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Thread: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    This is an interesting article from The Guardian. I wonder how many Avalon members have had this experience?
    When a good friend cuts you out of their life, it can be as devastating as the end of a romance. How should you cope?

    It was after several weeks of unanswered messages to an old friend that Andrew, 53, finally decided to call the police. Jimmy, his friend of 40 years, had not been in touch since Andrew had messaged to say he was unable to spend Jimmy’s birthday with him due to work commitments. Andrew hadn’t thought much of the radio silence at first, but then it struck him that something might be up.

    “I thought, ‘This is a bit weird,’” Andrew tells me, shaking his head. “Then I was scared that something had happened to him, that he’d died or was in some terrible black hole. There was no one else I could call to say, ‘Have you seen him?’ He’d moved to a new town where he didn’t know anyone.

    “Eventually I emailed him and said, ‘Look, if you’ve cut me out of your life, I understand, and fair enough, that’s your choice, but I’m executor of your will, you must let me know if you’re OK or I’m going to have to call the police. I don’t know how I’m going to find you. You could be in a ditch.’ And I said, ‘I love you, I care about you.’”

    Andrew told Jimmy that the police were overstretched as it was, without looking for “stupid sods” like him, and asked for just one word from him to say that he was OK. Nothing. So Andrew called the police, fearing the worst. But when they went round to his house, Jimmy was fine. He had simply decided to cut Andrew out of his life.

    “We’d been through so much together,” Andrew says. “All the punctuation marks of life: best man at my wedding, we carried each other’s parents’ coffins. We’ve been there for each other’s heartbreaks. We’ve been friends through puberty, through first relationships, through failing exams, university. To lose that overnight feels like having a limb cut off.”

    I’ve asked Andrew about his friendship breakup, or friend dumping (frumping, perhaps? We don’t have a language for the experience yet), because the same thing recently happened to me. A friend of almost a decade decided to cut me out last year. She said she “needed time” after a silly argument on WhatsApp that, to my mind, wasn’t worth falling out over, and rebuffed all my attempts to get in contact, as well as an apology (not reciprocated).

    When she finally responded to me, it was to say that we hadn’t been that close anyway. When I tried to rescue the friendship to no avail, and realised it was over, I was stunned by how much it hurt. Why don’t people talk about this?

    “I was devastated,” says Patricia, 61, who “broke up” with a friend of 17 years after an argument on Patricia’s birthday six years ago. “They say you shouldn’t cry on your birthday, and it’s true: your birthday is when people ought to be nice to you. Her anger towards me came out of the blue.”

    The friend had been snappy and distant. “I said to her, ‘I value your friendship. Why are you treating me like this?’ And she said: ‘Your friends find you hard work.’ Which was awful. If she’d said, ‘I find you hard work’, I could have dealt with it, but suddenly dragging in other people and implying they’d been talking about me was so hurtful. I was terribly upset. I went for a walk. It was sleeting and I was crying. I just howled.”

    A Finnish study in 2016 found that men and women make more and more friends until the age of 25, when the numbers begin falling rapidly and continue to fall throughout the rest of a person’s life. Factors such as moving house or falling in love can act as catalysts – one Oxford study found that falling in love can cost you two close friends. Having close friendships is consistently linked to better physical and mental health yet, according to Relate, one in eight adults have no close friends at all.

    Friendships end frequently – Utrecht University sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst asked 604 adults about their friendships, and returned to interview them seven years later. Most had replaced half of their friends, and only 30% of the subjects’ close friends remained close. We know conceptually that you can’t hang on to all the same friends throughout your life, or maintain the same number of friendships when things such as work and children get in the way, yet losing a friend can still come as a shock.

    “If a sexual relationship breaks down, there’s punctuation there,” Andrew says. “That’s a full stop. You stop having sex, you stop living together, if that’s what you’ve been doing. There’s all this protocol, painful as it is. But there’s none of that when friendships stop because there’s nothing to disentangle. So you’re left alone, and you have to fill in the gaps yourself, replaying all of those conversations you’ve had. Things you might have done or said that landed as a slight on this person. Or were there signs?”

