I’m not sure where you are in life but I wanted to get a few things off my chest. I understand that not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime. Most people in life are merely a lesson. Once the lesson is realised then something happens to force people to part ways.
I understand that the loss of a baby is devastating. I also understand that you most likely felt alone. I can only imagine the heartbreak you were processing. It’s not a game of who’s trauma is worse so don’t get it twisted. I was open with you about the pain I was processing with my family (aka a circus of people causing me harm). You were helpful to reinforce that their anger was not my issue. In fact, you were supportive of me doing another vipassana retreat in hopes to get back to basics and heal myself. I appreciate that type of support, really.
What I didn’t expect is someone, a friend of 25 years, to use the same trauma I was processing to hurt me.
You have turned to me for financial help with your girls (school supplies?). You’ve asked about sponsoring a trip overseas (remember Italy?). You have asked me to help you move furniture during one of my visits home (mom and I made a day of it). You reached out when you were on bedrest during your difficult pregnancy (I surprise visited you). You called me upset about your mom/friends that didn’t show up (always answered the phone). You even unloaded about a man that hurt you (I offered to bust his kneecaps). You have never shied away from asking for something. Aside from sponsoring a trip, I’ve always helped you. Without hesitation, I’ve been there, for you, in your time of need.
I’m not sure why it was so difficult for our friendship to be a two-way street. Part of the issue is that I don’t make it a habit of asking people for help. I simply don’t. I learned in middle school that most people want to see others suffer, so I simply focused on being my best version. That way of life is fantastic until I reached my breaking point. My breaking point was filled with people that kept taking. I didn’t realise the amount of takers I had in my life. I also didn’t realise the amount of ‘friends’ that would turn their back on me during a time of struggle.
I know you are challenging my words but if we are being honest, ask yourself to name a specific instance that I’ve ever asked you for anything. Or how about ask yourself for a specific instance that you did something for me that didn’t benefit you in some way. (The ONLY thing that I ask of people is kindness and love. I outline this for the sake of argument to illustrate the difference between the givers and takers).
For the 2nd time in my life, I needed a friend. The 2nd time that I’ve felt so completely lost and just needed a friend to show me kindness. I failed at self-care and my cup was damn near empty. My life was filled with takers. And during this delicate time in my life, despite all the times that I showed up for you, what did you do? You waited for my birthday and sent me a string of abusive messages calling me a narcissist, bitch and Lord knows what else (I stopped reading your words).
You were supposed to be my friend. Friends don’t act like that. Especially friends of 25 years. My heart breaks that you were dealing with a tremendous amount of pain. My heart breaks that you clearly failed at managing your own pain.
The lesson that I draw from you is a reminder on priorities. I’ve spent so many decades being that perfect friend for others. Being a perfect friend was at the cost of being my own perfect friend. I needed that reminder to block out others and stay focused on my own healing. My own self-love. My own needs. I needed to stop betraying myself. Your unacceptable behaviour was the Universe slapping me in the face to stop helping others and continue helping myself. When I hurt, I do sports. When I hurt, I disappear in the woods. When I hurt, I travel for new experiences. All of those tools were useless. I needed a new tool and my heart decided on writing. When I hurt, I needed to write. Your actions came at the beginning of my public sharing of my writing. The disharmony between us was to enable me to let you go and focus on what I needed for me. So thank you.
I hope you know that I still cherish our memories and hope that you are doing better. I do not hold any ill will towards you. I have accepted the apology that hasn’t been voiced and I forgave your inappropriate behaviour. I am actually grateful and in awe. Having such a betrayal is a testament to the strength of my love for people I call a friend. If we just had a petty disagreement, I would not have understood the lesson. If it were a petty disagreement, I would have made excuses or justified your treatment towards me. So this situation was painful and necessary.
It was a hard lesson that helped me to focus inward. Thank you for forcing me to re-focus. My pain. My cup of love. My healing. My journey. My wellness.
With love (and gratitude),
Note: Above is my letter to heal. The original letter of gratitude can be found here.
#WhyIWrite #MentalWellness #LettersToHeal #LettersOfGratitude #GrowthThroughGratitude #LessonsInLife #Friendship #Betrayal #FocusInward #AwarenessBeforeChange #JourneyToPeace