Painful Times

The last five days have been some of the most painful days I have been through in recent times. I had made a comment in an email to my best friend about thinking of having a fling with a certain woman I know who seems to be indicating some interest. And it kind of started a huge fight in my inbox for a few days, during which some really cruel things were said to me, and some very negative assumptions which have been made about me by this friend were underscored and highlighted and repeated over and over. And I had tried to get her to stop, and said she was hurting me, and she would like, say one apology in one sentence and then launch into the whole thing again. She kept threatening our friendship and it was pretty painful and she was super upsetting me to the point that I’ve basically cried on and off the last few days. I eventually had to ask that we take a break for a couple of months because she really was so relentless and so unwilling to mend things or admit she was really out of line or take accountability for the utter shitshow that became this email thread. And earlier, in the email I had sent her originally, I mentioned how long it has been since I kissed someone (spoiler: a fucking long time) and she took that fact and kind of used it against me in a really mean way kind of mocking me for it. And there were a lot of things wrong with what happened between us, but probably THAT was the major thing that felt like such a betrayal there is no going back. I have a lot of feelings over the dry spell I have been in, and it’s really difficult and there’s a lot of reasons why it’s been this way, but it’s obviously a very tender subject with me and the fact that my best friend would pick THAT fact to use to hurt me really crossed like, all the lines.

She asked if I would be willing to read any apologies after I asked for a break for two months, and I said I would because I was unsure of our friendship continuing. But that was three days ago or so now and nothing has come. And I have felt a mix of emotions, and if she reads this I am sure she would be insanely angry for me talking about it. But it’s been really difficult on me and I am trying to just feel my feelings and accept that I need to go through this grieving process for our friendship. Because really I don’t know how these things could be made right again, and the fact she hasn’t reached out with any apologies since is painful. And as I read over old diary entries I see how this long campaign has been waged in our friendship that has been dragging me down into paranoia and sadness and suspicion and just this really shitty headspace that I don’t even really feel is coming from the core of me. Like it’s kind of been projected on me, and I feel like I got deluded into going along with it, and it’s at the point where I don’t even know how I feel about certain people anymore. And it’s not like they are bad people, it’s just my view has been so skewed by this long campaign of trying to convince me I am a victim.

OH god it’s insane. Like when people say something is batshit crazy, this is the kind of thing they mean. It feels like there was so much gaslighting and some kind of ulterior motive and I’m really confused but also really ready to walk away. But I invested years and years of my life into this friendship, and often-almost always, felt love for her, and sometimes it felt like a more-than-friends kind of love, which I always knew wouldn’t go anywhere and we were just friends. But it’s hard for me to feel that emotion towards her when she was so emotionally abusive towards me. And maybe it’s good I am not feeling it as much. Like it’s not right, to love someone who hurts you.

So my heart is kind of broken. I want to behave honourably though, like I don’t want to hurt her back, even though I am so angry and upset. And so I haven’t lashed out the same way she did, which is good. But also, oh man. I just feel like this might be the end of our friendship. And as friendships go it was a long deep connection, like a decade and a half long friendship. And what makes me so sad is that in all that time, 99% of it was great and wonderful and I was so happy to have her in my life. But this whole email thread, and the months of build up to this point, they were some really really shitty times. And I felt like I was being isolated, and there was this intense hatred of people I was romantically interested in, and it felt like a lot of shit was being forced onto me so I would start thinking about life the same way she did.

And normally I am actually, even with the bipolar, a positive forward thinking person. Like I worked really hard on myself to get to this headspace, and to have good things in my life and know my worth and have confidence in my decision making abilities. And I am doing things in my life that feel positive, like things in my community, and with my art practice, and with my work life, and trying to nurture my still kind of new friendships and social groups here in Toronto. And it felt like, that was kind of changing, and like not so much those things but maybe my view of life and the world and all kinds of things, to see things as being quite a bit darker than they really are. And I felt like the narrative I was supposed to buy into was that I was broken and fucked up and needing to do all this work on myself before I could even have a romantic relationship. But I feel like this fight made me see that differently, and that it’s not true. Cause I did a shitload of work on myself when I got sober, like so much work, and I’ve been in therapy a long time, and I feel like I have a good base for myself. And people can’t force someone to “heal” especially not if that person doesn’t need it. Like I think I am fine the way I am.

It’s kind of a revelation, to realize I am okay as I am. I have healthy friendships with people (mostly!), I feel good about myself usually, I am open to falling in love, I do things that make me happy. I feel like my life is pretty good. Which is why it’s been weird to see this months long attempt to convert me into someone who feels constantly victimized and unhappy with almost EVERYONE in my life. And I really do know that not everyone is trustworthy, but I still want to be able to extend myself to new people and take a risk by letting them in either as a friend or something more.

I think the other thing that makes me sad is how she knew she was upsetting and hurting me and barely apologized and then KEPT GOING. It’s like being in a scene and calling your safeword and the person just keeps hurting you even when you’re way past the threshold and it’s not okay anymore. Even tho I could see this downward spiral we were in, it was still sort of surprising and shocking and sad when this whole thing happened. Like, I guess it was the logical conclusion. I mean not really, but when I look at the recent history of our friendship I can see why it happened, she got really dark, and started being less and less respectful of me and my choices. And she kept crossing boundaries and I didn’t call her out on it, like it was really getting pushed. And she started really hating me saying anything about crushes or the like, or things about my family. And I guess I like having friends I can talk about cuties with, and it just got really fucking dark and hateful and I didn’t know what to do about it. And it’s not even that I want to end the friendship, I just want to end THIS, this paranoia and anger and random hatred of people and fostering resentments and treating me like an idiotic child. Like I want the behaviour to end, but I don’t know how to do that, and I don’t know how to rebuild this when she hasn’t tried to make amends, and I can’t change someone’s behaviour or how they treat me. Like it is out of my hands, and that is sad.

And I know I could forgive her if she really wrote heartfelt apologies and promised to change the way she was treating me. But I feel so dismal about that even happening. Her convictions about the situation are so strong, and her ability to use so much of what she knew about me against me was so shocking and chilling. It really is a betrayal, and sad.

And I am trying to find myself again while we take this two month long break. I want to get to know myself again and really assess who I am and my relationships with people. Because I do think overall things are positive. But I want to know what I feel about life when this pall isn’t hanging over me anymore. And when my view of sweet gentle moments with people aren’t poisoned by someone or rewritten. And I want to be a hell of a lot less cynical than I have grown to be over the last few months.

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