I’ve never considered myself to be a confrontational person. When things bother me, I bite my tongue. I swallow annoyance and offer compliant smiles. I ignore conflict until it swells and explodes and even then I desperately try to stifle it. However, this has been the problem. You say a lot when you’re not saying anything.
And so, in my silence I gained distance. Differences, resentments, hurt, anger, all the pent up emotions cracked the earth in two, a broken friendship laying in the rubble. It was one of the greatest pains I’ve ever known, realizing that the person I once swore to keep close was on the opposite side of a chasm. We stopped knowing how to understand one another, we un-learnt eachother.
Now, I was left with the burning question- what do I do with all this feeling? These happy memories? This intimate knowledge of a person who is on the fast track to becoming a stranger? Where do I go from here?
First, I hated. I was bitter and jaded and I thought of her with nothing but scorn. I called her evil names and I spit on the happy times we had shared.
Then when the heat faded I felt cold, sad, empty in a way. I didn’t think about her, I didn’t think about much of anything, just the small things.
Then I idly followed her life, I’d search her social media from time to time, I’d ask friends what she was up to, trying to fit myself into the world I had been exiled from in some way shape or form.
But every single method left me feeling like I had a phantom limb, she was the severed hand that I could still feel sometimes. And I got tired, tired of giving my energy to a person who stopped giving their energy to me. Tired of dwelling. Tired of hurting.
And so I forgave her, I forgave myself.
The point here is this: healing is a process. The trick is making sure we don’t trip on the way to the exit. Obsessing is easy, it’s almost addictive to trap yourself in the web of nostalgia and bitterness.
I no longer despise her, or resent her, or miss her. She is she, I am me, and we are two humans who taught each-other valuable lessons. I don’t know what she took away from the chaotic end of our time together as friends, but she taught me the danger of concealing my truth. The aftermath of the silence. She also taught me what it was like to have an amazing friendship, and even though it faded I am grateful for the experience.
Take what you can from the hard times, and make sure that next time you can say you tried to be better- and mean it. Everything is temporary, the tide ebbs and flows, constantly in motion, each day (good and bad) will end eventually. Close your eyes, inhale, hold your breath, exhale. Let it go.
until next time,