Prompt: Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

this isn’t a happy story, this story of my friendships in the past year.

i realized she never gave a shit, after years of false pretenses. that whatever she gave was motivated by obligation, by self-serving bullshit. that after i exhausted myself over and over again, after i tried entirely too hard to make her like me, that i was used. (note: yes, i realize that when you must make someone like you, something is wrong. i didn’t see it for what it was, then). some would argue that she did care, that she is complicated – but i can hear now daily in the shrillness of her voice, in the weak moments when i see her internet spaces, how fucking self absorbed and terrified she really is. and it stopped her from ever actually loving anyone else.

i realized that people lie. they may not even know it, but they lie up and down, and they will use you all up, some of them.

this has hardened me.

in another vein…

i saw mistakes i made that i was more than blind to before it was entirely too late. when i reached out my hand in apology, it was left there alone, and perhaps i deserve that. we established such a strange lifestyle that became so normal. we became each other’s surrogates, and we were entirely too intermingled. i do, in this case, bow my head in apology.

but i realize promises break. even if they are not broken, they just break, sometimes, on their own. i realize the forever we speak of is often an illusion. i realize that we don’t know more often than we’ll ever admit and that the concrete we think we walk on is sand.

my ability to trust – the word faith – these have been depleted, they are near empty. the breaks didn’t happen this year but it has taken me all this time to absorb their effect – to understand what really happened. it has been a slow sinking – and i wonder, frequently, if i must just adapt to this – to a life and a world that feels very lonely, because, like i said – no concrete, only sand. i concurrently try, with great effort, to show small bits of myself to a select few. i don’t know, anymore, the right way to go.