I thought taking my childhood friend on a trip for New Year's Eve would be a good idea.
Cracks began forming during the trip, showcasing unhealed traumas.
I decided to end the friendship after the trip.
For New Year's, I thought it would be fun to go skiing in another country while casually conversing with a friend I had known for over 20 years. A few days after I brought it up, she bought her plane ticket from Florida to Barcelona.
I figured bringing another friend I met when I moved to Spain would be a good idea since he wanted to escape the city and do something different for New Year's Eve. So the three of us went on the trip together, but bitter arguments led to a friendship breakup.
The trip started out great, and we all got along
Driving up to Andorra felt like something out of a movie. We laughed, played road-trip games, and even made pit stops in interesting places. What was initially a three-hour drive turned into what felt like just an hour.
Since we checked into our hostel pretty late, we had only enough time to change and head to dinner at a cozy restaurant called L'Ovella Negra. Getting there was a journey. We had to drive up a snowy mountain in complete darkness with our GPS malfunctioning. When we arrived, we collectively let out a gasp of relief. The restaurant was like something out of a Scandinavian magazine.
Dinner was terrific, and we tried different Catalan and French dishes that knocked our socks off. The conversation was interesting, and we bonded over wine by a fireplace.
The following day, we started to see our differences
We ventured out for skiing. I arranged ski lessons and lift tickets about noon, but we left our hostel extremely late and got lost. This is when I noticed the cracks forming. My childhood friend complained that I was setting up things on her vacation, and she didn't like being tied down. I calmly reminded her I had asked days in advance whether she wanted to do this, and she agreed. Tension began to build, and I could feel resentment forming.
Another tension was created when my friend from Barcelona and I wanted to return to the hostel and change before dinner since it was New Year's Eve. My childhood friend was adamant that we eat immediately. This turned into a back-and-forth argument, and even after I brought up the idea that everyone should compromise during a vacation, I caved because I was fed up with talking. I should have realized then that I was using my local friend from Barcelona as a buffer.
The next day, during a quick lunch, I offered some constructive criticism regarding a recent breakup she had experienced. To give context, she would call me daily complaining about the guy she was dating. Until that point during the trip, every conversation would lead back to him, and as her best friend, I felt comfortable enough to give insight. That's when everything blew up. She became highly defensive to the point of insulting me. I found the behavior odd since we usually discussed things like this freely.
Regrouping in the evening, we enjoyed a small dinner at the hostel without arguing or tension. I felt like we were turning over a new leaf. Feeling more comfortable expressing myself, I said I meant no harm by bringing up the conversation regarding her ex. This very quickly evolved into another argument, and I shut down. I was fed up with the defensiveness.
At the end of the trip, we ended our friendship
We were supposed to drive back to Barcelona the next day, but I had arranged one last lunch at this Michelin-recommended restaurant called Kökosnøt. Hesitant to share another meal, I felt a sliver of hope that everything would be fine once we sat down and started eating. Each bite-size morsel would bring tears to our eyes. We enjoyed dishes such as foie gras and began to feel more comfortable with each other. Not wanting to let go of that feeling, we both agreed to continue the day in Andorra.
This was the wrong idea. Every place we stopped at would include a pointless argument. This is when I realized I needed to end the friendship.
Our history meant the world to me, but the person she was in the past was not the person who existed in the present. She was deflecting all the trauma and anger she experienced from the end of her romantic relationship, and I was not equipped to handle it. I couldn't give her what she needed. If your goodness is being polluted by someone else, it may be time to part ways.
My trip was beautiful and horrible at the same time. It made me realize that we can't get too comfortable with people even if we've known them our entire lives.
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