I've been thinking over past friendships -- all of the friendships that meant the most to me ended in me being left behind, for one reason or another. My first friend, Sara, left me because her parents became missionaries and moved to Mexico. My second close friend, Sylvia, was the one literally left behind when I moved to D.C., but I wrote her constantly, sent her presents, missed her desperately, while she seemed to move on with little worry. She did love me, I know, but she was three years younger (and since I was 11, that was a big difference), and just didn't have the maturity to return my love and devotion.
Then I grew close with Sienna, but after a year, a Kristin (never trust those who spell it with a final 'i') moved into the neighborhood and convinced her that I was uncool for still playing with Barbies at the ripe old age of 12, and Sienna left me and imagination behind for makeovers and movies (and power rangers!). The worst part of that was my parent's continual insistance that the break up was my fault -- and I knew that I had been very mature about it. I had a birthday party (which I saved up babysitting money for and planned out so carefully) to which I invited Sienna, and when Kristin showed up and wanted to be a part of it, I let her, because I wanted to be friends with her since she was important to Sienna. Kristin was very friendly with me during the party, but afterwards she went right back to hating me. That was the final straw, after that I made no more moves toward either of them. Once a few months after the party, Sienna came over and gave me a drawing she had made for me... it was so awkward, but it was somewhat satisfying to realize that she did care about me -- she just cared more about the opinions of her other friends. I saw a glimpse of her soul then, saw how she felt like she had no choice, and I felt sorry for her.
Then we moved back to GA and I became close with Rebecca, deep deep friends. We were SO connected and SO committed to each other. We thought we would grow up and live together in the forest, near a grassy clearing where we'd go lay under the stars at night and talk... we had a soulfriendship, and that is the only reason I am alive today. I really don't think I could have made it through that time alone... I was so desperately depressed. I cried so much, yet was so numb, ugh, I hate to even think about it. And yet I was never oppressed in school, I was an outsider but I enjoyed that. I liked shocking and confusing people. I once found a purple bridesmaid dress at the thrift store, and I loved it so much that I bought it and wore it to school, complete with fancy shoes and the ever-present trenchcoat (which I removed in class). I took the stares as compliments; I loved being considered 'weird.' Once a guy told me that I was really weird, and without even thinking, I said, "Thank you!" in a pleased tone -- and only later realized that that probably confused him more. The cookie-cutter mentality that most assumed did wear me down, but mostly I laughed at people. More than anything, what I hated about high school was the oppressiveness of being forced to waste my brain on unimportant shit, and not being able to learn what I wanted, go where I wanted... I HATED having my day completely structured, down to the minute. And I'm now realizing that at the subconscious level I was starting to process the abuse... for a month, I prayed constantly to die, unable to think about anything else. I felt that it was wrong for me to decide that for myself, but I wanted it so badly that I begged and begged God to let me go home. Rebecca was my support and encouragement. She hated any physical touch, but she would hug me anyway, because she knew I needed it.
Then she realized that she didn't know much about herself, that what she had thought was HER was an elaborate shell. I had thought the shell was her true self too, and even though she hadn't done anything intentionally, I felt betrayed, because I bared all of me to her, and she didn't, couldn't. This caused a giant chasm between us, because I felt like our whole friendship had been based on a lie, and I told her that to continue our friendship, I had to know that she would learn herself so that she could share with me, and she promised to try. Two months later I moved to PA, and I wrote her constantly and called her as much as my phone card and parents would permit. I think she wrote back once, but I'm not sure, it might have been twice or none. I was always the one to call her... and she didn't keep her promise. As months went by, I felt more and more abandoned, and by the time Ben and I got together, I was convinced that our friendship was over.
Then there was Allison, such an incredibly wonderful person that I am literally full of light when I am with her and all I want to do is hug her and delight in being near her. We grew apart as she spent time so far away for college, and haven't really spent any time together for a good while now. She's very stressed and busy... and I think that the fact that her 'hetero-life-partner' dislikes me is a strong point against me. I feel helpless against that, and I know that chasing her will only drive her further away. I think we will be friends in the future, but I can't see it happening soon. For the first time since the beginning of our friendship, she didn't give me a birthday present this year -- and it's not that I care so much about getting something, it's just that it seems like a sign.
And Kaylene. I still miss her so much -- it's been over two years, but I'll never be able to stop loving her. I don't feel like it's time for us to resume our friendship yet, but I haven't lost faith -- one day we will. She was the deepest friend I've ever had, and the only person I have ever met who was able to just choose openness and depth and LIVE it. Sadly, life caved in on her and she left that life and me behind... but not without making incredible changes in my life. She was so fearless, so bold, and she inspired me to live out my own boldness.
Then Ashley. We had begun a deep friendship, grown close, and then something happened in her life that caused her to withdraw. Leaning on experience, I believed that chasing her would be a waste of energy, and quite possibly have a negative effect, so I let her withdraw, thinking that she would return when she was ready. She didn't, because she had (shockingly to me) wanted me to chase her, and our friendship drifted into neutrality. We're now in the process of figuring out where we want to go from here.
And Anika. I understand her reasons for declining a deep friendship right now, but at the same time, I don't understand them at all, because I believe that soulfriendship restores more energy than it takes. I don't know what to think. Her reasons are pretty much identical to Allison's, so I tend to think that the only thing to do is wait. And illogically feel rejected.
The two friends who have always been there are elya and Kristen, and they give me so much comfort. elya was the only one who stayed in contact when I went through spiritual boot camp in PA. You will never know how much that meant to me, elya. And Kristen has loved me through all my silences and distance, unwavering.
I don't know why I wanted to write this... I felt the need to process my losses, I suppose. I think they have been heavy on my subconscious lately, which is why I have felt so terribly lonely. I feel like going out on the street with a sign that says, "be my friend?" Something, anything, I need love.
Actually, I think I know why all of this is so fresh. I'm wanting to commit my heart to another, and my heart is saying to me, "You know it's going to end in abandonment" and I struggle to believe that the joy is worth the pain. At the core, I believe that, but so much of me just cringes and says, "Please don't make me walk through the fire again." And part of me says that it is impossible to have a long-distance soulfriendship... while the other part says that I've done it twice before, it's difficult but not anywhere near impossible. I'll just have to get my hugs and such from Ben -- but that makes me want to cry because he doesn't enjoy cuddling and I don't want just sympathy cuddles, I want the kind I give, the kind that is given because you just can't help it, it's natural. Why can't I have a nearby friend? Somebody cuddly move here please. :-(