    Technology has made it even easier to dump friends. “Ghosting” – simply ceasing to communicate with a person without explaining why – allows people to avoid difficult conversations and simply phase a friend out of their life.

    “I think it’s a lot to do with how we communicate now,” says Marianne, 46. “Face-to-face screaming rows don’t tend to happen. It’s very easy to break up via text message, which is what happened to me. We’d been friends for 20 years.”

    Marianne was unemployed at the time and, by her own admission, volatile (like all the other people I speak to, she has spent a long time picking over what she may have done wrong). Her friend was a very high earner, while Marianne was going through a very low period after losing her job. “She sent me a platitudinous text. I sent her a really cross text – this had obviously been building up – saying, ‘I don’t think you really understand the situation.’ I was really sensitive. I said, ‘Is it a status thing, because all your friends are really successful?’

    “She said, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way.’ And I said, ‘Can we talk about it?’ Nothing. And I sent texts, maybe an email, over the next couple of months, and… This is the most petty thing, she unfollowed me on LinkedIn.” The end of the friendship devastated Marianne. “I dreamed about her. Still do, sometimes,” she smiles sadly. “As the years pass, I think about her on my birthday, on her birthday. When my mother died. Those are the worst times.

    “I sent her a text message in July 2015 on the 10th anniversary of 7/7, because we had known someone who died, just saying, ‘I was thinking about you today.’ And I got a ‘thanks’. That was it.”

    “When it comes to friendship breakups, I think there’s no real difference emotionally between them and the breakup of a serious relationship, or potentially even the death of someone,” says Dave, 32, who has lost two friends, one of a decade, another of 15 years. “For me, the emotional impact has been the same. It’s the grief of knowing you’re not going to see or speak to that person again; the adjustment to a new reality in which that person is no longer a part of your life.”

    It’s no wonder it hurts so much. “We choose our friends, firstly, whereas with family we can’t choose them,” says Weekend’s advice columnist Annalisa Barbieri, to whom I recount the whole sorry tale of my frumping (it’s not going to catch on, is it?). “Because we choose them, we tend to go for things we really like in people, or that we need. And therefore, when they end, it’s more catastrophic.”

    It is bad enough to have a friendship end after all those years, I say, but when you’re dumped and there is no real reason given, it can be even worse. “It’s the not knowing,” she agrees. “It’s like when a boyfriend doesn’t ring you. The pain is easier to cope with when you’re not left endlessly analysing.”

    Dave finds it easier to understand the loss of one friend than the other. “The person in question was having a rough time, and had decided I was not a good enough friend to him. There were a lot of mental health issues bound up in that, which made it in some ways easier – you can’t hold something against someone when they can’t control it – but that didn’t make it any less painful. The other was someone who dated a mutual friend, and when they broke up decided they didn’t want to see the friends who knew both of the people involved. That one I was less impressed with.”

    Liz Pryor is the author of What Did I Do Wrong? What to Do When You Don’t Know Why the Friendship Is Over. Her emphasis is on female friendships, which she says are the ones overwhelmingly affected by this phenomenon, though she estimates that around 10% of men experience it, too. “It’s devastating to lose a historical friendship – anything over two years, where you really did rely upon each other emotionally,” she says.

    “There’s the receiver and there is the dumper. The two points of view are so incredibly opposed. The girl who is dumped says, ‘It was out of nowhere, I had no idea.’ But when you talk to the person on the other side, that person typically says they have been accumulating things that have been bothering them over time.”

    Often, the reason cited for ending a friendship seems trivial. “What you learn is, it’s of course never that one single event,” Pryor says. “That straw is just the last straw for one person, and the first straw for the poor person who is being dumped, because they have no idea.”

    Long-running friendships are so multilayered and complex that boiling them down to one factor for the breakup is pretty much impossible. Maybe that is why some people choose just to cut and run, rather than untangle it all. Pryor says that women tend not to call out their friends on the things that bother them, while when it’s a partner hurting us or pissing us off in some way, we don’t hesitate. This is certainly true of my experience with my friend. I never spoke to her directly about the things she did that hurt me, and I suspect that she did the same with me.

