I’ll tell you all more about the loss of my friends that I mentioned a few days ago, but for now I feel the need to rewrite some of the narrative and point out some of the lies I believed about what happened.
I used to believe that friends would stick by you, through thick or then. Losing relationships in the midst of the chaos that was the rest of my life made me think that I wasn’t worth the time or energy for anyone to care when things got hard. Now I’m trying to come around to something kind of in the middle. Sometimes people have to take care of themselves and do what’s right for them. If they back away from a friendship, it doesn’t always mean anything negative about me. Sometimes they know what they need to do and have the courage to put their needs first. It doesn’t mean that I don’t wish it had been different. It just means that I understand why it happened and don’t hold any bad feelings toward them. It’s occasionally weird to interact with them on Facebook. The emotional baggage is gone. All that remains is the positive history between us. I tread lightly in those wall posts and occasional inbox messages, trying to honor the fact that there is still a connection without presuming too much. I don’t push too hard, because I don’t want to lose that delicate thread.
The person who was having mental health issues alongside me wasn’t the one who accused me of things I could never have done. I don’t know what happened, but sometimes when people act out of their own fear and pain, they hurt others without meaning to do it. It wasn’t personal.
She wasn’t the one who was my friend. She wasn’t the one that I had grown to know and love. She wasn’t in control of herself at that point. I’m not going to lie–I occasionally check her profile page on Facebook just to see how she’s doing. I saw the little boy that I adored in her friends’ list–he’s a man now. I never even knew his younger sister, and she’s all grown up.
Shortly after our falling apart, I used to worry about running into her somewhere. I always wondered how I’d react. What would she do? If we met again now, I still wonder. Would she know me? Would I hide to avoid a confrontation? I have no idea, but sitting here imagining the scene in my mind, I’d like to believe that I could reach out in love to her. I know that realistically I’d keep my distance from her, just as I’ve chosen not to contact her through Facebook. Sometimes there’s no going back. It’s best for everyone concerned to let go and let them live their lives without revisiting something so painful. I guess that’s as much closure as I can hope for. It’s more than I would have expected, so I am thankful that I’ve gotten the chance to see that they’re okay now.
Losing friends doesn’t mean something is wrong with me. And sometimes people circle back around again and connect because whatever got in the way before isn’t so pressing anymore. People come and go, and I’m still not sure anyone actually ever stays forever. There are some people who are blessed enough to have that, and I guess that’s one of those things that passed me by.