At one time or another, we’ve all done or experienced it. And let’s face it, it SUCKS.
We’ve strayed, we’ve wandered, we’ve withdrawn from and disregarded who and what we once knew. We’ve walked away from something and someone we loved and/or had a deep connection with — or, very unfortunately endured the harder of the two, in having someone walk away from us and, in what can often feel like an aimless betrayal, abandon us.
And why, pray tell, has this subject arisen?
Well, I had an old friend reach out to me today.
No no, not just any friend. I once referred to this person as my best friend. For ten long years, we did absolutely e v e r y thing together, but, as is too often the case, we completely drifted, and at least one of us – you already know which – had emotionally checked-out, loooong before the other had even contemplated doing so. As I pulled, they pushed; when they tried to make it right, I’d shut them right down for taking the longest possible route for getting to righteousness; when I held on for dear life, they’d already let go.
In a rage of passion, we did and said things to hit each other where we knew it would hurt, both unintentionally and, very much to my shame and embarrassment, intentionally.
To be honest, I can’t even believe two years have elapsed. Nevertheless, within these two years, many a heated exchange has taken place, and I can count on one hand just how many of these have been face to face — which, I guess is not only very telling of the digital and increasingly impersonal age we live in, but also, extremely revealing of how one party (I’ll let you decipher which of us it was) chose not to prioritise a series of potentially life altering discussions that needed to be had and further still, ultimately chose not to care about what was genuinely a pivotal, make or break decision that would, and has, determined the course of our now, very disparate future.
I kid you not, it truly was THAT deep.
Time progressed, as it inevitably does, and the situation became, well, rather one-sided. I acknowledged and profusely apologised for the (arguably lesser) role I’d played in our undoing, yet, despite this, I began to feel that in my (sole) attempts to salvage what was clearly unsalvageable and retrieve what was so blatantly irretrievable (if things remained as unfavourably biased as they were,) I was towing the thin line of something I said I would never EVER (consciously) become — desperate.
(Cue lightning and dramatic music)
With the suspicious stench of desperation wafting all too pungently in the air, I made a choice, a shocking but all the same, very well informed decision that I would not let this situation or the increasingly self-centred person in question, derail my innate happiness any longer, whilst their ego continued to be massaged. I began retreating from the impasse, grasping the fact that time, despite how much of a bastard it had previously been, was actually my friend.
I began the process of getting to know myself better, I traveled A LOT more than I had previously (the blog is coming soon, I promise!), grew in confidence, cried, recognised my self-worth, generally matured as a person, cried more, became more comfortable than I ever have in my own company and skin, cried some more, learnt what I categorically will and will not accept or tolerate in a meaningful relationship — of any description — and applied said learnings to my current and developing relationships.
Damn — as I type this, I think to myself how dare you former best friend, how very DARE you! Without the unfailing help and support of my beyond incredible family and friends, I would have tripped over so many more of the psychological hurdles that I can proudly say I jumped over and cleared like an Olympian. Yet, at the same time, I can’t help but question how we (collectively) do it. How do we make the choice (and let’s face it, whether you’re willing to admit it or not, when you really boil things down, everything is a conscious choice, that we make) to meander so far down, what at best, and quite frankly at worst, is murky water and create such a gaping distance between someone who once used to mean so much to us? How do we regain that source of happiness we (really shouldn’t have) placed in that person? (Or in any person for that matter).
In a situation where, if you really contemplated and went through it with the finest tooth comb you’d ever laid your hands on, you knew (you knew) that you had something good, great or maybe even (dare I say it - you’re kind of) perfect. Why do so many of us honestly think that the grass is going to be any greener on the other side? Why must our damn curiosity kill the poor cat – dead?! Why do so many objectionable experiences and so many more better-spent seconds, hours, minutes, days, weeks, months, even years have to elapse, in order for the offending party to finally have a eureka “oh shit I’ve made a mistake” moment?
Despite years of my unwavering and ofttimes, undeserving and ill-placed loyalty, overlooked empathy and ultimately, unappreciated love, it is only today, after two years, that my former best friend has had this moment. This person FINALLY reached out to me in the sincere and honest way I’d been waiting for, for so, so long.
Just to clarify and to ensure we’re both understanding this correctly. This person means to tell me that only now (and let’s face it, I’m being very kind when I say “two years”) after what was, for me, an unequivocally devastating and depressing demise, that you have decided to own up to an inkling of accountability and acknowledgement of the much unwarranted disrespect and despair you’d induced…via whatsapp?(#shade)
Of course my empathetic nature comprehends just how much it took for this person to take some initiative and lay the well-overdue honest cards on the table, but, whilst I’m very grateful and thankful for some acknowledgment, my overthinking tendencies lead me to (still) believe that actually, the contact made was impotent and pathetic. An insurance policy to bring them and them alone peace. Another one of their entirely selfish and self-serving messages. Was that really the absolute best you could muster?
It’s terrible. Absolutely shocking that these thoughts even begin to spring to mind, given the fact that for so long, this person couldn’t put a foot wrong. That was until I learnt, that they had mastered the art of taking advantage to a T.
Admittedly, though, I do believe it was sincere.
Tell me, why does the light bulb only switch on when the defending party has made the choice to muster the strength they never thought they had to say, “No no _ _ _ _ _ _ _, I deserve, want and need better”. Why does the predicament now hold a place of residence within the context of ‘too little too late’?
Why? Why? WHY?!
Perhaps what more of us should be doing when things reach a point of, what I will term: ‘deserved acknowledgement,’ is not to erratically question motives or inferred meanings, but rather, to graciously accept said deserved acknowledgement, if and (hopefully) when it is (finally) received. I mean, it’s what you wanted, right?
What you should also strongly consider doing is evaluating the state of affairs and in many cases, the once ferociously desired ‘turning of the tables,’ and congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come. Without being conceited, you should revel in the fact that without your specific direction or lead, this person has come to the realisation on their own — that you are bad as FUCK! And that furthermore, yes! YOU are the baddest bitch that this mother fucker – no hard feelings - will ever have the pleasure of interacting with.
Failing that, you could just do as I did and take what is clearly the most logical next step, and blare out ‘Happy People’ by R. Kelly…