    “The dumper claims that it is the kinder thing to do to you, which is really twisted,” Pryor adds. “That’s cruelly devastating. We expect to be dumped by lovers – society prepares us – but not by our friends.”

    As well as the heartbreak, there is also the embarrassment. I ask Marianne why she thinks it isn’t talked about more, and her answer resonates: “I don’t tell anybody who doesn’t know me well about it. My boyfriend doesn’t know. It’s about not wanting to put people off.”

    “It’s a stigma,” Patricia says. “You worry that other people will think there’s something wrong with you. When your friends are picking holes in you, you don’t think, ‘Maybe it’s my choice of friends that’s led to this.’ You start to think, ‘Maybe this means that I’m a horrible person.’”

    Patricia realises now that, in fact, this was not the case at all. “Other friends have been really supportive. They can play a really strong part. It can bring you closer.”

    There tends to follow a lot of doubt and self-criticism. I worried for weeks that I was a bad friend, and am struck by the way the people I speak to focus on their own faults. Patricia calls herself tactless, Marianne recriminatory. Andrew wonders if he secretly enjoyed being the emotionally resilient one in the friendship, there to dispense advice, while his friend struggled. “I think taking some agency is really important,” he says. “You can’t just say, ‘It’s their fault because I’m perfect.’ It’s really disabling not to claim any responsibility for anything.”

    For my own part, I have certainly found that talking about it has helped me come to terms with the end of my friendship. “At the end of the day, all interaction with people comes down to communication,” Barbieri says. “If you can’t communicate with them, you can only ever do your bit. Imagine you are going to visit someone in prison and there is that heavy glass between you. You can only go up to the glass. That’s the only bit you have control over. Beyond the glass is their 50% of it.”

    I take comfort in the fact that I have tried my utmost to make things right – I have gone up to the glass. I resolve to focus on the great friendships that I do have, and vow never to be like this towards someone myself. “It’s never the right thing to leave a person you have loved and cared about wondering for the rest of their lives what happened,” Pryor says. “We have a duty to honour the incredible impact and value of our friendships. I say the same thing about friendship as I do about marriage. The best thing you can do is put your focus on the kind of wife you want to be, as opposed to the kind of husband you wish he were.”

    “I think we should be a bit kinder to each other,” Marianne says, sadly. “We are very self-centred. The fact that we keep hurting people shows that we think life is going to last for ever. But what if the world ended? Why throw away a friendship?”

    When friendships end: how to minimise the pain
    • Look at the big picture
    Try to understand what has happened, including looking at your own behaviour, but do not descend into self-loathing. “Consider the possibility that there is a reason that has nothing to do with you,” life advice expert Liz Pryor says. She cites examples of people who have found out years later that something entirely unknown had been going on in their friend’s life at the time, which influenced the split.
    • Talk about it
    Consider therapy if you are struggling to cope. Talking about it can really help.
    • Try to take control of the situation
    If you are the one who has been dumped, and you feel there is nothing more you can do to salvage the friendship, it can help to call time on it yourself. Annalisa Barbieri suggests saying, “This is the last email I am going to send you”, as it can make you feel in control. If they do not want to communicate, you can’t make them.
    • Focus on acceptance
    Sometimes, people move on, and historic friendships can become incompatible. Perhaps you remind your ex-friend of a former life from which they are trying to distance themselves. Be honest with yourself, and ask why you were friends with that person in the first place. What were you getting out of it? Was it all on their terms?
    • Be open
    If you are doing the dumping, be more forthcoming. “I cannot tell you the hurt feelings that come from not saying anything. I know it’s uncomfortable,” Pryor says, “but you have to accept that you are ending something that another person is a part of.”

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    Canada Avalon Member DeDukshyn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Easier to just not have any ... I don't really like most people anyway. lol.
    When you are one step ahead of the crowd, you are a genius.
    Two steps ahead, and you are deemed a crackpot.

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    I know there is a sister in my life who I had to do this to, after years of emotional wrangling. My aunt said trying to love her was as futile as trying to fill the Grand Canyon with water, one cup at a time. It just wasn't going to happen. She was always the victim, no matter what.

