I don’t talk about the life I lived in New York much because sometimes I still feel physical pain when I think about it. New York was home to me, and though I still spend time there pretty regularly, it’s not the same. I miss home, and it simply doesn’t exist there for me anymore.
Once upon a time I had a friend there who meant the world to me. After living a life of insecurity and walls for so long that it was the only thing I knew, she helped me begin see that the person I was could be lovable.
We met at my Weight Watchers meeting, and she stood by me every week as I reached milestones. And I held her jacket and her bag and all of the other crap that she brought along every single week as she reached her milestones too. 🙂
We went out with friends after ever meeting – sometimes to dinner, sometimes to dance the night away with sexy guys who were part of an awesome band that we loved. I talked about this a lot here.
We shopped together, worked out together (sometimes.) We went on fun trips, met famous people and spent hours talking at the salon, on the phone or just at home. We had parties and went to the Opera with gorgeous men who chastised us for giggling there. We never failed to keep ourselves entertained, and it was fun.
When her mother passed away, I was there. I’ll never forget removing her jewelry and closing her eyes for the last time. We were there for each other because we loved each other. She was the closest friend I had ever had.
When I left New York I lost more than my home, my boyfriend, my dog and my belongings. I lost her. When things hit rock bottom there, I felt abandoned, and it was easier to run away and tell myself that I didn’t care than it was to face the fact that I was wrong too.
The pain I felt when I realized it was over with the man I thought I was going to marry was so intense that I couldn’t bear to face anything else. I was mad at the world, and I hated him. I hated everyone – especially myself.
Protecting myself from more emotional pain seemed more sensible than attempting to work out the separate issues that I had with her. I lied to her. I was wrong on so many levels, but I couldn’t admit it. I couldn’t admit it to myself, but turning away from her only made me feel more lonely and filled with regret.
Earlier this Summer I sent her a message out of the blue wishing her well and letting her know that I think of her often. I didn’t get a response immediately, but when she wrote back she expressed some things that made me want to cry and some things that made me want to hug her.
She told me that she wished I would have just talked to her and tried to fix what was broken between us. She also said that she wishes that I wouldn’t have run away and that she could have shown me what it’s like to have a true friend. She reminded me that she didn’t care who I was or what I did. She simply loved me for who I was and the fun times we had together. She also said she wanted the truth.
She seems open to talking about it further, but I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to begin to mend one of the most meaningful relationships I ever had, but I want to try. Should I just start by saying “hey, this is what I did wrong, and I’m sorry” even though it’s been ages?
I know that I have to be honest, and the truth is I’m scared. I’m not scared to tell the truth though I certainly was at the time, but I am terrified of feeling rejected all over again. I’m scared to face those feelings of brokenness that came along with leaving a world that I wanted to live in forever.
I miss my friend, and though I tried to forgive myself for hurting her somewhere along the line, I would like the chance to earn her forgiveness too.
When I think about her I can almost hear her voice and the way she laughed when I said something silly, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to hear her voice now.
I don’t think she ever expected me to be perfect. I think she just expected me to try when I didn’t. And though I realize it’s probably too late now, I realize that I want and need to lay everything out.
I want her to know that I was wrong and that I know it. I want her to know that I’m sorry for being so selfish and scared, and I want her to know how important she was and is to me. I want her to believe I’m sorry.
At one point she was my closest friend, and whether I ever lay eyes on her again, I’ll always love her.
Sometimes in life we are forced to live with regret, and I take responsibility for this scar on my heart. It is my fault, but time has a way of weeding out what’s important. It also has a way of healing.
I don’t know if she will ever love or respect me again, but I know that at one point she did. And I should have fought to keep it that way.