I’m crying in a coffee shop.
Upbeat happy music is playing, and I’ve got nothing to cry about. Except I miss a friend I had to leave behind for my own mental health.
I said they reminded me of a hedgehog. They were cute and funny and loveable. Special and unique and if they let you get close, you learn the coolest and funnest things. And if you frighten then or anger them, they can leave you bloody. So, my friend. TheHedgehog.
Very rarely, I meet someone and want to be best friends with instantly. TheCat was one of those people. And so was TheHedgehog. I wanted to be friends with them almost as soon as I met them. I was fascinated and drawn to their obvious smarts and talent. Their clever and nimble brain. Their carefully presented kindness and our agreement on so many political issues.
I liked them instantly. I grew to love them.
Over time, they let see behind the spikes. I grew comfortable there. I got to see the cute and funny more and more. And I started to believe that’s all there was.
But then, the spikes started going up again. And again. And again, until all I really saw anymore were the spikes. Everytime I reached out I hurt myself on the spikes. And more often than not, I drew blood. And then that’s all there was. Blood and pain. And tears and stress.
In four days, it will have been four months. I really thought we’d be friends forever. I really believed that.
I don’t doubt I did the right thing. I tried to set boundaries, and those boundaries were rejected. It was obvious by then I wasn’t valued. And just the weight of anxiety and stress that dropped off me almost instantly should have been enough to tell me that closing that door was the right choice.
If you are in a friendship or other relationship that’s hurting you, you should get out. You won’t be sorry. It’s the right thing to do.
But like any grieving process, it takes time.
That hole hasn’t healed yet. And I’m still sitting here in a coffee shop crying.
.Worthy, Deserving, Enough
.Worth as much as a cat