It was actually a shock in itself when I befriended this random stranger one day. It was unexpected as I actually found him annoying at first. He was a hard headed, egomaniac, know-it-all and I thought that his personality would clash with mine. But then we started having this daily routine. We would have breakfast together almost every day and every day I found his personality less annoying. Eventually, I got to know the boy behind the mask. He acts like a jerk as a defense mechanism. It was a means to protect himself, I think. And as he opened himself up to me, I've realized that I actually found a trusted friend in the form of my annoying seatmate.
Over the past few months we became so close that I started to open up to him as well. I've told him secrets I would not even dare tell anyone else (aside from my boyfriend, of course). But about a week ago, things changed. He became cold and distant. He stopped talking to me and basically just started shutting me out. I have no idea what brought the change on. I just know that I tried to talk to him about it and every time he responded with "I don't want to talk about it". In a blink of an eye, my confidant abandoned me. Yes, I said it, he abandoned me. And I still have no idea why.
Now, being a normal 24 years old girl with very few friends (and who considers friendship to be something close to sacred), I felt anger. Now, I believe that anger is a natural reaction against pain. When someone hurts you, you'll fight back. It's instinct. So instead of understanding that there might be a reason behind the fallout, I decided to act like the little bratty bitch that I was and I responded with anger. I felt the need to hurt him because I felt hurt. I felt betrayed and I felt abandoned by someone that I considered important. Needless to say, I found myself going through the Five Stages of Grief.
1. Denial (the person tries to shut out the reality or magnitude of the situation and begin to develop a false reality.)
I pretended that I didn't notice the change. I acted like it meant nothing. I thought he was simply in a bad mood and that he only needed time to sort things out. I acted like I normally would and went on with my daily routine without bothering to figure out what really happened.
2. Anger (the person becomes very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy)
I lashed out. I was very immature about it too. I called him names and said he was a jerk on more than one occasion. I was angry and I didn't care if I hurt him. He hurt me, so he deserved to feel pain as well.
3. Bargaining (the individual hopes that the he/she can somehow undo or avoid a cause of grief)
I started asking for an explanation. I believed that if I knew the reason behind the incident, I could fix things. I thought that maybe if he told me what the problem was, I could somehow change things back to normal (boy was I wrong).
4. Depression (the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and sullen)
I admit, I cried. It was unavoidable. I was under a lot of stress and the only person at work who gave the slightest hint of concern towards my well being was being a jerk and was actively ignoring my presence. It was painful. I tried to act normal but I know that the puffy eyes aren't fooling anyone.
5. Acceptance (the individual starts to come to terms with what has happened)
Today, I've reached the final stage. I've come to the conclusion that there really is nothing I can do to fix things. I'm also pretty sure that I didn't do anything to cause the fallout in the first place. I've come to the realization that this whole thing isn't even about me. It's about him. It's about his feelings and what he thinks would be the best for him. I have no right to dictate his life or his decisions and I should not force my friendship when I know that he is no longer interested in it.
Now that my head has cooled down and I've thought things through, I've come to the conclusion that yes, I do deserve an answer. But that doesn't mean that I will get one. You see, when this all started, I decided to let the pain I felt get to me. Like I said, anger is a natural reaction against pain. And the pain caused me to fight back. I've realized now that this was not something I could fix with anger. I've decided to simply be thankful of the short friendship and to give him the space that he needs. It still hurts that I've lost someone I consider a close friend but I think it's time for me to grow up and accept things as they are. Friendship is not something that is meant to last forever. Fact is, nothing lasts forever. So for now, I think it's time to let go.
Anger is a natural reaction against pain. When someone hurts you, you'll fight back. It's instinct. But when anger fades and the pain subsides, you are left with a hard decision. The pain either makes you a better person or a worse one. Now that part, is up to you.
- Kath Macapagal; Frustrated Writer, Photography Enthusiast, All around Crazy Person