“So, I left her before she could hurt me even more. It was a stupid and immature decision, but I felt like nobody understood my position. I had way more insecurity issues back then and I couldn’t bring myself to talk about it. I just did what I knew best, leaving the party when the fun is over.”
I felt it was my own brain talking, except I didn’t put it into words myself.
I’ll call the subject of my own story Serena. Just to avoid excessive pronouns.
Serena is now working as a doctor in a little town. We started school together but I was left behind due to my “time outs”, so she graduated first. I met her when I was 11 years old. When I was 13 we were best friends, and stayed that way for over 6 years. Despite how things turned out, I owe her many things, knowledge about life, culture, music, the world, independence. I always saw her as my older sister, I admired her, loved to spend time with her hearing about her adventures. She always had something to say. I always wanted to listen. She was my role model, I would believe anything she said.
We were really close and everyone in college knew it. After our friendship finally ended, something that I can trace back to about three years ago, people around us talked. Some people said they knew it was going to happen because we were very different people, and didn’t understand how we became friends in the first place. Some seemed to be incredibly happy for her because they saw me as the shy apathetic little sister with problems, who holds back the older, wiser, more likeable sister from having the fun in life she deserves. Some were actually happy for me, they accused Serena of being overbearing and manipulative, and that she was trying to make a mini her out of me. That I was her little project.
I was the direct cause of our friendship to end. One day I just cut the friendship from the roots, I stopped speaking to her, looking at her. I cut her out completely. I had tried to do the same thing, more subtlety a few times before that moment, but she always found the way back, she always understood, she was always patient, she always tried to make it better. She helped me even though I was hurting her constantly all due to my immaturity and serious insecurity problems. I’ve always thought the most insecure people are the most dangerous. I was the dangerous one, unstable, my mind switched from love to hate really quick and the nicer she got the more horrible I was. I noticed this, but it only made me bitterer. When I was with her I was a horrible person. When I was away from her, I was a great person. I didn’t go away earlier because I always thought it was a stupid situation, that I could fix it, that I was so aware of my own evilness that I would be able to control it, to will it away and be a friend to her like she was to me.
It never went away.
Despite being for the most part a great and caring friend, she had her own issues. Serena is dominant, never shows a weakness, always has the truth, and always speaks with affirmation sentences instead of “I think”, “I believe”. She had a rough past; but turned out into a strong, independent woman with clear goals and opinions. Somebody like that coupled with someone like I used to be: a little girl who is just exploring the world, who has an inferiority complex and is always second guessing herself is a combination made in hell. For that I do give myself some slack. Her strength twisted my mind and increased my weakness.
I knew her deeply, I knew more than that, and I shouldn’t have let myself be tricked by her dominance. But I did… I fell, and badly. At some point of time I was so filled with self-hate, absolute envy, that everytime I saw her I couldn’t help but seeing how horrible I was compared to her. I was always wrong, at least when she was around. I was always listening, not because I had nothing to say. I just didn’t dare to talk, maybe she would argue with me about my opinions (she probably would have, and I would not have the tools to fight back.
Whenever something good happened to me, I wouldn’t tell her anymore. I didn’t tell her about my first kiss, about my first date, and about a bunch of things friends tell each other about. I was sure she would ruin it. So I was living two separate lives. The one as her best friend, going by the flow, by her plans, her music, her food. She was the cool girl, the one with awesome ideas and a great idea of fun, always happy, always confident. The other life I had was by myself, my music, my plans, my everything alone, in my world or with other people I didn’t feel threatened by. I could not mix the two. All I wanted was to make her part of my plans but I was terrified it would ruin them, not because of something she would do, but because I would start comparing and going paranoid about how lame my stuff was. It was too much work. It was exhausting to think so much and to feel so threatened all the time. I kept trying to remember the good things, tried to be good, and tried to love her back, but I was too envious to do so.
When I started feeling just a bit good whenever something bad happened to her, I knew I had to stop it. I was turning from attacking myself, to attacking her so I didn’t have to attack myself anymore.
I couldn’t allow myself to become like that… I was horrified of myself by that point.
So I did what I do best: I ran away, using a silly fight as excuse. Disappeared from earth before she could keep on hurting me. I remember thinking of her as my kryptonite. It was an unbearable situation and despite the immaturity that motivated it, even now I think it was best that I stepped out. I needed to live my life by my own truth, my own mistakes, and my own things without her influence.
I grew up a lot ever since. I learned so many things. I didn’t see her much around, and when I did, we acted like strangers.
Last June, I was falling badly into depression again, not in a way I couldn’t handle, except the stress started to pile up and kept on piling up and didn’t stop. The lack of coping mechanisms I had in the moment was serious, and the pressure was increasing. I had a crisis, I couldn’t cope, I was panicking and I stopped everything I was doing. I couldn’t cry, couldn’t speak, and couldn’t move. The feeling was overwhelming.
The next thing I know, Serena is talking to me, comforting me, hugging me, and cheering me up.
I think I started crying, because I didn’t understand the situation. My brain was asking “did I finally go nuts?”. It made no sense.
She never showed hard feelings, she kept behaving like a patient sister despite it all. It only made me feel worse.
After I got myself together, I thought I’d probably had grown up enough to be her friend and deal with her superiority complex given that I don’t have an inferiority complex anymore.
I apologized in a heartfelt but vague way, because to be honest, this reasoning I’m doing now… when I broke the friendship, I had no idea. I didn’t know why exactly I was doing it; I just felt I had to run.
I still don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve talked to her lately, and it has been a success. I’m more confident and share more stuff. It’s going well, but it still feels like a huge risk. I’m afraid that if we get close again, that side of me I don’t like to see will resurface.