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  • leesaamarie

I was there to play a part, not to be a part of...2024

Updated: May 5

Dear Friend When It Serves You,

It feels different now. You show up different now. Wait, actually did you really ever show up at all? If I am being honest, I don't know that you really ever did. You only reached out when you needed me. When you needed something. When you needed my voice, my heart, my ear, my connections, my time, my presence, my space, my advice, my experience, my protection, my laughter, my love. You showed up when you needed me to remind you that you are enough.

In the ever-turning carousel of gatherings and instances of emotional need, you continuously sought me out to be your voice, your guide, an ear, and your architect of joyous moments. I have been viewed through the lens of the next festivity, the forthcoming chance, the impending counsel needed for life advice. Like a beacon that flickers just when the night is darkest, my presence was hailed; a guiding star summoned not for the constancy of its light but for the brief brilliance it could bestow upon YOU. In this dance of convenience, I shimmered transiently, a fleeting brilliance serving your needs. I was a tool used to give you the strength to believe for yourself that you are enough.

And now I reflect back and write this letter not out of bitterness, but from a place of clarity after resurrecting myself from the depths of deep hurt and confusion that has shadowed my heart for too long. Always knowing me as someone who prides herself on being loyal, direct, honest, and transparent—the one who says what others may shy away from or simply do not have courage to say themselves. You told me countless times how much you valued these qualities in me, calling me a "great friend" only to use these same qualities to vilify me in order to justify my absence to yourself. To give your conscious a reprieve from the guilt of knowing you only really thought of me as this “great friend” when it suited you. It’s only now I am realizing that this appreciation was often fleeting, conditional and based on how my candor could serve you because, where are you now? Now that you no longer need my voice or my time? Now that you no longer need me to stand up for you, beside you, letting everyone know that you are enough.

You seemingly have no use for me now, but I know it is not bravery that set you free. I know this because you are not even brave enough to discard me completely or at the very least tell me yourself that I am no longer needed. You are unable to offer me the same honesty and transparency I have always given you. You would rather quietly pack me away just in case you need your "great friend" once more. It pains me deeply to acknowledge that once your need for my straightforwardness waned, so too did your recognition of my value not just as a friend, but as a person. As a human. As someone who has stood by you. Who has shown up for you. Who has cared for you. For years.

The pattern became painfully clear: included when useful, forgotten when not. Events would come and go, and I would hear of them from a distance or painstakingly watching on instagram, wondering why my phone remained silent after so many years of going out of my way to be inclusive. The message was clear; I was there to play a part, not to be a part of.

Each act of exclusion felt like a deliberate erasure of the bonds I thought we shared. It was incredibly hurtful and only taught me to build walls and guard my trust as though it were a finite resource, dwindling with each dismissal. These barriers, erected from hurt and confusion, bred a quiet resentment within me, a shadow that was so hard to shake.

Despite the pain, my actions never wavered. I showed up for you every time you called, because to me, that is what it means to be a friend; to show up in the worst times, not just the best. Friendship is not a faucet to be turned on when the waters of honesty are needed and shut off when the drought of convenience sets in. It is a steady stream, constant and unwavering.

Perhaps the most ironic part of this whole experience is that despite the hurt, I still care. I still love you. I would still show up for you because abandoning someone when they need me is a concept as foreign to me as the cold silences I've often received. I show up because I still believe in the possibility of genuine connections that survive the ebb and flow of what we can take from each other.

This letter serves as a beacon of hope…a hope that one day the roles we play in each other's lives can transcend utility and convenience, a hope that all friendships can be real and whole, not conditional and fragmented.

This letter serves as a reminder to myself that I AM ENOUGH and I don’t need anyone to validate that for me.

And lastly, in case you were wondering; yes, this letter is about YOU.

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