So recently I was confronted with the situation of bumping into an ex friend. We haven’t spoken for 4 years. Awkward! Readers, I want to tell you I was gracious, said hello and smiled, catching up on the pleasantries…. But that would be a lie. As soon as I saw her (and immediately pretended I didn’t see her) memories of our falling out came to mind.
I felt my face burning as I remembered the awful poisonous words I used to end our friendship. I remembered the anger that can only be evoked by someone you feel so strongly about. I suspect she expected an apology from me. I do owe her one. So why didn’t I deliver it?
I know I was out of line with most of the harsh hateful truths I threw at her back then. I remember referencing all the things which people were mentioning behind her back, and feeling righteous, like she should be grateful I was going to tell her the truth. In hindsight, the reason the other people didn’t tell her is because they knew it wasn’t their place. I have no idea what made me think it was my place to tell her how to live her life. I lost a friend because she wouldn’t live her life my way? Well by all accounts she seemed happy and that goes to show that she was perfectly capable of living her own life in whatever way made her happy. I told myself that I was doing her a favour by telling her the truth, but in reality I was enabling myself to be cruel just to hurt her. I’m not proud of it.
So why did I do that? Anger, hate, jealousy, hurt, resentment. My response to her was not a considered action it was an emotional reaction. Someone I loved had hurt and disappointed me to the point that I fought fire with fire. Why? Love. I loved this person. I was passionate about the situation in a way only possible when some form of love is present. Love for her versus love for myself. I owe her an apology for speaking out of turn and deliberately hurting her. That wasn’t right and I hope I have learned that water is much more effective for fighting fire in the future.
If I do know I do OWE her an apology, why not take the opportunity to be the bigger person, approach her and deliver it? I must hate her, right? The thing is though, that I don’t hate her. If I hated her, on some level that would mean there was still love between us. Pretty sure I burned that out with my own fire. And the fact that there is no love between us anymore is part of the reason I didn’t apologise.
If she wanted the apology; I know she has the guts to approach me. The fact that she also pretended not to see me told me everything I needed to know. She doesn’t hate me either. She doesn’t love me anymore. There is nothing there. We are indifferent. That is the opposite of love. She didn’t seem angry or hurt, although I imagine she was just as uncomfortable as I was. Lol If it still meant anything to either of us, a confrontation would have ensued. However, neither of us cared enough anymore.
None of the things we fell out about still matter. My apology would make no difference to anyone. Yes, I did speak out of turn, but she knows as well as I do that I meant every word and although it wasn’t my place to say it, I stand by what I said. I have come far enough along the road to see that my perspective was merely my opinion and not a gospel truth, and I wasn’t the great righteous friend I thought I was back then. She has come far enough along to prove me wrong! Lol
Essentially I didn’t apologise because I am not sorry. I wasn’t a good friend to this person, and I don’t think she was a particularly good friend to me either. If I have ever been frenemies with anyone it was her. Many aspects of our unhealthy friendship make me cringe and I realise that we didn’t ever bring out the best in each other. She is not a terrible person or a bad friend any more than I am. We just weren’t well suited. I don’t love this person anymore, and I can admit that I don’t like her. Maybe I never did. And that’s ok. I am not a terrible person because I didn’t like her. I should not have hurt her- that was downright wrong. However if she needs to paint me as the villain to make herself feel better without taking accountability for her side of it, then that is a role I am willing to play. Equally it is her opinion, not a gospel truth and it doesn’t define me. Is an apology even genuine if you only offer it because you should?
I AM sorry I hurt her, but I am not sorry we are no longer friends. That is the final and most truthful reason I didn’t apologise. I ended the friendship because I wanted it to be over. Now it is. I don’t need to apologise because I forgive myself and I don’t really care if she forgives me or not. She pretended not to see me too. I should have thanked the woman!
If you are reading this – Thank you! Lol I really am sorry for hurting you. I was wrong, about almost everything, except ending our toxic friendship. (Note I say the friendship was toxic, not you or I, but the relationship we shared together.) I was really happy to see you seemed happy and well. Now I can learn the lesson and let it go. I forgive you. I forgive me. None of it matters. I still recall the things we said and did to each other with clarity, but in the end it is the things we did not say and do that set us free. Have a nice life and I will do the same. This is letting go!
Your Best Friend ForNever