To my fake friends, thank you for showing me the value in understanding people for what they are. Thank you for taking all of my good qualities and turning them into something negative to fit your narrative. Whereas a real friend would see my effort not to judge others and allow others second chances as beautiful, you saw me as easy to manipulate and easy to control. Where a real friend saw my habit of ensuring our relationship is okay by asking honestly, “Are we okay?” when I sensed any sort of discomfort as honest and looking for a way to amend things if they were wrong, you saw it as a sign of weakness and instead, never told me until things came to a resentful head. Where the best of my friends would look at my habit of apologising and immediately trying to make amends as the quality of a kind and genuine person, you deliberately saw it as something to exploit by making me feel worse and worse every single day by never telling me what was wrong but bitching behind my back.
Initially you must have surprised me.
Your kindness, or your (false) giving nature, something about you must have truly made me think the world of you. You see, I’m the kind of person who will love you genuinely or not love you at all. I don’t play games of in-betweens and I certainly don’t pretend to be friends with someone if they are not someone I care about. The truth is, without you, I would not know who my real friends are, nor how to value them. I would not have learned that some people thrive on being unkind. I would not know how to handle those who look for reasons to dislike me, rather than the other way around. I never understood insecurity for what it was. Because I am a highly self critical person and tend to focus on what I have done wrong rather than anyone else.
Without you, I could not have learned how to look outside and understand that other people are flawed too.
I would not know how to stop being so hard on myself. I would not grow from being a people pleaser to choosing the people I love carefully and with consideration. You taught me how to appreciate that I am a person worthy of love, and forgiveness and kindness, by treating me the opposite way. You taught me strength by showing me that when I was in my greatest pain, the person I needed to rely on most was myself because you were only going to be unkind and orchestrate more pain in my life.
Thank you for that. Thank you for every lesson you have taught me. Because I could not be prouder of who I am today, and it is you that I have to thank for that.