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When Silence Gets Too Hard To Handle

I’m not good at standing back and waiting.  I’ve been struggling with this task more than I thought I would.  I just don’t know how to handle it anymore.

My instinct is to talk, to work it out, to find resolution.  But, I just don’t think that is right this time.  I know this is my struggle, and it’s not easy to overcome.  She needs easy and I want to give her that.

My sister said I’m killing myself in the meantime – she’s right.  She said I need to tell her how I feel.  I tried to do that initially, but I also tried to be respectful.  Since then I never got a response.  But in that response, I blamed myself: I said that it was my fault for relying on her friendship too much, it was wrong for me to assume that something was what it really wasn’t, and I’m the one who has to work through that.  I’m not so sure if it’s fair to blame myself for everything, and it’s hard to think anything different when all I’ve had is silence.  Maybe I blamed myself because it’s easier than pointing fingers, especially at someone who can really do no wrong.

I have two choices here, and neither feels right.  I could pick up the pieces of what’s left and move forward with what she’s willing to give me.  It’s hard to go backwards though – I’m not sure I can do that without the constant reminder that I pushed to hard and that she pushed me away.  Alternatively, I could just walk away.  I could accept that her role in my life has come to an end.  She was a great mentor, she was a great role model, and for a while, she has been a great friend.  She said she feared that by being my friend, she’s a constant reminder of what I’ve left behind.  I don’t think that’s fair for her to say, but maybe she’s more right than I think.  However, it breaks my heart a little to think about walking away.  I just don’t know anymore.

My silence is getting harder to handle.  I can’t keep pretending that nothing has changed.  I’ve been forcing myself to keep silent, and every time I hold back, I feel the challenge getting harder.   I’m hurting, I’m angry, I’m worried, I’m sad, and despite all of this, my biggest fear is that I will end up hurting her.  Everyday I stop myself from texting her because I told her I’d give her space.  Everyday I want to tell her something great that happened, or something bad that happened, or just tell her something that I know she’ll think is funny.  But I don’t (Maybe because I don’t want more hurt?).  Last week I found a funny and supportive card – I bought it to send her.  However, it sat in my closet for a week while I told myself that I need to step back and think more about myself.  I thought I would diffuse my need to be supportive by sending it to someone else who would probably also really appreciate it.

While I was talking to my sister about all of this yesterday, I looked back over our last few emails to each other.  on November 3rd, the night I sent her an email and invited her to follow along with NaBloPoMo with her gift, she replied to me with this:

“I just want you to know that I appreciate you and everything you do for me as a friend.  You are far more inspiring and inspired than you could ever possibly realize.”

And after re-reading that, I decided to send her the card.  I don’t know what happened in the ten days between that email and when things changed (maybe it was her reading my blog?!?) but I really want to believe it has nothing to do with me (that’s the hardest thing for me to do).  If I really have been a great friend for her, then perhaps my role right now is to just keep that up as best as I can.

I’m just not sure how long I can do that as I find all this silence becoming too hard to handle.

17 thoughts on “When Silence Gets Too Hard To Handle

  1. more than just inspiring and uplifting to know I’m not alone with my thoughts. It makes me feel human again and I’m not just a walking dead.

    Silence has fully consumed my entirety these days. It has been my sole survival strategy to keep the days easy to bear.

    He took everything in the process of leaving.

    Thank you for your words.

    You can check my blog ( to see how I have become such an apathetic fool these days.


    1. Thanks for stopping by! Im sorry that my post rings so true for you, but it is nice to know we arent alone. While Im writing about a good friend of mine, it makes me feel. Little foolish about everything when you are feeling the same way over a lost lover. Oops. I guess i am just very serious about my friendships!

      Ill definitely stop by your blog sometime!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OK, I am in a situation where I haven’t spoken to a friend in a while. As chatty as I am on here, in real life I am kind of a mess right now. My friend just texted me the meantime to tell me she is still respecting my need for distance (from people, not just her) but that she is there if I need her.

    I think that is all you can do…one more time…and then you know you did what you could. I wish there was a better or clearer answer, but know that I understand where you are coming from too. With my friend, I at least told her why I needed distance and that it was OK to see if I was alive in the meantime.


    1. Thanks Sheena. I totally get it, but I just have this problem that I can never seem to get over. Maybe it’s because I’m a talker, and when things are bad I need to talk, but it’s also because of all the different roles that this friendship fills for me. I’m not angry at her… I’m angry at myself and this whole situation: It’s difficult (and it feels unfair) to break boundaries only to rebuild them again so suddenly and with little explanation.