    For the longest time, I could not wrap my head around the fact that a close blood relative could be so different from me. It took so long and almost 50 years, but I finally just had to cut it. To this day if she called and said she'd changed, I'd listen. But I would still have to act in favor of my destiny.

    I sure miss the idea of her.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    For the longest time, I could not wrap my head around the fact that a close blood relative could be so different from me. It took so long and almost 50 years, but I finally just had to cut it. To this day if she called and said she'd changed, I'd listen. But I would still have to act in favor of my destiny.

    I sure miss the idea of her.
    Val, this thread might be interesting to you:

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    United States Avalon Member Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    OMG, Valerie, I've had to deal with a couple professional victims in my life and...oh my, what a headache.

    It's a catch-22 of course because even gently bringing this to their attention (their victim stance) only emboldens the delusion further (because they're choosing to view this observation as an "attack"). Sigh. The only way to remain friends with them is to become complicit in their victimhood game. And any real friend won't do that...so the only other option is to lovingly break away and wish them the best.

    While it's true that some people coldly and clinically remove people from their lives for no apparent reason, most of the time there likely is a valid reason...and it might be prudent to to contemplate what you could have done to invite such a dramatic move. And part of the reason they may not have shared these reasons with the "dumpee" is because of what I wrote in my first paragraph...that telling someone why they're no longer going to be in your life would only further entrench the very thing that annoyed you in the first place...things like obsessive victimhood, and youre just gonna go round in circles (it's like trying to tell an overly sensitive person that they're too sensitive LOL. There's no constructive way to do that! All you're going to do is arouse their sensitivity further, and hurt their feelings)

    I've had a few women in my life who've said things like "if you were only honest with me about everything I wouldn't be so upset about this breakup"....or something to that effect. This when I've tried to keep my reason for breaking up short and relatively harmless. But people know when they're being lied to. Yet I doubt it would have gone any better had I said "we're breaking up because you're intellectually shallow, your laugh is hugely annoying, and your ass is getting too fat and I'm longer attracted to you.."

    I spose it's the same with breaking off a friendship. Maybe it's best to simply let it go, minus any sort of warning or explanation. It sounds cold, but it may just be the most compassionate thing to do. I dunno..just thinking out loud. Curious to hear other's opinions here.
    Last edited by Mike; 22nd April 2018 at 03:48.

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Noone should ever ever dispose of someone like they're trash, not under any circumstances. And by that I mean, truly ghosting them without explanation and then refusing to answer their phone calls emails etc...When you have a very strong bond with someone and they with you (unless they are faking the entire relationship) it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

    I had this done to me once by a man who acted like a spiritual mentor, therapist, best friend, mother, father, sister and brother to me. One day he fell off the face of the earth without explanation, refusing to return my calls or emails. He was likely a psychopath. I haven't had anything remotely similar happen to me ever from anybody. It was traumatic, much more than I could have ever imagined.

    Some people act this way out of cowardice but for others it's a casual cruelty that goes hand in glove with sociopathic or narcissistic traits. When they are done with you, they are done....completely. You only matter to them, as far as you are of some use to them.

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Quote Posted by AutumnW (here)
    Noone should ever ever dispose of someone like they're trash, not under any circumstances. And by that I mean, truly ghosting them without explanation and then refusing to answer their phone calls emails etc...When you have a very strong bond with someone and they with you (unless they are faking the entire relationship) it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

    I had this done to me once by a man who acted like a spiritual mentor, therapist, best friend, mother, father, sister and brother to me. One day he fell off the face of the earth without explanation, refusing to return my calls or emails. He was likely a psychopath. I haven't had anything remotely similar happen to me ever from anybody. It was traumatic, much more than I could have ever imagined.

    Some people act this way out of cowardice but for others it's a casual cruelty that goes hand in glove with sociopathic or narcissistic traits. When they are done with you, they are done....completely. You only matter to them, as far as you are of some use to them.
    That's part of the covert narcissist mentality. Love bomb > Idealize > Move away > Ghost.

