Tag Archives: Friends

Missing you.

I want you to know I was walking with a friend tonight and you came up. I’ve never talked to him about you.

I want you to know that when he asked, I couldn’t say your name. No one here in thisĀ  place has ever heard your name come from my lips.

I want you to know that what you did still hurts. I know it’s been six years.

I want you to know that the loyalty I have toward you is still very real. Sometimes that’s why I don’t like telling people about you. Because when I do, other people get mad at you. When I tell them what happened, no matter how bright a light I paint you in, they don’t like you. And I hate that.

He told me that, when it comes to friendship, once I’m friends with someone, I’m friends with them forever. I didn’t know people could read that about me. I wonder if he could feel it because he’s one of those people.

You were too.

The difference is I tell myself that he could leave me and disregard my friendship any time he wants. That’s completely his prerogative. If he decides he’s done being friends with me, it will be horrible. But it will be his choice and if he wants to make that choice, I will be okay with it.

With you, I told you I was afraid of people leaving me and you told me you never would.

And then you did.

I’ve learned, and am learning, to hold friendships closely but loosely. You were the reason I had to learn.

And still, I’m missing you.

-Melissa

 

Advertisements

Changed.

We were talking and joking and I said something that made you both laugh. My comment made you both agree that nothing has changed. That I haven’t changed.

This was a little concerning to me. My mind spun for a moment before I drew myself back.

I haven’t changed? In over a year since you haven’t seen me, nothing has changed? I’m worried by that sentiment because I know where I was a year ago. I’m coming to one of three conclusions:

1.) I hid it a lot better than I thought I did while I knew you. I must have isolated myself to the point where you really don’t see a change in me since then. Maybe I put on some sort of mask when I was with you and didn’t let anything I was feeling leak from me. The anxiousness and irritability and sadness and utter emptiness… Maybe I kept them all and more from you undetected.

2.) Maybe you saw all those things and still see them now. And that’s concerning because I don’t feel them now. At least not as consistently and constantly. I didn’t feel them sitting there with you two days ago. So if you continue to see those things in me, I’m confused as to how.

3.) You ignored everything I’d said to you in the past. You ignored the pain in my eyes and wrote me off. Even when I told you it was there, you still chose to see only the good things I presented. So of course now I look no different. Of course now I sound the same. Because you aren’t listening. You’re choosing what to hear. You wrote off my depression as just me whining or complaining or being pessimistic. A year ago, you were ignoring… me.

You know, the third point is the one I’m afraid is correct. And that sucks. When I was severely depressed, there were a few people around me who … hurt me. Not intentionally. Not maliciously. I would highly doubt they even know.

I had someone reproach me for not getting enough sleep at a time I was afraid to go to sleep because I’d have bad dreams and it would end in me waking up and having to face yet another day. I had someone tell me how much they cared about me only to never make time for me again. I had people talk down to me, belittle me, and offer a lot of challenge and little to no support. When I told someone I’d been hurt by others during that time because of all of this, she replied, “Well, what do you want them to do?” or “What do you expect them to do?” in a condescending tone. I even had someone, after I told him people never cared enough to follow up with me, promise me he would follow up.

He never did.

Now, I don’t know exactly what I needed or wanted from these people. I guess I wanted to know I was cared for. Because they would tell me they did care for me but then there was never any evidence to support that.

I don’t know what my point is. I guess if someone tells you they are depressed or severely depressed, know they chose those words carefully and they know what they mean. Know that talking down to someone is hurtful and makes them feel like you think they’re worthless. Know that when someone tells you something incredibly painful, you should probably follow up, not act like it never happened.

Know that I have changed. In the year since you’ve seen me, I’m not the same person anymore. The depression is mild and the more severe bouts come in waves that are far apart from one another. I’m not drowning anymore. Breathing comes easily a good, fair amount of the time now. I’m not suffocating anymore. There are still incredibly hard days and some of those days turn into weeks. But now the good days outnumber the bad and, when you last were with me, the good days were so few and far between that I couldn’t remember what they tasted like.

I’m afraid that the fact that you don’t see that change means you were never really looking to begin with.

-Melissa

Letter.

To the fixers:

Maybe you don’t know what else to do, so you give a suggestion. Maybe my problem seems easy to you. Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you see an easy solution and you can’t imagine why I haven’t seen it. Maybe I have. Maybe it’s not as easy as you suggest. Maybe I can’t do what you can do. Maybe your solution is just a step in the right direction, but that same solution is surrounded by obstacles in my life. Maybe I don’t need a solution. Maybe I don’t need you to fix this. Maybe you want to help and you want to take control and fix this. Breathe. Just take a breath and be here with me. This can’t be fixed so easily.

