This is the last time I bring this up, I guarantee it. I’m not angered by it anymore, or saddened by the fact that our “friendship” was over at that point, but I still want you to know that how you treated me was not ok. Especially since you had called me your friend.
But guess what? Friends don’t keep a hand over their friends mouth when they disagree. Friends don’t pretend to care about your character, and then abandon that idea as soon as there’s a conflict. Friends let friends be who they are, and say what they feel, otherwise what the heck are we doing here? ‘Friends’ was a title we never achieved, despite the people we may have surrounded ourselves with. For claiming to be so open-minded and accepting, that was basically the opposite of the way you treated me.
In 7th grade, it all started. We were on a bus to practice when I told you about an issue I had with a political stance. You and I hadn’t talked much before that point, so on this encounter, you kept your arguments vague, and didn’t start anything… The way someone should deal with a disagreement, because getting mad at an idea is not going to change anyones opinion. It was a civil disagreement, and although we knew each others stances, we didn’t become angered with one another.
In 9th grade, things started to change, you became more aggressive about your opinions, completely shutting me out as I stated the simple facts you didn’t want to hear. You made it seem like you were in charge of our friends, and that none of them would see the value in being my friend anymore because you and I didn’t agree on something so small. You acted as though my opinions were a personal attack on you, and that I’d have to change my opinion to be your friend anymore. So, for the next 5 years, I kept my mouth shut about that clearly sensitive area.
And then in 11th grade, you started attacking me again, for the way I felt about a character in a book. Let that sink in for a minute… a fictional character, with no ties to the real world except an emotional connection that tugged at the readers heart strings. And you chose to pick a fight with me about something so insignificant. It’s interesting to me how you were so quick to defend the characters emotional response when I tried to dig deeper into it, but you could never seem to treat actual living breathing people with that same stance. So I shut my mouth again, and let you walk all over me because that’s the kind of weak person I was back then.
But I finally had enough silence as you yet again, reached out just so you could pick another fight. We had not talked since high school, so it was a year or so into our silence and going our separate ways when you came crashing down on my words again. As if, I needed to be silenced again because I didn’t agree with you, but this time was different. This time, I argued back. And then, we weren’t friends anymore. It’s a nice feeling when you find out your friendship was built on the idea that you’d remain quiet. But what hurt the most was the idea that you couldn’t give me the same respect you wanted for yourself.
In 7th grade, you showed me a self portrait with 5 words sprawled on the bottom of the page: She thrives to be Outspoken. However, once you finally achieved the goal, you never wanted anybody else to be comfortable using their own voices to say what they will, and become just as outspoken. I feel sorry for you. You must be so broken inside if you can’t seem to let others say a word, and I’m sorry for whatever made you that way. But life’s hard, people have brains, and the world will not be silenced just because you don’t like what it’s saying. I’m sorry that you feel too weak to hear someone else’s thoughts out before jumping to the conclusion that they are awful because they don’t agree with you. I’m sorry for all the “friends” you’ll lose because of this flaw in your judgemental side. But I’m mostly sorry that I didn’t speak up sooner, and give myself a chance to be heard instead of silenced.
I really hope someday soon, you can learn to embrace other ideas, and change the way you perceive the people who sound a bit different than you. I pray you’ll learn to accept people for who they are instead of shutting them out because of who you are. I really hope you never let yourself lose another connection because of the fear that someone may not find you correct on all your ideas. More than anything, I pray you see people for who they are, not just what they think.