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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My side

I need to lay some things out and clear things up. Recently, something blew up and people are still reeling from that. Innocent people were hurt and people did not get the chance to say all they need to say. It is alright to have to cut ties, but I feel as though everyone deserves to be understood.

From my point of view, here is what happened. I will start from the beginning. Freshman year, a pretty strong lunch group had been established. There were a decent amount of young people who seemed to work together nicely. I thought I would keep all of them beyond the three years in high school ahead of us.

But group dynamics shifted. I felt left out. The same thing happened with another girl, F, the one I had been the closest to out of all of them and who still continues to be my best friend. We both felt replaced by one person, a newcomer, J, in the group. Everyone seemed to like her way more than us and they paid more attention to her.

I simply did not know her as well as everybody else, but at the time we did not have a lot of things in common. In addition, she made me feel especially ostracized for not liking one of her favorite things. I would occasional participate in conversations in which I actually was shunned by her for not reading the Harry Potter series. She threw a grape at me once for admitting that, so eventually, I just tried to avoid the topic.

She might not have considered me at all as a potential friend, but I was uncomfortable for a really long time. I felt replaced. I felt like I understood why the others liked her a lot, since they had classes with her and more things in common. I felt out of place. F did, too. We used to have a trio. But J had come in and the trio fell apart, because the third member had gotten so close, along with most others in the lunch group.

At this point, I still didn't hate J. I just did not understand her. F and I left the group. We split up and went our separate ways. (To this day, I still regret not starting a group with her. Somehow, I don't know how, we still remain incredibly close, despite not seeing one another every day, sometims weeks in between. We ended up in different groups. She has an entirely new ones. For a long while, I kept on jumping from group to group, and I eventually ended up back with the original people. We're in different places, but it's still okay.)

It wasn't until, I think, the end of Junior year that I stopped feeling replaced. I had to work my way back into the group and it took theater to do that. After joining theater, I got closer to many of the people once again. Those were some of the greatest times of my life, being on crew. There are several people who are impossible to dislike and I am blessed to have met them through it. I got back in and felt much more comfortable with being there. At the same time, the other groups I floated with disbanded, but I remained close with another person, K. K was another story, we became really close and then she left.

That was the low point of Junior year. It was because I got ridiculously attached and I had spent so little time with her, relatively speaking. That, and I knew she was going to leave well before it actually happened. So I would feel sort of sad every time we interacted. She's the reason I hate goodbyes so fiercely. I know it might have been worse. There was another goodbye incident that people went through that was sudden and much more painful. But this still hurt.

I've never told anyone this. I know I mentioned earlier that I don't need help, but this was actually the one point where I needed someone to listen. I couldn't go to F, because she was going through hell while this was happening, and I was listening for her. She's the only one I could have told at the time.

At the beginning of senior year, I no longer had K to hang out with. Otherwise, I think I would have stayed with her and a few others in a group. It was at this point that I firmly became a member of the very first group. I was really close to a lot of people and after spending more time with them, our bonds only grew. Even with J, because the more I understood her, the more I cared for her. I no longer felt replaced. I felt like a new member all over again, but there were familiar faces. They became comfortable, and they became family.

Were there problems? Yes. There were times when I would get upset with some of them because of what they chose to do. But after a day of internally moping, I would go back to loving them. To be honest, J was the hardest one to learn to love at the beginning. Sometimes she would do things that I didn't and couldn't understand. There was a lot of hatred and so at times, I fell into that as well. We are very different in some ways and I would disagree with her but never say it. Throughout the year, I felt like I had to earn her favor. That wore off, though and it only took a few solid conversations.

It really is true. Once you understand someone, it's hard to dislike them. Once you understand what they are going through and where they are coming from, you begin to see why they are the way they are. And in spite of whether or not they mess up, you can still like them.

At the end of this year, I began to get odd feelings. I thought I was ready to leave and so I began rejecting the lunch group. In my mind, at least. It was the longest time I've ever stayed in a lunch group in high school. I began to feel tired of people, only two people. And this time, those feelings were strong and lasted longer. Annoying, even, but I just needed some time away from them. I began to try to ignore them, but they didn't deserve any of it. Combined with wanting to beat myself up, it made for very long, upset nights. I think J was going through that as well. We expressed this, I think, in very different ways.

