I would have never been able to understand the real meaning of why people come in and out of our lives, without you.
The first time that I couldn’t believe that this was coming to end, was when I was publicly walking around, photographing the high school graduation that you were a guest at. At the end, when I found it in my blood, to approach you, you greeted me as if it was the first time you were seeing me that day. After you had just watched me waltz around the venue, camera in hand. Was my hair too long to recognize me? Or was your ego too big to address me? I walked up to you and said something rude in the end, because I was hurt and you had no right to treat me the way that you were: like I was invisible.
For years, I sat idly by as you measured your worth to my value. I sat by when I watched you take our friendship and discount it to nothing, after almost 10 years of sharing secrets, memories, tears, and laughter. I was betrayed. I watched as you took another friend and replaced me, as if to throw it in my face. You did it in such an expected way though, I should have seen it coming. You needed to feel good about yourself and I was not the friend that gave you that. Instead, I was the friend that tried to stick by your side through thick and thin, I admired your ability to achieve your goals, and I spoke highly of you. I always found a way to stand up for you, because you were my friend, my best friend. But that was not enough, you needed control over me to control yourself. But I had a mind of my own and it was not okay for me to be so independent.
Do you remember the night that I was raped? Do you remember that night E-? Do you remember me telling you and you brushing it off like I had said something normal? Do you remember, years later, going to my own mother, and crying about something that didn’t happen to you? Crying out of regret, shame. You didn’t help me when I needed it most and yet, I had let it go, for years, until you brought your guilt to my own mother. You had no right to speak to my mother about something that didn’t happen to you. You didn’t and still don’t deserve to swell a tear about it. Take your self pity elsewhere, I am past forgiveness.
The countless trips that my family included you in, the dinners, the flights, the gifts, the holidays-how did I not see then, that you were only using me, using us. My family gave you so much.
Then one day, out of the blue, you contacted me. You contacted me to settle your mind. You were looking for forgiveness and empathy, for me to understand that you had reached a point, with counseling, to forgive me for something that you could never even formulate in to words. You couldn’t even admit to what you had spent years, blaming me for. But you needed closure apparently, you were told to forgive me, to come to peace with whatever had trigged what it did. I know first hand that it’s easier to blame someone else for the problems that occur within.
I had spent years after that encounter at the graduation event, wondering what on earth I had possibly done to make you resent me, to make you feel that the way you began to treat me was acceptable. I did not have an answer, I was not going to get one either. So I let go of you. I let go of all the years. I let go of the hurt, the embarrassment. I let go of something I knew I didn’t deserve.
I did not give you the response you wanted in that e-mail. You wrote back angered by my ability to not accept your perceived efforts. That was not what you were expecting, I’m sure you had assumed that, with so much time having passed, that I would willing to see things from your side. I had nothing to see though, I am not even sure you apologized, I am not even sure that you comprehended nor comprehend the impact you had in the way you treated me. When you let our friendship die for no reason, I let you die in my eyes. I lost all the respect that I had spent years building for you, blindly.
I learned how to be okay on my own though. See, you come to realize that when someone treats you a certain way without explanation, you give yourself the right to let go of them. You learn that people that are willing to hurt you like that, don’t deserve anything from you, anymore. You learn to forgive yourself for misplacing your compassion, for mistrusting someone with parts of your life.
People come in and out of your life for a reason, we are not meant to hold on to everyone. You have taught me that lesson and that, I thank you for. I thank you for letting me see what a real friendship takes and means. I thank you for teaching me not to sell myself short on the people I deserve to surround myself with. I thank you for giving me ability to find the people that I know are genuine friends, without knowing what I did not want in a friend, I have found the ones that really are there through thick and thin. The ones that you keep for a lifetime.
For that, I am grateful beyond words.