Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Search and Destroy

Dear Friend,

I want to tell you that today I am going to put all my faith in Karma, energy and the many such things that the Beach Boys called 'good vibrations'. I am not a big believer in the same but as this is the only way to say all the things I want to say to you, I am going to say it and hopefully the universe will work its magic and all your troubles which plague you so right now will get sorted.

We have history but unfortunately for the many pleasant memories we have shared there have been some recent ones which prohibit me from calling you up and talking to you directly.  The least of these is the recent phone conversation I had with your mother who has blamed me for all that is 'wrong' with your life right now. We both know that she is not correct in her assumption but I want to tell you that while I was really hurt I am not angry with her. My first memory of you is your first day at school and even then your parents had come over to my house to talk about a maths test where you hadn't done so well in. I want to tell you that I know your parents see me as a very important person in your life and over the years they have called me to be the final arbitrator of your destiny. They accommodated me in their family and today they are angry with me but I want to tell you it is alright. Even that day, I wasn't angry with them but I was angry with you because I felt you threw me under the bus for no good reason. It is alright.

You told me that I have never been a friend to you. You cannot imagine how hurt I was. This time however, I wasn't nearly as hurt or as angry as I had been the last time we spoke in August. I will not lie and say that I necessarily hold you in great esteem today because there have been so many unwarranted fights and arguments between us that I no longer can feel the same. Despite my best efforts however, I am unable to hate you. I don't want to hate you even if you hate me. But I don't want to be  in direct contact with you anymore because you cause me pain.

I have had a blessed life (and I thank God for it ) which is possibly the reason why I am so bothered by how things are between us today. Sometimes I remember silly pranks that I played in school and they keep me up at night. I have definitely not taken the plunge into adulthood and because of that I continue to be so bogged down by the FIGHT that we have had. I have been struggling to write this piece for the last three days but I would get stuck because I don't know whether I can call you a friend anymore. Then I just gritted my teeth and remembered you from all those year before the fights and decided to use the term friend anyway.

I hate ambivalent feelings. You have put me in a position where I don't know what my stand is as far as you are concerned. I cannot hate you because there is all that good stuff (even if you cannot see it) coupled with all the horrible things that have happened. I hate that you have brought me here. I want to love you but I hate myself for loving you or caring about you at all.

Every time something big happens between us, my parents and my friends tell me that I am a loser and your punchbag. I hate that. I hate that I am in this abusive relationship with you. I cannot imagine how to resolve this situation anymore. I never thought that things would come to this. I am angry that you have pushed me so far away that even if my heart desired it, my ego and my better sense would not allow me to reconcile.

I have dreams about you. Earlier after the first big fight I would have dreams that you were sick, or in trouble and there was no one to help you because we weren't talking and you surrounded yourself by people who don't really care enough about you. After the final fight (which is an oxymoron I feel because you keep intruding in my life with complaints and negativity) I would have nightmares where you would just be abusing me and saying horrible things to me all the time. I would wake up and be so upset that I was so bothered by someone who does not care about me at all. I feel like I almost understand why people continue to be in abusive relationships. It is not just a test of will power because your subconscious continues to regurgitate the nasty stuff when you least expect it.

It almost feels a little nice that you call or intrude my life then even to say all the horrible things because it means you are not free of me yet.  This is so unhealthy that I cannot believe that I of all people have just written that.  My personal relationships are so straight forward that I cannot believe that as disturbed, annoyed and irritated I am by your refusal to stay out of my life, I still somewhere feel a little validated that at least your hatred for me has not died yet. You have plagued me beyond the words I can ever hope to put down. I am not a person easily plagued but you my dear dear girl have managed to plague me.

I have thought a lot about our friendship and I have gone over every fight we have had since the sixth standard in detail with Isha and I remember telling her that out of all the fights I have ever picked with people, all my fights with you from as far back as I can remember were always initiated by you. I have thought again and again but I can still not come up with a single reason why I would ever want to fight with you- I might have gotten angry but it is always you who decides to walk away and end things. A lot of my conversations have been about you and our friends always tell me that they never understood why you and I were friends - I was shocked to say the least. I thought we were the best friends possible because we did so many things together that I did not do with anyone else.  Arushi  says that I have a connection with the name Isha. The two of you cannot however be more different. Not to say that you suck and she doesn't, because God knows you don't suck, but that she listens to me and bears me up when for the last three years specifically you have only bogged me down. My mother was very upset and she was ready to go to your house and talk to her heart's content but I jokingly told her, it is okay, I will think of this as payback for the many class notes I photocopied from you. It is alright. I don't hate you even though I should. I will never be able to hate you. That makes me hate myself.