I didn't show it, aside from trying to spend less time with two of them. It was a matter of overexposure for me. This was my first time leaving a bunch of people that I had grown so close to, so I did not understand how to deal with it. I kept on thinking about how wonderful it would be to leave the building and never look back.

But this feeling dissipated over the past two weeks. I felt more appreciative and torn up that I was going to leave. So I decided to really enjoy the company of every one of them. I just felt good about this and I wanted to leave on a positive note. 

But two days ago, I think it was two days ago, something blew up. A lot of innocent people got hurt in the process, but I believe only J and I are to blame for this. She felt replaced at one point as well. it wasn't just that, from what I understand, but she felt like people weren't caring about her and labeled her as dramatic. I didn't know this beforehand, the majority of the group did not. J felt replaced by the most recent member, H. She had ties through choir and theater with a large number of the group members. But she took a seat at the table during one of our retreats that J had basically reserved and J did not appreciate that. The rest of the group, including myself, was baffled, because we only saw and still see only the hatred. However, it kind of gradually cleared up. J still apparently dislikes H. I didn't know H until recently, but I had several meaningful conversations with her and again, the more you understand someone, the more you can like them. I know she made some decisions with her life that I would not have made.

J especially did not agree with them and she was very vocal about it. I also voiced my opinion on a lot of her choices. It's time to own up to that. I didn't get why she would make some of the decisions she did. But that was before finding out about her past. This all happened within three weeks. In those three weeks, I had to stop bullshitting myself. My own viewpoints about things changed due to a number of things and I found myself admitting to doing some of the things that I once despised.

I became more tolerant, more open to some of the things that my dad would faint over. Where's my sense of morality? Does this make me a hypocrite? Yes, and I admit to that. It has been called out several times. But I am finally addressing it. I once judged based on the same values I now reject.

The thing is, I am allowed to contradict myself at times. That is what growing up is about. It's about messing things up. It's also about fixing them. It's about forming the person you hope to be after realizing how much you've ruined things.

So here's the trouble. J really didn't like H. I did. Several other members of the group did. There seemed to be a rift. A total of six members of the group opposed J's hatred of H, nobody said anything about it, though.  They all liked H and considered her a part of the group. Possibly three members, including J, opposed it. Partially because they didn't know H as well and they didn't agree with her background or understand where she was coming from. Not liking someone can be understood, but hatred is different.

What bothered the six members a lot was how open J was in expressing her hatred. Through Twitter, several things were said that honestly seemed childish. It was cruel of her to say what she did, that is what I firmly believe. The members have discussed it before and they did not approve, but nobody did anything about it. For a while, her hatred was mostly kept to herself, except for slight moments on Twitter, it seems. The six members were aware of it and we tried to keep it from H for a while.

J removed H from the Facebook lunch group that I created. H found out. This is childish. This is childish, this is honestly childish.

She then made a comment on the Facebook group that implied that everyone in the group opposed the addition of H. And that was the last straw for me. So I made a stand. H could see it on the group. Everyone could see it. I spoke out and said this was childish and J seemed to make a joke out of it. For the whole day, she seemed to be upset, because once again, her seat had been taken. The difference this time was that we tried to make room for her. We tried to make room, but she rejected it and we honestly didn't understand. We tried to help out. But there was a lack of communication. A lot of people are still confused. We were all accused of not opening our eyes to her problems, that is true, but at the same time, we had our own things to work out as well.

I kicked her out of the group. Was that childish? Yes, it was. And I take the blame. I initiated the blow-up, but it had been building inside her for quite some time.

Then a group chat was started in order to figure this out. And that's when things exploded. She said she's hated us and basically didn't care. She said we had annoying personalities. And here is where it got really easy to dislike her for that, because we had been a drama-free group that tried to care. but we cannot care without proper communication. People were upset and other were trying to help. But too many fuses were blown. It might be too late, I thought.

