Bad at friends. That’s a pretty out there title, no? I considered calling it other things, but hey, why beat around the bush? I am bad at friends.
I ummed and ahhhed about posting this for a while, because what you’re about to read is entirely true, but in being so it has the power to upset some of the most wonderful people in my life, and so with that in mind, I’m going to start with a letter to them.
To my friends, or at least to the ones reading this
I’m ok, really I am. You haven’t done anything wrong I promise, this is just how I am, and its no ones fault except maybe mine. So don’t worry. You’re wonderful and I love you to the moon and back, I really, really do. You have done nothing but support me, and without your love and time and effort I would not only be much more miserable, I would be a very different person. I’m not writing this to upset you, or anyone else, I’m writing this because that’s what you do on a blog, you talk about how you feel and what you’re doing. I’m also writing this because keeping it inside is exhausting, and there’s a certain level of anonymity provided by an unpopular blog.
Yours with more love than you know
I suppose I should kick the main body of this off with something of an explanation; I was bullied, for a long time, most of my life actually. Its not something I keep quiet about, I’m not ashamed of having been a victim of cruel people, everyone at some point or another in their life will be victimised by someone. But I often keep quiet about the result of that bullying, a bad habit I’m sure I share with a lot of other victims of bullying. You see I wasn’t bullied by some mean blonde with a seemingly random vendetta against me like in a bad American teen movie (well, actually I kinda was but that was a long time ago and its not really relevant.) I think if I had been my life might actually have been a tad easier. No, I was bullied by friends. People I trusted to the point that even when it started, even when I was so miserable and broken and hurting it felt like I could hardly breathe some days, I did not for a second consider the situation to be what it was; bullying. I was scared, so deeply petrified of the idea of making new friends that I put up with it, time and time again, repeatedly finding myself in the same situation, no matter how many times I seemed to leave toxic people behind. Part of it was that when the people you trust, and in most cases love, start to treat you like you’re worthless, when the people who assure you that they love you treat you like they don’t, then you don’t believe yourself loveable. I spent so much of my life trying to convince myself that I was loved by people I wasn’t, so much of it trying to fabricate emotion that simply wasn’t there, that I struggle to notice when genuine feeling is there.
I am bad at friends.
I struggle to make them, I struggle to keep them. I fight endless silent battles with myself every time I pick up my phone to reply to messages, worried that I’ll say the wrong thing and push them away. Another battle with myself every time I want to tell them something or invite them somewhere, constantly concerned that I’m boring or intrusive or pushy. I yoyo between worrying I’m suffocating them, and then they’ll hate me, to worrying I’m ignoring them, and then they’ll hate me. I live, day in and day out, with an obnoxiously loud voice at the back of my head reminding me there is every possibility that these lovely, wonderful, intelligent, brilliant people are just too polite to tell me they don’t like me. Every time I leave the room I worry they’re talking about me, every time we say goodbye I worry they’re thankful I’m gone. Frankly, it sucks. And its tiring. And I know, logically, that there is very little chance they dislike me, but tell that to the voice.
It’s a difficult place to be, and it makes day to day interaction pretty hard sometimes, but I like to think that I hide it well.
Now this is all pretty personal, even for an unpopular blog, but I do have my reasons. I’m writing this because I need it to be out there, because keeping stuff like this in is painful and exhausting. I’m writing this because maybe one day someone who feels the same way will come across it and know they are not alone, and because I want those people to know that one day they will find friends (like mine) who love them, genuinely, and who will light up their lives. Because one day they will realise, in a stunning wonderful flash of joy, that they have the power to light up those friends’ lives too. And that’s a pretty fab feeling.
Thanks for reading my ramblings.
Feel free to comment if you’d like to.
All the best