How I lost 2 best friends in just 3 months

I don’t know why I’m writing this really, except that it’s late at night and if I try to go to sleep I’ll start thinking and then I’ll never stop crying. I’m very tired of crying, by now.

I considered censoring this tale but I figure: hey. If I’m going to tell a whole passel of strangers the intimate details of my life, why bother making them think you’re a bit less of a freak? They already are going to know that. So I might as well.

So. I’m this person, you know. I don’t have many “real-life” friends. Okay, let’s not beat around the bush. I don’t have any. It’s hard when you’re a teenage girl in a rural area and you left high school in 9th grade and you go to a college now where the median age is 33. Frankly, even when I was in high school I didn’t have many friends. I think it was partly because I was shy, and partly because I had no interest in most of the people in my school. None of them shared my interests, you see. At least – none that I could find. I regret it sometimes. I’m going to try to make some more friends, but I don’t really know where to start. That’s besides the point, though.

Everyone needs friends so I found them somewhere else: on the Internet. I live in the country near a small town in a small state. There wasn’t that much variety here. But I found variety on the internet. I found – you might call them soul mates, if you were dramatic. Two people, actually. I will call them K and X. I played this game, you see. It’s like Everquest, except with a closer community. And many friendships happened there, even for me. Especially for me. I had many friends, but these two were the closest.

The first, K, was a girl a few years younger than me. (I’m female too.) I met her around 3 years ago, and we quickly became friends. At first it was just staying up til 3 am chatting – the typical thing. Then we started calling each other. Eventually I went to go visit her. By myself. On a plane. To a strange land and strange place and strange family. Did I mention I’m very shy? But this girl and I were close. Close enough for me to conquer my shyness and do something even less timid people might be scared of. We had fun together and stayed close friends.

X is a guy. He’s around 3/4 of a year older than me. I wasn’t friends with him quite as long as I was with K – we became close friends, though – but it was mostly through K. We talked on the phone 3-way, and eventually all met each other, when he came to visit relatives in my state, and she came to visit my family. We had fun. But X and I were become closer… we talked all the time about everything, even without K. Life went on.

I should mention that K & X were ‘married’ on said game and K, at least, considered him her boyfriend or as close as you can get without knowing someone IRL. I don’t think he felt the same, for a long time. He had a girlfriend IRL, for a while. She didn’t know, at first. But then they (rl girlfriend and him, that is) broke up. Still, though K & X were a couple, they fought near-constantly. When they did, X went to me for friendship. Can you see where this is going? I should have.

For a long time, you see, I had my own ‘boyfriend.’ When we broke up, painfully and messily, I began spending more and more time with K & X. We were a team – the three musketeers. We spent all our free time together, just chatting for ages. We knew each other very well. I also spent a lot of time with X on his own. I should have seen it.

Can you see where this is going? Yeah. X & K still fought a lot. I thought for sure they’d break up, actually. They were never close or romantic – just seemed like good friends. Excuses, excuses. It doesn’t matter. I fell in love with X. I never mentioned my feelings, of course, or displayed them in the slightest. I was very careful. It didn’t hurt me that much, for a long time.

But then, you see, X & K then reconciled. After we all met IRL, they became much more “in love” to the point of neglecting me. Yeah, the same old story. Maybe I could have borne it, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was in love with X – desperately, painfully, futilely. Maybe not. K was my best friend after all, and she started neglecting me for X. He neglected me too, though to a smaller degree.

And K has never been easy to get a long with. There was a final argument and I broke contact with her completely. I was so angry – my anger was real. But part of the reason I could abandon a friendship with someone so important was that I couldn’t stand to see K & X together anymore. Loving remarks or gestures hurt far too much, a knife through my heart. As long as I was angry at K, I thought, I might as well nurse my anger. I forgave her a lot; I always had. I couldn’t, anymore.

It was hard. Khad been my best friend for so long. It was hard on X, too. Trying to divide his attention between both of us: we were near best friends by this time, even without K. I’m afraid I did not make it easy for him. We started fighting, a lot, me and X; we had never fought before. I was desperately jealous, of course. I tried to hide it, I tried to deal with it, but every sign of his preference for K hurt me so much I started to become physically ill – I literally started throwing up. So I’d start fights with him. Not on purpose, but they always became fights. And this went on and on and on, and we always made up, but he was becoming sick of it, terribly sick, because he didn’t understand why I was doing this to him. He couldn’t, of course. I never told him it was because I loved him.

