As I shared here, I ended a nine-year friendship at the end of August. We didn’t have some big discussion in which we said we weren’t going to be friends anymore. Instead, she blew up over something stupid, and instead of reining things in by playing my role, as I always did before, I said, “F#$% it,” and discontinued contact.
The dysfunctional pattern was that it was my job to make her feel better and reassure her that she is “in charge” of the friendship. I’m done with that. If there isn’t room in a friendship for me to be myself, then I don’t want the friendship. Period.
Unfortunately, the ex-friend transferred her daughter to my son’s tiny private school, so there is no way that we are going to avoid seeing each other. Ironically, her daughter gets along with my son just fine (and that’s what her blow up was over), and her daughter still adores me. The three of us are fine – it’s just the ex-friend who is “out.” Both of our children stay for the afterschool homework program, which is how I continue to see her daughter. She always greets me with a huge smile on her face.
So far, I have managed to avoid seeing the ex-friend. Twice I have been driving out of the parking lot while she was pulling in. Thankfully, we have yet to overlap in pickup time.
Yesterday, I picked up my son early from the afterschool program to take him to get a flu shot. We then went to Target to reward him for getting a shot. As we were leaving Target, the ex-friend’s daughter came running up to us, squealing in delight to be bumping into us. I purposely did not look in the direction from which she came, knowing that my ex-friend would be there. My son, however, did look. He said that she gave a look of disgust as if she couldn’t understand why her daughter would like us. Then, she walked into the store as if she didn’t even know her daughter. Whatever.
I am relieved to get the first “run in” over with so I can quit dreading it. I figured that she would ignore me and pretend that I don’t exist, but now that has been confirmed. It’s high school all over again. Goody.
It’s just as well. I, personally, would prefer to be able to say hello and goodbye like two mature adults, but I can do the “I don’t know you even though I know all of your secrets” thing, too. It’s so stupid.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt