I'm mixed up. Devastated, guilty, ashamed.
It's been years since I hung out with her, and of course I never kept up. In some ways I feel like I don't have a right to mourn. And yet yesterday I cried all day and today, though better, is still heavy and I'm obsessively glued to social media, obsessively recounting memories and places I went wrong.
I have so much guilt. Even before this, thinking of her made me filled with it. I've never been a good friend. I've always been distant and terrible at maintaining relationships. In high school I was a broken fucking mess. She was there through a lot of it. One or both of us got arrested together three times. We got high for the first time together. We skipped school to shave her head when her mom got cancer. Shelby and I found her the first time she tried to leave us. We got raped by the same asshole, tried to turn him in together. She told him off and fucked with him when I cowarded away from him. When I went to Rainshadow, she followed. She was probably the only person to realize that I had an eating disorder. She was there through boys and break ups and drugs and fuck ups, all of it. She accepted me when I was in love with her and played it cool. And I failed. I let her down. Part of it was my fucked up romantic feelings towards her and how awkward I felt about them, and how I pushed her away. But more of it, I think was that there came a point that I got so anxious and socially reclusive that I just smoked weed and did nothing but smoke more weed. I hung out with people who I didnt even like. I lived in a fucking tent in some fucking ditch where I "found myself" or whatever, while I neglected the person who actually mattered. Technically she lived with me for a while after that, when I was back with my parents, but even then I think I'd pushed her away, made her feel uncomfortable some how. I was there the day her mom died, but it was the first time I'd seen her in a month or more. Shortly after, I moved away and hardly spoke to her again.
I was so eager to run away from everything that was so painful, hide from the negativity. I ran away and didn't hardly look back. I surrounded myself by college educated upper middle class white people who'd never understand where I came from or anything about the things I struggled with. I studied hard and surrounded myself with a comfortable bubble and never sunk to the depression hole again. I turned away from the painful things because it was easier for me, and it worked.
I got my education, I travelled a bunch, I surrounded myself with decidedly untortured artists and community people, I had relatively positive relationships and avoided the drug/booze world, I coupled off with an amazing human being and got a dog.
She was there through the hardest part of my life, the most influential times. To her, I was probably just a blip, most of her friends she maintained and has huge long histories with, but for me - she was one of the closest, longest lasting, most meaningful friendships I've ever had.
In the past, when people have asked me, "what is your biggest regret?" I've said her. That I let her go, I let her down, I wasn't there the way I needed to be. And now she's gone, and I feel like I can't mourn, that I don't have the right to mourn, because I was a shit friend and I never kept in touch. But she meant so much to me, and I can't help but be a total fucking wreck.