I miss two friends I had a falling out with in November of last year. I think about the moment often. I think how I could have played my cards differently and dealt with the situation better. But then I get angry …. angry that I still mourn the absence of their presence in my life. Angry that I am sure neither of them have thought much about me in the last several months, let alone replay the scenario in their head, talk to their friends about it or feel sadness over what could have been.
Let me clarify that I have few friends in my life. I know TONS of people. But truly deep and meaningful relationships in my life are under 20 in total. These two people (they are a couple) were on the path to what I thought to be a friendship based on mutual interest and trust. I loved my time with them. I loved each of their personalities. I loved them together and apart. I loved that they loved each other. In essence, I loved being friends with them.
And then the incident happened. Cutting a long story short, one of them did something to me that made me feel uncomfortable and violated. And as a friend, I told him such. In response, I was told to stop over-reacting and to “forget it”. My friend had discounted my feelings. My friend had shrugged off his actions like an old sweater. My friend had treated me no differently than an irate person you may encounter on the street. I was dismissed. I was left feeling that my emotions were not validated, real or justified. I was belittled. I was left hurt.
When I addressed this with his partner, we had a good talk and he saw my perspective. He gave me his view on the situation and what I should expect. And he told me something that I took to heart…..regardless of what transpired with his partner, we would still be friends.
So me and his boyfriend hashed through awkward emails each justifying our stance. I apologized for my reactions. He did not. He stood firm in his convictions and his refusal to say “I am sorry.” It’s sorta funny…. an apology was all I wanted from him at that time. Not an admission to his actions or the inappropriateness of them. Just an acknowledgement that he heard me….you know, something that friends do. Sometimes you say sorry simply because it’s what the other person needs….you know, it’s something friends do. “I’m sorry I made you feel that way Courtney” or something like that was all I wanted to hear. What I heard was silence on all fronts.
The other half of the duo, stopped returning my emails about a month later. Requests for lunch went unanswered. Emails and Facebook messages waited in limbo. I guess in every heated situation, you pick sides. And I can’t blame him for siding with his boyfriend. I just wish I had gotten the courtesy of an email, phone call or text to say that the friendship wasn’t going to work out. That we weren’t going to be friends forever. That the friend I talked so passionately about to others wasn’t going to be there from now on.
I say all of this because one of them has been having a fantastic professional year. Full of accolades and well wishes, all of which he deserves and more. I am proud of him and wanted to tell him congratulations that his years of hard work are coming to fruition. And then the sadness hit as the realization that I am a person from the outside looking in. I miss him and his partner. I miss my friends.