Informal “Letter”: Past Friends
I have lost many friends to misunderstandings and lost communications. But I began to realize maybe those I lost touch with (intentionally or unintentionally)never really understood why I never was very social or open.
I am an only-child to a single mother. I went to three elementary schools and two middle schools. I lived in two states. I know others have had it worse but that does not change my situation as no two people are the same. I was never very close to my own family members. I was extremely sheltered. I was not allowed to text until I turned 16 (very limited at that-and my mother looked very closely at the phone bill and my phone). Most of these factors have played a significant role in the way I communicate with people today and have cost me friends. That isn’t all, though. Friendship is about respecting boundaries and understanding/respecting that one might just need space. When friends couldn’t respect the way I am or my boundaries I could do nothing but to push them away.
I have had friends who have complained because I don’t reach out to them to hang out or see how they are doing all the time. I’ve never been that person because I was never allowed to be that person until considerably late. Once I was free to do as I pleased I just never wanted to bother anybody or seem too clingy. Certain stand-offish characteristics were already etched in me. I have always felt that if somebody wanted something from me they could always ask. I never really needed to ask what was going on because honestly, I could probably just read it on one of the numerous posts they made to social media. I had tried for a while to be more social but it just was not me and made me so uncomfortable.
I have also been told I would give my friends up for my boyfriend but what these friends failed to realize was that he has been the most consistent person in my life other than my mother (until she kicked me out). He was the person who took care of me when my life was falling apart (even if things were not so ideal for us). So, of course I was inclined to spend more time with him (also to make up for the fact that we did spend over a year apart while he lived abroad).
I also lost friends because I could no longer deal with people whose lives revolved around drugs (harmless or not). I could no longer associate with that for fear of what it would cost me to be caught around them. They could never understand that simply getting caught with something as simple as weed in the same car as me could possibly cost me all my student loans and force me out of university. Then I would have been nothing. And even though I went through my phase of binge drinking, smoking weed, and experimenting- I got over all that and realized what it all could cost me.
I lost friends because I could no longer deal with people who acted as if I owed them something. I always repaid my friends’ kindnesses in any way I could. Not always with money as I would have liked, but kind words or small gifts, or even advice to show I cared. The only things I think true friends ever owe one another are respect and gratitude.
Lastly-I lost friends because I was tired of rumors. Talking between friends to help another friend suddenly became “backstabbing” and rumors were always abounding from somebody about what one friend did not like that I did or rumors were spread and twisted to put words in my mouth or distort words I had said. It is no way to live- constantly looking over my shoulder and watching my words to try and avoid something getting twisted out of sorts. It is more than exhausting.
I understand I was not the ideal friend to have, maybe I value my time alone too much and am too afraid of annoying others. But at a certain point, no matter what, you have to walk away from people who can’t understand where you’re coming from. Maybe I didn’t understand where you were coming from either. If that is the case then I truly apologize. I lost some great friends. Maybe one day we can find each other again in a better place. But until then, please try to understand I am standoffish even to those I consider the closest to me. I always will be. I will always appreciate whatever time we did spend as friends. Maybe you’ll miraculously read this and finally understand where I am coming from in a way you may not have previously.
Please do not take this as me blaming my upbringing or even you for the loss of friendship between us if you’re reading this. Any relationship is a two way street but I obviously can only speak from my side of things to what may have happened.
Hopefully we can be friends again one day, with better understandings of each other. We are all older now and grow older every day (and hopefully more mature). If not, thank you for your friendship anyway.
I wish you nothing but the best in life, my dear Past Friends (and maybe Friends-To-Be).