May 12, 2015

An Open Letter to My Ex-Best Friend.


Pictures in this post are a preview from a fun shoot that I did with Meredith Sledge Photography!




Dear Ex-Best Friend,

     I came home from college for the summer very late at night a couple of days ago, and it took less than 48 hours before I ran into you while I was out and about. I'm not sure if you know this, but I go to college many states and hundreds of miles away from (you and) our little town, and just finished up my junior year. With each year that goes by, I think about you and the pain of losing our friendship less and less, which is a blessing. Both physical distance and the wonderful new life that I have created for myself in North Carolina will do that I suppose. But the simple act of seeing you in person again brought back a lot of feelings for me. I wanted to write an open letter to you, here on my blog. I feel that there is a lot on the internet that talks about the pain of losing a romantic relationship, but not enough that speaks of the pain of a friendship break-up. I hope that this will finally bring forth some of the closure that I never really got, and also might be able to help some girls who also went through similar friendship break-ups, so that they can know they aren't alone.



"You, with your words like knives
And swords and weapons that you use against me"



     We met right in the middle of my high school years, and got close very quickly. I highly doubt that you read my blog, but I do know that some people from my hometown do read it, so to protect your identity I will not offer any additional details about how we met, the best memories that we shared together as friends, or any of our old inside jokes. That isn't what's important anymore. What is important is that during the time that we were close I truly thought of you as the sister that I never had. 



"You have knocked me off my feet again
Got me feeling like I'm nothing"




     And then suddenly, without warning, it was all over. You began to cut me off, and then when I questioned you, you told me that you "felt like we were in different places," that "you had grown up more over the summer" (even though we talked on the phone or texted just about every day of summer that we couldn't hang out?) and "felt you were growing out of our friendship and we weren't best friends anymore." My high school aged mind couldn't comprehend this- there had never been a big fight, never any drama over liking the same boys, never even another girlfriend coming between us (each of us had our own separate groups of friends as well {which I still to this day think it's always healthy for two best friends to have their own separate other friends as well})... the whole thing just didn't make sense. All I know that is that I was losing the person that I considered to be my sister and I had no control over the situation. I cried in front of you and begged you to work on whatever it was that I had done that was bothering you so much.... but your response was deleting me as a Facebook friend. 



"You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard
Calling me out when I'm wounded
You picking on the weaker man"



    The year that I lost you turned out to be the worst of my life. It wasn't necessarily your fault- a bunch of things contributed to it. But losing you definitely did not help. I battled anxiety and depression all year. But some good things did come out of this dark time. Since I was in such a low place in my life, this is when A.) I started to find my faith again, and B.) I first began blogging and discovering the blogging community (on my first blog, Confessions of a Maine Teenager). 



"You can take me down with just one single blow
But you don't know, what you don't know..."



     In September 2012, I was 18, and a college freshman at my former college in North Carolina. I hadn't thought about you in awhile. But I remember the exact afternoon of when I logged onto Facebook and your picture along with news of a great accomplishment of yours was at the top of my newsfeed. You and I still weren't (and still aren't) Facebook friends, but enough of my own FB friends had liked the post so it still showed up in my feed. I immediately burst into tears and called either my mom or dad (I can't remember now). They thought that I was overreacting for sure, but just hearing about you still hurt me. I wanted to be happy for you, and to celebrate your accomplishment! But knowing that you still thought so low of me and didn't want me in your life continued to sting, all the way in North Carolina. 

     But the good thing that came out of that is seeing your big news is what inspired me to start taking Southern Belle in Training more seriously. I had just started this blog at that time, and hadn't been writing on it very often. I realize now that it sounds terrible to say that you were the motivation for one of the things in my life that I am most proud of, but over time my blog became my accomplishment, and something that I did for me and me only. I guess I just needed seeing your news that one afternoon to be the push in the right direction to get me back into blogging, so thank-you for that.