    It's a well documented psychological pathology. They actually get a kick from getting under your skin and then dissapearing. A girl did that to me in September. It stung. That's life, I guess.

    I think they might be literally vamping loosh off us, lol, even unconsciously.

    *

    If I let someone go I almost always explain why. In fact, I normally spend 6 months trying to 'convince' them to stop whatever they're doing. I since realized this is a waste of time. I had a friend in school who smoked so much weed he became a shell of himself. I asked him to stop for 9 months. He didn't. I got so bored I let him go, but I told him why. He had plenty of chances.

    The upside of this is that its never been easier to meet people than now in 2018. Tons of FB groups and meetup.com nights for every type of person.
    Last edited by Daozen; 22nd April 2018 at 14:29.

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Val, this thread might be interesting to you:
    Thanks, Bill. I love that story. Often people disconnect because no one wants to say "I was wrong". That is a very powerful statement. The inability to look at your own behavior and own up to it stems from a very shortsighted view of reality. I prefer the big picture.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 22nd April 2018 at 14:08. Reason: Added the quote so the reference is clear
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    My friend of thirty years informed me that at the start of the new year (2015?) he would no longer consider me a friend. And that was it. Sometimes I hear about him from others. At first I didn't know what was wrong with me. Then I realized I missed my friend - a lot.

    To balance out, another friend recently contacted me for my sixtieth birthday. We haven't communicated since 1993. It felt wonderful to hear from him. He taught me so much as a young teenager - body work and engine repair, welding, electronics.

    I miss all my friends and wish that life didn't get between us. Of course if it hadn't I would not have met my other friends...

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Ernie, I am so sorry. If this was done without any warning and absent bad blood consider that your friend might be sociopathic. Normal people don't act this way. "As of the New Year we will no longer be friends."

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    That's quite a lot if you have a friend for 40 years and become the executor of their will.

    As much as most of us gripe about political problems and such, I'm going to admit that it seems to me, most of my personal hardships have been caused by friends. It may not be too hard to appear to make them on a simple level, but, through the test of time, nobody has shown me much besides how selfish and lazy they are. These losses are not quite to the extent of "having a limb cut off", but it does trainwreck one's personal life and produces a very miserly attitude. To me, it's unnatural and unhealthy, and, I believe, would probably be much different where "the grass is greener". This society seems to produce a large number of failures (U. S.), and I always made better connections with those who are "not from around here", but the ones who stuck were mostly local, which I haven't found to be worth anything.

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Quote Posted by AutumnW (here)
    Ernie, I am so sorry. If this was done without any warning and absent bad blood consider that your friend might be sociopathic. Normal people don't act this way. "As of the New Year we will no longer be friends."
    Yes, I thought that was very strange and the way in which it was done, like a New Year's resolution, indicates it was nothing you did Ernie. I can imagine how that hurt.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Great subject! Thank you Bill and thank you for pointing us to the Reconnecting with alienated family members thread as well. I, at least, hadn't seen that post and the part about the young guy who left the meeting to call his estranged father brought tears to my eyes.

    Thankfully, I've been blessed with not having had anyone cut me out of their life—at least, not that I can recall at the moment. However, I have had a few friends who cut other friends, and/or family, out of their life and I must say it is something that has always bothered me (particularly when it was a family member) even if I understood the rationale.

    One particular situation involved a couple of musician friends who had a falling out over a difference in musical direction and leadership of their band (according to both of them). This is a fairly common situation among musicians—at least that has been my experience—and it resulted in the end of their friendship. But the thing that was the most shocking to me was that both of these long time friends would say, whenever the other's name was brought up, “he is dead to me.” That phrase floored me. I'm no saint and certainly have had my share of disagreements with friends and family over a variety of topics (including musical direction of a band), but I could never, nor would I ever, write someone off as being “dead to me” for any reason. What makes this particular incident even more tragic is that one of the two passed away a year or two later before they could reconcile their differences. The good news is, though, that the surviving friend did attend his funeral and joined with us to do a benefit gig to help pay for it and he did tell me that he regretted that they had never got to put their spat behind them.

