Saturday, July 27, 2013

According to yours truly (ATYT): The problem with friends

I cannot believe I am starting a new journal, one that, I hope, I will be able to maintain for a very long time, because of a not-exactly-friend friend that I got into a fight with today.

Let us leave the introductions for later.

In my experience, most bad "friends" want to stick around when they need you for something—fun, laughs, entertainment, advice, ranting and complaining, companionship (both good (they like being with you) and bad (they feel awkward being alone and you’re the only one around who can accompany them)), tickets to some concert, prestige, popularity, oh, I can go on...

It’s unfortunate that I can only name two out of all of the friends I’ve ever had who have never used me. In fact, I think I’ve used them and owed them. However, if you know me, you’d know that I’d love to give back, and more, simply for their friendship. Knowing that they know that makes me happy.

I have been betrayed so many times by friends that I loved so much. One small misunderstanding and they up and leave. This first type of ‘friends’, don’t even bother to ask what was really going on in your head, if it was possible they misunderstood you and jumped to conclusions. No—they just assume the worst; that you had evil thoughts, you betrayed them, pushed them away for selfish reasons, and didn’t even bother to apologize.

Then again, why must you apologize if you did nothing wrong?

If somebody else dug a hole for you, and you were desperately yelling down for them to stop, but they ignore you and keep digging, all you can do is sit by the mouth of that piece of land and wait until they come back up. The problem is, they never do.

They’re ex-friends with you.

There are other types of Judas friends. The second one would use you and use you and use you and assume you’re okay with it (you are... at first, until you realize that you are being exploited). They make themselves available for you but inwardly resent it, and fail to hide it. They make excuses to stay away from you, but come around when they need you.

A subtype is one who forgets about you because of distance, but goes out of their way to be with others on a daily basis. This subtype, however, uses you in a good way. They really, truly want to be with you, but are distracted by the goings-on in their lives (which include other groups of companionship). They are just a little irresponsible—which you can be, sometimes. Some best friends can belong to this subtype.

Sometimes, this type can be a little more infuriating because they are overly detached, but still call you by the secret nicknames you made up together back when they used to not take you for granted. They will appear accommodating, but will find other ways to show you that you’re only getting the short end of the stick. An example? They would never go to your favorite aunt’s funeral to comfort you if you hadn’t mentioned that one of your cousins, who they like, will be there as well.

What a world we live in, eh? Is there a way for humans to evolve personality-wise and character-wise? In a positive way? I wonder. No, no... I’m not talking about culture. Unfortunately. Insensitive jerks have been around for ages; jerkdom has just been accomplished in distinct ways as dictated by culture. But jerks are jerks, whether they’re dressed in corporate wear, gowns, tights, robes or animal skin/fur (I imagine a slideshow of images portraying assholes executing their most holy assiness in said clothing).

There is also a subtype of user friends that love to insult you. I guess they want to feel more superior to you (one good thing about this is, they probably put you on a pedestal) or better than you because they are insecure about some things. That’s how they use you. They’re okay companions, really, they’re even fun and easy to talk to. But they make you feel small the way only people you look up to, who have the right to, make you feel small, minor. These people don’t push you to do better, though, they just make you feel insignificant.

Today I had my first fight with Ilom*. I never predicted a fight in our relationship, but I did predict a falling out of some sort caused by my being... user-friendly.

Ah, he finally snapped. He was in a bad mood today (he hasn’t been in a genuine good mood since the end of last year), but what set today apart is the severity of his foul mood. He was angry about something that happened. For some reason, I started talking about the lesser issue that was embedded within a bigger one. This led to telling him that I have possibly racist conclusions about a western group. He kept pressing to find out what this observation was, but I feared that he would, indeed, find it offensive. I made a joke out of it. I said:

How to make Lil tell me what she thinks about said western group:

1. Offer her some gourmet pizza
2. Don’t be part of western group (which he is part of)

It was a joke, that obviously meant I couldn’t tell him. Still, he pressed. Said the pizza was no problem, but he can’t undo his citizenship. So I said, ‘hey, too bad’. He said it was too bad, for me, as well. I didn’t know what that meant so I told him I’m fine. He then told me that he does hope so, but even if I wasn’t, it didn’t matter, because the fact that I didn’t want to share what I thought about something made him want to do the same. I just said ‘okay’.

I think the fact that I didn’t sense he was pissed, or possibly did and didn’t care about it, pissed him off. He wants me to be scared, feel guilty, or want to apologize. Basically just drop to my knees crying, or something like that. So he said, ‘later’, and told me to remember what happened today. I wasn’t sure if he was angry, so I just mirrored his response and assured him that I will remember. I thought he was going to leave, but again (and trust me, because I am good at reading people), because he was dissatisfied with my casualness, he continued, saying that he will miss our openness—at which point, I said, huh?

