Several years ago (twelve or so, now that I think about it), I called up an old friend of mine to whom I had not spoken in a while. Just to say hi, catch up, see how things were going. It became painfully obvious in the first minute or two of the call that she did not want to talk to me, that she wanted, in fact, nothing to do with me. I was shocked. I knew we had grown apart, sure, and I also knew that there was a fair amount of water under our bridge, but I had no idea that we had moved from "fallen out of touch" to "all ties severed."
It took me a decade, more or less, to get over it.
Fortunately, it hasn't happened too often to me, this severing of ties that I didn't especially want severed. But it has happened, and I have been both the sever-er and the sever-ee. I think it is bound to happen to all of us eventually, this active removal that goes beyond the general attrition of time and distance. Someone turns out to be other than who you thought them to be, or they do something with which you cannot reconcile your own beliefs or feelings, and you cut them from your life. Or someone does it to you.
It hasn't happened often, but it has happened enough for me to have developed policies. Policies that allow me to move past it without taking a decade to process the rejection. One of my policies is to never ask why. I have decided that there is usually nothing to be gained from asking, but not knowing drives me nuts. I wonder about it, I replay conversations, I review emails, I try to figure out what it was, what was the last straw, what made this person decide I was no longer worth it? In the long run, I wonder about why far less than I would obsess about the reason, if I knew it, so it works for me to process it in a relative vacuum.
I recently found out why my old friend decided to cut me out of her life. I thought I knew, I was sure I knew, I had accepted it. I was wrong. And her reason was far less acceptable to me than the one I had deduced for myself. I wanted to argue, to present facts and evidence, to show her how wrong she was. I didn't, there was no point, but it made it far harder for me to accept. Far harder to reconcile with my view of myself. Far harder to keep that finally-healed decade or hurt healed. I wish I never knew.
Has this happened to you? What do you do? Do you have any policies?