“Physically I’m fine. Emotionally I’m bruised.” -H. Styles
(In case you missed the recent drama, here’s what’s happened: (fri)Endship)
First and foremost, thank you for the overwhelming amount of messages of sympathy which is exactly what I needed last week because I’m a needy hoe.
I can’t help but dwell on something like this despite my strong urge to bury it deep inside and forget it ever happened. My M.O. is to pick up and run when things are difficult, which ironically is what I was in the middle of doing for other unrelated reasons. My excitement to start something completely new in a month is doing a dishwasher like dance with my gut-wrenching dread and pain every time I think of that fucking email that Charlie sent me. I don’t know if I want to chunder from excitement or from terrible nerves at the idea that I’ve let a relationship deteriorate so aggressively that someone I use to refer to as my soulmate doesn’t even want to look at me.
Thick as thieves and partners in crime probably have a criminal aspect them for a reason. From pushing Charlie onto the roof of a club so that we could sneak into a private party through the window to far more sordid situations we have found ourselves in, I can say hand in my heart that if I were to actually commit a crime there’s no one else I would’ve wanted driving the getaway vehicle. Even if she is a terrible driver.
The problem I have with the way in which Charlie has ended things is that her timeline of the apparent decline of our friendship includes YEARS of good times we’ve had which I now feel have been completely devalued. Am I delusional? Is this Shutter Island? Have I completely lost the plot or what? Have I made her so livid that she’s completely shut out any good memories of our friendship? I think it could also be that I remind her of a time and lifestyle that she wants to put behind her so that she can move forward with her marriage, since an angel she ain’t. During my speech at her wedding I joked that if anyone knows too much it’s me, and over the past six months I’ve questioned if she took it as less of a joke and more of a threat. Despite being a lockbox of people’s secrets that I wouldn’t even consider sharing anonymously I can’t help but wonder if I’m just the physical embodiment of certain regrets she has. Sure, they were her choices, but I was always there by her side. (And yes, SHE asked ME to give a speech at her wedding. Which only adds to the confusion of these apparent years of not feeling the same way.)
As The Darkness said, “love is only a feeling.” But so is a bee sting and those hurt as hell, too. You can love someone without liking them, which is where I am at the moment. I can’t turn off the kind of deep love I have for my friends, especially my best friends. It’s always going to be part of me and the only thing I can do is try and think of the good times with fondness instead of resentment. Not that easy of a task as it turns out.
In 2011 I had a breakup that I was sure would be the worst thing that ever happened to me and dramatically sobbed that it was the end and that I would never love anyone like that again, which I haven’t. But as opposed to it being due to an inherent distrust or pessimistic view of love, I realised that feeling like part of you is missing when someone leaves you isn’t right. You can’t rely on someone to complete you, you can’t be an incomplete person and fill in the blanks with other people because at the end of the day no matter how tightly you hold onto someone, you will never have the power to control other people or how they feel.
I was wrong in thinking that breakup was the worst I would ever go through as this has profoundly hurt me to the point that where I am questioning everything about myself in an attempt to figure out what it is about me that people don’t like but are too fed up to bother and tell me about. People obviously change. I am 100% in agreement with Charlie on that. I would be a complete saddo if I were the same person I was at 18. I only aim to keep learning and meeting new people and going to new places, as cliche as that sounds, but I hate sitting still. Charlie has been at the same university for almost twelve years between her undergrad, postgrad and doctorate studies. So it’s a bit hypocritical to insinuate that I’m the one that doesn’t change. The only thing that hasn’t changed is my feelings for my best friend, which up until about a week ago I thought was mutual.
I think of friends like bands. I use to love Razorlight and listen to them all the time. When “In the Morning” comes on I’m not like, “oh fuck off, you lot. I’m done with you.” It’s like stepping into a time machine with all the good times that song reminds me of. I may not be in constant contact with my friends, in fact having traveled quite a lot I have close friends scattered around the world, but distance and time never seems to change the connection and friendship we have which is why this is the last thing I ever expected to happen with my best friend of fourteen years.
If there’s one thing I have learned, and I think I’ve said this, it’s that I have some fucking incredible friends who I am embarrassed to have put on a tier below Charlie for all of these years as they’ve responded to this with as much shock as I have, and have provided all the anger I can’t find within myself to have for her. It’s hard sometimes to completely trust that what I’m writing isn’t totally biased and one-sided, despite trying to understand and convey Charlie’s point of view in this situation. So whilst people who read what I previously wrote have been very kind, it’s just my side, and obviously the side that Charlie was willing to tell me but which makes me sound like a total bitch. It’s on blind faith that anyone who reads what I write believes that I’m not that person, so when my friends who know me in real life react with the same kind of sympathy and bitterly curse Charlie for making me feel how I do, it’s a different kind of reassuring.
In the end, nothing is really all that reassuring, and I don’t think the situation will ever be less depressing (for me at least). However as opposed to climbing into bed for a month and crying, it’s just become something that’s happened. The thought of what’s happened will always cause a twinge of grief, but it’s not something that I’m willing to carry around with me at all times. I don’t know if accepting what’s happened is testament to being more mature or due to the fact that her sentiment is something that I’ve sensed and was actually expecting. Either way, I have no intention of replying to her or trying to argue about anything that’s been said because at the end of the day I just want my best friend to be happy. (And I also want to break the habit of referring to her as my best friend.) If her happiness is contingent on a life independent of our friendship then I suppose all I can really do is wish her all the best.
And that’s the last I have to say about that.