Being Brave's in the Small Things
I'm a Catholic; guilt's our thing.
Then I realized that I don't have any readers, so it doesn't really matter. In any case, if you happen to stumble across this post you have a choice: click the lj-cut below and read, or ignore the rest. Enjoy your day.
I'm a really shy person. I'm shy enough that I've been diagnosed with social anxiety (along with a fake-sounding disorder by the name of School Avoidance). The thing is, I can fake it really well. Most people think I'm just a bit quiet; they have no idea that the only thing quiet about me is when I'm quietly freaking out about being in an uncomfortable situation. I also have a hard time sharing (a weird concept for kids our age who post everything on Facebook-- which I don't have, by the by).
Consequently, it's difficult for me to make friends. It's even more difficult for me to keep friends since I spend the first few months of the relationship wondering if they like me or not or if I was too weird for them or if I talked too much or... well, you get the idea. I'm neurotic, but I've gotten better at calming myself down and just going out there. I'm not a huge introvert; I don't like being alone most of the time.
This means that I tend to treasure all the friends I do manage to have. I try very hard not to hurt them or upset them, to the point where I've been told to "calm down" and "it's not a big deal." I have issues, remember?
Anyway, I have two friends from elementary school that I still keep in semi-regular contact with. The majority of my friends were from the high school I attended. I thought we were... okay, if not perfect. I know that I can be both overbearing and too passive, and usually at the worse times. I knew that there were some problems, but no one would tell me what it was.
In July and August of 2011, after I had been on an international trip with one of my friends, they stopped talking to me after ambushing me (not what they intended, but it's what was accomplished) and trying to get me to cop to a few things that were true and a few things that weren't. I did. Except for the untrue things, which I wouldn't say I did.
One of them started talking to me shortly after that. She hadn't been at the Ambush. She told me what she felt and what she wanted to know, and I thought we'd worked through things. Then, after a job I'd applied for where she worked (at her recommendation, mind you), fell through, she stopped talking to me too.
A couple of months ago (maybe less) I got up the courage to apologize via Skype (I've tried other ways) to one of them. I got a response, too, and since she's going to grad school on the mainland, we decided to talk when she visited home. I'm... pretty sure she's come and gone and I hadn't heard a thing. I've texted her and I've tried with Skype.
They know all of this about me. They know (I thought they knew) how shy I am and how hard of a time I have talking about personal things. They know that I have problems. I tried to be honest. I tried to give them space, then I tried to reach out using the phone (messages and text), e-mail, IM'ing, Skype and whatever else I could think to try. I have spent months, over a year, punishing myself and feeling horrible and trying.
So. I'm not doing it anymore. This isn't healthy for me and, frankly, I'm not sure if it's worth it. I'm doing one more mass e-mail and a personal e-mail to each of them. I'm send physical letters to the ones I have addresses for. I'm giving the friend who hasn't spoken to me since the day we got back from three weeks in the UK photos. Then... I'm done.
I'm not saying that this won't hurt like hell. I'll still miss them. They'll still be friends to me. I will still have the memories of better times, even if they'll be tainted a bit by this (ruining my first trip to the UK just... isn't cool). If they want to try to fix things, then I will willing to try; hell, I want to try. But, I won't keep punishing myself for something I did a year ago, especially one that I honestly don't think is this bad.
I thought I had friends. For nearly eight years, I thought I had a bunch of great, wonderful friends. Apparently, I was wrong.
Well, I'm done. You can stop grimacing now. That was prep for all the writing and emoting I have to do now.
Wish me luck.