A friend reached out to me and gave me a laundry list of how I was not being a good friend and said she was “downgrading” our friendship to acquaintance. This immediately activated my fear of disappointing others and I spend time dwelling on how I could have avoided the loss of this friend. I spoke to my therapist and we wrote a response to acknowledge her feelings, own my missteps and request an opportunity to repair the friendship. There has been no response. I do take responsibility for my role and I do acknowledge that I did let her down…..it is just a bit hard to accept that someone who I spent 4 years being a friend with has now cut me off. It also has awoken some memories of being bullied and having no friends when I was much younger…..which isn’t’t something I wanted to revisit and as an adult, feels like a way to avoid facing where I am now. I will move on, but how do others work through this type of loss?
I'm very sorry to hear this because it is sad and hard to deal with. Was this friend also someone with an insecure attachment style? Had they spoken to you about the issues at all before saying this or had they bottled everything up and then let it all out at once?
When I was AP, I did experience what seemed to be sudden friendship blow ups and losses occasionally and unexpectedly (usually other women, almost always over text or email and not phone or in person). In retrospect, it was the anxious-avoidant trap problem playing out platonically. I sometimes tried to fix it but that never worked, and I got to the point where I did what you did with your therapist. I briefly (to not send overwhelming messages): acknowledged them and their feelings, apologized even if I had no idea what they were upset about (because they didn't share it), and offered to discuss or repair whatever it was, while wishing them well (in case they didn't take me up on it). I more often than not never heard from them again, and very rarely would I get back a yes we should talk accompanied by zero follow up to do so, essentially never hearing from them again.
Like a romantic breakup, you need to accept the disconnection, accept this can just happen with insecure friendships that are not working properly, and mourn. That doesn't mean the friendship never had value, but its underlying foundation was very shaky for whatever reason, and it wasn't addressed until it was beyond repair. I didn't understand why this happened to me and sometimes other friends of mine at all until understanding attachment dynamics. Putting it into that framework helps understand why it played out the way it did while not ignoring your side or contribution so you can productively learn from it without completely dragging yourself through the mud over it for an extended period of time.
In your case, since you can still struggle a lot with boundaries and knowing where one person ends and another begins, I suspect that's where some of your challenges will be in processing this, to discuss with your therapist. What exactly was your role in contributing to the dynamic versus what was a friendship incompatibility issue and what was them not communicating. If you really didn't show up as a friend in a healthy way and it wasn't your friend having unhealthy friendship expectations, then why did you choose to engage that way? But, again, give yourself a little time to emotionally process and be sad about the loss before delving into all that.
Huh I'm AP as f*** but it only plays out in romantic relationships. If anything, I've been the one to downgrade friends who disappoint. I don't TELL them anything, I just start not going out with them as much, not reaching out unless they reach first, etc..
So I haven't had any friend breakups like yours, but I imagine treating it like you would if it were someone you were dating makes sense. You will need to grieve the loss, etc.. Sorry to hear that happened to you.
Yes, if this happened, I was always on the receiving end of it if it wasn't a romantic relationship. It was a confusing mindset to me because random blow ups wasn't a way I'd approach friends, but it makes its own sense when you realize insecures are trying to navigate each other and creating a less than stellar dynamic overall. Especially when there's a lack of direct communication about issues.
On the other hand, I’ve found as my behaviour has changed and the less nonsense I’m willing to put up with from other people, some people have disappeared. Although I have had one where I didn’t do so well, and there was definitely fault on my part. Generally, if someone needs to go out with a blaze of glory in a press release,it says more about them than anything.