From Betrayal Comes Self-Discovery

A friend of mine made a big mistake. She went behind my back about something, knowing full well that I would be furious about it and that it would severely jeopardize our friendship. Unfortunately for her, she made the crucial mistake of underestimating me and assuming I wouldn’t find out about what she did- or rather, I’d only know whatever she was finally willing to confess to me and not actually bother to do my own research. Sadly for her, I know much more about the situation than she realizes and am startled at her lying ability. After being friends for so many years, I was sad to realize that I was not surprised to discover that she never had my back in the first place.

At first, I couldn’t get over her betrayal and worse, the idea that the person I had been so close with for so many years could do something so stupid and hope to get away with it. But then I realized that her betrayal said more about me than about her: it showed me that I was too invested in the friendship – that I had trusted her, and believed in her even though she had let me down so  many times, and this was a final (but characteristic) act of hers, where she had irreparablely trampled our friendship for personal gain. Worst of all, I had allowed that to happen – in some ways, I really should have known better.

I find that, in university, its so tough to make friends that when you finally have some, you hope they stick by you. There is something so bonding about the university experience – the common thread of threatening long nights after several hours of classes, assignments and exams – it brings together students across disciplines.

I guess what I realized is, friends are investments. When you stick all your eggs in one basket, or even two or three, the market can crash, and you can be left … broke. Some people tell me friendship requires nurture, but personally, I think the closer I am with someone, the hotter and faster and more painful the burning is when they brand me. Where does the fine line come in?

My mother keeps telling me to just let my anger go and not hold a grudge. She says I don’t have to be best friends with her anymore, but it doesn’t mean I should throw away years of friendship – especially because we have so much in common. But I’m finding that, that plan isn’t  working too well for me. I quickly slip back into best friend mode, and I forget what  my “best friend” said behind my back about me, what she did behind my back, and how she lied about all of it to my face … ARG! Thinking about it makes my blood boil and seethe again.

I’m stuck now … on one hand, I keep thinking to myself “why should I have to settle?” Becoming best friends with her again is like taking back a boyfriend who has cheated on you (a big no-no in my books, but hey, its never happened to me so maybe I speak naively?). It just seems like, if she could “cheat” on me before, why can’t she do it again? Why is this time any different? I think I deserve a best friend who looks out for me, who thinks of me first when deciding something that could affect our friendship, and who respects me enough to be willing to fight with me rather than go behind my back.

On the other hand, this friendship is unique – at least, in comparison to my other friendships – and in a special way, she really is irreplaceable to me. We have a great friendship, and I wouldn’t want to let something stupid – like a grudge – get in the way of a friendship that could really be lifelong.

For me, the worst part is what she made me realize about myself – that I was invested too much in the friendship (obviously more than she was), that I believed in her, and trusted her, and in a funny way, loved her, and I thought – I assumed – she felt the same way. I don’t ever want to be that person – the person who says “A is my friend” but “A” never actually confirms the statement, or reciprocates it back.

Don’t I deserve better? Or, am I throwing away the “better” because I don’t realize what I am losing? Someone once said “you can eat and drink together, talk and laugh together, enjoy life together, but you are only real friends when you also cried together”. Is this our cry together moment? Should I take this to improve our friendship or give her the boot and be done with it!?

I can’t seem to decide … Opinions, anyone?

Surviving Studenthood


2 responses

  1. It’s clear from this blog that your friend wronged you and you were hurt. It looks like you are having a difficult time making the decision of whether or not to cut the strings of friendship with this person because of this.

    I think that indecision is an indicator that while you feel strongly about what happened, you still have some good feelings about this person that makes you at least question the decision to end the friendship entirely. This feeling of being unable to decide should be taken to mean that you shouldn’t make any difficult decisions that will take confidence to follow through with. If you go down the path of breaking up without having conviction about it, you won’t be able to make a clean break.

    Your friend has proven herself untrustworthy. You should stay more guarded in your friendship and lower your expectations – but not end it entirely until you find the conviction to do so.

    1. Hey David,

      Thanks for your comment. I guess my mother was on the right track – I don’t have to end the friendship, but certainly, the investment isn’t there anymore. To be honest, it all seems like so much time wasted….

      Surviving Studenthood

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