It has taken me a long time to be ready to write this letter. Maybe it should’ve taken me longer. Maybe I’m not ready.
But sometimes, you have to do things whether you are ready or not.
Isn’t that the game?
I’ve made a lot of choices in my lifetime. Some of them have been really great choices. Some of them have been really crappy choices. Some of them have just been average, and some of them haven’t been my choices to make. Not that long ago, I made the choice to stop trusting you. To stop letting you into the intimate details of my life. To stop letting your opinion affect my choices. It was a hard choice to make, let me tell you that. Whatever you may think, I did not decide to cut you out of my life on a whim. No, there was build up to that choice. A lot of build up.
It took me a long time to realize that you were toxic. That there was an underlying self-motivation in everything you did or said. That you had spent almost our entire friendship putting me down or making me feel bad for decisions I made or beliefs I had. That we had very different expectations of what our friendship should look like. It took me a long time to realize that I was better off without you.
Sometimes I don’t believe that, you know. Sometimes I think I made a huge mistake, and that you really do care about me. I think that I should just call you, and we’ll laugh this whole thing off, and everything will be back to normal again. It takes a lot of willpower to not pick up the phone and do just that. It takes a lot of remembering. Remembering what was real instead of the romanticized version of our friendship.
All that time of trusting you and then realizing that I was wrong all along really messed up my understanding of trust. I used say you should trust people until they prove they aren’t trustworthy. Now, I’m not so sure. There’s been too many times where my judgement was wrong. Where making excuses for you or giving you the benefit of the doubt or forgiving and forgetting instead of just forgiving has led only to deep pain and betrayal. Now, I think people should earn their trust. I’m suspicious of everyone. I’m paranoid about making new friends or meeting new people.
What if I’m wrong again? What if everyone turns out to be untrustworthy after I tell them my deepest fears and insecurities? What if every future friendship turns into the train wreck that was the dissolution of our friendship? These constant insecurities stem directly from the trust I gave you that you smashed to the ground.
But people can’t live like that. It’s not sustainable. So I’m working on it. I’m working on creating boundaries and identifying red flags. I’m working on learning what makes someone trustworthy and what doesn’t. I wish I had known two years ago the things I know now. I wish someone had told me what today would look like without you.
Maybe this isn’t really a letter to you after all. Maybe all the “friends” over the years that have lied to me, manipulated me, and made me feel worthless should no longer be my focus. Perhaps this letter was to myself all along. A letter to tell me that I’ll be OK. Perhaps this letter is to you, dear reader, who might need someone to tell you that you’ll be OK. Sometimes you just need to take that leap of faith and believe that there are better friends out there.
Ready or not.