Monday, June 16, 2008

To My Ex-Best Friend

Dear girl who doesn't warrant a nickname because you'll likely never be mentioned here again,

It started with you. This whole cycle of struggling to maintain a sense of equality in a friendship began with you. You were the new girl in school, and we were paired together in 7th grade science class. You held your red parka closely wrapped around your slumped body because you were nervous being at a new school in a new state. We became fast friends; I'd never met anyone like you. My first trip to the movies without a parent was with you. Even that trip was trouble. You met up with strange guys without telling me and forgot to arrange a ride home for us. From then on, whatever mess you got yourself into, you made it my duty to get you out of them. And because I was so desperate for friendship, I did. I felt sorry for you. I never knew your whole backstory, but I knew enough. You didn't do well in school, I did. You shared a house with tons of crazy relatives, my family was loving and pretty much nuclear. I was so happy when you became "popular." Still, that doesn't excuse you conning me into spending a week's worth of my lunch money on a pizza for "us" (whose slices you gave away to others). And, still, I looked out for you, or tried to. Rides home, reviewing your essays, sharing food. These are things a friend offers, but I guess I was the only participant in that friendship because I don't ever remember you loaning me lunch money, giving me advice, or even piling into your aunt's car for a trip to the movies instead of my dad's.

In high school, you ignored me for almost the entirety of freshman year; for reasons still unknown. When we patched things up, things were fine for awhile, but your own bad decisions got you into trouble and of course, you blamed me for the consequences. When you moved away at the end of the year, I can't remember where our friendship left off. I know that after you called me a year or two later, on Christmas, I lost your number on purpose when we hung up. We were in two different places in our lives, and probably always were.

Fast forward to college. Various friendship-related episodes caused me to reflect on what kind of friend I am, and how I behave in interpersonal relationships. Trying to pinpoint significant friendships in my life, I thought about you and me. I wasn't strong or aware enough all through middle school (or freshman year) to realize this, but you took major advantage of me. When I look back, I'm extremely embarrassed for myself; I was young and naive and desperate for friendship. But more than wanting to yell at you, "shame on you, you self-centered narcissist," I want to tell my 7th grade self that I could and would be okay without your lacking excuse for friendship as a crutch.

I don't know what counts as "ill-feelings," but I'm pretty sure I don't harbor any towards you. I do know that I have no desire to have a relationship with you, and probably never will. That people-pleasing 12-year-old I used to be still pops into my head when I see your status on Facebook. You probably haven't thought about me since that call on Christmas, nor I you. But this letter is my way of telling you that you set the mold for my so-called "victim" behavior. And because that behavior plagued me so over the past year, I have a hard time forgiving you. Or mustering up the care to think about you at all.

I'm trying to work on myself, to learn to be better alone, to set my own terms for how I want people to treat me. And the first step is realizing that I don't have to be friends with anyone, no matter their story. There's a difference between being supportive and being a punching bag, and there is no "Everlast" on my t-shirt (anymore). My road to self-sufficiency starts now. So in an odd way, I guess, thanks. You knocked me down enough to make me realize the power and stability of my own two feet.


a Lucky under renovation


Vittoria said...

i love this letter. yay for blogotheraphy!!

Bobby_2010 said... better get these feelings out, and work through to the source of the problem!!! I love it..sanity, loookkk out...Here coooommmmmmmeeeeessss LUCKY!!!

(vixenchick) said...

OMG I am SO going through this right now.

DBaby said...

Go OFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lucky said...

Thanks, everybody
This felt refreshing to write, and VC, hang in there, it's a bumpy ride!

molly said...

Good for you, babe. One of the hardest things for me about maturing was learning to let friendships go. To realize that you don't need to hold on to everyone "just because" -- especially those that don't make you feel like a better better.

molly said...

I meant better *person