When Friendship Dies

06 Jan, 2013

broken-friendship
One of the most valuable gifts that we can share with another person is friendship. It might not have a monetary value but that is just because you can’t purchase it. Friendship, true companionship, is a rare commodity.

Deep friendship can be pretty indestructible.  Usually the harsh words, petty frustrations, and inevitable jealousies can be overcome, or at least overlooked, because it the friendship is more than a superficial connection. These friendships can have the marks of scars but usually they are the result of stories of what made the relationship go even deeper.

Heritage matters to me. I am sentimental. I value names and people from my past as it helps me map out where I’ve come from. I like reunions. I like re-connections  I like Facebook for this purpose as it has helped connect my timeline with friends from all over the world.

So who I find even more valuable are those few friends who started at the beginning and are still standing beside me. If deep friendships are priceless than how amazing is it to find lifelong companions who run far and deep. These are the friends that last through school, through marriages, through divorces, through job changes, through moves, through religious affiliations, through winning, through losing, through kids, through disaster. These friends are more than just blips in our timelines, they are grafted in as part of our own souls. These are the friends that it would be easy to lay our life down for because we find ourselves doing it for them in the little ways.

Sometimes I want a connection so bad that I make myself see what isn’t there. I’ve done this in romances and embarrassed myself, I’ve done this with co-workers only to find that when the job was over I wasn’t of lasting value to them. I have expected longevity in some connections that were only in place for a designated season.

But I was unprepared for this week’s disaster. I didn’t see it coming. I probably should have. A part of my soul is now dead.

I was innocently told a story, by a victim, that implicated one of my deep friends. Even as I sat listening I knew with a sinking realization that my friendship had found a hard limit. No matter how much I need deep, long-lasting relationships I can’t hold on to one of them when what the person lives for is incompatible with my heart and values. I’ve been grasping onto a relationship that I must now let go of for good.

I’m still numb. I want to feel angry. I want to feel sad. I need to cry tears. My emotions are bottled and as I type and I’m hoping that the words will loosen the cork. This is a death and I need to grieve. This is a divorce of which there is no reconciliation. This is final. The behavior was sadistic, selfish and predatory. This is terminal.

What about love? Doesn’t it bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things? Well, that is what I thought, it is how I’ve been approaching this friendship for years, my mistake was in believing it was love. Again I find myself embarrassed for seeing something that wasn’t there.

I am not without fault in this life. I am not without blame in relationships. But Jamie and I have been attempting to be people that remove shame from other’s lives and I won’t stand and protect any person who abuses and victimizes others and heaps shame on top of them. I will not have this friend’s back any longer nor protect them from the consequences of their abuse. I will not be their friend and if challenged I will verbally oppose them and stand with their victims. I am done being victimized myself and having my brotherly love taken for granted.

I believe in grace. I believe in forgiveness. And for this individual God will have to find a different person in which to share it through as this well of His has run dry.

To my former friend: You are anathema to me. And while you could always replace a wife, and while you could always find another physical lover, you will never be able to replace me. In the A, B, C’s of relationships I am your now broken and irreplaceable C. I hope your loss drives you to real repentance because without it you are without hope. And now for the first time in your journey, from the bottom looking up, you are without me.

Pinging is currently not allowed8 Responses

  1. Tammy says:

    I am once again amazed by the depth of your ability to pour feeling into words on a page. My heart breaks for your pain and my prayers ask for God's balm to sooth your soul. I am here for you if you need a shoulder, an ear, or someone to make you laugh. I'm sorry for your loss – I know what he meant to you. My love to you and Jamie.

  2. ladygbd says:

    Powerful and complete in expression. Appreciating your personal responsibility in admiting "I make myself see what isn’t there." May this torn hole in your soul become a window of wisdom for seeing and accepting what is.

  3. Ang says:

    "A part of my soul is now dead."
    Chad, I know how you feel and my heart aches for you. The pain is unbelievable until you experience it. I had people (pastors/elder/friend) I though were friends betray me. I truly understand how a part of the soul after betrayal is dead. My soul, my life, my trust will never be the same.

  4. kristi says:

    What if the accusations are not true?

    • Chad Estes says:

      I would love for them not to be true, however I didn't make this decision lightly or without weighing the consequences. I followed up on the story and know that there is no explanation that would make these actions acceptable.

      The scarier and more pertinent question is, what if all of the accusations are true?

  5. kristi says:

    unless you spoke face to face with your "deep friend," your public condemnation just smells like unfair drama

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