Friendships. I’ve always struggled with holding on to friendships all my life. Some of the choices to not be friends with some were not even my choice, it was someone who made that choice for me. I’m not sure why I wasn’t able to hang out with certain people when I was a child. I was always left feeling like I did something wrong. I still felt that way through my teen years as well as now in my adult life. I am still finding it hard to be friends with people. The kind of friendship that I want is someone to talk to me throughout the week, they want to hang out in person and do something or even do nothing but hang out with each other doing it. Grab a coffee and go for a drive but not have it one sided that only one person drives all the time. I’d like a friendship where you can talk about anything and everything no matter what kind of weirdness needs to be talked about. I’ve craved a friendship like one would crave chocolate after eating a spicy meal. I crave from people and found out later on they were never meant to be friends with. I was either used for who I was from the kindness I give, time or even sometimes money.
I’ve had countless friendships, so many I don’t think I could count on my fingers. I don’t know why I can’t keep friends. I try not to be needy, I try not to make it about me, I try to keep in touch but not be too bothersome. I don’t know what the other person needs because they don’t or won’t communicate it with me. I recently got a text from a “friend” who she claimed to be my best friend, I never used those words because it was so hard to read her sometimes. I couldn’t figure out what she wanted from me. What I learned from her is that I couldn’t be what she needed. I was by her side, but she never spoke her truth to me. At the end, I forced myself to ask why she never responded to my text messages from months, to weeks ago. She eventually said she just couldn’t be my friend, she didn’t have time for me, and if I wanted to I could still talk to her but she just don’t have time to respond. I wasn’t that upset. I felt it coming for a while.
She was a “taker”. She took from me in ways of money, time, emotion, that I will never get back. She was also the type to cancel plans she would create. I’ve always had a sense that something is about to happen before it happens. We’d have plans for getting dinner. I’d be getting into the car to leave and she’d text and say she’s soooo sorry, but she can’t do dinner. I got countless texts that would leave me hanging, literally. I remember months ago, I got to the restaurant and she said she’d meet me there. I waited at the table by myself for 1 hour. Eventually the waitress told me, the person coming; is not actually coming. She ordered me some appetizers and told me to take my time. I sat there alone in a restaurant, eating alone, wondering why she wasn’t texting me and once I got into my car. I cried on the way home. I was so hurt. Again, she made the plans, she set them up, she stood me up. It was embarrassing. I was hurt. I didn’t talk to her for a while until I knew what to say. She never texted me back about standing me up either. I should have known she wasn’t going to give me what I needed for a friendship. She was just another acquaintanceship added to an invisible list. I’ve deleted her phone number and name out of my phone. I also deleted her off social media. I don’t want to share with people who don’t have time for me, don’t want anything to do with me. They don’t deserve to know about me and how I am doing for their stalking tendencies on Facebook or Instagram.
I currently have an ongoing acquaintanceship. I don’t get much from it. I get to talk some things out when she has time to listen. She has a family and is much older than me. I feel us being close and then not being close over and over again. Again, not what I want in a friendship. I took her out for her birthday because she always seems so stressed out and needs to get away from life for a bit. I took her to dinner and we talked a bit. After I dropped her off, we haven’t seen each other. The new year came and went, holidays, hard times, and good times, and she drifted away. Rarely texts me back. When she does she dumps anything and all things on me and then ghosts me again. She’s said it’s because she’s not feeling herself, she says she’s too busy, she says a lot, but that’s it. It’s all talk, no action.
I have an actual friendship. A friend, we will call her Zoe. I never gave up until one day a couple years ago when I needed to figure out how this friendship could survive. A little back story, we met in elementary school. I was friends with her sister actually. She had a different childhood than I did and for years we were apart and I didn’t get to see her much. We talked on the phone as much as we could. I tried to stay connected as best I could. She was miles away from me. Zoe’s sister was not a friend I stayed in contact with, we had different interests and drifted apart. Zoe and I stayed in contact throughout our early adult years and we went through a lot of stuff together. Some of our conversations were a lot about her and her problems she was dealing with. I did my best by just allowing it to happen but eventually I just had to be open and honest with the possibility of her being mad and not wanting to be friends. She knows my dark secrets and I knew that it would never come out if we decided not to be friends. She came to see me for a weekend, the day before she canceled and told me not to be mad. I was mad. I was upset. I felt it coming for a couple days, and then I just told her I understood and that I was upset and we’d plan something some other time for her to visit. Then hours later she changed her mind.
When she finally got down to our home. I was excited but nervous. I didn’t know how to feel or to think about her last minute cancel to last minute coming to visit all in a few hours. When she was visiting she was always on her phone, she talked about herself, she was saying how she wished she was somewhere else. That hurt. It hurt so much. Why wasn’t I enough? What did I have to change to be enough? Then at the end of the weekend, I sent her a long message. I told her I needed some space to figure out if this friendship was worth having. She agreed and she unfriended me from Facebook. I took her out of my phone and put her somewhere else in my notes. For a year and half I had no contact with her. I was able to figure out what I wanted or needed in a friendship. I really wanted to have a real talk. So I messaged Zoe on Facebook and told her what our lasting friendship for 12 years was consumed by. How the last time we saw each other was, like for me. What I need in a friendship, what I wanted in a friendship. That I deeply missed talking to her. Then one day we just talked to each other on the phone and talked it all out. She said what she needed, wanted, and we agreed to just be better for each other. Being honest with each other when something is difficult. Even with a break of talking. We’ve been consistent friends, or as we both say it, Best Friends for 21 years. I had to do the math. It seems like such a big number. I even asked Zoe about the math. We agreed 21 years seems correct. We are better than ever. We’ve started playing video games together. We talk mutually about hardships in our own individual lives.
I also recently became closer to someone I was connected with a while ago. We saw each other more when I lived closer. Honestly, I drifted apart because back then, I didn’t know what I wanted for friendship until after Zoe. I recently became more open with this person. We shall call her Olivia. She has a beautiful home and family and soul. Nothing is wrong with her or our beginning of our friendship. Nothing to critique. I just feel close to her, one because we just hear each other talk, we struggle with similar things in life even if we have differences in our lives. She’s always available, and she is the FIRST one to ever tell me, “if you need to talk at 1am, I am here for you.” I’ve always been the one to say that and nobody ever took me up on the offer when they were struggling. I usually am sleeping by 1am but at least if I ever need to, I can reach out. Even if she doesn’t respond at 1am because she should be sleeping, she’ll respond when she wakes up. The love she gives me when we talk on the phone, the feeling like I am good enough, that I am worth it. I give it back. I want her to know that she is loved, she’s enough, and she is worth it. I will work at my two friendships with these two people because they give me what I’ve been fighting for, for all these years.