So, life went on, with a fight every week and the rest of the time happy. Every fight I convinced him it’d be different. Every time I convinced myself that. But it never was. X juggled K & my friendships quite well. But the fights became more and more frequent. Eventually, I had enough. We were on the end side of a particularly bad argument – we were just starting to reconcile – and I cracked. I had to tell him the truth. I couldn’t do this again, and I knew, that I was going to start another fight over some petty reason. I knew it, like I’d never known it before.

So I told him the truth. That I had had these fights because I was in love with him and desperately jealous. I never told him for obvious reasons. I was sure he’d be uncomfortable and maybe even feel guilty around us. I thought it would poison the easy camaraderie we had – like I was a male buddy. I was sure it would ruin our friendship.

And it did, but for a different reason. He was furious at me for ‘lying’ to him, as he said. Was it lying? I never thought it so, any more than not telling the bitchy coworker exactly what you think of her was lying. It was surviving as a human being. But he thought it was lying, and he was furious at me for making him think the fights were ‘his fault.’ There were many reasons he thought that but this is already far too long. It doesn’t matter anyway. But the thing is, he hates me now. Past reason, past placation, past hope.

Both of my best friends are gone. I have other aquaintances on the Internet, other friends, but I feel so alone. I’ve burnt my bridges. I’ve tried and tried to reconcile with him, but he will not. I’ve considered trying to mend things with K, but deep down I’m still angry at her for shoving my friendship aside in the blush of ‘new love.’ I cannot forgive it.

I miss X terribly. I miss telling him what I did that day, I miss his laughter, I miss the private jokes we shared and the way we could understand each other so terribly easily – the way people who have known each other for a very long time fit so well. I miss him so much. I miss K to a lesser degree, though like I said, I cannot really forgive her. She never apologized, you see.

But X cannot forgive me, though I apologize a million times. Though I tried to explain. And here I am, alone. And what can I do? I go on, like they say. And I tell myself “This too shall pass.” I will make new friends, I will make a new life, I can do it, I can do anything. But I miss him so terribly. I don’t want to forget him.

I must.

And thank you for reading it (if you got this far) because I had to tell someone. Maybe if I write it enough I will accept it and then it will stop hurting and I can start to heal. I just feel dead inside right now, between the tears.

[sub]I don’t want to forget him and let him go. I miss him. I miss him. [/sub]

My WAG is, he didn’t call you a liar because you withheld your true feelings. He called you a liar because he believes you made up other, untrue reasons for the fights, reasons that cast blame on him.

Assuimg you are fairly young, without children or and don’t have your career at stake or similar obligations (it sounds that way) I think it’s time to turn the PC of and join some local organizations or move to the big city.

We tend to fixate on what is in front of us if we do not have alternatives for relationships. Bigger ponds afford much greater opportunity to meet someone compatible (IRL). The net is fun but you really need to get out and about in most cases if you are going to have a shot at meeting good people for real life relationships.

Ok, these are all opinions, obviously, but I am stating them it positive terms simply because repeating “it seems to me” a million times is tiring and aethetically unpleasing.

Here are my initial impressions, there may be more after I go lay down and think about this one a bit.

Some things that I see are going on:

  1. If you reread your post, try and notice how you make any number of sly coments about “K” (And K has never been easy to get a long with, I’m still angry at her for shoving my friendship aside in the blush of ‘new love.’ I cannot forgive it.,) and nothing but glowing praise and understanding of "X (X juggled K & my friendships quite well) . Conversely, you spend a lot of time talking about how X feels, how X is suffering: (It was hard on X, too., but he was becoming sick of it, terribly sick, because he didn’t understand why I was doing this to him) and you never say one word about how K feels about anything.

