Dear My Old, Toxic Friends,

It appears that writing a letter to you, whoever you may be, seems to be the only way I will be able to express how I'm truly feeling in a composed manner because text messages never get my messages across.

I'm hurt and discouraged, and I feel used. I have been treated like a doormat and taken advantage of. I have felt sad. I have felt hurt. I have felt angry.

Way too long have I felt like I am the problem, that I am the cause for the downfall of friendships and the exposure of who a person really is - a selfish, toxic individual that has no care for others or their relationships - or maybe you only care about select relationships, but either way, you didn't care about me. I have been blamed for behaviors that I never exhibit, I am persecuted for my personality and habits that I have - that I made you aware of when we began to grow as close friends. I am not taken seriously. I am not acknowledged in the way I acknowledge you.

Honestly, for a while, I resented you. I didn't like you. I wanted so badly to talk negatively about you and vent about my feelings. However, I'm not like you. I don't speak badly about other people. I don't disrespect you because, unlike you, I care about you.

It is my fault that I didn't set a higher standard for my friends. I didn't realize the amazing friends around me until I was crying about you over a two-hour facetime call. I didn't realize how draining the toxic cycle is until I couldn't seem to break from it. I didn't set boundaries, and I became so giving that I had worn myself out to a point that I couldn't give myself anything - even sleep. I didn't tell you when something was wrong, for the fear of you being angry or feeling hurt. I would rather analyze the situation myself than express when I'm feeling hurt. All of these behaviors are my fault, and I take accountability for not being a better friend to myself.

Whether or not you choose to read this letter and take into account everything I am saying, I am healing. I am bringing closure to myself without seeking the confirmation and words of affirmation from you that I thought I needed. I am accepting the lessons that you have taught me, that have taught me about relationships, and life, and myself.

You have taught me that I need to be my best friend. You have taught me that if I become so available to everyone, I will be walked on and taken advantage of. You taught me that I cannot fix anyone, I can only be a source of help and comfort. You taught me that self-absorbed people will always be self-absorbed, that individuals that enjoy fighting will find reasons to pick an argument, and that when a person likes drama, they will go out of their way to create it - and have no care for how it affects the other person. You have taught me to be nicer to myself.

You have taught me that I am a great friend. You have taught me that there are people that care so deeply about me. You have taught me (or proven, shall we say, because I know that my best friends are incredible) that I have the very best friends that would do anything to see me happy and not hurt by you. You have taught me that I am much more patient, strong, and loving than I thought I was.

You have taught me more about myself than I would have in our friendship.

It's OK. I am no longer angry. I am no longer sad. I am no longer hurt.

I wish you the very best in your life and your endeavors.

Sincerely,

An Old Friend