We all know that one person who, ya know, may have been your friend for a while–hell, may have even been your friend since birth, but something shifted or subtly changed? Do you feel the need to keep clinging to a friendship that is slowly taking on water like the Titanic? Do you feel guilty sticking up for yourself and finding your voice?
If you’re feeling some kind of way, I’ve got some advice for you. Read on, loves!
To Those I’ve Left Behind,
Hi, I guess.
I mean, I would say hi if you said hi to me first
but by the vacant look in your eyes and the sneer on your lips, it’s probably
better that I just focus on not falling in these heels and simply pass by
with no recognition.
I don’t know where things went wrong.
Wait, okay, I do, but I don’t like seeming like the victim, you know?
So let’s think about what I could have done to cause this rift–this subtle shift in power
between the two of us.
My support for you never waivered–whether it be through relationships, friendships,
family hardships, 2 AM phone calls, and tears.
And that’s just what friends do, ya know? They show you love
when you most need it and give you a make-up wipe
to rid your face of mascara streaks and sadness. And I feel as
though I did that. But maybe…not enough?
So many things left uninvited–so many familiar feelings
always threatening to bubble to the surface uncontrollably.
People questioned my judgement; people wondered why I remained friends with you.
And sometimes, I even questioned myself:
Why? Why would I let this negativity dictate my life and my feelings?
Was it guilt? Was it thinning loyalty? Was it just because
we already knew too much about the other person? What was
left to lose?
I can’t pretend like I wasn’t sad about it all. I treat friends
like family and I suffered a loss here–multiple losses.
I opened myself up for years–for midnight
texts on birthdays to Starbucks and laughing at the music they would play on the patio
to camping and dancing to jam sessions and wine coolers.
I let you in and I trusted that you would cherish our
friendship in the same manner.
But that’s my fault, I guess. It’s my fault that I realized that our friendship
was slowly disintegrating. I guess it was my fault that I never spoke up to you
to let you know how I was feeling. It’s my fault for slapping band-aids on issues
and for not speaking my truth when the time called for it.
It’s my fault for being too nice, I guess. I should have said
something earlier. Maybe then we could have salvaged the
frayed ends…or not.
I feel as though some friends are sent into your life to teach you or shape you
in some philosophical or psychological way. And for that, I thank you. You
have blessed me with the biggest set of lady balls, because now I don’t tolerate
anyone treating me in that manner.
So whether it be my fault for staying silently by your side or
yours for taking advantage of my loyalty,
I thank you.
Thank you for showing me exactly what I don’t deserve.
Phew, y’all. I never thought I would post something like this, but I feel as though you, my readers, need to know that I’m just like you. I feel pain and I deal with dying friendships. I struggle and I sometimes feel like I’m drowning in negativity, desperately trying to convince myself that I deserve better.
But just know you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. And yes, it will be hard at first. And yes, the other person (or people) will probably talk shit about you to anyone and everyone as to make you out to be the asshole. And you have to know that it’s okay: the ones who love you and know you–and I mean truly love you and have your best interests at heart–those are the ones you keep and never let go of–they know exactly who you are.
So whether it’s a friend whom you’ve known for ages or maybe even a friendship that was forged under quirky, outcast circumstances in those awkward days of high school, you never deserve to think that this guilt that you’re feeling for wanting to change and evolve and grow is a bad thing. It’s a great thing.
It means you’re living–it means you’re growing.
And that, my friends, is intrinsically the opposite of being consumed by toxicity.
If you’d like to read more about trying to trudge through an overwhelming amount of toxicity, then be sure to snag your very own copy of XXII today and follow Madison as she battles the toxicity within herself and all around her, fighting for that one last shred of hope: Hunter.
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