It’s important to me that you know it wasn’t your fault. It was never anything you did. But, to be fair, I’d be lying if I said it also wasn’t anything you didn’t do. I think we both know we were never the closest of friends. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Blaming someone for not liking you as much as you like them (or at all) is a childish, petty, and above all else unwarranted feeling, and I get that. Even if I never really could get rid of that feeling, I want you to know that I was at least aware of its lack of justification.
But there remains the fact that even if I wasn’t among your closest friends, you were still among mine. It’s a funny thing, how someone can be your best friend even if you’re not theirs. That just goes to show how far down the social ladder I was though, I guess. That even the people I considered my best friends would be hard pressed to include me even amongst their second-closest friends. So when I say that I felt like you could have done more, I hope you understand why, even if it was never really justified.
Even that’s a stretch though, because part of me knows there was nothing you could have done. It was never about rationality. It was about the voices in my head, the ones that criticize my every move and make me question myself to the point where I don’t even want to risk doing anything. It’s bad enough judging myself through my own eyes, but whenever I’m with other people I do it through their eyes too.
I look at myself from their point of view and I try to decide whether or not what I’m doing, what I’m wearing, what I’m saying, are up to par with their standards. Most of the time it’s not. I hear their thoughts in my head, whispering criticisms and malevolent judgmental snickers as I chastise myself for being a loser, for being an outsider. It doesn’t matter if the thoughts are justified or not, because, as I’ve said before, once I have a thought I’m hard-pressed to ignore it. And I know this is the part where you vehemently deny ever having had any such thoughts about me, but that denial doesn’t matter either, because I know no one’s going to admit to ever actually having them (regardless of whether or not it’s true). Even though part of me knows that the thoughts aren’t really reliable, that I should try harder to ignore them, that I shouldn’t give in, I still can’t help it. Because when you hear something enough times you start to believe it. And I’ve been hearing it for the better part of eight years now.
It’s too painful to be around you. And that’s why I cut you out of my life. And part of me wants to blame you, wants to believe that if you had just tried harder, made more of an effort to convince me that we really were friends, that you really actually liked me, it could have worked out, but another part of me knows that it had nothing to do with you.
This self-hatred has been building up inside of me for a long time, and I was in a very dark place when I finally decided to cut you loose. Something had to change. I knew that then, and I know it now. I believe that I just need some time alone, some time to get to know myself for who I am, not for who I tell myself I am. I think I can overcome the voices when it’s just me. I believe that. And then maybe, after I’ve convinced myself of what is true and what isn’t, after I’ve done my best to correct the faults I can correct and to come to terms with the ones I can’t, maybe then, just maybe, I can come back.
And maybe you’ll still be there when I do.
But I don’t believe that.