Our memories can be spotty, until it comes to how someone’s wronged us. That’s when people can develop a photographic-like memory; and not just remember what you did, but who was there and what you were all wearing where you standing and what you were eating. Scientific studies have proven that people tend to fixate more on negative experiences, that’s why when people hurt you you can remember things well. If you’re lucky, you might get an apology from the person who caused you pain; however, there are times when you feel like you are owed an apology that never comes. What happens then? What about when you cut that person out of your life and they pop back in as if they are ignorant to the pain they caused you?
The world is a lot smaller than we realize. It seems that almost every week you can run into someone in your past or someone who is connected to your past and it brings up all types of memories. For me, I love seeing people from my past. I try my best to keep “my name good in these streets,” and usually end on a good note with almost anyone who has crossed my path. However, there have been a few moments when running into someone, or seeing someone has brought back unpleasant feelings that led this normally talkative person to become extremely quiet.
I’ll be completely transparent with you at this moment, this is something that I’m dealing with now. I learned that a person I thought was a friend had bogusly used me. Her presence has been, in a sense, almost haunting me. Both of our professions have just recently intertwined and I’m seeing her a lot more than I had hoped.
I struggle with trying to figure out what’s the best way to handle the situation. Do I confront her? Do I ignore her? Just pretend that she doesn’t exist? What about when we both interact with mutual friends and I have to see her?
While weighing my options, I’ve realized that confronting her about how she hurt me isn’t going to accomplish anything. At the very least I’ll get that annoying, passive comment of : “Well, I’m sorry you feel hurt,” which I feel is a way that people absolve their own feelings and put the blame on you for being so weak to not let them get away from walking all over you. At the best I could get a sincere apology, but with my photographic memory of how I found out that our friendship was nothing but a sham will constantly play in my mind, and no real friendship can develop from that, because I will constantly be wondering if she’s faking or not (because she was extremely convincing when we were best friends).
For me, I had to put things in a way that would help me to let it go. First, I had to accept that ‘L.’ That friendship was a loss, and no matter how many times I replay what happened, and the times that I overlooked red flags is not going to propel me back in time as if I’m in a DeLorean and could change what happened.
Second, I had to remember that as perfectly that I can remember what she did to me, that there is someone undoubtedly remembering something that I did to them. As much as I would like to believe that “my name is good in these streets,” I know that I’m not perfect and that I have made bad decisions based off of emotion rather than logic and have conveniently forgotten about the hurt that I’ve caused others.
Finally, I had to learn that I have to get closure on my own. Closure is a luxury, not anything that is guaranteed to us. Holding on to something to get an apology later is only hurting yourself. Those moments of: “I just need to talk to him/her, and let them know how they hurt me. I feel like if I let them know then I’ll feel better.” Honestly, most of the time that backfires, because sometimes you don’t get the response that you were hoping for, and it makes you relive those feelings.
Now, I’m not an expert, but these are things that I remember when my ex-friend’s beautiful face pops back in my life, these things help me to accept the things that I cannot change, and develop the wisdom I need to know the difference. I’m not there yet, but I know I’ll soon be in a serene place.
Apologies are a luxury, so are new shoes. Talk Kendra Koger out of buying a new pair on her twitter @kkoger.