I have a sick day and a new friend helped me by sending some exercises.
We were not those kinds of friends that were considered us to be old. We considered ourselves to be good though. At least at one point. Having been there during a time when we both needed the company. It bonded us together until that necessity stopped needing. At least I learned that later. We pretended to continue to need, but we actually didn’t when we first met and we no longer do. So it has been easy to keep the grudge. It was my way of holding on and my way of taking control. As if admitting that our true friendship was gone. We had known each other for years before, never bridging a friendship. Not until we had to and then we needed to. So when those times passed it was not surprising the friendship ended with it.
I invited him to a party. I don’t have them for this reason. I can’t handle the rejection. The idea that no one will show up. That people will pass on something you are thrilled about wanting to do to; show off your home, your food and your love by inviting them in. And they say no. No to all of those things and no to your ego. Well he didn’t have to, he said yes. He just did not show up. Or call. Or apologize. Or call again. Not for several weeks at least. And then there was a failure to mention any of it. I was tremendously hurt. I put myself out there, and as my friend he agreed to it. By not showing, he showed me he failed to care. To even garner enough respect to cancel or apologize or make up a lame sickness excuse.
With him though I was not terribly surprised. This was not too far from his norm. I had come to expect this response. Which really was the problem, not the party. It is never really about the party is it? To me, it is not what friends were made of. But yet we maintained the pretense of a friendship, probably longer than we should have. So I held a grudge.
The truth was it had been dead for a long while for all those reasons. I could hold the grudge, but I was holding onto a long gone relationship. My way of ending something that was already on life support. This was my way of taking power over the situation and my feelings of loss, rejection and hurt. But his overall behavior that told me we were not going to remain friends. I couldn't do it with someone who didn't value me in that way. Didn't think about friendship in the way I try. Which is probably why were were not initial friends. Which was why this was never meant to be a long lasting one. Which was why were not supposed to be old friends. And why the grudge continues.
I notice I have a harder time with this when I go into something while I'm vulnerable. Either I was really hurt or upset or bored at the time and ended up investing more than I should have. Then, when it's over, it's even harder to let go.
This hit ridiculously close to home! I haven't talked to one of my "best" friends for weeks because of a stupid argument that we're both too stubborn to back down from. I'm at the point where, if I back down and go running back to the friendship I'll never know if it meant anything to him. Sigh. Things are never as simple as they should be!
Oh yeah, I've been learning how awful it feels to have friends you can't rely on. I'm sorry! And FEEL BETTER!
What really is the tell tale sign is that he has no idea. To me that speaks volumes about his ideas on friendship.
I find that being upset with someone who has no idea that I am upset or why I'm upset makes the whole thing worse. I enjoyed this post!
(Oh, and I understand the 'no one will show up to my party' paranoia. I get that too!)
I don't hold grudges so much as I let "friendships" go. Sometimes it takes an event/argument/whatever to make you stop and evaluate the relationship or person--and sometimes you realize it isn't healthy, productive, or worth your time. We let significant others go, and there's no reason to hold onto friendships forever if they're not right.
Look at you go! Home sick, recovering and still making time to write. You're amazing.
I have a friend like this too, who just doesn't even get it. Like you said, it's not worth my time, because we just don't value each other in the same way.
Ally you are absolutely right. We should let them go.