A simple attachment…

Throughout the course of my life, I’ve found myself in a conflict. Filled with self-doubt on how to find that true friend, someone worth the attachment and care I am willing to provide. How can I tell if someone will be my true friend? If this person will reciprocate the feelings and support on the same scale that I will…

“I care so much about you!”

“You’re my best friend!”

This phrase was familiar to my ears since the age of three; I’ve always heard it from her.

How is a good friend supposed to treat you?

These questions have been roaming through my thoughts for a long time, as I asked myself if it was worth having her in my life or if it was just bringing me down. The way she made me feel all this time wasn’t only wrong, but it had become abusive and controlling. She controlled everything, from what I wore, what I ate, and how I spoke. For a long time, I wasn’t myself. I was just one of her many flawed attachments.

Giving so much and receiving so little was just the way I was living my life back then. She was the shepherd, and I was a sheep. She would command, I would follow. She made me feel inferior while she was mean and manipulative; she made me feel like a lesser version of myself, and because of that, I started losing track of who I truly was. I started becoming a person I wasn’t. I began to feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I was always worried about what others, especially her, thought of me: if she liked me, if she hated me, or if she was mocking me.

I’ve always been there for her. I’ve always given her a shoulder to lean on when she needed me. I’ve always been there to listen to her nonsensical problems, helping her, still supporting her and never letting her down. Sometimes I wouldn’t talk, I would only listen. But friendship is not supposed to be one-sided. Friendship is the trust between two people. She could always place her trust in me, but I couldn’t say the same thing about her.

Since a young age, my dad would repeatedly tell me, “Alessia, amigas verdaderas hay pocas. Amigas verdaderas se pueden contar con una mano.” This translates to “Alessia, there are only a few real friends; real friends can be counted with one hand.”

I’ve always thought of this phrase as ridiculous. The first time I heard him say this, I chuckled. I found it very ironic how he said I could only have a few real friends. At that time, I was convinced I had a lot of them. I even thought people from other schools I didn’t talk to regularly were my real friends, but I was wrong.

It was a typical Friday, hearing the school bell ring at 3:25 pm and running rapidly to my friend’s car. We turn the music on, and it felt like we’re in a concert, we sang all the lyrics to our favorite songs, death end by the loud volume. The five of us are together. We wait anxiously to eat all the food like if we’ve been fasting for three days. I hear someone saying, “Mira que chancha, no para de comer.” I turn around and see her laughing. I tried to ignore the comment and laugh to cool it off. I grabbed another bite of the cake that is in front of me but didn’t feel hungry anymore. My afternoon keeps ongoing, and I start getting ready for a party. I changed to the same white shirt and black jeans and then went downstairs to get my makeup bag from my backpack. I heard one again “aj que tienes puesto” I turned around and saw her laughing. Again. The same cycle repeats, I laughed to cool it off but deep down I didn’t want to put that basic white shirt and black jeans back. I immediately felt the urge to change. But I was tired. I was tired of the same stupid comments that make my head explode. I screamed at her “ya para” and seconds felt a tear running down my cheek.

I understood the real meaning of friendship. I realized that a real friend is tough to find and even harder to keep, that a real friend is someone who is always there for you no matter what time it is or where you’re at.

I am a marginalized zoo animal stuck in a cage, always being ridiculed and degraded by my mistakes or my “dumbness.” She regularly made me feel unseen and unwanted. She made me feel as if I was drowning in a pool of her own making. I felt so suffocated in my own body, and it was still my fault for allowing her to have such control.

One day I decided it was enough. The truth illuminated me. Sincerely, there isn’t an adequate description of what happened, but it felt as if a spark lit inside of me; lighting up the abyss I had fallen into, and freeing me from the darkness I’d formerly found myself in. I quit letting her have control over me. But her footprint never left. This jarring abuse has permanently scarred me and feels as if it was no apparent way to erase the mark that she left on my character. I am left with the insecurities caused by someone whom I considered a true friend and can’t help but ask myself if I will ever forgive her for the damage she has created.

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