I'm learning, finally, to separate my issues from those that don't belong to me. What is to be done with accusations from someone you care about, and called friend? Normally I would soak up the negative attitude towards me, and the accusations, as if they had to be true because someone else was saying them. It's as if I've not allowed myself to ever stand up for myself against lies told against me, because I automatically assumed that if I were being accused of something, I must be guilty.
I know plenty about guilt, especially false guilt. The stepfather was an expert at dumping guilt on others. I suppose that was his way of steering clear of dealing with his own issues and yes, his own very real guilt.
When someone, over the course of years, develops the habit of emotionally and verbally beating you up, at some point you need to take stock and decide if you are willing to have this person continue to abuse you. Is it worth it, just to keep the friendship going? And is it truly a friendship by any definition of the word if you are always the one who is wrong, and they are always right?
I didn't realize, until my friend very abruptly ended our friendship, that having her back in my life, after a few years of estrangement, had been burdensome to me. One of the first things she did upon reentering my life was to friend me on FB, and then about a week later to suggest we no longer be FB friends because I'd posted something she didn't agree with.
I didn't know that friends had to agree about everything. It was easier to unfriend her, if that's what made her happy, than to argue about it. But too often I've had to be the one to take a few steps back, and change who I am in order to measure up to some invisible standard she seems to have for friendship.
It's a revelation to me that you can care about someone, but still let go. You can wish them well, and not bear any ill will towards them, but still be okay with them bowing out of your world.
I've only had a couple of friends in my entire lifetime who made me feel inferior by the way in which they treated me. I'm getting too old to deal with having to defend myself every time I turn around, and I suspect friendship isn't meant to be that way. That's too much like how my stepdad was, and also a number of men I've been involved with in the past.
I'm figuring this life out as I go, just as I imagine everyone else is doing. I feel that I've learned a lot from everyone I've ever been close to, and for that reason I can't regret having known any of them. But oh the freedom of giving myself permission to not persue someone who no longer esteems me--if they ever did.
I'm stronger than I used to be. I can continue on this path I'm on with or without those I once called friends. And I can continue loving those who, for whatever reason, have chosen to move forward without me.