We’ve all had that person. The one you thought would never do anything to hurt you. The one you thought you’d still be talking to five years down the road. The one you saw yourself drinking wine with on a Friday night, catching up as if no time had passed. This image was solidified in your mind. But then they hurt you, you haven’t spoken in years, and you drink wine with strangers you’ve known for minutes by comparison.
Let’s call this person Jessica.
You go through stages… you hate Jess, you miss her, you blame yourself, you try and fix things. You talk to your friends about Jess and they’re sympathetic, but they remind you what exactly she did: “you’re so much better off without her.” When you think of Jess you get mad—talking about her instantly angers you.
After a while, you will have forgiven her—if only for your own peace of mind. You go months without thinking of her. But when she does cross your mind, you miss her. This is the misgiving of forgiveness. You think of Jess and remember the sleepovers, the day trips, the inside jokes. You remember all the good times. You wonder if perhaps things could be remedied. You miss Jess. But you’re not allowed to talk about her—because you’re over it and over her. You can’t say that you miss her—because that would be wrong. So you feel guilty. How dare you feel any sort of nostalgic, almost positive feeling towards someone who did you so wrong?
You can forgive someone without forgetting what they’ve done. You can miss someone without wanting to reconnect. It’s okay—it’s allowed, the guilt isn’t necessary. The things that ended the relationship you had with Jess don’t negate the relationship in its entirety. Jess was probably one of your best friends; that’s a past that cannot be simply or easily erased—nor should it be. She played a vital role in your life and your narrative with her has taught you a variety of lessons. When you find someone to start your life with, when you find a new best friend, and they ask about your childhood, are you just going to gloss over half of it because Jess is the main character?
I forgave my Jessica a long time ago—but I’m still trying to figure out how to miss her. Because I do—I miss her. It’s okay if you miss yours too.
- The Friendship Breakup
- 5 Signs It’s Time For a Friendship Breakup
- How & When To Put The “End” In Friendship
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