An Open Letter To ‘The Friends I Pushed Away’

July 17th, 2014  9:10 AM

Dear ‘The Friends I Pushed Away’:

Words cannot describe how much I miss and wish you were still in my life today; to be there for me during some of my darkness moments and watch me recover from such a terrible downfall. But none of this is possible because you are not in my life anymore because I pushed you away; I pushed you out of my life for good and did not want you to come back. I know you are probably wondering  two things:

  1. Why did I do such a thing?
  2. And why did I not tell you what was going on at the time to prevent such an abrupt end to our tremendous friendship?

Several months and years later I am ready to talk; I am ready to tell you what happened and why I did what I did. In a way this an apology letter; it is also a letter to share a part of me I did not get the chance to share with you during our friendship because I did not want you to judge me or leave me. I know you are thinking “true friends, real friends, will always stick around” and yes, I do know that but at the time I did not see that statement actually being true. I convinced myself that nobody would ever want to be friends me “this” i.e. me.

When we first met and became friends you met a happy girl, a funny girl, an ambitious intelligent good-head-on-her-shoulders girl. Little did you know behind all of the great attributes lies a girl who struggles with self-esteem issues, fear of abandonment from loved ones, severe depression, a self-harmer, and a suicidal girl. There were only a handful of you who may have actually seen this side of me. And even in those moments I knew it bothered you greatly and you would tell me ” come on don’t talk like that, you know I am here for you” etc etc. As much as I appreciated your honesty and yearn to be there for me, I did not believe you at all. Part of me could not process exactly “how much did you really love me or how were you really going to be there for me”. When those thoughts rolled in this is where you started to see the aggressive side of me; the side of me where I started to become annoying, clingy, impulsive, extremely negative, and awkward; this led me to push you out of my life. Remember when I made suicidal threats and  would say something along the lines of, “I am going to kill myself now because of x, y, and z?” This was the major depression disorder (MDD) and the borderline personality disorder (BPD) talking, wanting you to know that I am suffering and needed help; I needed your help.  I needed you to be my supporter and be there for me. I know you are probably thinking , “But I WAS there for you. I WAS there when you cried and broke down.” And I know. I know you were there but when I did not get my way or get the response and feeling I wanted from you I withdrew myself from the relationship and pushed you away. Even when you tried your best to help, I rejected you and ignored your help. That was very very stupid on my behalf. And I am so so so sorry that I did that. I am not the one to blame my mental illness for my actions, but at the time when all of this was going on, my impulsive behavior and thoughts both seemed so natural to me; it was and still is apart of me. I could not control how I was feeling in the heat of the moment. But I know I am at fault for what I did , for pushing you away and I am tremendously sorry from the bottom of my heart. You did everything a good friend is supposed to do in a friendship and I ignored your kindness, care, love, and appreciation for me. And I feel terrible for it, again I do apologize.

Now I am aware of my actions, feelings and thoughts whenever the depression or BPD are trying to take over my life. I am getting help to become a better person; I accept myself now for who I, for my mental illness and for the things I cannot change. I know I cannot change the past or my actions but I want you to know that I still love you despite how I treated you during our precious friendship. I know you may think I am a crazy walking psycho for everything I did in our friendship and I cannot express to you how sorry I am. Not a day goes by where I cannot stop thinking about our trips, movie sessions, sleepover, dinners and all of the wonderful times we once spent laughing together. I know life goes on; people move on from the past and go on to achieve bigger and greater things. And I am so proud of you and everything you are doing with your life. We may never see eye to eye again, but I want you to know that you will always be a special friend to me in my life and I will always hold a special place for you in my heart.

I love you to the moon and back and I am so thankful I got the chance to know and have met such a wonderful person.

I am wishing you all the best in your future endeavors.

All my love,

Phoenix

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48 thoughts on “An Open Letter To ‘The Friends I Pushed Away’”

  1. I think I understand part of this. My purpose in pushing people away is because how negative an impact they made on my life. The next was dropping people for being oblivious. Online they truly become that and they see us or me as, “Oh, you’ll always be there for me, so I can take for granted that you’ll always be safe from harm and in need of nothing.”

    Uh-huh. I don’t think so. I watch for who is loyal and who is not. If no communication comes but facebook like-clicks from people who never speak I don’t consider that a friend, I consider that a robot. Robots are for announcing phone options of which button to press, or the manufacture of items we take for granted.

    There are androids in many wonderful stories who have more awareness and feeling than that.

