I'm currently embroiled in a rotten fight with two friends I've had ever since I moved to the city. It's haunting me; but the thing is every time I retrace my steps, every time I bore yet another friend or relative or coworker with how it all came to happen, I literally, sincerely, genuinely can't see that I have anything to apologize to them for. I felt mistreated, and I said so, and now they're upset. They have their side of the story, of course, but I simply do not agree with it.
One of them said yesterday words to the effect of "What I'm hearing is that you don't want to be friends anymore, and that feels like a slap in the face." I think that's one of the things (the only thing, actually) that I keep feeling guilty about--maybe because it's true. I never came out and said "I don't want to be friends with you anymore." But the truth is, I don't.
And haven't. For a while.
They're both moving out of the city this summer and I thought I could just keep it going, keep up the friendly facade and then maintain a gradually less frequent email relationship for the next few years until we all fade away. Their behavior the other week that caused the fight in question, changed that. I'm a nice person, but I'm not ENTIRELY a doormat. But the thing is, right now it's hard for me to respond to their own hurt feelings with any kind of love. All I want to do is say "Peace out" and be done. Some people have counseled me to do exactly that. Well, I can't leave that kind of bad karma in my wake--I can't have that on my conscience, that cruelty to reproach myself over in years to come (because I WILL). But, frankly, I don't want the bad karma of their presence in my life, either.
I rack my brains again and again--"Did I do something I should be apologizing for?" And I rack my brains: "When was the last time hanging out with them was a positive experience? Where I came home and Chris asked, 'Did you have fun?' and I said anything other than 'Meh'? Made me feel good about myself? Engaged me intellectually, emotionally, even, hell, shopping-wise?" I mean, they make fun of my clothes, so that's out. They made fun of my ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS. Why am I even wasting my anguish? They have no idea that I bought my wedding dress--because they never ASK. When we get together, we talk about one's dating travails, and the other's work travails. I'm there in the role of supportive listener. They said, "We feel like this isn't the Laura we know." What Laura DO you know? I'm curious.
It's my turn to respond. I have to give it some time so that my words can be gentle yet firm, as opposed to furious and firm, which is what they would be right now. But dude, the only thing worse than a fight where you do care about your opponent is a fight where you don't.