My Toxic Friendship Taught Me A Lot More About Life Than You'd Think

My Toxic Friendship Taught Me A Lot More About Life Than You'd Think

To my old best friend on why we were toxic to one and other. For anyone out there in/was in a toxic friendship with someone.

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Back when I first met you, I was open to new people. Back then, I didn't know all that I know now. I didn't really understand the depth of how strict your mother was. I really didn't know she didn't allow many people to be your friend. If I think about it, starting a friendship like that breeds some form of resentment. Maybe without you even knowing. Or maybe you did know. I am okay with that though and I hope you are too.

Once we got older the rules slackened and more people were allowed into your life. That was really good for you. You met new friends, met boys, and you had a life separate from me. We both had many friends and we had each other. It was the perfect high school dream until all my many friends disappeared. Then all I had was you. Until I didn't even have you for the most part. There were so many days when my smile was false. So many days where I didn't eat because my sadness was busy gnawing. My plastic smile screaming at you to look at it. You never did though, not once.

So when summer before sophomore year you didn't talk to me I fell deep into an abyss of my own making. Maybe I should have said that I needed you. That has never been me, not even now. I am still learning how to unmake that girl. I felt like no one, not even you, had the time to worry about me. So I pushed everything under the rug. That decision is on me. It was really toxic for my health and it led to a lot of bad things that you knew nothing about. That even to this day, you know nothing about. That year I told my parents about my depression.

I didn't really know how to digest that outcome. I needed my best friend. You weren't there. You were around, you just didn't see all that was happening under the surface. You were there to get angry on the days where I couldn't give you a ride because I was going to counseling for my mental health. You didn't know I was going to counseling. I never said anything about it but I needed you nonetheless. That summer I decided to get better, without you. The start of junior year I knew I needed people who would help me get better. I thank God I found them and that they are still my best friends.

You called me that year saying you needed me. And...I missed you. So the next day I drove you to school. We didn't talk about the summer or my health, and to be honest I don't really remember what we talked about. I drove you home and the next day we did it all over again. It was okay though, I had made new foundations. I was not sinking into the abyss anymore. I was rising. Those amazing people threw me down ropes and I was pulling myself out inch by inch. Until summer. You got angry at me. You called me some things. I probably did the same out of some childish need to retaliate. I caved though and apologized. You were a new feature in my friend group, yet, you were still not content. I tried to pacify you time and time again failing. We graduated as "friends." Until we weren't. Just like sophomore and Junior summer, silence. Until you wanted to hang out. Until you wanted me to take you places. Until you wanted to go to this party. Until you wanted this guy. It was always silent until you wanted.

When we first met I was open to new people. After you, people could use me and people left only to come and take more. It took a lot for me to make new friendships and ultimately say goodbye to you. The day before college was a time to say goodbye to my parents and get to know my new roommates not another day to pacify you.

Now, we haven't spoken since that day. Maybe it was just time that we faded into the memory of one and others lives. I truly don't believe you knew how much you hurt me over the years. I know you didn't understand where I was mentally. I also know I should have asked for help. I know that if I had said something we could have repaired our friendship. Then again you never saw how far I was falling, my confidant, the one I called my soul sister, never saw me.

I am writing this now since I can't keep holding onto any anger or sadness about you. I need to let go so that I can be more open. I need to get back to that little girl who saw the new girl in school and thought simply, just be her friend. I tried really hard to be your friend and I failed. I am so sorry about that. I am not sorry for how happy I have been since. I am not sorry that the friends I made outside of you taught me what real friendship looks like. If you should find this, I am a different person. I really hope that you have grown and found your people too, because, I have. You probably don't even think of me anymore and that's okay because it's time that I stopped too. It's time that I take this as a lesson and stop carrying you around. To anyone like me, you will find your people, your tribe. It hurts but less and less every day, until now, when you make your own closure.

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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Stop Assuming Your Queer Friends Are Going To End Up Falling For You

News flash: if you're my friend, the chances of me falling for you are slim to none.

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Ever since I came out my senior year, I've encountered bumps of my friendships due to my sexuality. I think people understand gay, lesbian, and bisexual identities rather well. However, there are other members of the LGBTQ+ community that isn't as understood as well.

I identify as pansexual but start using the term queer. Essentially, I don't have a preference if someone identifies as female or male. When it comes to love and relationships, I care about the quality of the person and if I'm getting the love and respect I deserve.

However, to some of my friends, they seemed to become afraid. They distanced themselves in our friendships in fear I would end up falling for them.

News flash: if you're my friend, the chances of me falling for you are slim to none. You are my friend for a reason. If I liked you, I would honestly be too nervous to talk to you.

It's nice to know to have that kind of self-confidence where you think everyone has a crush on you. That's the attitude to have because you are a pretty great person. However, sorry to break it to you, but you just are not my type.

There is absolutely no reason to cut off a friendship just because you don't understand. Your queer friends would probably like you to ask questions. It can be a sign you care about them and showing support. There is nothing wrong with asking questions either. When you're in class and you don't know anything, then you ask a question. When you are getting to know someone, you ask questions. Even if you knew this person for a while, ask away!

I think there is a stigma of not knowing something and feeling embarrassed. However, it shouldn't be this way. We should embrace the unknown, learn, and grow from it. It's 2019. It's all about being open-minded to differences. We have to do better for the next generation.

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