    I wasn't going to tell the following very personal story in my life, but it's the only personal experience that I can think of that relates to the title of this thread and if it can help anyone else who's found themselves in a similar situation then it's worth it.

    My best friend (and bass player in my band at the time) and I both got married at a very early age (16) and we both had two children by the time we were 18. Neither one of us were really ready to be married, much less have children to take care of, but we were determined to do the right thing. About three and half years into my marriage I discovered my best friend was having an affair with my wife. I was devastated! Not so much because of my wife's infidelity—since I was having an affair with someone else which my best friend used to get to my wife; so I understood her reasoning—but because my best friend betrayed me (notwithstanding my betrayal of my wife). It felt like my world had come to an end. My wife and I managed to work things out for a time but we eventually divorced.

    This, obviously, broke up the band and my relationship with my best friend and for the better part of a year I held a grudge. But as time went by, I began to realize that the only person this grudge was hurting was me. So I forgave him and suddenly a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. Since that time I have not held a grudge toward anyone. While our friendship has never been the same, we did make amends many many years ago and we often see each other whenever we visit New York.

    Anyway, the point I'm circuitously trying to make is, life is too short to hold grudges—particularly over silly and mundane things—and doing so only diminishes you, IMO. I'm not saying there are no reasonable and valid reasons to end a relationship. Certainly there are—particularly if the relationship is toxic to one or both of you. But maintaining animosity toward someone you loved or cared about with whom you've ended a relationship only hurts you (i.e., emotionally, mentally, spiritually and even physically if you're stressing over it). If you need to end a relationship for your own sanity, and/or that you don't believe is salvageable, then do so, but do it with honesty and integrity by letting the person know why you're ending the relationship and then move on without holding onto any ill will. I would suggest, however, that you never slam the door shut permanently. Life has a habit of changing people. Even you.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Interesting article, thanks for posting Bill. It's always sad when we have to move on or away from good friends or loved ones, or they to us. It's like some of our molecules have left too. I feel it acutely when I am re united with loved ones and good friends, the molecules come together again to buzz and vibrate, I love that feeling. I was told once that all people from our parents to our children to our friends and co workers are all in our lives for a REASON a SEASON or a LIFETIME. For me that phrase has helped in the passing of many loved ones, both alive and dead...x... N

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Quote Posted by shaberon (here)
    As much as most of us gripe about political problems and such, I'm going to admit that it seems to me, most of my personal hardships have been caused by friends. It may not be too hard to appear to make them on a simple level, but, through the test of time, nobody has shown me much besides how selfish and lazy they are.
    Thank you for that, and my reply is NOT a personal comment. (I don't know you! ) It's a philosophical one, as it were.

    If we feel that our friends fail our high standards, let us down, and maybe cause us hardship.... is it possible that any of them may feel exactly the same way about us?

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    I skipped to the part about how to minimize the pain. In regards to this;

    Quote Be honest with yourself, and ask why you were friends with that person in the first place. What were you getting out of it? Was it all on their terms?
    When analyzing what we're "getting out of it", we might try to consider the root cause too. Psychology hypothesizes that either the attraction is due to deprivation or inspiration, and I think this has a lot of merit.

    Personally, I have different kinds of friends. Some of them I trust more than others, but they're all still my friends (to me). Even though a few might be part ass hole EDIT: I should say - I mean the words ass hole in the nicest way possible. We all have our deal breakers too, mine are just very rare.

    Here's a psychology article explaining a bit more about the difference in types of attraction:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...ns-deprivation
    Last edited by petra; 23rd April 2018 at 18:01.

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    The first friend I lost was a French Canadian when we lived in Beloil, Quebec. I spoke French then, and no English up to grade one. In grade two we moved to Ontario. For a week I was despondent, lonely and sad. The rest I don't remember except that for quite a while I played by myself until I got my first pet dog.

    The second friend I lost was that dog, Chopee (Hungarian name meaning a small drop, loosely), a small mostly cocker spaniel mix. We were inseparable for a year, then one day he was run over. I could not comprehend it. DEATH? No more Chopee? I cried and cried for literally days, without stop. I was about eight. My brain just could not comprehend the concept of death. It was unthinkable that one day my mom would die or that I would die. My mind was in agony and it tore at my soul. It is probably why I have such an aversion to death, and why my goal was to show that the body does not have to die - although I never made this connection until just right now...

