To The Friend Who Thought I Was Toxic

To be honest, I’m still reeling. Not just from the words you used when you informed me why you didn’t want to be friends anymore, but also from the two weeks of silence I endured during which my mind ran through every possible scenario. This was before I found out you wanted some space because of how suffocating I am.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what this means — to comprehend what you’re telling me. I can’t compute — does this mean I’m the toxic friend?

I never really thought of myself as a toxic person. I never really believed that, even as I used the word to beat myself up when I was depressed.

But then you came around. At first, everything was great. We clicked — that’s the only word I can think of to describe it. We just go along really well. And even though maybe I should have known that it was too soon, maybe I should have held back, but I said it — I called you my best friend.

Maybe that’s where the problems started. Maybe I just expected too much of you. Probably you weren’t ready for someone to want to be your friend like that.

Or maybe it was the pressure we got from all our other friends, the ones who thought we were platonic soul mates, who believed in our friendship and its meant-to-be-ness.

Whatever. In the end, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you got rid of me, like you might get rid of yesterday’s trash or a creepy guy’s phone number. You discarded me like I was a shirt you’d outgrown.

I’ve always prided myself on being a good friend. That’s what gets me through the darkest moments — believing that I’m at least offering something good to the world, that I’m not leaving things worse than I found them.

It’s one of the few qualities about myself that I admire — that I’m loyal to a fault, that I’ll do anything for a friend, that I’ll never turn my back or intentionally hurt someone I love.

And you shattered that belief with just one quick text. It probably didn’t take you more than a minute to think up and send, but I’ve spent weeks agonizing over it, crying over it, breaking because of it.

I don’t want to be a bad person — I don’t want to be a toxic friend. I don’t want to be the kind of friend that articles on the Internet tell you to break up with. I want to be the best friend whom you love, the one you call when your own heart is breaking, the one who helps you get through the dark nights.

I want to be the person who helps you overcome your hurdles, the person who talks you through your petty fights with your mom, the person who’s got your back no matter what.

And I thought I was doing a pretty good job of that.

Until you ended our friendship. Until you let me know how toxic I am.

Now I feel like I’ve come untethered, unmoored, bobbing along in the open sea without the frailest of cords to anchor me.