Unintentional Burned Bridge

There have been times in my past where I have been to the point where it was better to cut someone out of my life than to have them remain and cause more damage to me. It is not something I am good at doing though. It takes a lot for me to get to that point, but when I do, I have made sure to cut all ties to them so that I won’t be tempted in times of weakness to contact them again. I know that the pain they caused me in the past will just return in the future.
To be honest, there have only been maybe 3 people in my whole life that I have felt the need to burn the bridge behind me with. I still think about them and wish at times I could see if they missed me or felt bad for what they had done to me. Why this matters to me, I don’t know. In the first place what caused me to take such drastic action was their lack of concern for me and how their actions affected me. If they didn’t care when we were in contact, why would they care now?
Recently I had an experience with someone I considered a very dear and special friend that went badly. I did not want to cut them out of my life completely though. I just needed some distance to figure things out. I was incredibly hurt by their actions, but I knew they were not done out of malice, just an inability to see beyond their own pain. I am ashamed to say that I got mean with them and said some things that weren’t that nice, but in all fairness I had been pushed to such limits and had held things in for so long that I exploded.
Their actions, whether intentional or not, had caused me so much heartache and pain and they were oblivious to this fact. When I tried to express this to them they didn’t see or hear what I was trying to say. I began to keep how I felt to myself because I felt if I said anything they would get upset and avoid me like they had done before. I tried to be patient and tried to understand what they were going through, but there wasn’t any patience or understanding for me. A friendship must be based on mutual respect and understanding and this was not the case.
When I told them I had had enough and that I couldn’t continue with the way things were because of what it was doing to me, they did not take it well. They told me they would delete all of my contact information and never bother me again. I guess they meant that and while it was neither my wish, nor intent to cut them completely out of my life, I think that’s what is happening. In anger and frustration I said some things I regret and I think I gave them the impression that that is what I wanted. It wasn’t. I told them so, but it seems that it is too late and they have already decided it would be better than trying to fix things.
I know what it is to burn bridges behind you and have only done so in a few very extreme cases with people who were so toxic to me and my wellbeing. This was not one of those cases and I really believed we could have worked together, because our friendship was worth fighting for. I cared so much for this person and still do. I guess that is why this hurts. I had hoped that they would see that what was happening wasn’t good for either of us and that maybe we could work together to make things better and change the things that had gone wrong. That isn’t what happened though. I think they are walking away for good and burning the bridge behind them. If they do, I hope they know that I will always wish the best for them and will think about them often and miss them.
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2 Responses May 24, 2012

You have to have good strong boundaries.i have been strengthening mine for three years.It has really helped me.

We learn who we can and can't be friends with, even thou it hurts, we can't let people who are bad for us stay in our lives. we have to take care of ourselves, i learnt that the hard way. If we have to put all our energy into a relationship and don't get that back we feel rejected and thats not fair, thats not real friendship or love. That how i feel and don't be so hard on yourself, people come and go in our lives and we learn something from every relationship, and there is sometimes a reason we cross paths, so i hope you can take something from the relationships, we can't control others as i have also learned the hard way, so be yourself and take care of you first. hugs