What I think is going wrong is that you and “K” both neglected each other because of this guy, and this started long before the fights and the arguements–this started almost from the beginning: you both started caring more about what he thought and no longer had time to care about what each other thought. A million times you felt angry because “K” was more interested in “X” than she was in you, and you never noticed that you spent hours sitting around wondering how X was feeling, thinking, acting, percieving, etc., and not a tenth as much time thinking about “K”.
2) One thing I don’t think you understand is that you weren’t just jealous of “K” this whole time: you were also madly jealous of “X” : how dare your best friend like him better than she likes you? This was almost certianly added a whole nother layer of emotional tender that fed all these damn fires.

What I think you should do:

  1. Spend some time–and I mean serious time, not just five minutes right now–thinking about how this whole situation looked from “K”'s point of view as it unfolded. Do this with the assumption that K is and aways has been the good decent person you are who has the same problem of sometimes having too many emotions (a hazard of your age). Think back over the last few years, and try and put toether a picture from her point of view that assumes she acted in good, if hormonally confused, faith, not out of malice, pettiness, or meanness. Do it with the understanding that admiting that you and she acted immaturely and unwisely(and I am pretty certain you both did) is OK, and a sign of growth. To do this properly will take several weeks of soul-searching as you go through daily life.

Once you have done that, I think there is a good chance that a great deal of your anger for “K” will disapate, and you may well be moved to reconcile with her–hell, you may be able to help her by coming to an understanding of where this terrible breakdown occured. This issue with “X” will seem nothing like as stressful or as tragic if you can find resolution with “K”.

  1. And I keep hammering this beast: get physical. Grinding, monotonous physical labor is the only response to heartbreak. You live out in the country? Find a barn to paint. Get up and walk five miles at dawn tomorrow. Push yourself to where the NOW takes up your whole brain, because this will give you sweet relief from those endless looping thoughts, and that will let your sub-concious do the work it needs to do to break out of those loops.

You will get through this. You will not spend the rest of you life feeling as you do now. But it will take time, and it is going to suck for a while. I will say that the better a person you try to be through all this, the faster it will resolve, and that if you take the oppurtunity to do some serious soul searching about how you acted and how you wish you had acted, you could well lok back at this period as a peroid of profound self growth.

Manda JO, what excellent insight and advice!

Astro, it’s impossible for me to move, and places to meet other people are very limited for me. I’m a teenager.

Manda Jo, thank you for your long and insightful post. I’ll address a few things:

I think this is definitely true to some extent. However, there are aspects I didn’t discuss. There were many times when K ‘neglected’ me in actions rather than just thoughts, and I never did the same for her. (I realize this is going to sound biased coming from me, but I honestly think it’s true.) Just one example: one time while ‘X’ was on vacation, we were playing a different game online and I wasn’t able to play it – my computer didn’t work. K completely ignored this and went blithely off to play it, leaving me with nothing to do. I would not have done the same to her… When I confronted her about it, she laughed at my hurt feelings. I said something like “If X was the one unable to get on, you wouldn’t do this.” Her reply was “maybe.” I would NEVER have said that.

I suppose this is true, though it didn’t seem that way at the time. I think though, that I was angry at K when I wasn’t angry at X, because I thought that she had some… well, obligation to me. There was absolutely no reason to expect X to love me, but there was every reason for me to expect K to give me the same respect she gave X. We were best friends for a very long time; that puts some expectations on the table, and when I felt they were let down, I lashed out.

I’m not sure if the time line on this was made quite clear in my original post. The fight with K happened around 3 months before the last fight with X; since then, we have literally had no interaction. I don’t think she knows what has been going on between me and X. I’ve looked back on the situation dozens of times in those 3 months, and I’m still angry, when I think about it.

Once, X & K & I were all chatting together. K & X started IM’ing behind my back, and both were completely ignoring me. When I found out, I was furious… when I talked to X about it, he understood why I was angry and apologized, explaining how the situation had happened. K laughed at me and refused to even consider why I was hurt… that’s the difference between the two.

I’m sad I lost K’s friendship, but the way she has acted since we fought does not enable me to feel anything but a vague dislike for her.

