Real Talk: My Unhealthy Friendship

*All names in this post have been changed for privacy*

I am only 18. I am not an expert. I am not experienced as many. But I have stories. I have learned many lessons. And I am willing to share. This is the story of an old friend (who I will call “J” from this point on). This is the story how I finally took control.

Before I get into the major part of the story, let me give some history.

J and I have known each other for…forever. Our families were friends before we were even born. We grew up together. Fast forward 12 years and I moved away. Surprisingly, instead of growing apart, our friendship grew stronger. We talked every day, almost non stop for a long time (like a couple years). He was the best guy friend I had. I struggled a lot when I moved, but I didn’t tell him about most of my problems. I didn’t want to bother him. It was easy to hide the struggles, so I did. That was why my change in personality took him off guard.

I suffered a lot of rejection and felt betrayed many times when I moved. Due to this, my younger, trusting self turned into someone more contained. I started having trust issues and often came off as cold. I didn’t want to let anyone know that they got to me. I saw J during this time of change, and he did not like it. He started to drift away from me, I was losing someone.

~August, 2014~

I confronted J. I wondered why he seemed to avoid me, I assumed it was the girl (who is now his girlfriend). I liked her, but I didn’t like that he changed around her. When I asked why he drifted away, he finally opened up. I changed and he didn’t like it. I wasn’t as nice as I once was and he couldn’t handle it. I tried to explain what had happened. I told him why. He seemed to be fine after, but I knew he wasn’t. We had our little fight, made up, and acted like it had never happened. But I remember. Whether he does or not, I don’t know. We seemed to be better.

~August, 2015~

A year passed. We talked over that year. He started to stop when he started dating the girl, but we were still friends. (Side note: I visited the state where I lived every summer and around my birthday. So I saw J a lot.) I was saying goodbye to him and I was heading back home the day after. He was going away for the school year and I was probably not going to see him for a long time (I was not planning on visiting the following summer). I hugged him, but it didn’t feel right. It was awkward. Short. Didn’t feel like he was going to miss me. Was he? We texted each other over the school year, but we stopped around April of this year. I thought I was never going to talk to him again. I don’t know if I cared.

~August, 2016~

“Hey” J sent me that text. I wasn’t sure how to respond. Why was her just now deciding to talk to me again? I was tempted to ask if he broke up with his girlfriend, but I didn’t. He didn’t seem to care that we hadn’t talked for a couple months. He acted like everything was normal. I went to college and we continued to text, just not to the extent that we used to. I tried acting like everything was fine, but I couldn’t. Honestly, this friendship was draining me. I was putting a lot into this friendship, but felt like he didn’t want it as much as I did. I snapped. I couldn’t act like everything was fine.

*The following conversation is a rough context of our last conversation on August 17th.*

I had something about him not texting me…

“You could have easily texted me.”

“Good Excuse”

“Just saying”

“I didn’t text you because I was mad at you.”

“…oh…ok…I see” “How about now, you cooled down yet or you still uber mad at me?”

“Idk. I don’t really think I’m gonna cool down at all.”

“Well cool down what you can, I still want to be your friend.” “Also my phone is gonna die like really soon”

“Fine. I don’t want to talk.”

“Well can we talk about something else?”

“I honestly can’t even talk to you right now.”

He apologized, but he didn’t know what for. I got a bit annoyed that he was giving me empty apologies and then here are our last two texts.

“Ok…I see. I am still sorry but yeah ok then. I will text you in a few days or something and see if you can stand talking to me by then.”

“If you have the nerve to ‘wait till I can talk to you’ don’t bother talking to me. I won’t be able to talk to you if you are constantly telling me to just ‘cool down’ and act like everything is fine. I can’t do that I’m sorry.”

He never replied. I am not writing this to tell you how much of a horrible friend he was. I am writing this because I learned an important lesson. I held onto this friendship for way longer than I should have. I should have told him how I felt way before, but I couldn’t. The friendship drained me and it wasn’t until I stopped talking to him that I felt happier. If someone isn’t putting effort into a friendship, or seems to not take you seriously, there is not reason you need to stay in that relationship. It is okay to let go if you are unable to continue. Don’t wait too long like I did.

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