     But, let's go back to recently, when I saw you again. For years I have imagined getting to bump into you in public somewhere, being able to casually say hello, tell you a little bit about what I am up to, hear what you're up to, make peace, and then go on our own ways. But that isn't what happened. 

     I saw you, you saw me, and no one said anything. And that was all. AND IT KILLED ME. I seemed to forget that I'm a girl who has lived out-of-state for almost three years, got into my top choice sorority during recruitment, had radio internship opportunities where I am on-air all of the time, has gone on dates with cute boys, etc, etc...but just seeing you, made me feel like a powerless little high schooler again. Like all of my college years and worth didn't matter. 


"Someday I'll be living in a big ol' city
And all you're ever gonna be is mean
Someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me
And all you're ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?"
Taylor Swift - Mean


     But, this is me announcing that me doing nothing is over. The next time I see you, I'm either going to make conversation with you, or look you dead in the eye and smile. I realize that it is your loss that you missed out on being my friend, not the other way around. I hate the fact that you were so cruel to me, but it was a big warning sign for me in what to look-out for when making friendships in college and beyond. Without sounding cruel here- thank-you for teaching me some of the hardest lessons that I've ever had to learn. 

    -A


     Thank-you for reading through to the end of this very personal blog post! To anyone who has also lost a best friend: know that I would not wish a falling out like I went through on anyone, but if anyone reading this has been through a similar situation, then know that you aren't alone. Trust in the Lord to get you through the tough times, and that He will bless you with Godly, amazing friends in His timing. 


     Unrelated to this post: today I am leaving for my dream internship with the FCA conference (related to Greek life) in Louisville, Kentucky. I am feeling beyond blessed for this opportunity! Follow my travel adventures in Kentucky on Instagram @miss_alk with the hashtag #sbittravels. I do have posts scheduled for this week, but I will be blogging all about my time at the conference next week!

    


     xoxo Miss ALK

22 comments:

  1. It's crazy how people change, but I truly believe everything happens for a reason! Look at all the fun & wonderful things you have been able to do since leaving home & moving to good ole NC ;) Have fun & enjoy yourself at the conference! And I looooooove these pictures of you!

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  2. Wow - what a crazy story .. God works in mysterious ways. Sounds like some of those events lead you to where you are today which is a blessing. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and in His timing. Thanks for sharing!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It ...

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  3. It's always painful when someone moves on, and not in a nice way.
    I'm not sure why but I've never had a big blow up with any of my friends, it's always been a gradual fading and growing apart. When you're headed in two different directions, it just doesn't work.
    I have people that I no longer talk to, who I was very close to, and it's painful to think about them.
    Thanks for being open and honest,
    Natasha
    A modest fashion blog: www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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  4. I love this more than words can say! Open letters have become my new favorite thing. I am working on drafting one in the near future. There is definitely not enough out there about losing a best friend. Thank you so much for writing this. It is so well done! Also best of luck on your travels!

    Loyally,
    Michaela
    http://shorelifeofm.blogspot.com

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  5. I love the idea of writing an open letter like this. So many of us can relate on this level, and I think you've done a beautiful job of expressing the emotions in a thoughtfully organized post. Your photos are also gorgeous!
    xx
    Madison
    http://chicandchai.com/

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  6. Loosing a best friend can be just as painful (if not more painful) than a breakup! I've had a few falling outs with friends over the years and unlike the pain of a breakup the sadness never really goes away (just becomes less prevalent). In one case I was able to rekindle things with the friend and I am so so happy I did! Everyone makes mistakes and deserves forgiveness in my opinion (:

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  7. Great job with the letter!
    It's really tough to lose a good friend, I recently went through this with one of my college friends.
    It still bugs me seeing her posts on social media but it's gotten a little easier with time.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us, I went through the same thing with my very best friend from high school...except she never even told me anything, just completely cut me out of her life. It's really strange for me, I still see her from time to time in our hometown (we're both marrying our respective guys this year and they're both in the same profession...we're also in the same profession-teachers) so it'll be interesting to see how the future turns out with us being in the same circles.

