Anyway, I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately. Mostly just what it means to be friends and what being a good friend and all of that requires. What's the real difference between a friend and an acquaintance? When do you know that you're close enough to someone to tell them to really important stuff? Things like that.
This has always been a topic that preoccupied me a lot. I've hinted before that eighth grade was basically the worst year of my life, and I'm pretty sure I've gotten a little bit specific with the details before. The one place I can find where I hinted the most at the source (as opposed to just saying it sucked which I've done several times) is a post about past friendships from last year. I pretty much talked around the toxic friendships I had then in the post because I didn't want to write about it, but I don't think saying that what made eighth grade so terrible was friendships I had at the time would be all that shocking. That's probably not even a big shock as far as middle school is concerned. Lots of middle schoolers deal with friendship drama. I'm not trying to say that what I went through was all that bad from an outside perspective (including now that I'm out of the situation), but I can say that that whole thing messed me up in a lot of ways for a good few years afterwards.
I had such a hard time trusting anyone right after that, and it completely killed any sense of self-worth I had (but that's a topic for another time and one I'm even less ready to talk about). For about two years, I had a grand total of one person I could actually call a friend, and I had trouble trusting the fact that she was actually there for me. I doubted our friendship so much that looking back on it I realize I tried to sabotage it multiple times, and it really is amazing that we're still friends today.
Today, I've mostly gotten past it. The majority of the time, I'm very confident about my friendships. I have some great friends, and I trust them. I try my best to be a great friend too. But sometimes the shadows of eighth grade come back, and suddenly I start thinking that all of my friends have to secretly hate me. There's no way I'm actually that important to them. I should just close myself off and stop telling them anything. And then I do that, and I go into this terrible state where it's not just about friends anymore. Because I'm not trusting anyone, I start getting upset about everything, probably because I'm holding everything in.
I always come out of it, and as time goes on, those periods of questioning it all seem to be fading. They're not as bad as they used to be. I want them to keep going away though, and maybe writing this will help. Maybe writing this will help me sort through what I think friendship actually means in a way that's actually accurate to the better friendships I have today. I'm not entirely sure, but I definitely want to say that I'm continuing to put the past behind me.