So this week was kind of interesting friend-wise. I learnt that sometimes, it’s better to just phase people out without letting them know. Quite why I didn’t know that already is a bit puzzling, but I’ve always been a person that actually focusing on friends and tries to be there. Maybe a little too much? It could get a little overbearing, I suppose. I feel like I’m always kind of more eager to be friends with people pulling away than with the ones who have my back but maybe that’s because I have a sense of security with the latter. I know that I can say whatever, or go a few weeks without talking and we’ll still be okay. The pulling away friends are kind of difficult because there’s this sort of pressure felt, wherein I feel as though it is up to me to keep things moving.
It isn’t. And I’m finally really realising that.
So yes, this story starts in June of last year. I’ll lay it down timeline style to avoid a huge block of text.
June: I reached out to (we’ll call them A) and I kept it kind of fun. It was a ‘remember this’ kind of conversation. I asked how they were and they told me that they were at a concert at the moment, but they’d get back to me. They did not. I didn’t do anything about it.
December: I wished A a happy Christmas. They replied back and asked me questions about life, and asked as if they cared. I replied back. I got no reply. It turns out that they’d been at some lake or something but they would never have replied anyway. Apparently I’m not worth talking to. Anyway, I emailed A to say that I was done with the friendship. Now, in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t said anything because this person was not my friend. At least not any more. I was kind of stuck in that mind frame where we were but upon reflection we had not spoken regularly for a year – because they did not reply to any of my messages or emails.
January: I called A out on some stuff and she apologised. Now I kind of hate apologies. I hate receiving them, so when I get one, I’m always kind of like, ‘what does this mean, really? It’s just a word. I have no idea if you’re actually sorry or not’. I do, however, understand the need for apologies and would never refuse to apologise. In fact, I apologised to A for even bringing this situation up. Now, I am maybe a bit of a drama queen but A spun me a freakin’ line. They were busy with work and that took ALL of their time and it was all their fault (really?) and that since they were in their current job they hadn’t been able to keep up with Twitter and this and that. It was a wonderful explanation except for the fact that it was bullshit. A’s flakiness pre-dated their current job. Now I didn’t call them out on this because I wasn’t sure of it’d sound weird that I knew the timeline so accurately.
I said I understood and that if A felt like they had no time for me, then it was best that we part ways. A said to me that they only saw their best friends six times a year and they live six blocks away from each other. In my mind I was kind of like REEEEEED FLAAAAAAAAAG. That didn’t seem quite right. Obviously people have their own lives and whatnot but six times a year while living in the same neighbourhood? That’s not your best friend, boo-boo. That’s an acquaintance. And that’s exactly what I had become. I reiterated that I would be happy with us parting ways and if A had just said, ‘Sure, that seems to be the best idea’ I think things would be okay. The door would still be open and maybe I’d feel a little less pathetic.
A didn’t do that. They started showering me with compliments. They knew that I was ‘down on myself’ and they wish that I didn’t feel like this (the fucking irony) and that I was awesome, smart, bright, funny, it was kind of like a pep talk only twice as patronising and not helpful in the slightest. If I’m so amazing why do you want to limit our interactions to 3-4 times a year? (Two less than their best friend, woo!)
There was some drama that we had between a mutual friend and that’s what made the situation really hard. I can’t be sure of this but the silence after I got into a fight with our mutual friend was pretty telling. I had to email A at one point to say, ‘well, what’s going on?’ and they said they were giving me space. Turns out that A and that person and still really good friends. I’m happy for them but it doesn’t feel great at all.
February: To wrap a long ass story short, A said that they wanted to keep in contact and they said it three-four times and I really just wanted to say ‘Fuck you and your lies, bullshit excuses and your hatred of conflict (people who say that really irritate me)!’. However, I decided not to be hasty. I could give them one more chance. I told A that I didn’t really believe that things would change but I was willing to try. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that? I don’t know. I think if someone said that to me and I genuinely wanted to be friends with them, I would say, ‘Look, I get that you’re frustrated but I am going to try and do better’. In retrospect, A and I had probably drifted too far apart and she just couldn’t be bothered, because…
April 2015: After two months, I have not heard a peep from A. I peaked at their Twitter and they’re fine and not dead or anything like that. Meanwhile I’ve been sitting here like an idiot wondering why I hadn’t heard back. Now I read and rewrote my last email to A a million times and there was nothing offensive in it. All A needed to do was reply back and say something. One word. Anything! Like, damn, dude, I know you’re busy but what does it cost to send me a line.
dealing with it.
I was quite upset but it hit me that A was just off being happy and not caring, so I emailed them and told them that I was through [with our friendship] and that they were a coward, with lame excuses, blah, blah. It felt good for all of five minutes because it’s not like I’m going to get anything back. After talking about it with friends, I realise that A was/is not my friend. In fact A is toxic.
Now A seems like a nice person but…being nice doesn’t necessarily mean that a person won’t let you down. I can be the sweetest person to people and hell, sometimes I can be a bitch. I can admit that. People who claim to be nice and hate conflict are people that I usually stay away from. I know from personal experience that A wasn’t as good as avoiding conflict as they thought they were .
Now that I’m putting a knife into whatever was left of our ‘friendship’, I can truly see things for what they are. A is an asshole. They had the perfect opening to say to me that not being friends was for the best. They could have just ignored me and I would have known what the deal was. They deliberately chose to string me along until they couldn’t be bothered anymore and that’s something that I will never forget. I said as much to A, but during this whole thing it really hit me that I was their friend, but they weren’t mine. I don’t think it was always that way though and I have learnt from the situation. In future, I will just let people go on with their bullshit and just move on, because A has really hurt me.
