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Dear Former Friend

Hard to believe the time has been 16 months. While just a blink, or seemingly longer, I am in awe of the darkness in between. Darkness because I let your negativity and hurt impact me, I let my own hurt overcome my ability to heal. This letter serves as a way to resolve my feelings that I feel you never let me express.

Dear Former Friend, we used to spend a great deal of time together. Time I cherished trying to get to know you, time I invested to earn your trust to confide in me as I did you. Time I loved because I am the kind of friend who gives my all, a friend who is loyal, a friend who is selfless, a friend who loves and cares for you regardless and would give the truth no matter how damning. The aforementioned, albeit honorable, seemed to be my greatest downfall as your friend.

You see I recall always listening, understanding your plight, validating you, and always remaining optimistic even when optimism seemed so far away. I am a woman, always a sister, always a friend, always a cheerleader. Born and bred into my DNA and even if we were not friends I would support and cheer you on because of the sisterhood of being a woman. I could never lie to you or tell you what you wanted to hear, but I could tell you what needed to be said, with love from my heart, soul and mind. My inability to bring you down was apparently what brought down our friendship.

You see I was told that I said anything but encouraging words. I was told that my positivity was absolutely negative and I had a way of discounting your feelings. I was told I said things in the past that you were harboring, but you never approached me about what I said wrong or how I did you wrong so that I may correct and ask forgiveness.

When you started to come around again, all I felt was anger and darkness. I felt betrayed. My Judas is what you were to me now when you visited my home with the fake hugs, the fake smiles, the entertainer I had to be, the actress as if we never had any unresolved issues. I began to question myself, "Was I truly that horrific of a friend?" Did I truly do wrong and how could I right the wrong? How I loathe unresolved conflict.

Your husband told me of intimacy, trust, respect. Suddenly you were the queen and usurper of these qualities and I a lowly peon undeserving of these same qualities. I was unworthy of your intimacy. I was unworthy of your trust. And above all else I was undeserving of your respect. I felt awful. I sobbed for days. I would hide my sobbing the pain was excruciating that a woman, my sister in Christ, my FRIEND, the human I chose to be in my life out of love, had displayed such deplorable superiority over me as if I were dirt.

I am dirt. I am the soil of this godly earth. I nourish and provide and tend to the garden for which I was given. If the needs of that garden are not expressly shared then I cannot provide, that is how dirt works. We sometimes have to till that dirt. We sometimes have to pull some weeds. We sometimes have to fertilize. We have to water. Above all else we have to love. I felt that true love lost, I felt that true love was never really there.

I was your afterthought. I was there for your convenience. I was also your greatest competition. Your desire and need to compete with me overtook our relationship. So in that competition, you felt you had won because you thought you were more deserving. But I never saw any competition, I only saw a sister, a friend, a fellow woman who I wanted to share more of my time and get to know and support her in all she did. I saw you as an equal, my confidant, my family. Then suddenly I was wrong. Or I had missed the queues all along.

I was asked if I felt the need to be friends with you. Chortling I never felt any such obligation. I saw you as an ally. A kind soul that had a completely different view of life than myself and I wanted to be your friend. However, my want to forge such a relationship, I feel, has been very one-sided, laborious at times, and quite frankly, suppositious.

When told how I wronged you, I felt like I was the villain. No where did you assume a role in our relationship. No where did you see your part that maybe you were lacking giving trust. Lacking vulnerability. Lacking intimacy. But you almost demanded it from me because otherwise I was being "mean" or not doting or meeting your needs and I was being selfish. Never once were my needs as your friend addressed.

Yet, I couldn't meet your needs no matter what because you lacked the intimacy to share what you needed from me as your friend. You lacked the vulnerability to tell me your struggles so that maybe we could exchange similarities or differences and or how I could help even if just to listen or give a simple gesture like a hug. I felt like you couldn't let me love you and like you for who YOU are, I felt like you needed me to like or love someone that you weren't and aren't. You were coming off as someone I no longer recognized. Hence - laborious, suppositious..

Dear Former Friend, I forgive you. I released you from any burden you wore on my conscience that I had wronged you. When I let you go...I freed myself from any bonds and stories I told myself of how awful I was, when truly, it was how awful we were together. I am thankful we waned, we strayed, our husbands did the same. Had we not experienced this event, myself and my husband would not have grown and experienced this amazing new chapter and adventure in our lives. I thank you. You no longer are a burden on my mental real estate. You no longer make me cry. You no longer are a part of my life and I thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be better now that you're gone.

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