This is something that has been at the back of my mind for a while now. Mostly because I am now dealing with this very issue. If you go to my post back here I pondered over how to have the freedom to talk about what I feel and believe versus keeping people (family) happy. I wrote this on Sunday and it has been sitting in my drafts. Time to put on my big girl pants and see how long it takes before I bail and take it down.
So, when do you let go of relationships that have broken or faded out?
I spent the first 16 or so years of my life trying to form a bond with a girl that I grew up with. It was one of those relationships that were created at toddler age because your parents were friends. For years I tried to cultivate something real because that was what was expected of me from family and friends. Instead, I just ended up with the girl hanging on to her coat tails. Eventually, she left my city and suddenly after that apparently our friendship had been perfect and amazing and we had been best buddies. Not true. She was, at times incredibly cruel and would straight out reject any acts of sincere friendship. When she left I tried to give her a ring that was really important to me. She laughed at me in front of other people and said she didn’t want it. It’s still in my jewellery box nearly 15 years later. There has been one moment of revenge on a family holiday when she met another girl and they spent the whole time lying to me and running away. Then she and this other girl dropped a bottle of nail polish on the floor of a caravan and there was hell to pay. You shouldn’t remember that sort of thing from when you were 5.
I think that was my first real experience of learning to let go of relationships and most especially those that are forced upon you due to situation or blood. It was good and once I finally admitted it I found a peace with her in a different way. Now we work better as people who think of each other occasionally and message on our birthdays.
My second, and most recent was a cousin. I had grown up with this person and thoroughly adored them. They were confident and hardworking and full of qualities I wished I had. Not anymore. The only words I now have to describe this person are vicious and nasty. We had an incident where I didn’t do something they wanted and within hours of a few nasty emails, I was defriended on Facebook, which is a pathetic and childish move. I tried repeatedly to regain contact and sent emails saying how we need to move on and that I still cared deeply. I never got a single response. This person now has 2 kids and I can’t even tell you their genders or names. And you know what? Losing this person has made no real difference to my life. I wish them the best of luck. I really do and I am truly sorry about the repercussions it had on my family. I will never, ever ask any of my other family to pick sides and the event has never gone further than our immediate families.
This does, however, bring me to a point about the importance of blood versus water. Now if you don’t know already the blood versus water verse is completely misunderstood. The full verse is:
“The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”
This means that accepting and sharing of the blood of the covenant is more important than any relationships born of genetics. Like the pact between blood brothers on the battlefield. Think about it – it does make sense.
I have some controversial opinions on this as I come from a tree that values the importance of family. But when it comes down to it my colleagues know more about my life and probably care a lot more than a lot of my extended family. Should your loyalty really be for the people you see once a year at Christmas who don’t know what you do for a living? Or the friend that is there when you have to cry over a broken relationship? If I am totally honest and to the point of risking the wrath of my family I would probably choose my best friend over a cousin who doesn’t know my boyfriend’s name. I believe that real value lies in the bonds you choose. As I mentioned above with my cousin, just because you share 50% of your genetics it doesn’t mean that person will always care about you. I do have to say that I have a wonderful family and I can rely on them and I can’t judge by one rotten sardine (though this is unfair on the fish).
But then friends aren’t always that much better either. Family will generally always be around should you need them but friends easily come and go.
At the moment I am sitting in a predicament where I don’t know if or how or what to about a long-term relationship that fell apart last year. This is someone I would have done anything for and we have been together for 20 years. Well, I am going to say 19 because the last year doesn’t count. I don’t want to go into it because it hurts far too much, and although the catalyst occurred more than 12 months ago it is still raw.
You can’t see someone twice in a year and really consider each other to be even good friends anymore. So here is the letting go part. I am writing this to find acceptance in the fact that we are no longer best friends. Best friendship requires a level of emotional and physical interaction that no longer exists. This isn’t good enough for me. I have been in a relationship for almost a year now and she knows jack shit about it. That is not okay. My colleagues know more. though in fairness, my boyfriend and I work together and everyone is invested in our relationship. Mostly my boss is just desperate to have tall, blonde, mixed-race, potentially models for godchildren*.
So I am letting go of a relationship that will probably consist of the odd birthday message and possibly interacting and events organised by mutual friends. I will relabel and find a new space for it.
It is hard to choose in the end, looking at what I have written. Who do you really on? Because no matter what your relationship, at the end of the day everyone is out for themselves. Regardless of how strong any relationship is there is always going to be something else that is more important than you – a bigger draw.
So my conclusion is this. Friends and family won’t always be there for you all the time. They will come and go in your life and you just need to decide on who you rely on at the time. It’s circumstantial. Right now I trust 4 people: my parents, my partner and one friend. No one of them is perfect, but rather they all have a place in my support group. So my conclusion is that once you accept that nothing is set in stone and you don’t cling on, it is going to be much easier to just let it go.
*FYI I am not model material at all. My boyfriend is just tall and she says that all mixies are beautiful.