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    The first friend I lost was a French Canadian when we lived in Beloil, Quebec. I spoke French then, and no English up to grade one. In grade two we moved to Ontario. For a week I was despondent, lonely and sad. The rest I don't remember except that for quite a while I played by myself until I got my first pet dog.

    The second friend I lost was that dog, Chopee (Hungarian name meaning a small drop, loosely), a small mostly cocker spaniel mix. We were inseparable for a year, then one day he was run over. I could not comprehend it. DEATH? No more Chopee? I cried and cried for literally days, without stop. I was about eight. My brain just could not comprehend the concept of death. It was unthinkable that one day my mom would die or that I would die. My mind was in agony and it tore at my soul. It is probably why I have such an aversion to death, and why my goal was to show that the body does not have to die - although I never made this connection until just right now...
    I too lost friends in similar fashion. I had a close colleague who became really good friend over the years, we went through a lot in career and life for about 25 years. Later on, I left the company but stayed in touch for a few years. One day I emailed him to wish him a Happy New Years and to ask how things were going for him. Ever since then, I never received a call or email from him - dead silence. I was confused for many months wondering why he never responded or called. After a while, I realized that he was cutting me off, and I didn't realize why. Eventually I came to terms with it and let it go.

    Along the way, my wife had rescued a feral kitten from the storm drain in our backyard. Due to rushing water draining to the big drain pond from a big rainstorm, some of the kittens had jumped into the water and got washed away. One lone kitten who was scared remained, to be rescued by my wife. We bottle-fed him and raised him, and he bonded with us. He was really attached to me and he became my best buddy - he and I had some special way to understand each other. In the later years I got a job out of state from my home state and when I was spending months away from my home, my buddy cat let the family know that he was not happy and would rather be with me. So next time I visited, I brought him back with me so he was my buddy while I worked out of state for many years. In the middle of January of this year, he came down with a rare disease and despite two biopsies, the specialist vet couldn't diagnose what was wrong with him. His tongue got necrotic, and had to be amputated which led having esophagus-tube inserted into his neck so that we can feed him 4 times a day. We had to change his dressing, feed him pain medication,etc. Eventually doctors conceded that he had rare terminal oral cancer. He passed on late night of 4/14/18 as he was trying to gasp for air and choked in his vomit. After that day, I've been grieving for him. He was a son that I never had. I don't have any biological children, although we adopted a one of my wife's niece and raised my wife's two nephews. I miss our cat a lot and hope that he is now in a better place.

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    I have coped with a lot of loss by writing. I always say I wrote my way through so many losses and deaths. And one day I had a crystal clear revelation that there were only two choices; to stay here and try and find peace, or to die. So, I had to come to terms. A come to Jesus with myself.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: 'It feels like having a limb cut off': the pain of friendship breakups

    Back 20 years ago I had to fire my brother from the company I started, hardest thing I ever did but I gave him a truck, equipment, 2 big accounts , lots of stuff and today he is worth a lot. Problem is when I gave him the truck and all the stuff which added up to over 25k, his attorney told me the same thing when my brother sued me that what I gave him had no bearing on any type of settlement because I indeed gave it to him. I'll spare you all the long story BS but I did offer my brother a pretty big chunk of money to be paid over 10 years. I didn't even know if I could pay him or not but I offered. He turned it down and wanted so much more that it was ridiculous. Fast forward to 5 years later, depositions, private detectives, analysts on business values, mediation and arbitration and so much grief when the entire thing was settled in court ,it was valued at half what I offered to begin with minus the attorney fees. What a waste of energy, and things have never been the same since, he is my only brother, no sisters. And we barley talk once a year if that. But life goes on , it is what it is, I've always tried to be more than fair over my lifetime but when greed grabs ahold of the other person there is no common sense or such a word as fair especially when the attorneys continue to feed egos . very sad in that respect.

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