*Warning: This is a prosaic purge. This is me naked in a brushfire. I share some painful memories but I want to release them and move on. If you are easily bothered by exposed vulnerability, perhaps skip this. I bleed profusely. Also note that I feel no pity for myself. I am who I am because of these experiences… and I wouldn’t change a thing.*
I recently read that losing a friend is one of the most underrated heartbreaks.
And it can hurt like hell.
Especially when special ones vanish.
Those are the ones for whom I hold out a candle in their dark to lead them back when they are feeling stronger.
If they decide to turn away, that’s their choice. Hopefully I can keep the candle burning if they ever turn back around.
But we all know that candles don’t burn forever… despite our best efforts.
A single tear can extinguish a flame.
Sometimes people are just done with you… and you have to accept it.
They were special to you, and you served a purpose to them… until you didn’t.
Those losses take a lion’s share of strength to overcome. Because it was always a one-way street… and you were driving the wrong fucking direction the whole time and didn’t even realize it until you crashed.
Losing friends can even be heartbreaking when you have to be the one to do the vanishing.
Mostly because you’re stuck with all of the memories and the cold leftover hurt.
I have had to do that.
More times than I have fingers and toes to count…
And hair follicles if you count walking away from the taint-stain that is social media,
Like Fakebook and Instagag.
That shit isn’t friendship;
It’s emotional manipulation and reality curation,
And I think those sites are nefarious;
Even the social aspects of WordPress are not without a sense of the sinister…
This I know from the low feelings I experience when scrolling through the feed and checking notifications… or a lack of them… and having the distinct feeling that I am getting skipped over somehow….
Is there a way to have a site without the stupid “Reader”? Anyone? How can I not get notifications for anything? I hate that stupid bell and that I can’t not check. I hate all the pinging and un-pinging.
It makes me feel physically ill… the stomach acid sloshing up and down my esophagus.
The shittiness of feeling socially rejected via technology…
Even if it is all in my head…
Even if it is all of my own projected wounding…
These sites create opportunties for us to hate ourselves.
I sometimes flirt with the idea of leaving WordPress for good and starting anew somewhere else with no likes and comments and motherfucking notifications… or lack thereof.
Sometimes I flirt with the idea of being the doorless Cathedral I poemed about a while back. It’s safer to keep myself to myself.
••• Digression ends •••
But I am luckily well-versed in rejection.
Been there, done that.
I don’t mean to sound self-victimizing but it’s just true.
Most friends I had in childhood and adolescence were fairweather or just plain shit at best. Isn’t that always the way though….
I admired these 3 girls back in grade 1. They allowed to me to attend an exclusive sleep-over party once. I felt like an unneeded appendage. The following Monday when I was hanging out with them… or trying to… they all turned around and shoved me, making me spill backward onto the hopscotch grid, and said that they didn’t hang out with losers and that I should get lost.
If they had told me to die, I probably would have done that too. But they didn’t have to;
A part of me withered like a cut flower that day anyway.
When I repeated grade 5 because I wasn’t smart enough to keep up, my classmates all moved on to grade 6 and forgot about me;
It was like I no longer existed.
Except some dick named Jermaine remembered me and called me dumb for failing (don’t worry… he repeated grade 7… so I wasn’t the only loser).
One person continued to be my friend… but after 20+ years of my giving of love and support paired with her taking of it, and her giving of tongue lashings and insults, and my taking of it, I said enough, and told her to lose my number for good.
I was fed lines of the break-up because I couldn’t do it myself.
Going back… I had made new friends in my second grade 5 class. One was mean and bitchy… and I was the only person she liked for some reason. She was ok to me… but cruel to others, especially boys and men. When we got older, she chewed them up and spat them out while I watched, saddened because I would never treat anyone who was interested in me like that. She used them while I pined.
Boys never noticed me. Unless it was to call me names… or ask about my hot friends. Maybe it was a blessing they never saw me standing there.
I walked away from her toxicity at the age of 23. And a guy we were both “best friends” with who only hung out with me to get to her. I loved him. And I was invisible to him. And it all hurt too much so I walked away from him as well.
He was stupid for letting me slip away. I was a really good friend… and she milked him dry and threw him out after she had had her fun. He went back for more time and again because of “love”. I realize now it was just pathetic. I stopped caring about his feelings after. I have no clue where he is now and I don’t care.
Another friend I made my second time around in grade 5 was a narcissist… well, she filled out beautifully into one.
It was like watching a rose unfurl and turn black from the poison of broken family, entitlement and Daddy issues. They always say hurt people hurt people; she was proof.
In high school, she went after all of the guys I liked… even dated one and made me tag along with them. He would ask me for advice on taming her wildness. I laughed and knew he was a goner. She was a man-eater (worse than the other chick I mentioned) and he was fast food.
Boys had a shorter shelf-life but she had extracted years and years out of me.
My parents warned me about these snakey girls and how they were bad for my health. But I didn’t believe it until I was respectively disposed of after I had fulfilled my purpose or until my supply ran out, and humiliated in front of a large group of mutual friends for thinking I was someone different than what she permitted me to be.
I didn’t understand why I attracted asshole “friends” most of my life until I learned about the empath/narcissist dynamic… and I felt the acid sloshing again mixed with a modicum of relief and a tonne of shame.
It think it is the utter humiliation of no-self-worth that burns more than the stomach acid. I’m just too sensitive. Always have been. And the waves of shame-singed spew in my belly and chest confirm it.
I made my truest friends when I had just enough self-respect to kick the others out. They appeared at a time when I was getting ready to maybe think I was worth a little more than what I was accepting.
They are still around and will be forever. They know me better than anyone, and they love me better than anyone.
I would slay dragons and evildoers for them. And they would do the same for me.
There are 3. Truly. And my husband. Just about everyone else is either an acquaintance, a colleague, a family member I am either avoiding or estranged from, or a fair weather friend who is starting to fade into the edges from whence they came.
New friendships are almost impossible to make and maintain. I have tried but there is always something that doesn’t quite feel right. I have too many irreconcilable facets that if I showed them all to everyone in my life, most people would run for the hills.
Truthfully, I can’t handle too many people anymore. My high sensitivity demands inordinate amounts of alone time to feel alive and connected and energized, and often I choose it over people.
I have met less than a handful of people on the internets that I consider safe to be true friends that could stand the test of time… if I let them. Many people who have passed through have been great, but I have to be selective about who I let in.
I grow gardens now rather than cut them down.
For those who have come and gone, I wish you well. Thanks for teaching me something about myself. Hope I did the same for you but it’s ok if I didn’t. Your lessons are your task, not mine.
I guess as long as I have my perfectly pruned, iron gate enclosed circle of love all around me, I don’t ever have to worry about being on the outside again.
And if I ever do find myself on the outside, then I should be my own best friend, right?
But something tells me I should have started doing that back in grade 1.
Better late than never to start trying now though.
*** Sweetheart, what’d I say about the Rolaids? Don’t you remember the Rolaids? ***
*** The acid will stop splashing up into my throat like a current of self-hate when I can finally be all that I need. ***
*** Yeah, that. And some fucking Rolaids. ***