Anyway, now that I have spoken at length about my feelings and my point of view at length (which as everyone knows and you specifically pointed out is my biggest failing) I want to talk to you about you.

I want to tell you that you are a good person who is going through a bad time. Don't think that you are a bad person. While I cannot lie and say that you haven't been horrible to me, I will still say that you are not a bad person. You are an exceptionally smart, talented and kind person. You are an artist. This is the only reason why a sensible person like you routinely seeks out people who deliberately hurt you. It is because you have a talent.  I want to tell you that while it seems unbearable now, it will get better because talent comes with its burden. Sure you could live your life like I do, safety and rules and a huge list of don'ts, BUT you shouldn't because you are bearing the burden of genius. You have to make these mistakes and these devastatingly destructive decisions because that is experience. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself in a bad situation. It is very easy to build walls and convince yourself that you don't need the same things that cause discomfort. We are both unhealthy in different ways. I want to tell you that all the horrible things that are making you question how could you be so stupid will be your source material for the talent that you bear.

You are courageous in your ability to make bad decisions. You are foolishly brave that you alienate your support systems because you know they hold you back. You are not going to be what your parents or what I would like you to be because you are different in your capabilities. I want to tell you I understand.

However, I need you to understand that you have a choice to make. Either do destructive things knowing that this is you gaining experience and you will have to bear a certain amount of unhappiness and opposition because of this choice, or choose to be happy and then seek out people who can support you in your crusade for happiness. You will not find both and accepting either will help you clear the angst which so plagues you today.

You are selfish, no matter what you might tell yourself and you should accept it. You cannot please everyone so you might as well please yourself. It is alright, you will hurt people just as people will hurt you. Everything balances itself out. You read the Iliad, you know what I am talking about. Either go to war and die young or decide that you will live your life without hoping for a place in history.

If you however choose to be happy, which is an excellent choice and just as important if not more important than being GREAT I want to tell you that you have to stop letting your insecurities affect you so negatively. You have to decide for yourself what you deserve and if the world does not offer you the same, you must be at peace because you made a choice. We are so young and I refuse to believe that our version of perfection (which life will batter down into a more practical form anyway) does not exist. Someday, somewhere you will find the right person. I will not advise you to be like me where you cut yourself off and decide that this is something I will just never do because that is stupid and will eventually someday create regret. Give people chances, like you do but evaluate their behavior on some parameters at least. Don't allow yourself to become a pawn in their story because you are better than that. There are people who deserve forgiveness and then there are those that don't. Just like you and me. I love you so much even today but I now know that any sort of relationship between you and me will only cause me pain eventually because those were the rules we set up. Hence I will take my love and nurse it and hope that some day when I see you in the street, it won't feel as bad as it does today. I am sure that day will come. I cannot let you off the hook now even if you ever asked which you probably won't because I am sure I am the aggressor in your story - not to say that I am a victim in mine.

We are all going to hurt people and will get hurt. That is life. But you can decide whether getting hurt in the same manner again is worth it or not. If you decide it is worth it, then own it stop feeling like someone forced this onto you. We are blessed because we have good families, above average intelligence and healthy bodies. We can afford to have aspirations and ideals. Stop the pity party - and I say this not in a dismissive manner but rather it is my way of saying stop letting your brain take away your agency in your life decisions.

I want to tell you that I KNOW that one day you will be famous and creative and excellent in all respects. What causes anguish today will make you better tomorrow. And I want to tell you that while I cannot offer forgiveness (not that you have asked for it, but I am addressing my version of you here hence I can imagine you feel my side of the events) nor can I say I can forget, I offer you my understanding. All my prayers are with you and I hope to God that you find happiness and peace.

You are better than you can even imagine. You deserve so much more than you let yourself aspire to. I am asking you to believe in yourself because you should. I used to do it for you when we were friends, but now I cannot convince you anymore. If you are brave enough to venture out on your own kicking support systems down, I want you to build the inner fortitude which helps you bear the pain that life will bring. I know you have a lot of friends and I probably give myself too much importance (just as aunty and uncle do regarding my role in your life) but I know you have a habit of fighting with the people who most care about you. It is alright, you are a grown ass girl and you don't need others telling you what you should and should not do. For your sake however, apply the same exacting standards to all the people who you care about but who don't give a fuck about you. It will help you immensely. I hope to God you never have to cry again as you were crying on the phone that day. I am haunted by that sound it broke my heart. Please take care of yourself, because even if you don't feel like it right now you are important to so many people and the world deserves to have you in it at your best.

All the best Isha. I hope someone comforts you right now or you comfort yourself and rebuild the faith you should have in yourself. Take very good care of yourself.