friends with since my late teens. Initially Rochelle and I didn’t have a great deal to do with each other, just at group social outings and the such and I always liked her. The majority of our friendship group didn’t, but I made the effort for my friend, her partner, and found that I genuinely liked her.
As our 20’s passed by the fun nights out drinking until all hours and having loads of fun and going on overseas holidays started slowing down as we all started partnering off & planning families etc. Rochelle and I were pregnant with our first babies together and this really cemented our friendship. We were no longer friends via her partner and my mate, we were friends in our own right. She was a couple of months ahead of me in her pregnancy but we were both so happy to be pregnant and would spend hours talking all things baby; routines, breast feeding, names etc. We would also regularly go out for dinner with our husbands together and we would talk about everything baby. By this stage we were in contact quite a lot, texting almost daily, especially when Rochelle gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl. I was so happy for her and her husband and couldn’t wait for my twins to enter the world, which they did 3 or 4 months later. I remember bringing them home from hospital having no idea of how to make up a bottle of formula (the hospital I gave birth at were VERY pro breast feeding) so who was the first person I called?, Rochelle of course!!. We were always asking each other for advice and comparing anecdotes. We would also meet up quite regularly for ‘play dates’ or for meals together with our husbands. We also went on a fantastic family holiday to The Gold Coast with our hubbies and kids and had a fantastic time. We took the babies to a theme park, took them swimming and Rochelle and I snuck off for an afternoon of pampering child free, it was bliss. I was sad to return home.
Not long after this holiday, Rochelle fell pregnant with their second baby which meant there wasn’t going to be much of an age gap between their children. In the mean time, my husband and I were organising a naming day for our twins and when discussing god parents, Rochelle and Craig were obvious choices. As previously mentioned, Craig and I had been mates since we were 18 and always had a great friendship and Rochelle and I were thick as thieves so they were the obvious choice (along with my brother and his wife). Although not religious, I still think that God Parents should be quite involved in your children’s life (as Rochelle and Craig were) and it’s almost like an honorary Aunty and Uncle position.
Life continued on and Rochelle gave birth to their second baby, a gorgeous little boy. Once again I was so happy for her and Craig. We continued to meet up regularly and text often.
One day I received a message from her telling me that her and Craig were separating. I was overseas at the time but continued to communicate via text message and rang her as soon as we arrived home. Understandably she was quite upset and also very sleep deprived with two kids under 2. I wanted to help her, but I had my hands full with two 18-month olds & she understood that. My husband and I did what we could to help and were very good to her during this time.
Our friendship continued for another 18 months and then I found out I was pregnant. To say my husband and I were shocked was an understatement because we were not trying but we were over the moon with happiness. Rochelle and I had recently met up for a child free pamper session and brunch and were talking about kids and I told her I was finished. I had a pidgeon pair of twins & was happy to leave it there. I rang her to give her the news that I was pregnant and she was shocked, but very happy for us. By this time, she had moved back to the city she grew up in which was approx an hour to an hour & a half from where we lived but we had been up to visit her a few times and we would meet up when she was in Melbourne, but the majority of contact was now via text messages.
The first 12 weeks of my pregnancy passed by pretty easily, except for the tiredness & the hunger!!. Unfortunately, things took a turn for worse and after two physically & psychologically draining months, my baby boy was born too early to survive. (I have written a separate blog about this experience, you can find it here http://theperfectlyimperfectmummy.com.au/2018/08/13/infant-loss-my-own-personal-experience/). As you can imagine, it was a very traumatic experience and I was quite unwell afterwards, both physically and psychologically. No one expects to plan a funeral for their baby. Rochelle text me to see how I was and was also kind enough to send me flowers. She had said she would come to the funeral, but I knew it would be difficult for her because of the travel time (potentially 2-3 hours both ways dependant on traffic) and childcare pick- ups etc. By this stage Craig had re-partnered and he and his new partner were going to be at the funeral so I was aware that it could be potentially awkward for Rochelle. To be perfectly honest, these are all after thoughts and maybe excuses I made for her. The week between my son’s death & his funeral, I wasn’t thinking of any of the above. I was just trying to keep my head above water and make it through each day the best I could. It was a very traumatic time.
Throughout this time Craig and I had maintained our friendship. He is someone I will be friends with until the day I die. My husband and I had decided to ask him, along with my best friend, to do a reading at the funeral. My best female friend & my best male friend. The funeral went off without a hitch & the service was heartbreakingly beautiful and all of our close friends and family attended. It wasn’t until afterwards, that I realised Rochelle hadn’t been in attendance. I wasn’t upset with her. I knew what her circumstances were although I thought she may have sent me a message to tell me she wouldn’t be attending. Unfortunately, it’s when you are at your absolute lowest point that you see the true colours of people.
The next few weeks went by in a bit of a blur and I noticed that Rochelle had taken a hiatus from Facebook so continued texting and we made tentative plans to catch up on a few weeks. I knew she was busy immersing herself in the new community she had moved to and was making friends with other mums and trying to move on from her divorce. It all came crashing to a halt one day when someone revealed to me that she was still on Facebook, if this was the case why couldn’t I see her?, because she had blocked me!!! WTF??. She had made the decision that she no longer wanted to be friends with me. So rather than be an adult and speak to me about it, she started by giving me the cold shoulder by not going to my son’s funeral, next by blocking me on Facebook and because I’m pretty slow on the uptake at times I had no idea, yet she continued to answer my text messages and communicate with me until I was clever enough to realise that she no longer wanted to be my friend. To say I was hurt was an understatement and I just couldn’t believe that she could be so cold. She just kicked me to the curb at a time when I needed her friendship the most. I was experiencing the most awful grief, was dangerously anaemic (so quite unwell) and just so bloody sad & heart-broken and although my husband was absolutely wonderful during this time and so supportive, he had his own grief and trauma. He’d had to witness a very traumatic birth of which we knew the outcome was going to be our child dying, so understandably he was struggling too. I just wanted to put my head down on a female friend’s shoulder and talk about the birth & cry my eyes out. Lucky Rochelle wasn’t my only friend because as it turns out she actually wasn’t my friend at all. What hurts me the most about this situation was her deceptiveness and dishonesty. We had shared so much with each other over the last couple of years and I stuck by her side during her separation, which could have been to the detriment of my friendship with Craig but luckily wasn’t. I was also very loyal, defending her endlessly. If you don’t want to be my friend, grow a set and just tell me. I’m quite a tough cookie and I’m sure I could take it and as previously mentioned, I would have respected the honesty.
The moral to this very long story, is that some people aren’t worth your tears, even if they have no conscience, courage or are just plain gutless and you have to find out in the worst way possible. Granted, everybody is walking their own path in this life and different circumstances, lead to different outcomes. Celebrate the beautiful friends and family who are in your corner, focus on those that love you and love them back and also focus your time and energy on those who bring joy to your life. I am very blessed to have wonderful friends & family and for that I am eternally grateful.
Thanks for reading.