When I was a teenager I had few friends, so I clung too tightly to the ones I had. One kid I might have called my best friend, wasn’t much of a friend. We were young and selfish. I think it’s fair to say I wasn’t much better and not many people were. Just imagine back when you were a teenager. When you fell for someone, I can guess you weren’t entirely considerate to those around you. But over the course of a year, our friendship appeared more one sided than I would have wanted to admit. I needed him much more than he needed me, in that, he didn’t need me at all. Maybe I was entertaining enough to be kept around, but that was it. On the other hand, I needed him to feel less insane, because I truly felt separate from the world. It was a horrifying thing to feel as a kid and naturally I thought other people would help fix it. I think I was right, and the right people would have connected me to reality again, but unfortunately I didn’t find the right people, or many people at all for that matter. Instead of getting reacquainted with the human race that went to my school, I felt less and less like them. (Not in a cool, hip way. I didn’t feel different exactly. It was that I didn’t feel equal or entirely the same species. As if my brain was broken in a way that made me unable to make how they lived, not desirable, but recognizable.) I wanted, more than anything, to be able to just resemble how other people interacted.
That’s what I was hoping to get out of my friendship. But rather than improving, I got worse. Actual growth was something I had to figure out on my own, rather than hiding effort behind being simply and mindlessly busy. Because when the dust would settle from whatever adventure I was on, I was left with me. And I wasn’t fun to deal with.
I hated that friend for a few years after we stopped talking. I couldn’t help but think I was taken advantage of when I was vulnerable and weak and synonyms. But I gave him too much credit. He wasn’t malicious or clever. He was a kid trying to get to where he wanted to go without paying much attention to whatever else was happening. He wasn’t responsible for how my mind worked.
It was still for the best that I got out of there.