Dear Ex-Best Friend,
It has been almost a full year since you left me. I will admit that when you first left I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t breathe. When I did eventually fall asleep though I would wake up completely panicked. The voice in my head screamed at me over and over that “She IS NEVER COMING BACK. SHE IS NEVER COMING BACK.” I use to obsessed about what happened, playing the story of how we fell apart over and over again in my head. I would think about what I wish I would have done differently to save you from yourself, and the path of self-destruction you chose by choosing him. I hated myself for not being able to save the person that I loved more than anything in this world, a person I felt God had sent me to watch over and protect. Before he ever came into our lives I knew you had demons. I knew everything about you.
I knew you had a bad habit of lying, I knew that you could be quite deceptive, I knew you were quite susceptible to bad influences. I was OK with all these things though because, at the end of the day you were fighting the good fight just like the rest of us. Trying to gain confidence in a world that teaches us to hate ourselves. You were also kind, thoughtful, passionate about what you believed in, funny, smart, hardworking, articulate, and warm-hearted . Even though sometimes you slipped up they were easily forgivable mistakes. I loved how we could always talk through anything whether it be that I wronged you, or you wronged me. We would listen to each other, and trusted that we always were looking out for what was best for one another. I trusted you to be my eyes for the things I was blind too, and you trusted me to be your ears for the things you were deaf too. We were taking this journey together no matter what. We even joked that we were one person, or in our little group of three, the holy spirit. That is different parts of the same thing, then one day that all changed.
“But, we’re in love,” you told me.
“No, you’re not. You just think you’re in love with him.” I fired back, and that’s when everything changed.
You stopped trusting me, even though I apologized. You began to move away from me. You became colder, and angrier with the me and with the world. I could see that you were beginning to walk down a new path, one without me. Your eyes became darker, and your light became dimmer. I was OK with this though because I knew that someday you would come back to me, I didn’t care how long it took. I didn’t care if I had to wait until you were forty and married to him, and it wasn’t until then you woke up and realized that he was awful. I would be there for you when you decided that you needed to get a divorce. No matter what I was going to be there for you because, you would do the same thing for me. But I was ripped out of this fantasy and into the nasty world of reality. I did something that I am not proud of, and it ripped me to pieces. I called you on the phone and you promised to keep my secret. I told you later that night that I had no idea who I was anymore.
“Who am I?” I asked you. “I have never done anything so shitty and selfish in my life.” In that moment I turned to you my best friend, my eyes. To see the good in me that I could no longer see in myself. Instead you seized my weakest moment to manipulate my eyes to see what you wanted them to see, not what I needed to see.
You told me that I was an alcoholic, that I had serious emotional issues. That I had always made the selfish wrong choices in life, and that I best come with you, down your new path in life. The one that you choose to walk with him. You told me that no matter what he was going to take my side, and be there for me. That if I would just allow him to step up to the plate and be the good guy he really was that I would see what you see. I couldn’t really see how he fit into the picture but, I was too preoccupied with dealing with all my “emotional issues” to think too much about it. Time passed, and you assumed all your sins were forgiven and forgotten. Even though I told you that we could be sitting in this same place a year from now that I still may not have forgiven you. That you were going to have to earn my trust back. You took my trust as a given, you failed to realize that my trust was not a right, it was a gift.
At the very end you kept saying “If I had to make a choice between him and you guys, I would choose you guys.
To which we replied “You don’t have to choose between him and us.”
At the end there was no more rationalizing with you. The kind bright hazel eyed girl I knew was gone. She was replaced with a girl who had a dark glisten of hate and fear in her eyes. You allowed all your demons to take over you. The ones you had been fighting so hard against for as long as I had known you. This made me desperate, I didn’t know what to do. I had given you all of the best of me and I couldn’t save you, so I could I gave you all the worst of me too. I allowed my demons to take over me too, because I was so afraid of losing you, but what I failed to realize was that you were already lost.
He brought out the worst in you. He made you sleep deprived, and full of anxiety. He made you fearful, and paranoid. You would take it out on me, and everybody who cared about you, but me most. He took your selfishness to new heights and it evolved into a twisted form of narcissism, that benefited him. You were willing to pay any price to get what you wanted, when before there were boundaries. Now you were even willing to sacrifice your friends. Your friends who were a part of you. You were also willing to sacrifice the best parts of yourself for him. The things that made you, you. Your compassion, your sense of justice, and your happiness. You see dear friend we were never asking you to make a choice between him and us. We were asking you to make a choice between him and yourself.
Dear friend, it was simply impossible for you to choose between us and him. There was never any choice of that kind because, we were a part of you. No matter what we were always on your side, even if your eyes demented by fear could no longer see it. We were a part of you, but you decided to rip us out of the fabric of your soul, and when you did that you ripped out a part of my soul too.
So here I sit, in the same place almost precisely a year from when you read me a typed list of all the things that you thought were wrong with me at the very end. One last failed attempt at manipulation, and I have still not forgiven you and I have still not forgotten. Make no mistake this letter is not an invitation to come back into my life, I fear that my never happen. But here is what this letter is. It is to tell you now, what I lacked experience to see and understand back then. Everything is always so clear in retrospect.
What I didn’t understand was that your boyfriend was like cancer. Once the cancer invaded your mind it eats up all parts that it can’t be manipulated. In some ways he was worse than actually cancer, because real cancer only takes your body, but this one takes your soul. What I didn’t understand about the cancer that is a narcissism is that it is contagious and can spread. That was how he got to me, through you. That was how he brought out my demons that gave you the excuse you needed to do what you said you never do. Chose him over us, when in reality you choose him over yourself. What I should have said but, lacked the wisdom to say is to choose self-love, not selfishness. Choose to see the good in others, not the opportunities. To shut your ears to lies, and open them to truth especially when it is hardest to hear. To choose people who will never make you make a choice between them and someone else, because they are on your side. You may be wondering why it took me so long to say this.
It took me so long to say this because I hated you for so long. I could not forgive you because, these were not mistakes you were made, these where choices you made whether they were purposeful or not to hurt me. I could not make myself stop loving you, so I chose to hate you instead. Now that some time has passed and I am quite healed, I am choosing to let you go instead. Both the bright eyed girl, and the dark eyed girl. I hope that someday (hopefully sooner, rather than latter) you choose to let him go, and chose yourself instead. That is all I ever wanted even if I can’t be a part of it. Even if you wanted me to be a part of it, because I need to choose myself too.
The Friend You Left Behind
An Open Letter to My Ex-Best Friend Who Choose Her Boyfriend Over Me
Dear Ex-Best Friend,