January 26, 2015
Just Getting Something Off My Chest
First off, I know I don't have many friends. A few good acquaintances here and there and I'm definitely closer to some more than others, but generally not true friends. I've probably spent far too much of my life pushing people away or just trying to protect myself. Maybe I wasn't meant to have close friends.....I don't mean that in a self-pitying fashion, just that this usually isn't an issue for me....it isn't a hole I've been trying to fill.
Regardless, I am keenly aware that I don't easily form close relationships and maybe because of this I value my friendships maybe more than I should.
Years ago I did manage to become friends with someone I would never have expected to. In some ways I really felt this friends was a kindred spirit and I ended up visiting him more than I did my own flesh & blood family. We had our own inside jokes, shared a lot of ourselves, and basically were (what I thought of as) close friends despite living more than 1/2 way across the country from each other.
When he had a family tragedy I did whatever I could to be there for him, which was difficult financially for me and stung my family a bit because my parents had a similar event not three weeks prior. Didn't matter, it was the right thing to do.
I don't know when things started to go South, but eventually my friend started lying about me and to me. I told him several times how badly this made me feel, which I'm not sure he ever understood. Eventually I had to make a conscious decision to forgive him, and anyone who knows me knows I'm not the forgiving type. I honestly think I did forgive, which was probably a first for me, but I know I hadn't forgotten. Instead I just stopped doing what I was doing before and removed myself from the activities that were at the crux of everything.....problem solved, right?
We didn't even make it a year before there was more lying. My friend made a big show of force that he was being supportive while all the time he was doing the exact opposite of what he'd told me. While I didn't really care about the underlying "thing" I did care that I was being lied to. That hurt more than some dumb shit I'd never have known otherwise if he hadn't brought it up to me in that lie. Of course I confronted my friend and ended up hurting his feelings. It ends up he'd been drinking and what he heard me say wasn't what I'd said, but that didn't matter. I apologized for hurting his feelings, but didn't invalidate my own.
My buddy then shut me out and ended up trying to twist things so that I was the "bad guy" in everything. He wouldn't even consider the possibility that he might have done something wrong or offensive to me. It was all my fault and he formally ended the friendship.
That was over two years ago and I've run into him since then and tried to be civil, but the extent that I've been snubbed/ignored is quite painful to experience first-hand. I think about all this far more often than I should. I don't know if this is because of a defect of character on my part or some deep-seated desire to re-kindle what was obviously not a healthy relationship.
Trying to bring this whole thing full-circle.....Saturday I came across some of my old friend's writing that...well, just plain hurt. He was writing about a fictional character, explaining why some other characters haven't gotten rid of him:
"We all have friends with a certain degree of jerk-factor. At least I do. ;).......or simply because he's a friend and you don't quit friends."
Well, the characters in your fictional world might not quit friends, but you certainly do.