Life’s Instruction Book Chapter 2 : Guilty

This is part 2 of a series of posts about a number of feels I’ve had over the last few months regarding a situation, and how I went looking for advice on whether I should be feeling that and how to deal with it.  One of the emotions about the situation that I’d been feeling for a long time, since it all started, was that I was feeling guilty.

From the moment my friend told me that it was “a relief” me not being there, I’ve felt guilty about what I put her through.  No-one is relieved of something that they like in such a way.

However, there was another level of guilt that I wanted help with.  That was the one where, because I was aware that my friend was a prolific dater (and I don’t mean that to sound nasty – she is great and anyone would be lucky to have the chance to date her), I was always concerned that I might get in the way of her relationships somehow, and that I would feel guilty about it.

There were a few things.  She once sent me a link to this dress that she wanted, but couldn’t find her size for that price.  I did, so got it her for her birthday.  There was a time she suggested I stay over on the Friday nights that I went round and we could go out for breakfast the day after.  She suggested we get dogs together and went on holiday together.  Maybe this was just me, but I felt that those were things that might have been over stepping the mark.

If the boot had been on the other foot, I don’t know how I’d have explained to a potential girlfriend how I was flying across the Atlantic with someone I met on a dating site and had known for two years and expect her just to accept it.  It’s not saying that I or my ex-friend would not be trust worthy in such circumstances, but it just felt wrong.

If I’d have done all those things which I would have liked to have done and her boyfriend took offence and it made her unhappy, I’d have a felt guilty.

When we were friends, I always felt that my friend kept relationships separate from everyone.  Even before the elephant arrived in the room first time, she would never tell me she was seeing anyone.  Even when the elephant went to hide in the corner and things should have been normal, I was only ever told about one that she was having problems with.  The others I was only told about after the fact.

When she sacked me off, she said I couldn’t be a normal friend because she couldn’t discuss her boyfriends with me.

When she told me about the relief of me not being there, it was because she was thinking of me when she was with other people, and how much I’d be enjoying what they were doing.  There was an element where she thought I was just sat at home, bored and miserable, when I wasn’t with her, and that wasn’t the case.

So just like the acts of kindness I spoke about yesterday made her feel bad, so my mere existence in her life made her feel bad too.  She would say that it’s because I had feelings for her and that might be right, but it sucks that she admitted to dropping hints that made me think she had feelings for me in order for me to make a move so she could dump me.  I wish that, when she decided that “we” were a no go, she just sacked it off.  If she had have done, I might still have my friend.

There’s still some weird things about that and it still doesn’t feel right.  It was last Christmas that she made the decision to dump me.  It was mid-February when she finally communicated that decision.  10 days ago, in the middle of May, she was still visiting this here blog despite unfriending me on all social media.  If my existence made her feel bad, stop coming to look.  There’s an element of “what you don’t know won’t hurt you”, so if you don’t want to know that I’m sat at home bored and miserable, don’t come to check.

And if someone makes your life so thoroughly shit, you don’t hold on for so long.

I wanted to open Life’s Instruction Book and find something about guilt.  I’m never going to not feel guilty for making someone’s life harder than it should be, but I wanted to know whether my guilt was right.  Obviously I don’t condone breaking up other people’s relationships, but the piece of advice I was given was that if the more simple things I was scared of doing had have broken people up, then their relationship probably wasn’t meant to be in the first place.

The other side was that I was assuming it would have an affect without entirely knowing.  In retrospect, I sometimes wonder if I was right.  Another point that was made to me, however, was that if I had have caused a break-up maybe it was because I was actually more important than that relationship.

Or maybe I’m the one now full of themselves.

My experience of anyone making a conscious decision to end what I would consider a close relationship, whether romantic or otherwise, is that it has to take a fairly large trigger.  It’s not a decision taken lightly and it’s not something you do unless there is something not right, whether you phrase that as something being wrong or there being a strain.

I think maybe it’s my guilt that I’m trying to eliminate because, even now, if we tried to be friends again, that would be enough.  It would take a helluva lot of work to get back to where we were, if it was even possible, but to just be friends… To be able to send a Christmas card or just know how she is… That would actually be a dream.




(For those expecting a song at the bottom of this post, it’s at the bottom of the last part of these posts!)

Part 1 is here.

Comments 3

  1. Petitewise

    I’m sorry for your complicated situation, and that it seems to be lingering for you, mentally. Your “friend” seems to be confused about her feelings for you.
    I hope you make some peace with it soon.

  2. Liberty Henwick

    Sorry to hear that, sounds like it has been an unhealthy relationship for both of you in that there have been some obvious areas of poor communication and resultant hurt. Some of the scenarios you’ve described make me think your kindness was taken advantage of (I haven’t read your post on kindness yet, sorry!) Guilt can be a good thing if it spurs you on to action but it’s definitely not a place to remain. I hope you can both find your way through it all to something healthy again.

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