  3. I like honesty in friendships and don’t understand the request for ‘space.’ It seems cruel to cut someone out of your life without giving a clear explanation – I don’t think the need for ‘space’ is an explanation.

    I know my honesty has caused me to lose supposed friends, but I’m okay with that. I’d rather be honest than have a friend who can’t deal with me as I am.

    When a close friend cuts us out of their life, it’s like a death, and we grieve. I still think about one of my close friends who did that to me for a while, but later, when she wanted to pick up our old friendship, I had to ask myself what would be gained from doing so. The relationship will never be what it was before because I now see her in a different light, and I’d never trust her like I did before. I’m not really interested in a relationship like that.

    I daresay this is not what you want to hear, but I believe this poem – Reason, Season, Lifetime (I’m sure you know it) – is accurate about the people in our life, and I suspect K may have been in your life for a season, as my friend was.

    My view may be right off the mark, though. I know so little about you both, but just in case I’m right, remember that when one door closes, another one opens.



    1. Oh, Juli, you are so brutally right.
      Unfortunately, I fear that maybe I am not doing justice to the situation since I only have my perspective. There was an explanation of sorts, but I didn’t expect that explanation to lead to such an abrupt change. Regardless, I agree with you in that I’ve never understood the need for space from people. But everyone is different, right?
      I think part of my struggle right now is that I am having a hard time envisioning what our friendship will look like if/when things go back to… something. I’m scared that it can’t be like it was.

      I have heard of that poem before and the possibility that this friendship/mentorship has come to an end – because it has run its course and we have gleaned what we were supposed to from it – it is a sad, sad thought. I know that doesn’t change the course of events.

      Thank-you for your kind words and support. I love that you follow my blog so closely. I think you know more about me than you think!


      1. Oh G., I know I’m brutal, wish I could somehow be honest without the brutality, but I know I’ve failed at that before. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to hurt you more than you already are.
        I was thinking about what I wrote, and your situation, and it occurred to me that when I was your age, I would have been mortified by the loss of a special friend. I have years more life experience than you do, and so it’s easier for me to face up to some harsh truths. It’s one of the nice things about aging.
        I guess these things that throw our lives into turmoil happen at all ages, but the older we get, the more of them we’ve survived, and so the easier it gets. I know that’s no consolation for you right now, though. I’m just making excuses for my brutality! 🙂


        1. Thank-you Juli! But i mean the Truth is brutal, not you. Sometimes we need the recofnize the difficult truths even when we dont want to. I am lucky to have auch a wonderful and wise blog friend like you!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This really reminds me of a situation in my own life. I think that maybe you’re not thinking of yourself enough. (I’m just going to give you my honest thoughts, so I hope it doesn’t offend!) It seems like the friendship is a bit one-sided at the moment, and that’s not fair to you. Maybe the relationship has run its course, and by walking away, you would only be showing yourself some love and respect. It just seems like this friendship is causing you more stress than happiness, and life’s too short for that!

    All that being said, of course I don’t know the whole situation. But still. It does seem like you’re killing yourself, and with all the crap that you’ve gone through recently, you need love, not killing! 🙂


    1. I’m not offended Lisa, you’re not saying anything that I haven’t heard from others, or thought of myself. It just feels wrong and unfair that showing myself “love and respect” means turning my back on someone when they are struggling too. I mean, isn’t that sort of why I’m struggling? I’m trying my best to do what feels right – unfortunately, nothing feels perfect 😦


      1. I can understand that, absolutely. I guess it’s hard for me (and I’m guessing others outside the situation) because we don’t know K and therefore don’t really appreciate her own struggle, know what I mean?


  5. I am not sure what is the right thing to say, but sometimes holding onto people is just not healthy for yourself. Let it go. And it is only when you have done it, you are able to move on and open yourself up to new friends. Appreciate those currently in your life and spend your thoughts and energy on them. Work on those relationships instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I have definitely been working on new relationships here. However, it is almost impossible, with my schedule, to find a friend who really understands what it’s like to be a resident and a parent. I’ve always found it hard to identify with people, let alone now, in this difficult time. I think that’s why I hold on to and value the existing friendships in my life. But I know that’s not an “excuse” for not moving on…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you’re a very strong person for how you’re handling this. It’s such a difficult situation–and very unfair to you IMO–yet you’re putting yourself aside to give her what she needs. You are obviously an excellent friend, and regardless of what she decides in the “space” you’re giving her, I hope you realize that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you. It is always my goal to be a good friend – the kind of friend that I know i would want. I am having a difficult time accepting that there isnt more i can do to be a better friend. Youcan only give as much as people let you, i guess.


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