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

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  9. The pain of losing a friendship, especially in high school, is difficult to deal with. I think that getting your feelings out is one of the best ways to get closure and hope that you feel better after getting this off of your chest! Thanks for sharing something so personal!

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  10. Losing a friend is definitely one of the hardest lessons to endure. Glad you've used the experience to better yourself!

    Allyssa | Life with Lyss

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  11. Wow. This is so incredibly brave of you to post. I know it is so hard to feel like you've lost part of your life, but know that you haven't because you have accomplished such incredible things.

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  12. This is such a great post, and like you said, not many people talk about breaking up with your best friend. I can't believe how harsh she was to you for no reason. She doesn't know what she's missing! Or maybe she reads your blog and regrets how much she's missing. Either way, I'm glad you grew from that and are living such a happier life with her.

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  13. You know I love this. <3 so proud of you!

    Lauren Ashley
    www.thefashionistasdiary.com

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  14. I am so happy you went through with this idea! I did something so similar after my best friend of 6 years and I "broke-up." I had no idea she read my blog, and even though I took it down within 36 hours, she had read it, and ended up in tears. Needless to say, we didn't stay apart for much longer after I posted it.

    Im so glad it has inspired you to do such great things!

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  15. So proud of you for saying what you need to say! Sometimes it's hard to cope with, but not all of our friends are meant to make it into our future.

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

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  16. I definitely understand the hurt of losing a good friend! I am glad that you were able to pull it all into a coherent blog post. That is definitely an accomplishment. I find when I blog about anything terribly personal that I am a jumbled mess.

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  17. Losing a best friend is so hard, but it is really great that you posted this! I hope it brought you some closure to write this, as I'm sure it was hard. I've run into some friends who I'm not very close with anymore and its really hard to see them again.

    Anchors and Pearls

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  18. Sorry to hear you were hurt. Looking her in the eye and smile is the best thing you can do. It shows her that you are over her (even if you are not really, but it will help you feel like it). I guess many of us have been there. My former best friend later became a mom at 19 and anorexic. I believe I would have been a great friend for her during this times, but she didn't want it. That's ok. Today, when I see her or her family (like once a year) I can honestly smile at her. You can see she's hurting. Even in all the pictures on Facebook her smile is fake. I honestly hope, she can fix whatever is hurting her. Same for your former best friend, if you treat someone like she did, there's something wrong with her. Healthy don't just reject friends. We can never have too many.
    Xox

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  19. Losing friends is the worst. It hurts just like a regular break-up. Glad to see you're healing nicely, love :) You're too awesome to be down!

    xo,
    Stephanie
    Diary of a Debutante
    www.thediaryofadebutante.com

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  20. I've lost a couple of best friends - one ended very similar to this and it's always hard when there's no clear reason as to why. Good for you for moving on and using a negative thing and using it to motivate you to make your blog space even better!

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  21. I can really relate to this post, Annaliese. I've lost quite a few of my best friends over various issues, and I realized I was letting my friendships define me instead of letting God define me.

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  22. You are absolutely right - there isn't enough out there written about the pain of losing a friend, and I'm sure so many of us have been in the same boat! Your high school self sounds a lot like my high school self :) it's amazing the pain that old wounds can bring - but what I've found to be even more transforming than simply a positive outlook on where I've come and what I've become, is truly taking the time to stop and forgive. It can be hard or seem trivial, but it is SO freeing!!

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Thanks so much for reading Southern Belle in Training! Comments make my day- so feel free to share your thoughts on this post! I read each and every comment.
If you have a question in regards to one of my posts, or just want to say hi, the best way to get ahold of me is by e-mailing me directly at: rainbowflash94@yahoo.com. I am better about responding to e-mails than blog comments sometimes!
Xoxo