I have this friend. Or rather, I had this friend. My belief is that everyone should have this kind of friend, and no one should ever go without a friend like this. The kind where you memorize their phone number, the kind where you do little things for them just because you saw something and thought “oh, they’d love that”. The kind where you talk on the phone for hours, and share secrets, anger, laughter, and tears. The kind of friend that meets you for drinks at 10pm just because you are having that kind of day. The kind of friend who just gets you, and you just get them.
I had that kind of friend. The kind of friend I had wished for as a little girl, and the kind that I know are so hard to find. So ridiculously hard to find that I didn’t find her until I was into my mid-twenties.
This past year she went through her share of transitions. You know the ones that aren’t supposed to happen, but do anyhow, despite our best efforts? She used my house as a safe haven when she made the first of many huge decisions. I watched as she made a brave step to walk away from her marriage for good. I watched and coached her as she struggled to find her new self among the rubble. I supported when I could, I offered my advice when necessary, and I stayed vigilant in the role I’d always had- The Completely Honest Friend.
Because that’s who I am and that’s what our friendship has always been based on. Complete honesty even when it’s not necessarily what you want to hear, but need it. I’m that friend, the kind of friend who you know will never bullshit you or coddle you. I’m the friend who will always be straight, never harboring judgment or resentment. Instead, I ask you to explain so I understand, and most of the time it makes our friendship better. I am the one who will never let you buy a pair of pants if they don’t look perfect. I’ll tell you if you have pen on your face, or tell you if you are overreacting (nicely, of course). Ask my long time BFF or any of current close friends. You never have to guess with me, because I’ll tell you what’s on my mind, but never in an abrasive way.
This part of my personality, the part that had been something she’d once told me she adored, now didn’t seem to jive with what she wanted. My honesty was no longer valid or valued, and she seemed eager to have me tell her what she wanted to hear versus what she may have needed to hear. She no longer needed me or wanted me to talk her off ledges. Instead wanted me to push her off by encouraging behavior that she’d once asked me to never allow her to do (you know those conversations, “Tell me if I ever act like that, please?”). All of a sudden, my honesty, and loyalty was no longer needed. For whatever reason it was in question and being mocked. Even when I retracted my usually verbose self, it still wasn’t enough. She wanted me to completely side with her, even when she knew my ethics and morals wouldn’t. Even though, she knew that I was completely behind her, even if we didn’t see eye to eye.
At the peak of our issues, I walked away and so did the rest of our group of friends. Not because we chose to, but because she refused ownership on how her behavior was impacting us, and how it was hurting us. We all acknowledged that she was going through some tough stuff, but going through tough stuff is never a free pass to treat your friends like they are lesser beings then yourself. It’s never an invitation to use your friends for your own needs and ignore them the rest of the time. Nonetheless, we all walked away with different opinions of how it would play out; I walked away with the hopeful prediction that she would take a week or two to calm down, and then she’d come back around. We’d all say our piece and we’d move on, becoming even better friends.
But that hasn’t happened. The months went by and I went from annoyed to angry. Then from angry to confused. Then from confused to guilty. Then from guilty to confused again. I honestly felt like the reason we were no longer speaking was trivial and just a passing obstacle. Something we’d all get past at some point in time. Truly, as friends go she was the best of the best. She was there when Girlie was born. She helped host my Blessingway. She was the friend who I wanted everyone to love and desperately protected. We had BBQ’s with her every summer. She was fun to
get drunk drink with. We had our weekly Dexter dates. I had her in my home with my children, whom I know she adored. And I the same for her children. Our friendship was never the kind that I would consider worthy of trash. It was the kind of friendship that was built to last for life.
And yet, here we are. I reached out twice this past week. Three times if you count the text I sent her telling her I miss her, and she responded asking who I was. An indicator that she had deleted me from her phone. In this day and age, deleting someone from your phone is more then just a casual act. It’s an admittance that you no longer see the need to have that number in your phone because you’ll never use it again. Despite that virtual slap in the face, I tried again. Because that’s the kind of friend I am. I’m the friend who won’t give up on you, even when you’ve hurt me. Because I’m the kind of friend who can see through the actions and wants to give you another chance, because you mean something greater to me.
I sent an email, and it has not not been replied to. I am doubtful it ever will. The request to be her “friend” on Instagram was refused.
I’m hurt. I’m brokenhearted. I’m sad. Mostly, I’m disappointed. I don’t just throw my friends away. If you aren’t in my life, there is a very good reason for it. Because I have no real family relation, other then my in-laws (who are wonderful but it’s not the same), my friends are my family. And it hurts like hell when I am hit with the hard realization that not everyone values friendship in the same manner I do.
I’m not the perfect friend, I know that. I’m sure my friends get annoyed by my honesty at times, and my obsessive nature. Yet, despite my flaws, I know they have my back. I know they are there. I know when we’re angry one day, that we’ll get back to ourselves eventually. That we’ll forgive and laugh about it later. Because that’s what kind of friends I have.
I feel rather pathetic for trying to fix this seemingly lost cause. I had people telling me it wasn’t worth it, that she wasn’t worth it. For some reason, she’s always been worth it in my eyes. Even despite her flaws, and our issues. I thought we’d be able to sit down in our group of friends and hash this out then close it. I thought we’d go back to laughing our faces off at our silly stories, and back to just being there for each other.
I really thought we’d be friends again. Which is why I feel the most foolish of all. Every relationship knows a good “fight”, but the good ones, the truly good relationships, come back from the ugly stuff, and they make it through.
I thought we had that good friendship, the surviving friendship.
The realization that I was wrong about our friendship is the toughest pill to swallow.
Besides the empty seat when our group goes out on the town, and she’s not there. A physical realization that our friendship has become non-existent, and that spot will likely remain unfilled.
She’s made her choice, and now it’s my turn to be the friend who can just respect that decision, even if it’s not what I would have her choose.