Thursday, December 30, 2010

Break up Over a Break Up

I hate to sound trite, but real life really is like Sex and the City. Remember the episode where The Girls make Carrie go to therapy to try to stop obsessing about Mr. Big because they can't stand to hear her endless self-absorbed, sad-sack, self-deprecation for one moment longer? Well, harsh or not, selfish on my part or not, I'm involved in a similar situation with a dear friend of almost a decade and I want her to get over her ex and get on with her life. Her obsession, and it is truly an obsession has morphed into toxic negativity that perpetually permeates into every other aspect of her life and prevents her from being happy.

Its bringing me down too if you must know. It's not like I love my job. And I don't go home to a Unicorn (aka eligible man) at the end of every night. I'm torturously paying off massive student loans. But, no one promised me a Rose garden. That's life. I do my best, put on a happy face and settle for appreciating Irises and Tulips in lieu of roses whenever I'm lucky enough to get um.

She on the other hand. Hates her job. Hates her life. Doesn't want to live in DC. Thinks moving to San Francisco will solve all her problems but won't move to San Francisco. And she is painfully and needlessly obsessed with her ex. Ergo- she needs some tough love and I'm giving it to her. Correction- I've given it to her. And when all is said and done, she may end up breaking up with me, over her previous romantic breakup, if she hasn't sworn me off forever already.

But she sad. And she's depressed. And losing her friendship is worth her losing her lackluster life. I care about her that much.

In Sex and the City, the conversation went a little something like this:

Carrie: Isn't part of the whole break up process that you get free rein to whine to your friends?

Of course you do!

But, maybe you should think about whining to a shrink.

Why should I pay someone when we can talk for free and then go get drinks or whatever? I don't need professional help, I've got you guys.

For another ten minutes.

Then we're cutting you off, cold turkey.

Hey, I don't need therapy. I need new friends.

Look, we're as fucked up as you are. It's like the blind leading the blind.

For us, it went a little like this:
OVER ONE ENTIRE YEAR AGO, I listened to her go on and on about how she didn't want to be with her Significant Other anymore. Her overall dissatisfaction with her partner of two years. I was on HER SIDE when it came to her feelings of unhappiness and boredom in her relationship and wanting to possibly break up. I thought her S.O. was great, had an interesting job, were nice and polite, fit and attractive and clearly loved my friend. S.O. was a good person and worth of being with my friend. But the bottom line was and still remains, that my friend wasn't happy. She didn't want to be with this person. And after months and weeks of contemplation and consideration and conflict within, my friend broke up with her SO. I'll state it again. My friend. Broke up. with Them.

But Toddy you are asking by now...didn't you say that you're friend was obsessed with their ex? How can they be obsessed with their ex if they are the one that did the dumping? Exactly.

So here we are. ONE WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR LATER. And EVERY time I see this friend its I miss her this, I miss her that. She won't return my emails. She won't return my phone calls. I sent her an expensive birthday present and she didn't even call me or message me on my birthday. She's the one. She's the one.

And the truth is. I can't take it anymore. I can't. I can't do it. I'm only human. Maybe other friends could be patient and tried and true year after year after year after year. But I've listened to her sob and cry and bitch and moan and hate herself. I've listened to how she WILL NOT stop calling this person and messaging this person even though this person DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR FROM them. It's over. It's done.

And I am NOT A HEARTLESS PERSON. I feel for my friend soooo much. This situation SUCKS. It totally sucks. I'm so sad for her. I love her. I really do. I'll say it again. I. LOVE. HER. I. REALLY. DO. I want her to be happy. I want her to find someone new and great that makes her feel good about herself. I'm sad that she was unhappy when she was with this person. Sad when she realized she made a mistake. Sad that her ex won't take her back. But...her ex won't take her back. My friend has made her feelings known and her ex has moved on. My friend has cried. My friend has been with other people since then romantically and sexually. She's talked to me. She's talked to her friends. She's hated herself. She's hated her life. She's been sad sad sad. And now-It's time. It's time to move on. It's time to stop.

And I CANNOT HELP HER ANYMORE. Nothing I've said IN THE LAST YEAR OF MY LIFE has made her feel any better. Nothing she has analyzed or I've comforted has ENDED THE OBSESSION. I don't know what to do!! But I can't listen to her be sad or depressed ANYMORE. I can't listen to how much she misses this person who is NEVER COMING BACK anymore. There is a statute of limitations on how much you can burden your friends with your sadness. Then you owe it to yourself and everyone around you to get your shit together and try to be a person again. Try to return to the land of the living, prepare the broken heart and be happy. For yourself.

So I gently told my friend when she said she was really missing her ex for the 50 millionth time in the last year today that I felt really bad that she was so sad and that I was thinking it had been a year now and that if she was still feeling so bad, that maybe she should talk to someone, like a therapist. That I was even thinking of talking to someone myself. Like about my birth family maybe. She did not take it well. She did not take it well at all. Instead, she reminded me that SHE was the one who had been a psych major and that she didn't need advice from me. Hmm...

Unfortunately life isn't ENTIRELY like Sex and the City. Because in Sex and the City, Carrie listens to THE GIRLS (the three of them) who care about her and want her to be happy and for her to move on with her life and Carrie complies with their request and actually goes to therapy. In my case, I think my friend is going to break up with me too and continue to be miserable, sans one less person to listen to her gripe about her lonely misery.

In television, when Carrie finally goes to see her therapist her therapist asks her:

Dr. G: So, Carrie, tell me why are you here? and Carrie replies:
Carrie: Well, my friends can't handle me anymore. You're like very expensive foster care.

When all is said and done, I love my friend and I want this obsession to stop debilitating the rest of her life. Ultimately though, I can't handle her anymore. I'm not a therapist. I'm just a friend. And this friend knows when she's over her head and she needs a little help.

All my Best,

No comments: