I know I’m way behind. I completely forgot about Saturday’s “Sweet Talkin” post, even though I have two planned in drafts; I so have not kept to a one letter a day schedule, and my writing projects suffer horrifically. But it was purely Providential that the night I decided who to address this letter to, the very person in question blogged me. *clutches chest*
In light of the circumstances, I had to change this letter and couldn’t post it as-was.
Letter Challenge Day Fourteen – Someone I Drifted Away From
I really didn’t think we’d ever talk to each other again. In your “eulogy” email you stated your frustrations in having to fight for the last word (confusing when your last two responses remained unanswered) and I didn’t reply because I had nothing more to say. I’d been as open and honest as I could be, was exhausted from my efforts, and finally left the ball in your court. I wasn’t going to keep harassing you when all of my attempts at overcoming our differences were received so poorly. But since you’ve sent me your post in which you insist you’ve changed, it’s only right that I respond.
“And I don’t know how to proceed.”
It would sound heartless for me to say I haven’t missed talking to you. But I can say quite honestly that I haven’t missed what our conversations had become. Anytime they moved from the petty and lighthearted to a more significant topic, I managed to offend or insult you without quite understanding how. You say you were sick, you were bitter, and you’ve changed. I can’t help but be skeptical. In all your explanations, I haven’t got a sense that you’re sorry at all. I feel like you’re still hiding behind your “DNA fluke” and “psychological” issues and it reads like a list of really good excuses. I don’t believe it’s unreasonable of me to want an apology. Being sick doesn’t give anyone the right to treat people the way you treated me, be they living in your house or on a computer halfway across the country.
Who were you then? I don’t even know.
You did know. You grew to know me more than a lot of people I see regularly face to face. I shared my thoughts, feelings, hopes, commentaries, secrets, beliefs, favorites, stories, writings, and aspirations with you. I was never untruthful or deceptive about myself. If you didn’t know me then, you must have turned a blind eye to everything I ever said. Have I changed in three months? Of course. I’ve been to Europe, I’ve met new friends, I’ve read more books… but my core values and the fact that I’m a real person who wants to be treated as such hasn’t changed. But here’s food for thought: If you truly believe you didn’t know me just because we never saw each other in person or got to hug or shop or eat ice cream together, then you must believe we weren’t really friends. If that’s the case, why are you still thinking about me? Why do you care? If we didn’t know each other at all, if we weren’t friends, I couldn’t have hurt you. And you say that I did just that.
And I acted different. I am guarded, sheltered, and cynical. I jumped into our virtual world head first. I was thirteen, and immature, and sick. And I had no idea. Crazy. […] I wish I got it. I understood myself. Psych profile? Who knows.
Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe you’re so stuck on the idea that our friendship was messed up, you’ve failed to consider the possibility of it being something great; something you needed. Is it so horrible for you to have made a friend hundreds of miles away when you were going through all those trials? Maybe being cynical and sheltered aren’t your best qualities, and I was blessed enough to see the other side of you for a while. Maybe we were both learning patience from each other without even knowing it, and maintaining that uphill struggle got to be too much.
I believe God brought us together for a reason. He took us through this difficult relationship to help us grow, and I’ve prayed for the humility to learn something from it all. Though I’m far from knowing all the lessons He’s designed, I have grasped a few: about myself, about us, and how we could actually reconcile.
I’m extremely grateful that you gave me an opportunity to learn when I have to speak up. You taught me that I don’t have to accept derisive comments from a person just because they are, or were, a good friend. I don’t have to please everyone and I shouldn’t try. My main focus is to please and honor God. If I’m following my conscience while speaking with Christian charity, there’s no more I can do. I shouldn’t let anyone guilt me into compromising my standards because it might hurt their feelings. I’ve reflected a lot on what I said to you, and I’m still glad I spoke up. During my last lengthy message, I was letting some frustration ooze into it, but it didn’t change what needed to be said.
