Need help about whether to end a 52 year old friendship
Hi Alison and everyone else who posted,
Gee, its only 7 months after you wrote this post about the loss of my 52 yr. BFF!
I am very sorry it took me so long to realize I had never finished this thread and let any of the people who helped me know what happened.
Alison, your link was to the home page of a college, and I could not find any Values Clarification even using their search engine, but I took your advice and made up my own list. It really helped me see that I'd always had different values than she did in some major ways ,as is often the case with friendships that form in childhood, before we know who we are.
The difference is that in the past we both respected each other's right to hold different opinions. In the past couple of years, she had changed and insisted on having everything her way, including other people's thoughts.... For example, her new BFF were she lives now made millions publishing books of her photos, and this friend continuously insisted to me that photography is NOT art, which I disagreed with ,but did not dare say.
Anyone still subscribed to this thread will get this answer to you, so I will summarize what happened for all in case anyone still remembers this issue or cares. I had not posted in the main forum before and lost track of this. I am only posting now because so many put forth so much effort to help me and I don't want to leave it hanging.
I waited 3 weeks more after the incident, then sent her an email asking if she wanted to discuss it and maybe change from using email to calling, since she claims I misunderstand her in emails. I included a letter with my email that she had written me a couple years earlier about how I am the sister she never had and we'd be stuck like glue with love forever as a reminder of how she used to feel, without actually saying that she had changed. I hoped she'd see it on her own.
Unfortunately for me, she had a memorial to attend that night for the town drunk who'd just died. It is a very small place and they all know each other. She told me she did not want to lose our friendship and would write the next day.
Most of us have attended memorials where we wonder who they are talking about, since they have made someone who made everyone's life miserable into a saint, and we all know most memorials only mention the good things, and sometimes those good things are even made up, but I found out the next day that she actually believes what is said at memorials, which came as a shock to me!
After reassuring me she wanted our friendship and we'd talk the next day, I went to bed confident we'd work it out, but the next morning she wrote a very short email and told me the most important thing to her was to be accepted like that man whose memorial she'd attended, and my "accusing" her of having dementia was not accepting her so she no longer wanted to communicate with me. As a reminder, all I did was ask her in caring way to tell her doctor about her memory and spatial problems, and I think her other so-called friends should have asked her to see a doctor too if they cared at all.
Acceptance is something I don't even want at all, let alone my top desire. I want people to tell me the truth and certainly NOT accept anything I do or say. If I'm being an a**hole, I want to know. To me, those who crave acceptance usually have quite a bit in their past to be ashamed of.
I was glad to end it and furious at how she'd handled it by throwing out the olive branch and then ripping it away, but am still not over it and feel I may never trust anyone again. I felt I had to get rid of anything she'd ever given me, including the letters I had saved about how I was her sister for life, etc. The purge was needed. I simply could not look at things she'd made for me.
I now have whole days where I do not think about this, but still not many and it is going to take longer than 7 mos. to get over it. I am very thankful for all the help you all gave me, and apologize for taking so long to remember this thread.
One good has come from this. Another 54 yr. old friendship has become much closer now, as she realized this woman did not care about her either , so we are now communicating a lot more. She shares my values, if not all my interests, and is confident enough to handle differing views. She also felt constantly put down by this common friend as to her intellect and understood why I felt that way. So, it's not all bad.
Thank you all so much,