Friends come and they go. We learn from them and we learn more about ourselves through the relationship. But friendships change. We change and grow; we are not the same person aged twelve, as we are aged seventeen. So don’t be surprised if those who make up your closest circle now will not be those you rely on when you finish school.
I had a best friend. We met on our first day of school and were inseparable for many years. She was my twin – even though I was like five foot ten and she was five foot nothing. Over the years we supported and relied on each other. We had so much fun together: hanging around town; searching through second hand shops; going to the cinema; meeting up with other friends; talking about life; and sneaking into nightclubs. She was my soul mate.
One day it changed – some time around Halloween of our final year. I was out. Out of the click. On the edge of the group, no longer sure of my position. I’d always been in the centre but suddenly I was on the outskirts looking in. She was in the centre and stood there alone. Everyone surrounded her looking to her for leadership. Her leadership came and the first command was to extradite me.
I’d had it all. Friends. Fun. Foolishness. Lots of laughs. And now I had the plague. No one would speak to me. The group who had always been there, the group I belonged to with my best friend by my side were now unknown to me. They rejected me and constantly punished me.
Did I steal a boyfriend? Did I destroy one of their characters? Did I trash their families? Did I deserve this treatment? No. I didn’t deserve the character assassination or the endless digs or the brutality they put me through.
When school ended. I thought I was free. I was free from the everyday reminder that people in this world thought me worthless and worthy of being reminded of this on a regular basis. But I wasn’t free from the scars they left.
Throughout this time, I punished myself and wanted to runaway and die quietly away from prying eyes. If I could’ve asked why, I sometimes think I would’ve. It might have helped to understand what led to the treatment I endured; what had led my best friend to hate me with such venom that she happily tried to destroy me. I think about this some times but I also think: what good would it have done? Would it have caused her to stop? I think not.