Saturday, December 2, 2017

Friends kind of suck.

"Now I'm fucking lonely / and you didn't want me / trying to show me / that you didn't own me / but all you do is leave me / fucking lonely / knees on the concrete / got up I'm bleeding / for no goddamn reason / but all you do is leave me fucking lonely / leave me fucking lonely"  - "Lonely" by Demi Lovato
I wrote in another post about how I met up with an old friend from the first college I attended. We hadn't seen each other in two years, since I had left our alma mater because of the severity of my depression at the time. My friend spent quite a bit of time catching me up on the drama that had gone on in her little friend group from our alma mater since I had been gone. The awkward part of this, of course, is that I was friends with all of the members of this friend group. For some reason they bonded with each other and I never made it onto the wagon, even though I would hang out with them occasionally (when they deigned to invite me) and was friends with all of them individually. During my last year at the school, they would have hang out and go on road trips together, and, as I found out in the course of my conversation this September, have secret meetings and trips off campus I wasn't even aware of.

Anyways, I kept in some touch (or at least attempted to) with some of this group since I left that school, and I had caught wind of some troubles in paradise, but I was never entirely sure what was going on. My friend decided to dish on everything, and I was a bit surprised about all the drama, a bit taken aback that so much went on without my knowing. I was most shocked by all the difficulties they apparently went through during the school year after I left, pretty much none of which I was told about. My friend talked about how much they had struggled, how hard it had been, how much they had had to rely on each other, etc.

I nodded empathetically, I even felt guilty about being so absorbed in my own struggle with depression at the same time they were struggling. I started to question whether my struggle was special or even a valid complaint at all. She never acknowledged what I had gone through or that she had excluded me, even though I had in recent months expressed to her my pain over those things. Beyond that, it felt like she was rubbing in my face how close she and her two friends (also my friends) were, and what great friends they were.

I'm thinking of all this again today - I'd much rather be moving on with my life - because this friend was going through one of her besties' photos on social media and commenting on all of them, I'm assuming to cheer the friend up and show her appreciation for her. I honestly, as shallow as it might be, felt a bit jealous, a bit angry...I've tried to hard over the past three years that I've known this woman to be a supportive, loving, encouraging friend. I've tried to open up, I've listened when she broke down, I've listened when she raved about friends she loved, I've kept in touch since we moved to different areas...I don't honestly know what more I could've done to be a better friend. But for some reason I'm not good enough to be her best friend.

If at any time during this difficult time that she and her friends went through, any of them had turned to me for comfort, I would have provided it, no matter how much I myself was struggling. My friend acted like they only had each other and talked about how much closer they got relying on each other, and I felt even more excluded. I don't know why I couldn't have been included in the group after one of their members betrayed them. I don't know why they're issues were so all-encompassing that they it kept them from checking in on me after I left school because of my mental health issues.

I know this all sounds petty, it's just that it feels like this same shit keeps happening to me over and over in different incarnations. If it's not these friends, it's another set. If it's not a friend, it's a guy I like, who I go out of my way to express interest in, support, compliment, etc., and receive lukewarm "thanks" - if even that - in response.

I've been talking about the concept of anger with my therapist in recent weeks, how it's an emotion we tend to marginalize because it's socially frowned upon, especially in women. Coming from a religious background, I know often anger is condemned as immoral, but there is legitimate anger; Jesus yelled at the moneychangers and overturned their tables. It can be a serious problem that oftentimes we push that anger down; it poisons us, it spreads, it festers. It never gets dealt with or solved.

It's okay to allow ourselves to space for anger in our heart, to acknowledge that we are hurt and mad. There are completely valid reasons to be mad sometimes. Acknowledging that anger and getting it out, whether by telling a trusted friend or therapist about it, writing it down, painting it, exercising, screaming into a pillow, or whatever. Tear their photo up, throw your shirt across the room, shout "Fuck you" aloud when you're alone...there are non-destructive ways to expel some of that frustration and experience catharsis.

Pardon my French...but I think it needs to be said:

Fuck my crappy friends. Fuck the guys who haven't seen the good woman in front of them; one day I'll find someone who sees I will love them (and fuck them) like nobody else could. Fuck this hurt I've been carrying around all these years. Fuck this inferiority I've developed because of internalizing that I don't seem to be any of my friends' priority. Fuck social media and likes and feeling like only whatever the popular girls are after you graduate college can post pictures of their new dresses - you're not cool enough for that. I'm over seeking external validation for the good or bad I go through.

I hurt that year that my friends did. I was fucking dying inside. Nobody will ever take that way from me. That changed me. I will never be the same as I was before that year, and I don't feel the same as most people my age because of it. And if you were my friend and couldn't even send a fucking email to respond to my announcement that I wasn't coming back to school because I was that fucking depressed, you should just reevaluate yourself as a person.

Nobody can ever take away the accomplishments you've fought for or the shit you've fought through. If people don't acknowledge that you struggled, that doesn't mean it didn't hurt. If people don't applaud your hard work, it doesn't mean you shouldn't be proud. If people ignore you, it doesn't mean you're not worth knowing any more than nobody photographing a sunset means that it wasn't an absolutely magnificent thing that happened to the world. It just means the world was too dumb and preoccupied not to stop and appreciate the beauty right in front of them.

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