It feels injurious to stop loving, caring, and sharing life with someone once our friendship has reached that level. It feels unnatural when it suddenly comes to a halt. In fact, I’m confident that I’ve never stopped loving anyone that I ever really loved in the first place. This time is no different in that regard.
It is different in the respect that the ending was so fast and so incredibly final. It’s different because in a maelstrom of anger and insecurity I lashed out in the worst way I ever have in my entire life. It’s also different because my actions resulted in some seriously intense reactions. Even though it’s fair to say the extreme measures you took in the blink of an eye are understandable, I’ve come to realize that beyond feeling incredibly remorseful about what I did, I’ve been wrestling with my own feelings of betrayal. It’s hard to explain why I haven’t let those feelings surface, but I’ll try.
Since I was the one that lashed out in a horrible, unacceptable way that day I’ve never felt like I was entitled to feel anything other than remorse. And indeed remorse is the dominant emotion I felt then and I still carry with me now. But honestly, what you did is wrong in its own ways. You did the one thing you promised you’d never do – and you did it in the most public, extreme way. I would understand if from that day forward you told me to never contact you again. I would have understood if you had told me what an awful person I was and that you hated me. I would have understood if you had called me psycho or crazy – because for those few minutes I really was. But you didn’t. Instead, without trying to communicate with me in any way, shape, or form, you decided that I wasn’t worth the time it would take to talk through things. Even if that communication had resulted in the termination of our friendship it would have been a more honorable way to do it. You didn’t even have to actually talk to me. You could’ve texted or emailed. No, I wouldn’t have liked it. I probably would’ve begged and pleaded for you to forgive me. But I would’ve respected you enough to leave you alone if that was really was what you wanted. It would’ve been hard, but it wouldn’t have been as destructive as this has been for either of us.
Why didn’t you trust me? In every talk that was honest and vulnerable and real I told you repeatedly that I would never EVER do anything to hurt you or your family. I promised. I even told you not to listen to me when I said stupid things like that because I wouldn’t ever do that. You promised me you’d never do that to me either. And yet within 40 minutes of receiving my idiotic, emotional, inappropriate texts I’d been served papers by a lawyer. Within 16 hours you had spilled everything to the highest level of executives in our company. I feel like I’m not allowed to have any resentment towards you because of what I said, but dammit…it was said in the span of two minutes. It was about .000000001% of the things I said to you. What about what I said the overwhelming majority of the time? Why did you put more weight in my words in a moment of nastiness than you did in the hours and hours and hours we talked, texted, and emailed? I get that you were scared in that moment. I don’t blame you. But as hard as it is for me to admit since I was definitely the bigger offender that day I feel like I need to be real with myself and validate my own feelings. All of them. Even the ones that I probably don’t have a right to feel.
I feel like you betrayed me that day, too. You hurt me that day, too. You let me down that day, too. It felt like you were trying to break my family up, make me lose my job, and basically ruin my entire life. I’m not lost on the irony of what I’m saying here. I sent texts threatening to ruin your life and tell your wife. But one of the hardest things to reconcile in all of this is that you didn’t have enough faith in me or in our friendship to trust me even though I had been completely trustworthy to that point. It cuts me to the core that you didn’t have enough faith in me and in our friendship to see my behavior that day for exactly what it was – an emotional outburst. A tantrum. A moment that makes me cringe every single time I think of it.
I’m not implying that I don’t take all the blame for that day. I could never blame you for doing what you felt you had to do to stop the madness of those minutes. What I am saying is that I wish in the thousands of other moments where I showed love and care for you or supported and encouraged you, I wish they’d have held more weight. I wish you would’ve looked at it from your usual perspective as an analyst. Statistically speaking, that moment was a complete outlier. Yes, I did send those texts. No, that wasn’t the norm. Not even close.
I’ve come to realize that you always had the upper hand with me. I’m perfectly okay with that. I probably would’ve said it back when we were friends had I given it much thought. It’s really easy to delude ourselves into believing something even if it seems too good to be true when we want it so much. That’s where I found myself. I probably should have noticed the vast difference in the amount of care and attention that were put into the friendship. I tried to ignore the days where you seemed cold and distant. I brushed off the times that you seemed to run either extremely hot or ice cold. I didn’t want to imagine that the connection I felt with you was really just rooted in sexual chemistry on your end. To me, that was the least of the qualities you had that drew me in and made me want to nurture the friendship.
I’ve said it before and it’s true – I have the most amazing husband and group of friends that anyone could ever wish for. There’s no question in these relationships that they care for me as much as I care for them. I allowed (or maybe forced) myself to believe you were one of them. You were going to be a friend for life. Instead, this.
Loving you as a cherished friend wasn’t a lie. Believing you could love me and hold our friendship in the same high esteem that I did was.
Finding Peace in Truth,
Currently playing in the soundtrack of my mind: Say Anything by Good Charlotte. It’s the perfect song for this moment, actually. I can’t believe it hasn’t played in my mind before now because it’s fitting in so many ways.