My Open Letter to My Childhood Best Friend

I read this and got the feels. I have felt the need to say this but, I did not want to disrespect the need for separation. I feel it’s time. My open letter to my Childhood Best Friend:

Dear Childhood Best Friend,

I’ve felt the need to say this for awhile. I think it’s time.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’m kind of excellent at that. I thought we’d be friends forever too, but growing up and growing apart is a natural thing, I am told.

I know, as we aged, we both brought each other our triumphs, our fears, and our dreams to one another through letters and phone calls. There were times when I seriously considered taking my life except, you would be calling in 15 days, 29 days, 20 days from then. Then who would hear all about your new high school, your heartbreaks? Your fantastic gel pen eyeliner and new rebellions (that really weren’t super rebellious, now I think about it.)

How could I when, I knew if nobody else was there, you’d be, and you’d say something wholly inappropriate to make me giggle and I would decide it was okay. Just a little longer.

The HOURS we spent in the phone perfecting the novel that never was because, surprise, my dad deleted the floppy disk (God, we are old).

We went to college and it was so very different, oh the independence and the ridiculous situations! The sadnesses. The Beef Ramen Boobs. 

We grew. We changed. The drama of my life increased, and I think our ideas of self changed.

It totally happens. We persevered. We stuck. We called. I think we tried.

Then we adulted. 

I felt like I stressed you out. I felt like telling you the kinds of things I had always told you was somehow burdensome- how could they be, when you eagerly listened in the past? I felt like I dragged you down, my dissapointment of a job, my less than perfect marriage (didn’t we plan it differently? Didn’t we!?), my inability to charge my darn phone.

So I perceived, probably just as wrongly as I supposed the other things, that I was a problem. The problem.

Or maybe what I did or said was the problem. Or maybe nothing was. In this mindset, I realized I was causing stress. A lot of stress. We didn’t talk. We didn’t text. We just didn’t.

17 years. 17 years! I knew. Just like with a friend of mine you advised years earlier, “She’s cut you off. If she won’t respond, she wants you out of her life.”

There it was. That insidious little thought.

So I texted inelegantly, crying into my screen how you,”Didn’t NEED to worry about me anymore!” And I explained, how I “really was fine,” and the more I “explained,” the more I became sad and my anger waned. The more I typed, the more I was trying to convince myself it was true. It was, it was…

17 years.

Then, you left.

 And then I left. 

 It’s been half a year. At first, it ached. Then it was a dull pain, a reminder in my mind, ever present.

“Look what has become of your friendship. Look.”

I pushed it away. I distracted myself. I ignored it.

Then, slowly, you crept in again. 

Oh not you physically, or vocally (does that make sense?). No, my memories, colorful, beautiful memories; unbidden, bitterly unwanted for the pain. But they wouldn’t stop.

After all, 17 years is a long time.

Spitting on a fence (instead of over it) in middle school, cursing for the first time- oh the naughty thing we said, boyfriends, competitions, births, cats getting married, secrets, changes, letters… Pages and pages, hours and hours.

And I thought, “Man!”

And felt. And got emotional. And smiled.

And realized.

Thank you.

 Thank you. 

I have such beautiful memories because of you. Fond memories. Happy memories. I was seriously irrevocably changed because of you. 

I want… I want for you the same things I have always wanted: happiness in your life. Joy in your being. Lovingly surrounded by your family (and babies and French Bulldogs) and friends, secure in your identity and place in this world- because you do have such an important place in this world! Nobody, NOBODY can fill that place but you.

I will continue to wish joy on you forever, because you deserve it. 

You do.

This is not some letter of magical hope, that all this gut spilling will fix everything. This is not something I secretly hope you’ll read and forgive me for. You’ll probably never see it. That’s okay too.

This is exactly what it is, a goodbye letter. 

A, “I will always love you for those 17 years,” letter.

 A, “I respect we are different people,” letter.

A, “Please go do all the things we dreamt about,” letter.

A, “I respect your privacy and need to grow in a different direction,” letter.

But, mostly, above all:

A, “Thank you so much for all of those good, beautiful and kind memories. Thank you for being my absolute best girlfriend for 17 years,” letter.

We were pretty great, weren’t we?

With much Love,

Katherine

  

 

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5 thoughts on “My Open Letter to My Childhood Best Friend

    • They really do. I cried, no I wept like an infant writing this, and each time I read and corrected things, the less I cried. Now I can read it with a little sadness, and some small smiles. I hope someday… I can be like the original blogger and feel no pain at all 🙂 something to look forward to!

      I hope when you’re ready, you finish it too. Rushing things won’t help, as you know, so I think it’s smart you are taking your time. I know I did.

      Back in December I knew it was over for real, no magic fix etc. I had to wait though, because I’d get so angry and so grr about it. Then, super duper depressed and lonesome.

      I think when I read the original blog post, it just made my mind click, “It’s time to say goodbye.” I mean, to say thank you too but I don’t know, it was like closure, writing this.

      And once I had, after all the sobbing for the good times, I felt oddly at peace. I don’t get that feeling often and it certainly didn’t last, but it was nice to hold in my heart for a bit.

      I hope very much we both continue to grow towards healing!

      Like

      • When it first happened, I wanted to do that so bad because I was so hurt. I did take her off a couple of things, some because I had no evidence she was on there anyway, and some because I was testing the waters of how I felt doing so.

        I had, 7 or so years ago in a rational moment done exactly the opposite, blocked the crap out of a high school best bud. I regret I did so. Not because I thought ANYTHING would change. I doubt highly a thing would have changed. But because I feel now, I could have left FB like I’ve done more recently and got myself collected. FB was such a huge part of my social interactions. If I had taken a break, maybe I would be better now at understanding relationships in this strange age! Maybe I would have gotten some proper closure like I feel like I am getting now.

        Now none of this is an encouragement to go do anything it a judgement cause, like I said, I did that too! But for me, what has happened in my grieving process as ended up being more beneficial this time around.

        But maybe it’s also because I am almost a decade older and wiser? Feelings are complicated.

        You are the only person who knows what was right for you at the time. Only you know if it’s still right. Who knows if a paper letter would be easier to write or a beautiful knitted project where every stitch is a feeling! You know best my dear!

        Liked by 1 person

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