As I said earlier, this is going to be somewhat of a journal for me.. Part errata and part real stuff, so anyone paying attention-- dig in. I doubt there are many of you, anyway, so it'll be interesting to see the feedback I get.
Recently, (like, today) a friendship of mine ended rather inexplicably and abruptly due to what I'm worried is a mental illness on the part of the other person.
The other likely explanation is a total bizarre misunderstanding of some sort, but I tend to be a pessimist, so I won't hold my breath for that one.
I like to hold my emotions at a distance, because I have learned over the years that attachment to one's own emotions is unhealthy and unproductive. I take the long view of things when I can, and when I can't-- I try not to react or think about how I'm feeling at all so that I do not make unwise decisions or descend into bitterness/depression.
Sometimes, relationships don't work out or people are no longer who they once were. While there is an inherent and inescapable sadness at the loss of a friendship, it's also ok to be honest about a situation and to let people go. When you're angry or sad because of something someone else did, what you're really upset about is the failure of that person to conform to the expectations you had of them to be/do something else.
Often, we blame the other person for this and incorrectly assign blame to them as having been the cause of our disappointment.
For a long time, I have wanted this friend to be as she once was, and the disappointment that she was not and was never going to be that person again (if she ever was) has discolored my view of the friendship, so I blame myself for its abrupt end.
I should have been more honest about my concern for this person's mental health-- even at the risk of the friendship ending, than continuing to hope that the difficulty and strangeness and disturbing behavior would pass.
In the end, I'm sad but grateful.
I don't have to cling to the hope that it would be between us like it once was again, because it never will be.