on accepting responsibility

I have rewritten the title of this post a dozen times in my head and also written several passages that would end up the length of a small novella. What I want to write about, I can’t. It’s so painful not to be able to be completely honest in my writing. But my honesty would end up causing pain to others and I’m not sure I want to do that. So I’m going to try and write openly here without stepping on egos or betraying confidences or hurting any hearts.

Let me start off here: My behavior these past few months has been atrocious. It’s been vindictive and unhealthy and vicious. Some of you knew this already. Some of you have given me the benefit of the doubt, because you’re good people, and more importantly, good friends. I played a good game these past few months. I’m very skilled at playing games. I’m good at lying and presenting an image of myself that I know others want to see. What’s almost laughable about this, is although that is true, I still manage to be more honest and open than a lot of people. Imagine if I was 100% honest and open with myself and with others? I’d either be an incredibly enlightened individual or begging for food and shelter on the streets.

I managed to convince myself and others that my behavior these past four months was
not that bad; and/or
2) justified because of the hurt I was feeling.
But I’m also genuinely confused because some of the behavior that seemed to “worry” others (enough to even go so far as to contact the person I was behaving questionably toward) didn’t seem that worrisome to me. And it kind of creeps me out (which I guess I deserve… we’ll call it karma) that I had/have Facebook friends or just acquaintances that have copied/pasted stuff I wrote and sent it to said person. (On of my titles of this post was going to be, “How many times do you have to be betrayed before you believe Mulder’s TRUST NO ONE motto?“) Wow. Either I was freaking the fuck out of people or people just really like to butt into other people’s lives or maybe it was just a little of both, I guess I’ll never know. I do wish those people would have messaged me privately, though, instead of contacting said person. I mean, no offense, but, why would you do that? (Other than to stir up trouble.)

In case you’re one of the few people who are thinking, “What the fuck, Gina? Why are you all of a sudden taking the blame for all the ugliness that happened these past few months?” rest assured that I am not. I do not and will never accept full responsibility for what has happened over the past four months. There was a serious amount of mutual emotional destruction by both parties. An unimaginable amount of anger and volatile words, privately and publicly, were exchanged.

I cannot speak for the other party, but my only rationale for behaving the way that I did was just that I was devastated by the loss of our friendship. I had gone from having a best friend, a soul mate (if those are real) to not having anything. It was easily the most painful experience I had/have yet to face in my life. I mentioned before that I do not have much experience with losing close friends or even lovers. I’m not good at “breaking up” with people. I don’t like to let go of people I love. And I felt, whether it was true or not I don’t know, that the other party did not share my same level of grief. Based on evidence I had acquired (insert where I’m owning up to being a creeper) it was clear he had “gotten over” our friendship pretty quickly. I was essentially watching him do the same things with new people that he had done when we were becoming friends. And although it’s not for me to judge, I felt like his behavior was a little inappropriate and I knew that others felt that way too. (In some cases that behavior was brought up to me and in other cases I brought it up.) But while I was grieving the loss of “us” he was writing poems about new friends about the same kinds of things we would do. It made our friendship feel unauthentic and fabricated; just part of a larger story of conquest he was trying to put together for himself.

I also resented that I had to stay away from the one place that I felt the most at home. I’ve talked about this before, so I’m not going to go back into it. But Webster’s has always felt like my home. And it has been my community for ten years. And yes, it’s his place of employment (for the past nine months). And I get that I should have respected that. But my feelings were, “Tough shit. He just has to deal with me coming here. I was here first.” But if I was going to continue going I could have at least been more respectful of space. I was not. At first. By end of September I became mindful of space and I secluded myself to a corner of the cafe. It was isolating but it solved some of the tension that existed. I also thought that if I needed to buy any books I would just write a note asking for it to be taken off of my account and I could pick it up later, that way there wouldn’t be any interaction. Or, I would just buy it when he wasn’t working. I was trying.

I spent the past four months defaming the person that I spent the better part of 2014 loving with so much of my heart. In retrospect it seems really absurd and I feel ashamed by it all. But I knew of no other way of coping with the loss. I needed to make him the villain so that I could turn back to my life and say, “See? See all of this beauty I have here?” without any guilt. I needed to not take responsibility for it all. That’s how I’ve operated my whole life. I’ve played the weakling so that I don’t have to take responsibility. (He always called me out of this, btw.)

Again, I’m not accepting all of the responsibility for what’s transpired, but I am accepting the part I played in it. If you would have asked me if I a month ago or even a week ago if I was responsible for anything I would have said, “Yes, of course!” But I wouldn’t have meant it. It would have just been something I said because it would have been the right thing to say. But these past few days I’ve had some important conversations and some good closure on a lot that has happened, for which I’m so happy and grateful. I need closure. I need it like addicts need their drugs and their alcohol and their sex and their coffee. I need closure. And I think I may have finally gotten it.

It’s hard to lose your best friend. It’s hard to start to build a life with your best friend and then have to divvy up that life after you part ways. It’s hard to watch your former best friend makes new friends quickly and intensely, like they did with you. It’s hard to watch your former best friend carve their way into a community you’ve been a part of for ten years and feel simultaneously happy for them and jealous because they’re doing a better job at in just a few months than you have in a decade. It’s hard to want to share little moments of joy in life with your former best but can’t even though they might only be twenty feet away from you. It’s the most incredibly painful feeling to know that you may have lost the best friend you’ve ever had, ever, and you’ll never, ever, ever get them back because life just doesn’t want you to be that kind of happy.

It’s hard to rebuild burnt bridges, but it’s not impossible.

I love you keep going,
~ Gina ~


About Gina Marie Thompson

writer • mom • trail runner • cheese slinger • educator • social justice crusader • seeker of love & beauty• living locally • I CHOOSE LOVE ❤️
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