It’s weird how time changes things. Growing up, my childhood trauma and codependency lead me to establish friendships that weren’t always meant for my higher good. I’m an only girl and being an only girl had me looking for sisterhood anywhere I could find it. As a young girl, I was always looking for acceptance and validation … but that wasn’t always what I found.
I remember every connection I’ve ever had with certain individuals with whom I’ve considered to be a friend. There are so many times where I begin to miss them and take a trip down memory lane but these memories also caused me to remember the disrespect.
In the past, I’ve tolerated the highest levels of bullshit and disrespect for the sake of keeping a friend. Trust me, I had all of the excuses for these ain’t shit friends:
”They didn’t mean it.”
”They said they were sorry.”
”We’ve known each other for so long.”
Nikkie’s Thoughts said it best, “Time don’t mean shit! Time is a man made concept. You can meet someone tomorrow who has better intentions and supports you wholeheartedly more than somebody you’ve known all your life.”
I had to learn to accept this harsh reality because I was keeping too many people around straight off of longevity and the love I had for them. Things always started off good in the beginning. We’d hang out and have a good time. We’d laugh and share jokes. Hell, we’d even partake in some gossip together. Soon after, the tables turn and now you’re the topic of conversation when you aren’t around. You start noticing differences in behavior towards you when y’all are around other people. Snide comments are made about your achievements or they’re disguised in sarcastic compliments. You’re left out of certain events and outings because “they forgot” or “they didn’t think you’d want to go.” You realize you’re the one always reaching out and once you decide to no longer extend the effort, y’all no longer speak.
I can’t say how many times this has happened to me in my life. I’ve honestly lost count. I used to grieve and mourn as if I’d just ended a romantic relationship. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized not everyone you lose is a loss. These friendships had to happen and they had to end because I wasn’t holding them or myself accountable. These “friends” were only doing to me what I allowed. As I grew and matured, my tolerance for half-assed friendships lessened and my friendship circles grew smaller.
I’ve experienced my share of friendship heartbreaks, one being recent, and the impact still weighs heavy on my heart to this day. I’ve had people whose opinions I’ve valued point out unhealthy behavior and toxicity in the past that I completely ignored. When you think you know someone, you feel there’s no one who can speak about them to you. Unfortunately, true colors tend to show when situations change. I think as our stories unfold and we write our chapters, never do we think that someone we considered a friend would be written as a villain.
I recently attended a retreat called The Mending Space where I met and connected with women I had never met before. With these women, I felt safe. It was there where I learned that your true friends must provide you with a safe space. Space to be yourself, space to release without judgment, and space to be vulnerable. Friendships are a different version of love. If you can’t comfortably tell your friends you love them or receive it back, spare yourself the heartbreak.
Venture out. Build new connections. Establish healthy boundaries. Love yourself first and everyone else second. Don’t hold or carry any hate in your heart because it’s too heavy of a burden for YOU to bear. Hell, I still have love for old friends as I had loved them before. So to wrap this up, shout out to those “friends.” I still wish the best for you. I still have love for you.
Stay away from me though.
What makes you a good friend is not doing something that you know will intentionally hurt another person.