I should not have done what I did. But I wanted to fix things. I felt replaced by her at one point. I left the group because of it, but I didn't hate anyone. I just felt unwanted. Nobody listened to my problems either, I just kept things to myself when I was with the group, otherwise I told F.

She began to text me and point out my flaws. The things that I mentioned earlier, the stuff I was trying to make myself believe in. The weakness, the proneness to emotional breakdowns. She wished me a sarcastic good luck in college with my emotional breakdowns. She thanked me for fueling her ego. She said I wouldn't know what pain was like because I had always been treated like a puppy within the group. Except I had been going through a very similar situation. She tried really hard to knock me down and it really could have.

But the timing was odd. I had been feeling good about life and more confident in myself. But this took things in an odd direction. What she said didn't hurt me. The only thing that could hurt me would be something related to my brother. I have been afraid for so long about losing friends or having someone hate me. But that, too, was a part of the Weak Delusion I mentioned earlier. Because I do not get affected by it. She thought I relied heavily on friends. That started and ended with K. When K left, I learned to be less dependant on people.

When she said those things, I remember looking at my phone and at the screen and just feeling really sorry for her. It was not a sarcastic kind of sorry, it was just a lost kind of sorry. It wasn't a sorry that made me feel better than she did, because apparently I knew something she didn't. It wasn't a sorry that made her look bad or weak or messed up. I felt sorry that she had to go through this. It was a mistake that I made, taking her out of the group. And it was really bad timing for her, since she had been having a really shitty day. There was too much going on. So I didn't mind being the thing she unleashed on.

I didn't mind because I think it helped her get all of this out. I think being able to attack me helped her with some of the things that had been pent up inside. I hope it did. When I told other people, they were shocked that she would do that. But they don't understand her, or where she came from. It's all about that.

I sent an email to apologize for my action and try to fix things and I thanked her for all of the good experiences we had. If this really was the last time we would interact, I wanted her to know I didn't dislike her. I took the blame and accepted that I should not have kicked her out. I tried to get her point of view, but I don't think I ever will. It's okay for her to be angry with all of this, I do not think anyone really blames her if they know her.

She closed the friendship with that email, after targeting my apparent weaknesses once more. But if it helped her get everything out, so be it. I do not regret the time we spent together or the time I spent on trying to make her feel good. I did put effort into helping her out, but she was making the point in her replies that I was basically just used by her. But I didn't mind because at the time, I had fun.

It doesn't make sense to turn good memories into bad ones just because the current situation is sour. If you had fun, own up to it, be able to look back and enjoy it. If you know you won't be making any more good memories with that person, that's okay, too. But don't turn something good in the past into something negative.

Oddly enough, that launched, in a really kind of sick way, my path onto liking myself more. For being able to keep calm and not break down, when I could have. That's part of becoming an adult. I feel surprised in how I handled this because it was at the exact time that I accepted that nothing was wrong with me. Had I believed at the moment she called me out on being weak and over-emotional, I would have taken that and dwelled on it and torn myself up. But she said those things and I disagreed and it didn't take as much effort as I thought it would. And it still confuses me. Because for so long, I would believe that I was broken. And for so long, I had believed that I was at the mercy of others. The more I thought about it, the more effective others could be.

But I was my own person in this case, not examples. She called me a bird with a broken wing trying to fly in one of her tweets and I didn't feel upset. It should have made me cry. But I don't have a broken wing, I'm just not used to flying, but it's becoming more and more natural.

I'm still figuring out who I want to be.

I care about others and I can stand up for people. I can sing. I can draw (I don't show it). I write, I try to dance. I make cute boys laugh, and to me that's a really neat accomplishment. People look up to me. I've never admitted that before. I can take compliments now. I have never admitted any of this before, truly, so if this sounds really cocky from me, please realize that i have been hiding things for so long because of obligations. I cry at Hallmark commercials and strong books. I make a shitload of mistakes and I have a lot of regrets, but I am not weak and I don't need as much help as I thought. I'm an okay person.

I feel like a good person. I don't always do the right thing, but I have helped when I could.

I was really worried about college because I thought I wouldn't be able to figure myself out.

But I am here.

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