‘I’ve been an absent friend. Piled up unreturned messages, piled up excuses. Sometimes it gets away from me.’: Woman expresses need for self-preservation, gratitude for true friends

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“I have been an absent friend. I don’t write, I don’t call. Piled up unreturned messages and piled up excuses.

Sometimes it gets away from me.

Each invite is an emotional negotiation.

I can love unequally. Sporadically, even. Seasons come and go and sometimes I don’t check-in at all. Not even on myself.

I turn inward and beg you to move onward. Sometimes even I am surprised.

I can love hard and casual and all at once, and then sometimes, never again. I know this can be painful. Even when I’m choosing it, I feel the pain too.

Our exchanges and interactions might come in periodic transactions of excessive silence, but I still care so much.

I hear little voices of self-deprecation speak louder than voices of reason. It’s partly how I am wired. It makes it easier to freeze up than to reach out.

I want you all to know I am sorry.

I am acknowledging it, not justifying it.

I hope this is a good place to start.

For me, it has to be.

Because for a long time, I struggled with how to heal myself. But as I grow, I am learning.

Discovering unlearning neglect and abuse requires unlearning tactics I used to survive trauma.

I am still learning I am deserving of love.

I am still unbecoming my armor.

So, sometimes you get the girl I want to be, and other times, you get the girl I became just trying to survive.

And even though you see me smiling, I am still just survivin’ in my head.

Sometimes I’m too depressed to leave the house, others I am too high functioning to admit I am depressed.

Most times, it’s not about you at all.

Sometimes my self-preservation hurts the people who want to love me. I hope you know I am sorry I have been an absent friend.

True friendship lives in a place where neither self-doubt nor distance can void the bond between a pair. I believe that.

So I hope you can give me the time.

And save space for me in a time of change.

Because when it comes to friendship, the truth is sometimes it gets away from me…

while I desperately try to get back to myself.”

woman sits on the couch facing forward smiling
Courtesy of Wallflower Writing

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Wallflower Writing at Detroit Moms. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her websiteSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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