Don’t worry looking up the word “unhear” it’s not in the dictionary and it makes spell check angry (it puts up the squiggly red line). It may not be in the dictionary but it is definitely a verb I wish I could do. We’ve all heard the saying if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. I must admit. Sometimes I ignore that saying but for the most part I try to abide by it. The person who first said that knew EXACTLY what they were talking about. Words are sooooo powerful. They can be used to uplift or tear down. To make someone happy or sad. Even Stevie Wonder said, three little words can kindle an aching heart.
Well last Friday a few words caused what I can only view, in this present state, as irreparable damage. For the purposes of this post and to protect the not so innocent dates and names have been changed. I will call this person Johnny. Johnny and I have been friends for a few years. We’ve shared good and bad times but last year we decided that the bad times were beginning to outweigh the good. In order to allow room for happiness in each of our lives we agreed to end our friendship. We stayed away from each other and only spoke when it was extremely necessary. Now there’s something you have to know about Johnny. Johnny was my person. Johnny has seen me at my worst and has watched me evolve and grow. Johnny met me at a time when I was team no new friends but truly won me over. I loved me some Johnny. Deciding to part ways with Johnny wasn’t easy but I believed it was best for both of us.
A few months ago, what I thought was a good opportunity arose and I thought “this would be perfect for Johnny”. I reached out to him and he was on board to give it a go. This opened the door for
“no communication” to go to “limited communication”. Johnny and I would speak ever so often to settle away this business opportunity but for the most part our dialogue was limited. Last Friday, while trying to get food for the impending lockdown Johnny and I had a little spat. Maybe it started as a spat but it surely ended like
In the course of the argument Johnny said something that I never imagined he would say. Something I could never imagine saying to him. I had to do a double take.
I felt hurt and betrayed. I knew we weren’t as close as we used to be but I never imagined that we were that far apart. After hearing it I must say it probably took me 5 minutes to get myself together. I was in a state of shock. I must’ve heard wrong. Johnny? My Johnny? Not my Johnny..he would NEVER! Oh but he did. Johnny knew I cared for him. He also knew that I was slow to let people in but once you were in you were in.
I think we both knew in that moment that things had taken a turn for the worst and we needed to be away from each other. As we were driving a song that we listened to over 5 years ago came on and it was at that moment that I felt the shift in the atmosphere. I felt the shattering of a special love between my former person and I. It felt like a breakup but Johnny wasn’t my boyfriend. No, Johnny was more than that. Johnny was the person that had signed the imaginary friendship contract. Johnny was the no backsies friend. Even though we had been on friend hiatus (facepalm) there was an unspoken rule…we were still riding for each other. I would never and still could never say what he said to me to him.
Johnny did apologize, more than once, claimed he spoke out of anger. I heard Johnny’s apology but I could only reconcile two things…1) You meant it! You were sorry you said it but you meant what you said or 2) You said it to intentionally hurt my feelings. Either option didn’t sit well with me. A friend commented today…I’m sorry that person didn’t think twice and spoke once. That was it. That was exactly what this was. Had Johnny spent 15 more seconds thinking about what he was going to say we wouldn’t be here. It happened Friday but it still hurts today. I hope it doesn’t hurt tomorrow but it probably will. For however long I feel this pain one thing remains true every time that conversation creeps into my memory a tinge in my heart will hurt.
This isn’t about unforgiveness because forgiveness liberates me, not Johnny. Johnny probably never even gave the argument a second thought. This is about recognizing how damning and damaging our words can be to someone. This is about making sure the people we love never doubt that we love them. This is about realizing that matters of the heart is always at the heart of the matter. I would be lying if I say that I instantly stopped loving and caring for Johnny. I could say it but no one would believe me. I wouldn’t even believe me. But what I can say is “the best way to appreciate someone is to imagine life without them”. Unfortunately, Johnny and I no longer have to imagine life without the other because
Until next time…Always Clinking,
Tee (I need fancy script for this)
As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comment section.