*I can’t take credit for this concept as it was a friend who pointed it out but I am not naming her in here for privacy reasons.  She will know who she is.

I think I have been breaking up with a friend I care immensely for.  Just typing it is making me tear up because I have never said it before.  In fact, I think my body and inner brain have known it for well over a year but the rest of me just could not catch up.  Not because of ignorance but because the truth of it has been just so preposterous to believe.

A few years ago, I needed help with something.  It was a significant and embarrassing ask but humility was all I had at that time.  There was no other way to survive and I am a survivor, if nothing else.  So if it comes down to having to embarrass myself, I am not too good for that.

I knew I would do anything at all to return the favor in the future when everything got cleared up and I would cherish this friend the way I did the ones I grew up with.  I would keep every secret she shared with me.

What I didn’t know at the time…what I don’t think she even knew at the time is there would be a price.  When she started making fun of me and talking behind my back, I could say I didn’t know until recently but I knew at least a year ago just based on something I heard that no one else would have known.  I convinced myself there had to be another explanation and kept moving forward.  I think I also felt that I deserved it …a payment for the big favor.  I wasn’t in a position to complain or ask to be treated differently.  In my mind, I thought I deserved whatever I got.

After too many of these “coincidences” over the course of the year, the evidence is like a bonfire  on my coffee table.  I just can’t ignore it, nor can I get control of and put it out.

My friend is not a bad person, I don’t think.  She has the best laugh I have ever heard.  She is ridiculously funny and wants to bring joy to difficult situations.  She has had a hard life and is making a really good one for herself and family now.  I don’t think she means harm when she picks on people or sells them out.  I think she thinks she is doing something good in a manipulative situation.  And I think she thinks the “bad” deeds can be quickly canceled by a quick good deed that is completely unrelated.  I think she has been led to believe this works, that this is strength.

And I miss her so much.  But I do not deserve this treatment even though she did something amazing for me at one time.  Any funny moment or compliment in front of the right people  doesn’t undo any of this.  At least that’s not how I think Karma is supposed to work.

I am angry.  Betrayed.  Embarrassed.  And yet, most of all, I feel these things more of myself for admitting I know this is happening than I do for her having put us in this situation.  I miss her.  But I am being me now, the person I couldn’t be a few years ago.  I am the person who does believe in myself….who knows my self worth and stands up for it.  I can admit my mistakes.  I hold myself to my original standards of integrity I took a short break from awhile back.  And I know when the balance of penance has gone too far and I don’t need to keep self flagellating.  It’s done.  I have paid for it 10 times over.  And losing this friendship means I will continue paying for it in different ways for years to come.