Why I Can’t Stay Mad at You

A few days ago, one of my best friends broke my heart–again. Throughout the years I’ve known him, he’s always been so kind and warm, and someone on whom I can rely on. In many ways, he’s a lot like me and our friendship has always felt incredibly innate and special because of it. He was there for me in my darkest moments and like a mighty superhero, pulled me out of even the most deepest holes. However, that changed in 2012 and ever since then he’s had this habit of letting me down. I might be to blame. After all, even though we forgave each other from that summer in 2012, his absence in this past year has me doubting myself and who I am. In many ways, it’s created a ton of mental pain and anxiety. A lot of the times I’ve blamed the situations we each find ourselves in more than anything else. I think it’s just the natural order of things–it’s fate, destiny, serendipity, all tied into one ugly stew and life needs to work itself out before it attends to us and our needs.

In recent months, he’s managed to make me cry more times than I can remember. It made sense for me a few nights ago to verbally attack him after discovering he was in fact ignoring me and rather update his social networks or catch up on late night television. I wish I had the words of Laurence J. Peter in my head at the time—“Speak when you are angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret”—but I didn’t. After I lay in bed crying and remembering how to breathe, I just felt bad for my best friend. He’s clearly someone who hasn’t had a ton of great friends in his life and without being pretentious–if we’re being frank here—I’m probably the best friend he’s ever had. It’s just his own shortcomings that he avoids everyone who cares about him. And the thought is that he’s always hurting me because he’s got his own issues and demons to deal with. A lot of my girlfriends say I shouldn’t take that attitude from a friend, but he isn’t like any of my friends. There are many times I believe we met for a reason, and I won’t give up on that until I figure it out for the both of us.

That being said, I was really mad at him the other day. I was so furious. I wanted to be that girl who walked up to him, with brimming tears and tightened fists pounding on his chest, screaming him down. I kept thinking, “I’ve only ever been a friend to you.”  Everything we’ve been through was eating up at me; having me doubt past moments and everything that made me smile felt like a lie. With my whole body shaking from how furious I was, I ended up crying for hours before bed, then waking up at 4 in the morning in heavy sweats only to vomit my brains out. I had to take Wednesday off just to lay in bed and think things through.

When I needed him, he was there for me. We would talk for hours on the phone or IM. We always ‘talked-talked’. He always made me laugh too. God, the things he would say or do. He introduced me to confidence and what it means for my well-being. He encouraged me to be bold and always myself. He pushed me to write—he always pushes me to write. How could he just turn his back on our friendship? How could he forget everything? What did I do?”

I came to the conclusion that I forgive him.

I forgive him because I understand him despite my frustrations with his silence. He’s someone who has made a lot of sacrifices in his life and secluded himself in order to keep promises. I always forgive. That’s just how it has to be. And forgiving someone doesn’t make me a pushover or weakling. It makes me realize that there’s so much more in life than just myself and my own feelings. Sometimes what a person needs most is to be forgiven; to be cared for and the fact is, I care about my best friend a great deal and I always will, even if on my lowest days I get mad and cry a river. He’s one of the best people out there and I’m proud of who he’s become even if it doesn’t include me right now. I admire him and I can’t imagine a world without him. By forgiving, I’m deciding to let go of any past resentments or thoughts of revenge. In the case of my best friend, I’d never want to hurt him because I care too much about him to ever inflict such an ugly side of myself.

It’s hard to forgive though because I want my best friend to really understand how I’m feeling, especially on days when I think he’s missing his sensitivity chip. It would seem like by forgiving him, I’m letting him off the hook–but I’m not. By forgiving him, I’m allowing myself to be a little more free from any pain he may have inflicted on me through the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in. I’m not the strongest person, but forgiveness requires a lot of strength because we have to view those who hurt us as simply confused in achieving their own personal contentedness.  The thing about life is, we need to be able to forgive with an open heart and present someone with affection and admiration when they least deserve it, because that’s actually when they need it the most.

With that in mind, forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. I’m always going to remember what he put me through, but I know he would never mean to hurt me intentionally. With time, I know I’m going to forget every negative notion that has made its way into our friendship but trust needs to be rebuilt. Trust requires a track record and though I’ve always been there for him, it would simply mean to keep my best friend at arm’s length, and take things slowly again enough to trust him and let go.

But I can never stay mad at him. Ever. I just can’t. He’s worth too much to thrust such negativity on. Along with the friendship he gave me, he has always been one to make me smile. I’m hoping one day we can get there again.

{Wordpress: Daily Prompt:  I Can't Stay Mad At You // April 28, 2014}
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9 comments

  1. Great post – you wrote very succinctly on forgiveness and friendship here. Thank You. I think, just to give you some kudos/support here: some relationships are important to be viewed how you are viewing this one….and that is, for the “greater good”, or whatever you want to call it, it’s important to forgive-but not forget- and keep the relationship going : even when there is pain, or some sort of negative behaviors going on. Not everyone/every relationship is ‘textbook healthy’,….and in some cases, it’s more important to look past these faults, because overall/in the long run – it is SO worth it! ;) hang in there!

    1. Hi Jason, thanks for the kind words and support—I appreciate it.The friendship between my best friend and I has always been a struggle of sorts, but I know the two of us coming across each other by chance has to mean something because he means something to me despite any negative behavior. Life is going to be full of challenges and considering, we both met through a very tough one, I know everything I’ve been through with him has been worth it and counts for something. I agree, not every relationship is “textbook healthy” either. And though it’s hard, I know at the end of the day he does still care about me…just in his own way. Once again, thanks for the words!

  2. I’ve ignored my friends in the past and it’s one of my biggest regrets. I’ve lost a lot of good friends by shutting people out. I get so wrapped up in work and keep myself busy and trying to fill voids, that I completely forget about those around me. It is something I am still trying to fix in myself, but it’s hard. I never had friends who would stick it out like you would with your best friend. I don’t know if he reads your blogs, but he should be lucky to have you. If I had someone like you in my life, it would make the days easier and I would definitely want to come back sooner rather than later. I hope he does come back. He’s missing out on a good friendship here.You are definitely a true friend, be proud of that. It’s not your fault for him being this way. Good luck!

  3. Did you ever think that maybe this best friend of yours disappeared from your life because he has great, hidden feelings for you? It happens with us guys. We generally push a girl away that we like. Maybe talking to you is hard for him because he loves you and can’t figure it all out.

    1. No, he’s not single (been with someone for a decade now) and he doesn’t have feelings for me in that way. He never has. I know that much. It’s not very hard for him to talk to me or talk down to me. Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful words.

      1. You are aware that you can be in a relationship for that long and still have feelings for someone else, right? Men are complicated that way, and majority of us enjoy complicating our lives. It adds drama to the mundane. ;)

      2. I’m aware you’re trying to be nice and finding that ‘silver lining’ in everything, but he is very black and white. Like mentioned in previous comments here, our “friendship” isn’t textbook healthy. It never really has been, I suppose. What is seen, is what you get with him. Thank you though, Ben. Appreciate the words and trying to find light in the dark.

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