To the challengers:

I see my flaws. I know there are many things I need to change. I’m probably more aware of them than you are. You challenge me to have perspective. You challenge me to think in different ways. You challenge me to think passed this. I can do those things. And nothing you are saying is wrong. But you’re invalidating what I’m feeling. I’m in a vulnerable place and you’re telling me, “Hey. I know what you’re feeling. But stop feeling that. Because you haven’t thought about it in this way. You just need some perspective.” I am allowed to feel what I’m feeling. You make me feel like I’m bad because I’m feeling this way. Just stop. Just hear me. Empathize with me.

To the uncomfortable:

You asked me why I was crying. So I told you. So you made a face that said you understood. Then you looked away. And you looked back and talked about something else. You tried to make me laugh. You ignored what I said. I know you’re not comfortable. I know you don’t want to help me carry this burden. Then please don’t ask. If you can’t handle it, please don’t ask me why I have tears in my eyes. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing. Because watching you see my pain and then ignore it? That’s something I can’t handle. So if you want to engage in my pain with me, then please do. But if you don’t want to–if you can’t– then leave me alone.

To the distracted:

You heard me. You not only heard me, but you said all the right things. You are the closest I’ve gotten to feeling a bit of relief from the sadness inside of me. You have gotten my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone. But you are busy. And the hours and the days and the weeks pass by and you seem to forget everything I said to you. When you see me, sometimes I can see you still remember, but you’re hurried. You have to move on to your next task, your next meeting. You say we’ll connect again soon as you pass by. Or you are so busy and distracted that you never follow through. In any way. You don’t even ask how I’m doing. Either be one thing or the other. Either be my friend, or don’t. But do not get my hopes up.

To the listeners:

Where are you?

-Melissa

Parallel.

I don’t think I believe in coincidences.

I mean, to a certain extent, I do. But, mainly, I think everything happens for a reason.

Today, I got distracted by the facebook page of a friend that I haven’t talked to in years. It’s not that there was any sort of painful break that caused us to part ways. Actually, she moved away and we just drifted. At first, we tried to keep in contact. But our lives kind of swept us away and we just… faded out.

We were supposed to become roommates my sophomore year of college but she called me two weeks before and told me she couldn’t come back to school. I haven’t seen her since.

She was, I mean, probably still is, one of the good ones. You know what I’m talking about? She’s one of those people that… I don’t know. Made me better somehow. Just by being around her. I think I was always a little intimidated by that– by her goodness. I think, maybe not in a bad way, but that it kind of held me back. Maybe actually in a good way.

It’s just interesting to think of what my life would have been like if she had come back to school and we had been roommates. I don’t think I’d be the same person I am now. But, maybe I’m wrong. But, being her roommate might have impacted me more than I can imagine. For that semester, I ended up rooming alone, which was during an incredibly painful time in my life. That space might have helped me heal in some ways, but it might have just enabled my isolation. And if she had been there, would I have gotten to know who is now my best friend who lived right down the hall? Or would she have become my best friend and would I have spent most of my time with her?

I don’t know. I’ll never know. I think that’s what’s fascinating to me about the concept of the parallel universe. One simple change and the course of my life, your life, our lives could be completely different. Maybe that’s not something to waste time thinking about.

I just think it’s fascinating.

-Melissa

Missing you.

So… I still miss you.

That shouldn’t surprise me anymore. But it’s been a long time since I’ve had a conversation with you. It’s been a long time since you’ve looked me in the eye… Even longer since it wasn’t followed by quickly looking away when you realized I was looking back. Goodness, it’s been years since I’ve heard your laugh. Years. But I still miss you.

I never want to stop. So maybe that’s why I haven’t. But I never expected that it would still be this strong. That the pain would still be so real.

Then again, I never expected that, by now, we wouldn’t have become friends again. I never thought your silence would last this long. I always thought our reunion was just around the corner.

Now, part of me wonders if I was delusional.

But, when I was at my worst, those delusions gave me hope. And God used that horrible experience to teach me what hope was. And I’m forever grateful for that.

But that was years ago too. It’s been so long. And there’s a very large part of me that thinks if you and I tried to be friends again today, it wouldn’t even work. Because too much time has past. There’s been too much space, and my pain has completely filled it. And your walls have successfully kept me out. And, though I’m sure you’ve changed, I’m not sure you could even remove a single stone from one of the walls.

And that’s the other thing. Missing you is mixed with worry for you. Because I worry you’ve kept everyone else out. I worry you’re alone and lonely. I worry you’re in pain and too afraid to let anyone see the utter goodness you hold inside of you. I just… I worry.

And you would tell me to stop. And you would say you were fine. And you would say that you like living just the way you are.

And I would be able to see through your lies just as clearly as you saw through mine.

I don’t know why you did what you did. It doesn’t make sense, Tyler. You and I had a friendship that most will never understand. Didn’t you realize that? Didn’t you see how well we understood each other? Didn’t you feel the comfort that came from our friendship? Didn’t you know that I would love you, literally no matter what you did? Didn’t I tell you that on more than one occasion? Didn’t you promise you’d never leave?

And was all of that what scared you and sent you running?

We’re less than two months away from it being four years. This is why I’m convinced that, though there may be stages of grief, grief never actually ends. Because, if it did, would there still be tears in my eyes? If it did, would my heart still ache at the thought of you?

I love you, best friend. Haven’t I proven you can’t change that?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Love.

I want to live in a society where men and women can be great friends and no one assumes they’re in love. This of course comes from the way that I love. I get deeply attached to people and that is so often misunderstood. So often, people assume that I like whatever male friend I’m hanging out with or gushing about. And maybe that’s the problem– that I do gush over some of my guy friends. When I do that, it’s hard for others to believe that I genuinely don’t like them in the “I want to date you and marry you and live happily ever after” way.

One part of me understands that. I can see why the way I talk about or show care or attach myself to some of my male friends could be misconstrued as a romantic affection.

But the other part of me just gets so frustrated. Most of the time, the frustration is aimed at people who don’t believe me, no matter how many times I tell them. But today, the frustration is toward me. I’m not mad at myself or anything, but it’s just frustrating. Because I know people are confused because I honest to goodness cannot describe how I am feeling. I can’t put into words the difference between being in love with someone and loving them deeply but feeling no romantic attraction. And it’s hard for me to describe how deeply I care for these friends because I know it will be misunderstood.

For example, I had breakfast with one of these friends today. He talked almost the entire time so I was privileged to just listen and watch him as he spoke. I was able to sit and stare back into his blue eyes with pupils that, quite honestly, are much larger than what I’ve seen on anyone else. It’s like he’s in a black room and his eyes are searching desperately for light. I was able to observe the way his brow pulls together sometimes when he’s confused or didn’t quite hear me, the crease in his forehead slightly off center. I sat fighting a smile from forming because I was thrilled to be sitting across from him and to be listening to the way his voice rose and fell gently as he explained his new job to me. The way he automatically took the check and the smile on his face as I convinced him to let me pay. His short burst of a laugh. The fullness in my chest at the happiness and contentment of being near him again…

And now you think I’m in love with him.

And I understand that! But you have to just take my word for it.

It’s just… my heart doesn’t quite beat on it’s own. Instead, it hears and replicates the patterns of the beating hearts around me. It seeks to create a beautiful harmony that our ears are simply not privileged to hear. And I can feel the pull– the grip– of other hearts on mine. Ah, I wish I could describe the feeling! But truly, there are no words. And while there is no romance, there is a love much deeper than can be expressed.

So, I understand the confusion. But again, take me at my word. Everyone else might be confused but, for once, I am not. My Lord calls us to love each other- he didn’t say only love those you’re attracted to. Never did he say to only cherish your crush. No. He said love your neighbor.

Plus, let’s be honest: If I liked someone, I wouldn’t be gushing about them. I mean, come on! I’m not that forward!

-Melissa

Outburst.

You know what absolutely sucks? Leaving bad things behind.

It’s not that part that sucks, really. It’s the fact that when you leave bad things behind, you inevitably leave good things behind too. And the good things.. let’s be honest- not things, people. When you leave the good people behind, they don’t really know why you left. They don’t know how much the bad things hurt you or how much it hurts to leave the good people. They don’t understand the pain that fills you when you think about going back. They don’t know you can’t let yourself think about them because it hurts much too much to do so. They don’t know how much you had to fake it or the kind of front you put up just so you’d survive.

And then you feel bad because you left them behind. And you know, you know, you know, you know, that you can’t go back. And you can’t do that again. And it’s the reason part of you is dead. It’s a piece of you that your body literally would do better without because it’s trying to infect the parts of you that are still alive. But still. You feel bad. Because you were good. You just had to be so freaking good to some people that now that you’re gone, they miss you. And leaving people like that really isn’t in your job description because you know what it’s like. And you want to be there for everyone if only they weren’t there. You know, that place you can’t go because… well you don’t know why.

But you know that you have to go back soon and the thought strikes you with fear and makes you crazy. Because why would you want to return to a place that saw so much of your pain? Why would you want to return to a place that stole hours and hours and hours from you that you’ll never get back? A place filled with emotion and pain and hurt but also with comfort because, hell! it’s all you knew for four years of your life. But at some point, a home turned into a prison and, for crying out loud, you still can’t figure out which one is it.

You just feel bad because you left all the good things along with all of the bad things. And you just wonder how long they’re going to keep hurting you.

-Melissa