When Sisterhood Goes Wrong

When Sisterhood Goes Wrong....png

BBF Crew, Ballaz Clique, Fatty Fat Crew, The Naturals, featuring Julian Bass and April Hill

These are a core set of my friends. My true friends. The friends who, when I am at my worst……they point it out, tell me to get my shit together because I’m better than whatever I’m doing or being, and feed me afterward like a real friend should. The friends who will show up and out for me if I need, or want, them too. The friends who love me, despite me. The friends who will fight for me……like, LITERALLY fight for me. The friends who will fight me when I’m wrong. The friends who will fight FOR me when I’m right. The friends who, beyond my blood family, have been my support system since I was 15 years old. The friends who I trust with my life…..who would never betray me…….or lie to me……or dishonor our friendship in any way. Friends don’t do that…………, right?

Two weeks ago, I had to disconnect myself from someone who I considered a friend. While she was not among the core friends mentioned above, I considered her amongst the ranks as an individual. And because I held her to that standard, my expectation was that my standard be reciprocated. And over the course of 7 years, it seemed to be. We loved and cared for each other: equally, lovingly, and fiercely. At least, I thought we did. So to find out that I had been lied to and betrayed by her for the duration of our relationship was a bit of a spin for and on multiple levels. Let’s deal with the most basic level of this betrayal: denial…both hers and mine. She denied even having done me wrong, attempting to make me believe that what I had discovered about her betrayal towards me was untrue. How dare I, as her sister, think so lowly of her as to believe that she would violate my trust in her in any way?  And while the reality of it is that she had indeed violated my trust, my mind was stuck in a creek of cognitive dissonance. “Nah son……that didn’t really happen, did it? I just overreacted, didn’t I? Mercury IS in retrograde; maybe there truly was a mistake or a mix-up.” But by this time, I had already attained bulletproof evidence that was slapping me in the face (in addition to my spirit yelling it at me), forcing me to realize that what I refused to believe, I needed to accept.

Now, let’s deal with the confusion portion of this breakup. My confusion lies in one question: how is it possible that friends can do this to each other? How do call one a friend and feel so comfortable in betraying and/or violating the trust that naturally comes with friendships? Who influenced you to believe that this type of behavior towards your friends is okay? I am tempted to ask myself if this woman has ever had anyone to call a friend in its truest capacity. Even now, I remain in awe of the comfort level of her actions. She has not tried to defend herself or her integrity with me. Julia Roberts could give her a run for her money in a race of running from your problems, so facing me may have never been an option for her. And even if she had decided to face me, she would have a difficult time contacting me to do so: I have blocked all lines of communication with her. Seeing any remnants of her would just further my confusion about having to cut ties with her in the first place.

Then there is the anger: the sudden chill in your heart. The fire in your belly. The thunder in your chest. The cotton in your mouth. The smoke from your nostrils. The amount of bail money you may need if, and when, you run up on this bitch and choke all life from her body. The numbers you may have memorized that you can call to collect the bail money you may need if, and when, you run up on this bitch and choke all life from her body. Your brain…..well, MY brain…..keeps repeating only this: “Bruh, I promise you if I catch her in these streets, I WILL HURT HER!!!!!!!!!!” It is all-consuming at some moments. The audacity of my “friend” to deceive and violate me as she did. If it were a stranger, I may have been better able to accept the betrayal. They are, after all, a stranger: one who does not occupy any significant space in my life, mind, soul, or spirit. They cannot truly affect my life in any significant way. But to be deceived and violated by someone you truly love, and someone who you assumed truly loved you, equates coming home to that empty Tupperware of lasagna that you know you labeled “Do Not Touch” before leaving home…..and you haven’t eaten at all today…….and you just got home from a 12-hour work day.

The worst part of this entire process: the irrational paranoia. For all of four or five days, I began to believe that if this person whom I had trusted so much had used me in the manner that she had, then anyone had the capacity to do it. My mother was not to be trusted. My father was not to be trusted. My lover only had me around for pussy and head. My friends only had me around to sing for them and make them laugh. My family only has me around because I’m reliable and relatively responsible. Nobody was exempt from my paranoia. (Points to random imaginary audience member) YOU were trying to use me……YOU were trying to use me……….YOU were trying to use me……..EVERYONE WAS TRYING TO USE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, I didn’t want anyone around me. I wasn’t sure who to trust so I trusted no one. Because nobody who cares about you would ever do you wrong, right? So, it makes logical sense to assume that if one person who cares for you will hurt you that they all will. That was the conclusion that I drew. And it gripped me like a python grips its next meal. It was both comforting and suffocating at the same time. I felt relieved and trapped at the same time. And I hated it there. And I needed to get out…..but what if someone else hurts me again?

While spending some time alone praying, meditating, and sorting through the broken glass shards of my emotions after ending such an intense “friendship,” I gained some clarity about the situation. And after having a talk with myself and my otherworldly elders, I came to this one rational conclusion: that woman was not my friend. Period. The one thing I know about humans is that they follow patterns, even in groups. And the pattern that my core friends have shown is that of not only unwavering loyalty, but of honesty, respect, and honor. They all hold me in the same esteem that I hold them. And my proof of this is in their lack of violations, deceit, and dishonor at any point of our friendship. This isn’t to say that my friends are perfect; this isn’t to imply that I am either. What I am saying for sure is this: I know who my real friends are based on deeds and actions shown by them over the span of [between] 15-20 years. The strange thing about this former friend is the fact that I have nothing negative to say about her overall; I still love her deeply, and I miss her terribly. Or, at least, I miss who I thought she was to me and to the people around her. To be honest, I’m still shaking off having to even let her, and our “friendship” go. But I also know that departing from her is the best thing for me right now. Because ultimately, the betrayal and violation of, what I assumed was, our friendship had me in a very toxic place…a place my real friends would never have me, whether by choice or force. I had to make a choice; I chose me…..and my friends….the real ones.

Have you ever had to make a choice to end a friendship? How do you know when it's time to throw in the towel?


Kawana N. Williams is a native Chicagoan and the author of, “Coming to My Crossroads", a memoir about her diagnosis of and struggles with ovarian cancer. She is currently a licensed Professional counselor with the State of Illinois and a second-year doctoral student at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.