I haven’t been bitter or sullen over what happened. Not in the least. In fact, once I got your email right after you blocked me, I considered it your way of ending things and I felt free not to be worrying all the time about how to repair another wound that wasn’t of my making. I couldn’t reproach myself for giving up on our friendship since you were the one that walked away. I’m glad you’re not bitter, either. If this post is your way of trying to patch things up, I have to make something abundantly clear, though. I can’t ignore everything and start over. Wounds can’t be left to fester if you expect them to heal. The infection has to be removed first. It hurts, but it’s the only way to prevent gangrene. In other words, ignoring everything we went through would just create a poisonous relationship. It wouldn’t be good for either one of us.
I can understand how you’d befriend me under false assumptions. Please don’t take that as an accusation. I’ve had time to reflect as well, and I can see how my personality is a bit of a chore to comprehend. I’m very enthusiastic in the way I express myself, and I generally do my best to avoid conflict. I squeal, I find the cute in silly things, I laugh often. That all can make me look like a very emotional person–sensitive even–but no. I’m not persuaded by mere sentiment. I analyze to death. I’m fiercely loyal and passionate towards certain things and I’ve never been a pushover. But you can’t blame the way we met for the confusion. There are people I’ve known for years that are still surprised to find out I actually have a brain that is used at that frequency and intensity. I have some online friends that know me better than those I spend physical nearness with on a regular basis. It’s not the internet. It’s you and me and the same assumptions lots of people make because they don’t ask the right questions.
Rather than continue to assume anything, I want to ask you those questions that pester me most right now. You can answer them anyway you like: through email, blog post, or not at all. But I have to ask.
What do you want from me at this point? Are you hoping we can restore our friendship?
Do you care about me at all, or does it just nettle you that things ended the way they did?
Are you still letting your life experiences embitter you towards everyone who hasn’t suffered exactly the same way as you or are you ready to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” as I struggled so long to do for you?
Do you really think it’s creepy of you to care about me and just part of your “craziness” to want to talk? I guess if I am a robot that’s been programmed to imitate human behavior, it would be creepy. But you realize by now that I’m a real person, right?
I remember the emotional person I was. How personally and seriously I took everything from you.
You say that like it’s all in the past, but I think you still take everything too seriously, too personally. Your post is fairly dramatic. Like I screwed up a whole lifetime of yours by being shockingly different than what you expected. I can’t be accepting this heavy load of blame every time you go through something I don’t, or you get hurt by a comment or note that has included no personal injury to you whatsoever. Is it the fact that I’m not a two-dimensional cutout that scares you? Is it the fact that you did open yourself up to a real friendship with a person hundreds of miles away and then decided you couldn’t handle it? Did I say things too glaringly honest that others don’t have the nerve to say? Do you want me to treat you like a martyr, or a friend that I respect enough to be truthful with? Is compassion and sympathy not enough, or do you want pity and coddling as well?
I would love to be friends with you again. I would love to overcome these difficulties with you and have a relationship that encourages us both. I’ve found it is easier to make peace with someone you can see and hear, but not at all impossible to care about a person so far away. You have to remind yourself that I’m not a character on a page. I’m a living, breathing human being with a full range of principles, opinions, and emotions. I’m not limited to a script.
If I’m nothing but a hiccup of a memory, a messy distraction, or someone you can’t get over because you needed closure, you can take this as a final farewell. If it’s too much for you to have a real relationship with someone you can’t see in person, I understand. I won’t be haunted by the fact that we couldn’t make it as faraway friends. I’ll think of you from time to time and keep you in my prayers, but I have no regrets. I wish you the best. Goodbye, dear Cafe.
If you really wanted to take steps towards a better friendship, you know where to reach me. I can’t promise to always say things you like, or share the same opinions, or even do things you approve of, but I can promise to be a loyal, faithful, honest friend who does her utmost to be there for you whenever you need a listening ear–or eye in this case. I’ll always tell you when I think you’re being unreasonable, taking everything too seriously, or acting “catty” and I’d expect you to tell me when I’m frustrating you and why. Like real friends do.
“So now it’s up to you. For both of us. Now it’s up to you.”