One of my personal hang-ups, one I haven't managed to entirely conquer yet, is the idea that, given enough time and exposure to me, most people will get tired of my antics and leave me. It hasn't actually happened all that often, but the few times it has happened are enough to reinforce this unhealthy idea.
High School was really tough for me, but I am certainly not unique in that; if you gather twenty people in a room, nineteen of them will say the same thing. I was a weird kid, though: overly-mature, over-sensitive to everybody around me, and overly-serious. I didn't make close friends easily; my previous best friend had burned me pretty badly between grade school and high school, so I was fairly withdrawn.
In came K. She was two years older and seemed many years wiser. She was tough and I admired her for that; she taught me to stand up to my problems, and I think I started to learn how to be less of a victim in my own life because of her. The overwhelming memory I have of her was how strong she was. In a time when I didn't trust anyone else, when I was terrified to admit I needed anyone in my life because I was certain that only led to abandonment, I learned to open up and trust her. She got me through high school.
In college I went through my nervous breakdown, and became somebody I hated. I was selfsh and self-destructive, depressed and moody, scared and apathetic all at the same time. When I look back on that period, I can only be glad I survived it, and that I'm not that girl anymore. I still have a tendency towards self-involvement, but I try to combat this as much as I can. I am lucky enough to have lots of friends who help me with this.
But, one of the casualties to this self-destructive period was K. She grew to dislike me while I struggled with my self-loathing and narcissism, and in 2001, she "broke up" with me. I didn't see it coming, and it was like a gunshot wound to the gut when it happened. "See? Everyone grows to hate you and leaves you!" seemed to be the message. It took me a long time to get over. There are still times even now when I think my BFF B is going to end up doing the same, though no matter how many times I annoy him, he's still around;)
It's been nearly ten years since that friendship ended, but I still think of K from time to time, and wonder how she's doing. Every once in a while she shows up in a dream, and it stirs up nostalgia. I can honestly say I am a different person than I was back then: still a work in progress, still far from perfect by anyone's estimation, but a better human being and certainly much more sure of who I am. It made me wonder if we could be acquaintances again (certainly not friends, but perhaps we could link up on Facebook or something.) A few months back, maybe a year ago, I Googled her and was fairly sure I'd found her on Facebook. I sent a friend request with a little note saying that I hoped she was well, that I still thought of her and still was glad we had been friends in high school. I wasn't totally sure it was the right K, but I suspected. However, she replied that she didn't know who I was, but wished me luck. Oh well; I forgot about it and moved on.
Last night she showed up in a dream; nothing dire, it just made me think of her. I decided to search again, out of curiosity, and found the same profile as before, only this time I saw that the girl who had claimed she was a stranger had a common friend with me and went to my high school. She was the K I had known, and she had lied to me.
I guess I feel a little sad over that. I'm not angry at her; she obviously really, really doesn't like me now, and never wants to associate again, even through such a shallow means as Facebook. I respect that. I don't know why, but I still wish her nothing but happiness.
I guess I'm glad I have better friends now. But, in moments like these, it does make me remember that little voice, the one that persistently says, "Everybody leaves."
Onward and upward, I guess.