Hi. I’m a person.
I know this is plenty obvious to most of y’all, especially if you’re more than a passing acquaintance. I am relentlessly human at the people I love. They get to see all the metaphorical parts. (Only some of them get to see me between sets of clothing, mostly because we are all seamstresses here and we not only have each other’s backs, we measure them.)
It has been made fairly obvious to me, over the last year, that some parts are tougher to see than others. And some people are willfully not seeing those parts. Argh. Words. You know I’m usually pretty good with them, so when I’m fumbling on paper it means it’s something hard to say.
I’m going to go with the analogy I had to use earlier tonight. Sometimes, when you’re heavy into someone, they become addictive. Like a drug. And the feelings can come from hormones that act like street drugs, so that’s not so shocking. Here’s the thing: if you don’t get a “she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” read off the other person, please ask before the addiction gets to the point where you would sell yourself on a street corner for another hit.
If you have those feelings for me, and the friendship is one you value, at least step carefully. If I say “no, I’m sorry”, we are more likely to resume a friendship if I never ever have to worry again about those feelings. I’ve done this before. (You think I’m not speaking from experience on both sides? Whoooo, I could tell you tales.) I used to be the kind of person who threw torpedoes into those friendships. I also used to have serious issues with boundaries.
a) I went to therapy and
b) my friendship resumption success rate is pretty dismal. I count two who wanted anything to do with me. Two. And in both cases, that was easier because they were adolescent crushes; you expect a teenager to put her heart somewhere vaguely (or, uh, wildly) inappropriate.
It was also not happening until a period of no contact had passed — or several periods of no contact while I got my head together. Addiction and infatuation both suck like that.
Those people? They were people all along, and some of what I thought I knew was my heart getting in the way of seeing who they were. I deserved anything and everything they had to say to me.
They are happy people. As far as I know, every one of them is happy, even the ones who were not my friends after the fact. I didn’t destroy any lives (unless I did, in which case you can tear me a new one). I wrote a couple of letters, and I sent them. I received no response, which is appropriate. The other person has the right to decide what contact to make with you henceforth.
So when I talk about this stuff, I’m doing it as someone who has behaved reprehensibly herself. Who has let her addiction run away with her good sense. Who will have to live with that knowledge, and who is getting on with life because it does no good to dwell on something so unhealthy. You have the best shot at us still being okay if you demonstrate that you can get on with your life. Friendship is wanting what is truly best for the other person, even if that means you leave that person alone until she (or he!) says “Hey, it’s been awhile. How are you?”
Now get on with your Wednesday. ♥