Words by Marielle Balmores
Moving on from formerly close friends can really take years to process and let go. I remember how my anguish escalated when I was deciding before to either stay or leave. Coincidentally, I even found an old diary with bad comments written by my troubled younger self which made me contemplate more if I did the right thing.
And yes, I did. Looking back, I was frightened of the loneliness that would come after, but thank the heavens for other important people and hobbies to give me more meaning to life. On top of this, I want to thank myself for staying strong and knowing my worth.
To anyone who is scared to pull away from a toxic friendship because of how long you have stayed friends and you don’t know what the future holds for you after, here is a letter made for those people who were once dear to my life. I hope it can help.
To those ex-friends,
Wow, I never knew this day would come. It still boggles my mind that there was a time where my excitement skyrocketed instantly when I saw you guys in and outside of school and when I used to have the reassurance to lean on you when life became a burden. They say that we should no longer pry or bother with those who have hurt us and just walk away but I think that if you’ve outgrown your hatred, you should still reach out some way and somehow so that you can address the remnants of your bottled feelings for them. That way, you fully can be at peace. That is why I am here; to release all the things I didn’t say.
It’s been years since we last spoke. I see you on social media a lot nowadays since I unblocked you. Maybe you’ve moved on already. But please, hear me out. At least now, I am calmer and more mature to speak up again. I still remember the hot afternoon when you guys told me one day that you needed some space after we all had a big fight. It stung a lot at first because I was scared, but I gave it anyway because I cared for you. But in time, I learned that I needed it too.
I know that things didn’t work out well and yeah, it really sucks. There were times where we made each other feel awful intentionally and unintentionally. We also said mean things back as a defense. It’s what led us to be distant up to the worst-case scenario: cutting things off. I can even recall how anxious you made me feel in the process because someone mentioned that I needed you guys to survive and not feel worthless. How naïve was I then? But that’s not the point.
Even if you brought out the worst in me, you also showed me the good parts of me.
Let me acknowledge how you made me happy. We laughed until our tummies hurt in our kwento sessions, got kilig about our guy and girl crushes, shared any crazy things you or I might have done, and got annoyed together about anyone who wronged us. You taught me to let go and chill when I could be uptight sometimes. You were also someone I got deep and personal within those late nights. Whether we were pulling all-nighters or just couldn’t sleep because we were reminded of our own life problems we opened up and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable to each other. I was scared at first because I didn’t know where it would lead us to. But to my surprise, you shared your darkness while spreading light to mine. You still accepted me when a lot of other people misunderstood me. All throughout, you were always there to listen to me rant when no one else in my family could ever understand nor accommodate.
In high school, it was not easy but we got through it. We took so many risks, like trying to sneak out campus after dismissal and getting drunk for the first time too. Then, it was quite a wild experience with the pulsing lights, our then low alcohol tolerances which made us trip and fall a few times. When I got to achieve milestones, you were always there to cheer me on. In exchange, whenever you had a hard time academically, I made sure to help as much as I could especially in math. I never felt more alive in my teenage years, so I can never be more thankful.
With these things I received from you, I am still so flawed. I’m sorry for those times I made you feel bad or horrible unintentionally with the words I said. I still need to work on thinking before I speak. I also boasted a lot whenever I achieved great things and it must have pissed you off too. I’m sorry too if I wasn’t there when you were going through a rough time. I really hope you can forgive me because we were not our best and mature selves then. Most importantly, when things swerved badly, I am sorry that I never gave a proper goodbye either. Remembering how I felt choked when I stayed with you guys longer, I was the first to walk away because I slowly began to lose myself with all the negativity.
Though honestly, I am not sorry that I left. It’s not selfish of me to take care and prioritize my well-being, and if cutting off all the toxicity had to be done, then so be it. Even if we had memories that pulled me back, I did what I had to do.
Here’s to the closure I never gave all those years ago. I am done with being mad and bitter, holding these grudges against you as I am very eager to move on from this side of my life. Again I am sorry, but also I forgive you. I wish you all the joy life can offer you, even if that no longer includes me. I really hope you become successful, and that you stay motivated when working hard towards your goals. No matter what, I am proud of you. Thank you for still contributing genuine happiness in parts of my life.
Your former friend finally at peace
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