    My curiousity is how to find our people who do understand to solve problems like this?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Excellent reflection on this post. You made several good points and I think I need to start looking for who is loyal and who is not. But I know I did have some loyal friends in my life before I pushed them away. Very few of my friends impacted me negatively some did by talking behind myself and that increased my depression and suicidal thoughts. I hope you are able to find those loyal people to lean on. Sending positive vibes your way – Phoenix

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. When we’re not able to receive love, we push it away, further and further. I have done this too, when I was younger. Don’t forget that you already are a good person and that admitting is a first step in the good direction. It worked for me at least. Wishing you all the best 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much taking the time to read. You words and encouragement means so much to me. My therapist always tell me the first step to take in order to move forward is acknowledge you once did something wrong. Thanks for the wishes , sending positive vibes your way. I sent this letter to the friends I once pushed away hopefully they will read it understand me. – Phoenix

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  3. I’m crying reading this. Because this is exactly something I did. I feel like someone wrote this for me to send out. I’m truly proud of you for writing this, accepting it, and getting better. You’re a fantastic woman. And I really believe you’re an inspiration to many, especially me – Your Inner Happiness

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I doubt my friends, especially the ones I did push away will read this but I feel stronger now than ever because I was able to write this. I need closure from my life prior to recovery and this is all apart of the healing process Thank you for the kind words. – Phoenix

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  4. I can relate to your story. I pushed people away because I had no insight that I was suffering from a mental illness. I blamed others when I was to blame. I came up with all the excuses under the sun, except that it was my fault. I just did not see me for what I was back then……broken and in distress and flailing.
    But the insight I have gained from my mental illness being somewhat stabilised is allowing me to go back and rectify those broken relationships. It takes times and some will never be the same as they were. Part of accepting me back as a friend means also understanding the role my untreated mental illness played in the past. I am not defined by it by it is still a part of me, especially the past.
    I hope that we can move and and develop a new friendship. But it takes two to make a friendship and this time I am more there than I was in the past.
    I hope your letter works for you and others give you a second chance.
    cheers, Glenn.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve always pushed people away. Well, not always I suppose. I used to have a lot friends, a few that I could confide in. Then they all left me. Even my greatest friends did. So, now I push people away before they have a chance to leave. I don’t even let them in actually. In my fraternity we had this one time when we did a circle where people were supposed to talk about things about the year, and all I did was give a very generic answer. Or one time when the president came up to me and started trying to get me to open up, I was visibly uncomfortable, and he said he was going to push through that. Then I let other people that were around distract him. These guys are genuinely good guys, but I refuse to let them see even the smallest side of the real of me. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is I know what you’re talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing part of how you feel with because I can completely relate and understand each scenario you provided above, again thank you for opening up. I agree with you I tend to refuse to even let the good people in and see the realest side of me afraid I might try them away. I am sending you strength, courage, and positive vibes to find it within yourself that you are a genuine person a strong caring loving person and deserve the best of friends. – Phoenix

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  6. Some of the most beautifully written works can be some of the most painful to create, and this was absolutely beautiful. It took strength and it took honesty.
    Being honest with yourself maybe more so than being honest with those you pushed away.
    My wife had largely pushed only me and our son. It was hard to explain to him, and I think maybe too scary for him to hear.
    If it weren’t for the fact that I know that sometimes it’s the Depression or Anxiety in me that’s doing the talking and the acting, it would have been difficult to comprehend that it wasn’t Liz, it was BPD.
    There are all sorts of websites out there centered around BPD. Websites and Facebook pages.
    Send the link to this post to every one of them you can find, because you have found the words that so many have searched for and have not had the insight to find or the strength to share.
    And for some of them, this could be so inspirational.

    Harris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harris,
      You have left me speechless. I thank you so much for taking the time to read such a difficult letter that took me hours to write and publish because I was not sure how to write it for one and afraid of the comments from those who were going to read it. You just reassured me that I made the correct honest decision in sharing this. I sent this letter to several friends and only 1 person responded back to me and said they accepted my apology and that I was so courageous writing this for the world to see. That 1 person made my day and just created a more positive outlook on my life.

      Sending positive vibes your way – Phoenix

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      1. Tell you what,, kid –
        I’m approaching the end of a post that has taken me close to a month to be able to write, one section at a time.
        Granted, it’s passed 10,000 words, but it’s a story that took nine years to live, and shaped AND saved the following thirty-six so there was lots of thoughts and feelings and pain to get through.
        And whatever anybody takes from it, they take from it.
        Not too worried what they think of it, as long as they think of it.

