My Best Friend
I have never had a problem connecting with people or making friends. But most of the time, I have kept those connections shallow. I am very protective of who I am and I am very careful with not oversharing too much. A lot of it has to do with past negative experiences, but also with that I generally don’t trust people. At this point, I don’t have a lot of of friends around me in real life, and the few that I have, I don’t have close connections with. They are more like party friends, than someone who I would call at 3 AM when I am having a breakdown.
A true friend is for me someone who I can trust, who doesn’t judge me and who I can have a give and take relationship with. I don’t want to be taken care of, and I don’t want to be the caretaker. I want to just be friends with someone with whom I can have an equal connection. And that is hard to come by. And with all my health issues, it is really difficult to not end up in a position where I am inferior, judged or where I constantly feel guilty for not being like everyone else. There is just a lot of shame involved in being who I am. So it is easier to just not let people too close to me, and stick with the shallow connections that I have now.
But of course I have the strong need to socialize. I am great at socializing, really, despite my social anxiety. I am easy to talk to, I can be fun, I can hold conversations and I have been told more than once that I come across as warm and as interesting. One friend once said that I have a certain aura that draws people to me. So I don’t think the issue is that I am largely unlikable.
The issue is that I have made the decision to not get close anyone because I am too scared to be the problem, to be the weird one, to be judged. That of course leaves me incredibly lonely, especially because I don’t have any close friends online either anymore. A lack of communication from my side is definitely a reason for that. I tend to have a hard time to reply to people when I am struggling.
My Best Friend A
That is what the now looks like. But it has not always been like that. I have had huge circles of shallow friends both in Germany and Sweden, coming from all sorts of walks of life. And then there was my best friend. A. I had close friends before, like very close friends that I did everything with. But A was different. She was the kind of friend that I could call at 3 AM in the morning when having a breakdown and she would come over with a bottle of wine and some smokes. Then we would sit down for the rest of the night, listen to music, drink, smoke and hug, cry and talk. She was that sort of friend.
I met her when I was 17 years old. She was 15 years older than me, and really bad-ass. Everything about her was bad-ass. Honestly, that woman had attitude and style. She was goth and knew exactly what to wear, how to style herself and just had a sort of aura that makes you lose your breath for a second. She was beautiful. And she was sassy! Like, no one could ever push her down. There was quite a few people in the goth-scene that didn’t like her because they felt that she came across as a bitch. I never felt it was that way. She was just very good with boundaries.
I was intimidated by her first. She was beautiful, she knew how to do goth right. And she was loud, and seemed so confident. She was independent. And she was so sexual! She could get anyone she wanted and had quite the reputation as the “cougar”. Honestly, in all the years I knew her, she must have slept with hundreds of people, and they were almost all younger than her. I didn’t judge her for that. I wanted to be like her.
The closer we got, the more I understood why she had such a strong sassy attitude. She got kicked out of her parents’ place when she was 16 years old and ended up on the streets. She had to go into sex work to survive and had to go through a lot of terrible experiences. When she finally got off the streets, she had a low-paying job that she eventually got laid off from when her boyfriend at the time suddenly died of an overdose and she couldn’t focus on work anymore. Well, let’s just say that she had had a pretty messed up life.
I have so many beautiful memories with her. The times we went out partying, when we traveled through Europe to go to concerts and festivals, hanging out and laughing. Watching her sew and be creative. She created all her dresses, she was an absolutely amazing artist. And eventually she worked as a teacher who taught underprivileged kids that skill of sewing.
I also remember the times when she defended me against people who tried to bully me. When she brought me food when I was in depression and couldn’t get out of bed. When she met me at the supermarket so we could do our weekly shopping together because I was too anxious to do it on my own. Or when I took care of her when she had the flu, or when her dad was hospitalized and died. We were incredibly close. And that closeness even stayed when I moved to Sweden. We had weekly calls, we chatted all the time.
I was back in Germany for two months or in 2014, because my marriage at the time was going really badly, she was there for me. Every day she came to visit me at my mum’s place and we talked for hours. When I told her about my mental illnesses, or when I called her because I was freaked out at the psychiatric hospital, she didn’t judge. She responded: “Ah, come on, I have always known that you were fucked up, we just didn’t have a name for it. You are still the same person.”. I saw her every day for about six weeks, but managed to piss her off during my last days there because my husband came to Germany to fetch me and I gave all my attention to him. I cancelled on her the night before him and I traveled back to Sweden.
She was my best friend. I say was, because today, exactly four years ago, on January 24th 2016, she died. She had been in the hospital for five days, for respiratory issues. They found out that she was in the late stages of lungcancer, and only had a few days left to live. And that became a reality. I somehow am relieved that she didn’t have to live with those news for long, and the anxiety that comes along with it. And I know that she was with friends when she died. I regret not being there, or being able to afford to fly back to Germany for the funeral.
I lost my best friend. And ever since then, my life has been a lot bleaker. Whenever I have something fun happening, I want to tell her. Whenever something bad is happening, I want to tell her. And when I play one of our favourite songs, and I dance along to it, I remember dancing to that song in the club with her. So I close my eyes, and I imagine her dancing next to me again. In her lace skirt, her corset, her high heels and her long black hair. I miss her. And I don’t think I ever want to have a best friend again. Losing one hurts too much.