Grieving for Friends Never Made

It’s a wee bit after 1PM Eastern time and I’m listening to Friskk in the background as they recount the pain of the last few days. It’s heart-wrenching.

In particular, the way in which over a few days, years of trust and relationships lay shattered and the grieving that entails. In the sounds of her pain I hear my own.

* * *

It’s the coworker who seems really cool until they buy Chik-Fil-A that one time and then you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s the streamer who seems super cool until… well… this week happens.

It’s the knowing that because I’m a cis male, this will always apply to me no matter what and I will have to carry that no matter how heavy it might get. It’s that I can’t take anyone’s mistakes, no matter how genuine, in completely good faith because of the harm it leaves the potential for. It’s the way that I will rarely, if ever, be able to give myself to friendship or other connections freely, in the way that many can, because things are broken in that way and for some reason, is entirely un-fixable.

It’s knowing that when I bring this up, someone will not see how that is an issue that should be fixed… or at all.

* * *

There’s something it does to you when you spend so much time on the balls of your feet and ready to sprint no matter the relationship you have. No matter how good it is or how friendly they are. Even if they show up for you. Even if they give you a job opportunity. Even if they help you through a dark time whether physically, financially, or emotionally.

At all times and at every moment, you have to stay laced up and ready to run and throw a torch behind you whenever you do. You have to be ready to burn the whole thing to the ground at a moment’s notice.

Every time. All the time.

It’s been hard for me to name – the kind of grief that you experience for things that have not been and cannot be. The way even potential friendships and relationships are seven times destroyed before it ever was and the ache we’ve learned to live with because of it.

The way I am unsure how to go about giving myself completely over to the process of friendship for most people because the level of vigilance is calls for consumes so much of my time, my emotions, my thoughts.

But for all my lack of naming, I certainly know how to describe it and maybe now you can, too. I see you and we’re here together.