I actually wrote them a letter and I just don’t understand why it’s affecting me so much. I don’t know why I really care. We were good friends but not best friends. They did once say that I was in their top 12 friends, which maybe didn’t help matters. This person has said so many wonderful things a swore up and down that I have not upset them in any way so I really don’t understand. I’d like to, but I accept that I probably won’t. It can’t just be the conflict thing, because that’s ridiculous.
I thought that maybe I’d post the letter here. I won’t send it or email it because I am better than that. I will move on from this and karma will do it’s magic and it’ll be nothing but a vague memory sooner or later. This is the end of what was a sometimes good, sometimes weird but ultimately bad friendship.
Wednesday, 08 April 2015
I emailed you yesterday (see above date) and essentially told you not to speak to me again (not that you were going to). Now while I don’t feel like I didn’t explain myself adequately, I do sort of want to expand on what’s really happened in the last few months because I am really tired of thinking about any of this and truthfully, it really isn’t doing me any good. This letter isn’t about me changing my mind or anything like that. I think parting ways is the best idea – it was the initial idea and I only have myself to blame for being sucked back in. I can’t help it, I hate losing friends, especially people I perceive to be good friends.
With life though, perception isn’t everything.
You and I definitely had some good times, there’s no denying that. But of course, it was a long time ago. I was definitely less mature and guarded back then and we had a common interest. There was also some passive-aggressiveness there but nothing is perfect. There was a disconnect when I stopped [being interested in common interest]. You were (and are, I guess) too into [common interest] for me to really be around you (at that point) and I believe that you were aware of that, and when I think about all of this stuff, I am kind of like, ‘why do I even care?’ I don’t really understand it. Not to say that I can’t be friends with people who like something I have a love/hate relationship with, I just can’t be around certain things until I figure it all out in my head.
Despite all the drama I’ve gotten into, I’ve never outright told people I don’t want to be their friends. Maybe indirectly I’ve deliberately drifted from people but not truly intentionally. I can’t quite work out why I didn’t just never say a word to you again. Is it because I valued our friendship that much? Or was I hoping to salvage something? I don’t know. It’s probably something to do with the fact that I sort of missed being in a [common interest] environment and it was that time of the year for me where I get really low and I was stressed and as a result, my hands ran away from me. If I had more self-control, I would have left it alone because all this has done is excavate my issues. And I’m sure that you’re over it all as well.
Unfortunately, I think what really bothered me was some of the things you’ve said and done. I’ve told you about it and we’ve squashed it but in our exchanges earlier on in the year, I did sort of just not want to really buy into any of what you’re saying. Not because I didn’t believe you but because I know what you’re like. You’ll keep talking until I’ve said ‘okay fine, let’s move things forward’ and then I won’t hear from you again. And that’s what happened! Now, I think even you can see how confusing that is. I have no idea if it’s deliberate or not. I want to say not but I honestly don’t know with you. I mean, I think you’re a nice person and all but nice people are almost harder to trust because it’s so hard to get a read on them. I did say that not liking conflict was a poor excuse and I stand by that. I hate conflict. Nothing irritates me more than when I’m stuck arguing with someone over stupid shit, but what I hate more is being around people who would have me censor myself. I think the true test of friendships is being able to move on past a disagreement.
And clearly we’ve sort of failed at that miserably.
Now I have no idea what’s going in your life. I know there was some issues with [life] but that’s all I know besides you being busy with work. I would never want to occupy your time, ever. However, I went against all my instincts and decided to forget about everything and say, ‘Fine, let’s keep in contact’ because I really do get that it was [apparently] my own issue but, the longer I didn’t hear from you, the more it felt like you just spun me a line. You perhaps thought things were over and done with, which fine, I get. But that wasn’t conveyed to me.
I can’t say that I don’t really understand why you’d essentially say that you want to keep in contact, whilst knowing that you don’t have the time or particular care to – you’ve already told me. You don’t like conflict. So we’ll never be able to hash this out. You’ll get my email and ignore it, or put it away and never get to it. If I ever send this, it’ll probably end up the same way. And you know what I get it. I sometimes barely have time for my friends past texting them here and there and a few emails. I didn’t ask you for that, because in truth, if someone doesn’t have time to talk to me, there really is no point. Perhaps I made the mistake in not asking for you let me know that you had received my email because that’s what’s really annoyed me here. I acknowledged yours even though I didn’t reply right away – in fact, I didn’t even want to reply but I felt that I had to as a sign of respect.
In some ways, while part of me is annoyed, I think at the end of the day, I will be glad that you didn’t reply. Not because I hate you or anything like that but because the past three to four months have been absolutely horrible and this situation will always be a part of it. It’s always going to be marked as negative and I can’t allow myself to even dwell on the situation or even talk to you again because it’s too much.
This situation has taught me a lot about friendships though. They come and go. Some are toxic. Some just fizzle out. Some just didn’t make sense in the first place and maybe ours was all three, I don’t know. All I know is that between you and [mutual friend], I’ve really had my fair share of drama and hurt and honestly, I am glad that the two of you still talk to each other. However, that’s also a part of why I don’t think it’s healthy that I even deal with you. All of those nice things you say about me might be true, or they might not be, but above all and beyond, I will always be honest.
You quite possibly think that I have a screw loose and maybe I do! All I know is I feel like I was a good friend to people and worthy of being other people’s friends
Whatever. I tried. Fuck you.
what happens next
MOVING DA FUCK ON!