Throughout my life, I have never been good at making friends. There’s just something about social interaction that is so draining and bothersome that much of the time, I would rather just not bother. However, my skills as a wallflower are second to none, and while I may not like interaction all that much, I do still prefer to be in the company of others.
Not aiding in my social growth is the fact that I moved almost once a year between the ages of eight and eighteen. In fact, I still move quite regularly; I’m moving right now, for instance. So, I was never able to form solid, lasting relationships with people just because I knew I wouldn’t be around for their birthday the next year. Again, there are a couple of exceptions, but for the most part, when I moved, it was to an entirely different place, not within the same town or region.
For example, in the ninth grade, I lived in a little town in Alabama about half an hour outside of Montgomery. Some of the best friends I’ve ever had, I made while going to the high school there, but halfway through the 10th grade, I dropped out (technically I became homeschooled, but that’s an entirely different story). But while I wasn’t going to that high school, I still lived in that town for another six to eight months. In this time, I stayed in contact with exactly nobody, completely dropping off of the grid. All my time was spent alone, which at the time I was accepting of, but now deeply regret.
If not for the cosmic coincidence of reconnecting with two of my friends through work last year, those friendships would be completely lost. Not only that, I would have gone on living without them, oblivious to what I had sacrificed. That isn’t all right to me, and I am so thankful that it didn’t turn out that way.
However, while my relationships with those physically close to me came and went, I began to form longer-lasting bonds with people I met through the internet. For an example of them, look no further than our very own Komoto Raynar, whom I have known for over seven years, longer than anybody else currently relevant to my life (this includes family. He is my family now). Unfortunately, he is also a prime example of my biggest obstacle in friendships; myself.
The main problem here is that, after about a year or so, I become a terrible friend. One of the worst, in fact. I bully, belittle, demean, take advantage, drop away, come back like nothing happened, and still claim to be your best friend. As that terrible, overplayed song by Lit goes, “I am my own worst enemy.” It’s difficult for me to change, as well. As hard as I try, I still often slip back into my old ways. And Raynar is the one who has unfortunately taken the brunt of it, but he’s also the reason I try to change.
He is important to me, moreso than anybody else in the world. “Jokingly,” I would sometimes tell my partners that he came before even them. The quotations are there because it was never a joke, he truly is the greatest person in my life. And a lot of that comes down to one important factor; he came back. After betraying and hurting him in one of the worst ways possible, he continued to be my friend (I mean, it took him a year to even speak to me again, but I’m not complaining. It was my fault).
Where this fits in to the overall theme of this article is that most people did not come back. As soon as I showed my worst, they cut me loose and didn’t look back. Even worse than that is the fact that I cannot honestly blame them. I was needlessly cruel and thoughtless. I said hurtful things because it was fun, I boasted about my lack of consideration and care, I intentionally did things to drive them away just to see how much it would take to chase them off. And just to top it all off, I never fought.
Retaining a friendship was never important to me, because despite how much I cared for these people, I felt I was unworthy of their time. Part of me did not want them to be my friends purely because, in my mind, they could do better. And a large part of me still believes this, even as I rebel against the idea. Saying this is not meant to garner sympathy or pity, because I need none (well, maybe a little is nice, because I’m a special snowflake who needs to feel important). Rather, this is just meant to clarify the whole picture, which is this:
A burdensome asshole, an uncaring prick, a relentless bully; I am all of these things. But I do, truly, want to change. And to start doing that, I’d like to apologize to all of my friends, past and present, whom I have hurt or discarded like so much wet cardboard. I did you wrong, and I am truly sorry.
(Remember, it’s not those that flock to your best, it’s those that stick around through your worst. This world is what you make of it, just as you typically are what the world makes you. ~Ray)