He began to explode. He said I’ll ‘fucking regret it the next time’ I ‘tease him like that ever again’. I was shocked. I told him I wasn’t teasing him and asked him to explain. Ah! He finally won. He had the upper hand. He said ‘no’, because I didn’t want to tell him what I thought about those certain group of people.

I was appalled. He said he was going to leave before he loses it; while I was in the middle of replying. Thankfully, I, who never allow people to end a conversation without letting me explain, sent him messages to his phone at my expense. I began explaining. Then I revealed to him what I thought about his people. He came back on just to tell me that hey, it wasn’t so difficult to admit that, was it? He left once again, and that was it. I was livid.

I don’t think we’ll be talking for a really long time, even when he’s around. I’ll make sure of it.

I used to allow that, allow friends to push me around, use and abuse me and disappear when I need them and not feel bad that they weren’t there for me. You, Ilom, said you would not tire of me. Said you would not leave me. I believed that, because in my darkest moments you were there, and you did not tire of me, and you did not leave me. You were up all night because I was hopeless and needy. Nobody sticks around for that.

I told you that one day you’ll end up as one of the unfortunate types of friends I’ve associated with; those people you called ‘garbage’. One day, you won’t think I deserve better; but you kept telling me that I’m talking about an event that never was, and never will be.

You know that one of my worst insecurities had something to do with people I care about treating me unfairly. You implied that you were better than those people. I also recall you saying that the only things that will make you hate me are death threats and lies. There obviously is no reason for me to threaten anybody, especially you, and I may be keeping things from you, but I’ve never lied. Now that you know that there are things I haven’t told you, I hope you’re not pissed. Everybody has things they don’t want to talk about.

Good, trusted friends of mine have told me that those who don’t value you don’t deserve your time, your thoughts. They deserve nothing from you. Somebody said, ‘a girl doesn’t need anyone who doesn’t need her’, and unfortunately, I agree (for the most part).

If you cannot stand the fact that I was uncomfortable about sharing an unqualified inference, and (quietly, gracefully) explode over it, and threaten me by saying you will never forgive me if it (what you assumed I was actively doing) happens again; implying that you will probably never talk to me anymore or disappear from my life, then by all means, Ilom, get out of my life, because you have always been free to do so.

If it angers you twice as much that I will not beg and plead for you to stay, please, blow your top off. It’ll make you feel better afterwards, anyway; plus, the emotional energies in the world will be more balanced (you know, as compared to when people bottle everything up inside so they can harvest food for malignant cells in their bodies).

You obviously don’t need me, the way the user friends I had didn’t need me. They can take me or leave me and just like you now, they do not see any value in simply being friends with me. You, they, want me to be superhuman—always patient, always there, always giving them what they want, always offering comfort, solace, time, effort; and never crying, never getting angry, never saying anything that would even slightly piss them off (from ‘I think prostitution should be legalized globally’ to ‘I don’t like gummi bears’—(readers, they are only examples)).

I have been working on being less needy and dependent, and I am improving every day. I am not as available as I used to be and I will never make myself available to anybody until I can trust them with my life. I am tired of learning the same lesson over and over again—that you cannot connect with people if you do not open up; but even if you do, a connection is never guaranteed.

I don’t need this, because I am strong, despite all the tears, despite the violent thoughts, despite my shortcomings, despite my mediocrity. Everybody has varying levels of these. But I am inherently strong. Whenever I think I’m breaking, I let it happen, believing the darkness will eat me up. I wake up the next morning with a harder shell, and realize I was never truly broken. I never have been broken, because there is an unseen part of me that knows how to fix it whilst delaying it.

Ilom, I valued your friendship, and I am heartbroken at the possibility of us parting ways. I wish we could stay friends, I like you, and I love you truly as a good friend.

But I loved all those friends that have hurt me in the past, too. There’s a bitter taste at the back of my tongue whenever I remember what they did to me, but I miss them; I miss them so much, and I wonder, every now and then, if there’s anything I could do to have them back. (And then I could start over—not be too needy, ask and not worry about giving back, be all over them one day and disappear the next, be that kind of friend. Then I can keep them around again.)

But I’m not ready for that, Ilom. They hurt me, you hurt me greatly, for the shallowest of reasons. You hurt me just as much as they did, if not slightly more, because you promised you never will, and I believed you.

I cannot be friends with you, dear. I don’t deserve to be thrown around anytime and not be bruised, and scared to approach you. I will not allow that... I have not allowed that for quite some time now.

I am constantly learning, dear. There is no excuse, not stress, not anger, not fatigue, not misfortune; for treating a human being who all but cares for you, this way.

But for all it’s worth (because maybe I was insensitive and thought you were more okay than you actually are), I’m sorry. But my pride and dignity assure me that I still don’t deserve this treatment.



*Code name/s

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Do be nice--we are all fighting difficult battles.