        Emotions you have are no different than any of the emotions shared with you by the people to whom you’ve sent that letter.
        It’s only a matter of degrees.
        Each and every one of those folks have had someone they just got pissed at, stayed pissed at for a while ’cause it was just so easy to do, and then realized that maybe their reasoning was a wee bit off kilter.
        Every single one of them.
        If they’re willing to try, maybe then can recognize that and come to see that you were no different with you reactions –
        only you couldn’t rein in those feelings.
        ‘scuse me, they’re your friends or loved ones, but fuck ’em if they can’t or won’t try to understand you or your battle.
        It’s not like you really, truly intended to sneeze in their soup when something in the air conditioning filters set off your allergies.
        Maybe the thing I hate most about Borderline Personality Disorder is the name.
        I’ve got a post coming up about that.
        Just be proud of yourself not only for what you did by writing to them, but for the strength to acknowledge it, admit it and address it.
        Not your problem if they can neither accept if, understand it nor put it in its proper perspective.

        Some people.
        Nuts, I tell ya.
        Absolute nuts.

        Harris

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I admire your ability to post this, and I find it useful too. I think it helps me as someone on the other side of the barrier created by people, because now I understand a little more.

    Thanks for checking out my post, by the way. I think you’re clearly a sweet, interesting person, and I wish you the best in life. ~ citywithoutpeople

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been there, trying to push people away. Most the time I just quit connecting. A few wouldn’t let me shake them off at first and I burnt them out. Then I had no friends except an ex who was trying to move on with his life.. but I begged him to stay until I was well after hospitalization. I forgot about that when I was telling a friend about burning people out. But in a way it was true, I’d burned him out years before he let me go, he just wasn’t cruel about it. I still miss him.

    Hopefully you can make some new friends. I have and friends make all the difference sometimes. Plus there’s The Skype Support Initiative and 7 Cups of Tea if you aren’t in crisis and just want to have someone to talk to.
    http://skypesupportinitiative.wordpress.com/
    http://www.7cupsoftea.com/

    Hopefully neither one of us will have to push anyone away, or burn anyone out in the future.

    Blessings,
    Theresa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Theresa,

      I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to read my entry and provide me with advice and support in your comment. I will definitely take the time to look into both websites you provided me for additional support. Sending love and positive vibes your way.

      Phoenix

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  9. Wow. Your post has opened my eyes and helped to relieve some guilt. I also push everyone away. It’s as if I unconsciously look for a reason to pick a fight, get aggressive, then block, delete, unfriend, unfollow etc. I refer to it as my self-sabotage. I thought it was just me. That I was a horrible person, because I’m mentally ill. But your post, and the many comments from others…… it’s not me, its “symptomatic” of the illness, throw in my own abandonment issues, and there you have it. I miss my friends incredibly – I never actually wanted to lose them in the first place. Thank you Phoenix. I’ll have to process all this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome. I am so glad my post was able to connect with you. At the time I wrote this I started to count how many friends I pushed away and it is a lot and my therapist helped me shed light upon why I did what I did so after some self reflection I wanted to write a letter to those people I still love but pushed away and miss. -Phoenix

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  10. wow, it’s crazy how much I related to this post. I did the same thing my senior year in high school but I didn’t realize why I was doing it or that I was even doing it until it was too late and the damage had already been done. It’s good to hear that it I’m not a completely horrible friend and that it might have just been the depression pushing people away. Thanks =)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great letter Phoenix and one I can totally relate to! I think so much of all the people I’ve pushed away and hurt. Makes me sad and I wish so often that I understood why I was doing it. Thank you for sharing this part of your soul with us all. Beautifully written. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dearest Phoenix,
    I can totally relate. I had just a few friends at the time start of my depression. I pushed everyone away except for A (if you read my blogs you’ll know a bit about him) he was the only one I could trust and I actually cared for a I broke down one day and said terrible things to him in the midst of a major anxiety attack an now I feel alone. I miss him terribly and there is nothing I can do about it. I apologize numerous amounts of times and he knows what I was going through but he believes that what I said was what I meant and we all say things we don’t mean when our panic arises. I hope you get your friends back I know how you’re feeling. I’m going through the same 😦

    Much love to you Phoenix,
    Anxiety girl 247

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the comment and support. I’ve read several of your posts and I have/had a friend similar to your ‘A’. I wrote a couple of poems about him throughout my blog and I miss him dearly too.

      I’ve tried to reconnect with several of my friends post my discharge from the hospital and only a few have been supportive but hey you know what that is alright I don’t need a huge circle of “friends” only the close ones.

      I am sending positive vibes your way

      Phoenix

      Like

      1. In the past two years I’ve come to realize that friends are only temporary and they come and go. Based on my experience anyway. At least we have support from one another and others on this site ! Xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

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