I was unfriended recently by someone I considered very close to me. There was no explanation given, no discussion prior, leaving me truly shocked, angry, and sad. It’s someone I looked up to and considered a peer who had previously promised me that if there ever was trouble between the two of us, any boundaries crossed, or any problems, they would let me know. They didn’t, which led me to doing the very thing I’ve done for most of my life in situations like this, I totally blamed myself…for all of it…without even really knowing why it even happened in the first place.
Sadly, whenever any conflict or disconnect arises with close friends, family, or my partner, I often end up taking the total blame, especially if they start to distance themselves from me. It’s a bad codependent pattern that began back with my mother and one I’ve continued to see is still a negative factor in my life at times. My unfortunate reality for a long time is that I often say “I’m sorry” for conflicts with others before even knowing the real truth behind those conflicts, which in this case is no different.
I truly don’t know the reason why this person left my life as abruptly as they did, and for that alone, I shouldn’t be blaming myself. Regrettably, I tend to think that everything is my fault only because of how much I got blamed for the world’s problems when I was a kid in the dysfunctional family I grew up in. My sister and I discovered many letters in our parent’s office when we were cleaning out their house to sell it, where each was us apologizing for their drinking, their arguments, and so much of their life’s conflicts. How that translates in this situation is that I must have said something or done something to make this person unfriend me. When the fact is, they are the one who took the action to leave without communicating the why, so it’s on them, not me.
Believe me, there are many times when I’ve discovered I’m actually at fault for some of the disconnects and conflicts that have arisen, but that’s only if they’ve gotten communicated with me. When there is no communication though, it ultimately is in the other person’s court to deal with, not mine. It’s sad that I carried the total blame ever since my childhood for so many conflicts and disconnects, even when I didn’t know the real reasons behind them. That’s why my anger arose when this person suddenly unfriended me. It triggered the pain of continuing to live out this pattern, of people abruptly departing from my life without any explanation and me owning it must have been because of me.
I’ve decided in light of this, that I am no longer going to accept this type of behavior in my life. I’m not going to accept ownership of when someone suddenly departs from my life or distances themselves from me without letting me know the reasons for it and giving us the chance to work through it. While I’m always willing to own my side of the street, (Thank you 12 Step recovery!) I refuse to own someone else’s side of the street anymore, like in this case, with someone abruptly exiting my life with no explanation given. It’s their side of the street to clean up this action, not mine.
While it’s my hope that this person will eventually reach out to me and work through whatever the situation is, in the meantime, I must accept this is their baggage to carry, not mine. It’s time to start taking my life back, my power back, and my innocence back. Because the fact is, I’m a good person who is willing to work on himself, who is willing to change, who is always trying to better himself. If someone I care about decides to leave my life with no explanation given, it’s their loss and burden to carry, not mine, and honestly, I feel so much better in finally making this declaration, as it’s one I should have made long ago…
Peace, love, light and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson