I recently realised that I somehow got sucked into an unhealthy relationship. Obviously, I only had the best intentions. Who actually plans to be in an unhealthy relationship? I am fucked up in my own special way, but that much? No!
So here’s the story. A couple of years ago I met this guy online. We had a very random conversation, but he was nice enough so we talked again some time later. Over a period of time we got to know each other somewhat better. We talked regularly. He told me about his girlfriend, I told him about the guy I was involved with. Blah … blah … blah … same old story. I never thought about him as someone I could have romantic feelings for. I never even met the guy. He was just this person behind the messages, this picture on the screen, the voice on the phone. The way I saw him he would’ve been great to hang out with. Someone to spend a day in the pub with. But it never came to that. Still I wished him well and cared for him. He was a friend to me.
So far so good, but at some point I felt like he wished for me to be more than just a friend. He still had his girlfriend and told me often enough how much he loved her. So I explained the feeling away and didn’t ask him if there was anything to it.
Then out of nowhere he told me what an awful person and friend I was and blocked me. I was crushed and could hardly understand how it came to that. In my eyes I had treated him like most of my other friends. In my brain I evaluated every friendship I ever had. Was I really such a bad friend? Broken friendships popped into my mind. Was I to blame for every friendship that ended badly? Maybe. I couldn’t tell. But then again why had so many of my friends stuck with me for such a long time? Also I realised that I had plenty of friends. I told myself to just let it go. What did it matter what one person had told me? And anyway I couldn’t even reach him to find out why he thought so badly of me. Or could I? Through all his attempts to cut me off, he had left a back door open. I still don’t know whether on purpose or by accident, but he had left me a way to reach him. After some time thinking, I eventually decided to contact him.
I won’t call it a mistake, but in a way our friendship was defined by the conversation we had then. To make it short he accused me of many things that I felt were unjustified, but I apologised anyway. I was determined to show him that I could be a great friend. The best of friends.
Looking back this urge to prove myself as a good friend to a real-life-stranger seems insane. It surely is. But hey that was just the mental state I was in.
So we were back on talking terms again. But this friendship brought me no happiness at all. I had to face accusations over and over again. He regularly put me down. And stupid as I was, I apologised and promised to work hard on being a better friend.
To be fair things did get better. I still got side punches every now and then. He liked to tell me how much his girlfriend didn’t like me and how she mistrusted me and warned him to stay away from me. There is a good chance that she had indeed said these things. I am positive she had sensed that his intentions towards me were more than just friendly. Anyway my suspicions were confirmed by him a while later. I made it very clear that I did not see him the same way and was also positive I wouldn’t do so in future. He stayed with his girlfriend and I thought now that the air was cleared we might have an actual chance of a normal friendship. I thought clearing the air and leaving no hopes for any romance would set the guy free. Yaaaay no more hopes, no more friendzone. But nope! That’s not how the friendzone works. Accordingly any contact between us was awkward.
We made it work anyhow. Why? I can’t fucking tell! I was still trying to prove I was a good person and friend, I guess. There were so many things that I had to ignore in order to keep this friendship going. So many fucking things! He asked for more and more of me. Again and again I was asked to change. To then be told how perfect I was. The fuck I am! All the compliments just made me feel awkward. I wasn’t used to it and out of his mouth it just sounded wrong. I don’t doubt the honesty behind most his compliments. But still it was wrong. I wasn’t the one he was meant to tell these things. These were not compliments between friends. Stupidly enough I ignored them too. I admit that I still can’t tell to which extend I liked to hear these things. I was still talking to him, wasn’t I? Why?
Anyway the day came when he broke up with his girlfriend. I dedicated much time to him. Wasn’t this what friends did? I wanted him to be happy, I understood that he wouldn’t be for some time and that he wanted me to be there for him. I really did my best to be the friend that he needed.
But soon enough he showed me again that his intentions were of a different kind. I repeated what I had told him before, feeling like I was worsening his heartache.
Then shortly after I found out that he had lied to me about a few things. I was super pissed and I confronted him. No traps, no bullshit, I told him about the proof I had for his lies. Instead of him explaining to me why he had done so and solving the issue he turned the whole thing around. Again I was told what a bad friend I was and how he owed me no explanation whatsoever. My confronting him with this only proved how bad a friend I was and all this was none of my business anyway. Yes, somehow he managed to make himself look the victim. Followed by this he blocked me again. This time only for a shorter period. How the fuck we started talking again I can’t explain. But we did.
And I was back in the old circle of regular ups and downs in this relationship. It is crazy how much one can ignore on account of trying to prove a point. There were still moments when I honestly believed in our friendship.
But here we are … once again I was blocked and told I make an awful friend. This time after my inquisition if he felt like he was stuck in the friendzone with me. He did. I felt like I was standing between him and his happiness and told him as much. I suggested that if he needed to distance himself from me and our friendship to become happier he should do as much. I would step back if he needed me to. He told me I was being stupid and followed by this the same old story of me being a bad friend came up again.
When I saw that he had blocked me I felt …. Annoyed! And then I thought “So be it!” I had told him he could opt out of this after all. Sure, this had turned into something else, but the result was the same. I admit that when I suggested to end this friendship, it was not just for his good. A part of me wanted out. This friendship had become more of an obligation. And I could never live up to his idea of a friend. I gave and gave and gave and it was never enough. He had a reason to tell me I was a bad friend. Apparently in his eyes I am. But you know what? That’s ok.
There are so many people that I make a great friend to. There are people that appreciate me for who I am. And it is so fucking easy to be a friend to those people. I am not a bad person, neither is he. I am not a bad friend and neither is he. We just have different ideas of friendship. We shouldn’t change to live up to something that we can never be without being unhappy.
So, you people out there, I’ll leave you with that …
She wiped away the tears in her eyes and let the wind dry her cheeks. Why was she even crying? She couldn’t tell. It was the winds fault she told herself and laughed about her denial. Lying to yourself is not that easy after all.
She kept moving. The wind had turned and pushed her forward now. It blew her away. Away and away. Where to? That was another thing she couldn’t tell. She knew where she was coming from and she had an idea of why she didn’t want to be there anymore. An idea what kept her moving.
She was moving for hours already. Her feet had grown tired a while ago, but she hadn’t stopped once. She didn’t exactly know where she was, but she couldn’t care less. If she wanted to she would find the way back home. Home… The word seemed queer. Even in her thoughts. Things had changed. She had changed. And the place she once had thought she’d always call her home had turned into a place she felt strange to be in. She was welcome there. She always would be. But she didn’t belong there. She no longer belonged there. Could the others feel it to? It seemed so evident. Sometimes she thought she never truly belonged there. That she never truly was a part of them. Then she had to remind herself that this was nonsense. She was a part of them. The weird part, but a part. And if she didn’t belong with them who did she belong to? I will never find out if I don’t go she told herself.
So well protected she had been. But nobody could protect her from this. These feelings. Things change. And everybody changes. They should know.
Sometimes she thought they didn’t know. They never knew she changed. Or they just ignored it. They couldn’t accept. Stubbornly they pretended she was the same. But she wasn’t and they were just shutting their eyes. It was dragging her down. It made her sad. Why couldn’t they just accept? Accept and support? She could be a better her, if they weren’t holding her back. She knew she could. Nothing was more clear to her. But she seemed to be the only one. That should be enough though. But she wanted them to believe too. She knew that they had always had big hopes in her. They had plans. But she had shattered them and now they didn’t know what to do with her. Have new hopes? Give up? It felt like they wanted to believe, but couldn’t. Supportive, but not supportive at the same time. She was going mad about it. She never know what to feel around them. And too often it became shame and guilt. And the worst of all was that she knew there was no reason to.
She had changed, but the life around her hadn’t. It wasn’t just them holding her back, it was the place. So she kept walking. Walking without knowing where to. But it felt better to keep moving.
She reached the end of a path. There was nowhere to go. A field stretched out in front of her. No ways to her right, or left. Was that a sign? Should she follow the path back?
The wind kept pushing her forward. She closed her eyes. If she had wings she’d just fly away. Away and away. Wherever the wind blows. But never back.
She opened her eyes again and gave in to the wind. How hard this may be, she’d make her own way. She’d not hold herself back any longer.