To update the situation a bit:
I survive. I go on, and try to find peace where I can. But it still hurts me, to see X around and hating me so completely. I cannot feel that what I did was beyond forgiveness, and I’ve tried to explain so many times but he won’t listen… he won’t listen. He doesn’t want to listen. He told me my friendship was a burden to him and to leave him alone. I kept trying to talk to him, because I was sure it was just a misunderstanding and if only I could find the right words he would understand… but he won’t. Now I’ve run out of words, and run out of hope of reconciling. It hurts a lot, to see someone who used to be your best friend now hating you, especially when you still want to be their friend so desperately.

I have other friends. I talk to them, and even laugh sometimes. But I miss X’s wit, his quick intelligence, the sense of humor that matches mine so well, his oddities and quirks and the things he said that were so unique to him. I miss the self-assurance that drew people to him like moths to a flame, and I miss his confidence in himself and me. I miss his trust and his respect and the simple fact that he liked me. I’ll never have it back again and no other friend can truly replace it. I grieve now but I know I can go on. I just miss him so much.

Again, thank you everyone who replied, I appreciate it greatly.

Tanaqui

Tanaqui, in some ways, I know how you feel. My three closest college friends abruptly stopped talking to me 3/4 of the way through our junior year because they didn’t want to share an apartment with me our senior year and didn’t know how to bring it up to me, so they just signed a lease behind my back (all the time, I was asking what housing plans were for next year), let someone else tell me, and when (Surprise!) I was less than pleased and said some ill-considered things in anger, they all just stopped talking to me. Literally not a word from then on, even when our RA (at the time we all lived in one dorm, different rooms) tried to get us all to attempt some reconciliation. I spent my senior year of college, hundreds of miles from home, without a single close friend. No one to go to dinner with, no one to go out with, no one to talk with. It sucked A LOT. And I still can’t think about what those three girls did to me without feeling angry and bitter and wanting revenge of some sort. Some people have high school reunion “revenge” fantasies: I have college ones.

So basically, I fully sympathize and my only advice would be somehow to get over your problems with your friends better than I did mine. I have no real suggestions as to how, though.

This is pretty normal adolecent thinking–call it “Bobby’s girl” thinking: when a guy pays attention to you, it’s something to be thankful and greatful for, but when a girl fails to pay attention to you, she’s wrong. Remember that “K” was feeling incredibly blessed and special and nervous and insecure about “X”'s attention, and took your affection and attention for granted. This isn’t admirable, but it is really rather human.

Irene Hunt wrote a great coming of age story called Up a Road Slowly. In the novel , a girl is complaining because her father likes his new wife better than he likes her: the kindly conductor on the train does not reply with assurances that the father does, indeed, love her best, but instead says (heavily paraphrased) “Yeah? So what? You think if your not the most important person in his life, it means you’re nothing? Why’s everyone always gotta want to be number one?” So K likes X more than she likes you and X likes K more than he likes you. It sucks. But they’re allowed.

Pardon my bluntness, but you haven’t spent one minute of these last three months thinking about this from her point of view. You’ve spent three months coming up with a laundry list of every incident where she did you wrong, and you’ve taken a meloncholy sort of pleasure in reciting them over and over again in you mind, enjoying the knowledge that you are a better person than her.

Here you are making a classic mistake: you are trying to make him be the one responsible for your emotions–you are making it his job to forgive you, to understand you, to absolve you. It’s a bad habit to get into, because other people can never really give us what we need. You need to understand yourself, and to do that you need to do some serious introspection. The key here is to try and make sense of what happened assuming that everyone acted in good faith–most especially K. That everyone meant to do the right thing.

Listen: being generous to a friend is a gift, not an obligation. Maybe you would never dream of going out and leaving her to sit home alone. The fact the you are willing to be nice to her, to go out of your way to do favors for her, dosen’t give you the right to bitch and moan if she isn’t willing to do the same for you–it’s no different than somebody bitching that their best friend gave them a only plain coffee mug for Xmas: “I would never give that to them! Never!”. Give gifts, be they of time, company, or material goods, because you want to, not so that they will be recipocated. It’s not right to be mad at her over this.

Hon, I am coming down hard, but I want you to know you have my deep and sincere sympathy. This is the sort of thing that shapes us into the adults we become, and it is a painful process. You may want to check out my [shameless plug] rules [/shameless plug] and see if it dosen’t give you something to think about, about both your romantic and your platonic relaitonships.