I once had a friendship that I thought would never end.
She was one of those people who seemed to truly listen, loved to encourage, you know, a real friend.
During the time she knew me I was full of life, full of God, full of vigor.
There was nothing that I experienced, wanted, or owned that I wouldn’t share with or give her.
The gratitude in my heart for this friendship was sincerely immense.
I felt protective of it, loyal to a fault, and enjoyed our time without a shred of pretense.
I’ve never been a girl’s girl per say, but I’ve always known the power of connection.
You only need one or two true friends to stave off the confusion of the world’s misdirection.
Then one day I felt the chill of a dastardly change of season.
The person I’d come to love no longer looked like herself; her heart had changed without a reason.
At least without a reason she ever shared with me.
Instead I watched powerless as she turned into someone I would never want to be.
She stole from me in more ways than could ever be expressed.
She took not only money and possessions; she took my trust, my secrets, and my best.
The sting from that season finally melted away not long ago.
But when I surveyed my heart the damage done was real and had healed so very slow.
What made the wounds take such a journey to heal is hard to explain.
It had something to do with the theft of my personality, my wisdom, the life experience I’d taken 30 years to gain.
I watched as conversations and wisdom I shared with her in private,
became the basis for her new identity and I had no choice but to keep quiet.
Keep quiet for fear of looking absolutely narcissistic and insane.
“Someone stole your personality, your life, your experience?! Really? What would they gain?”
The answer to that last question is hard to answer, perhaps not my job at all.
What does someone gain when they try to be who they clearly aren’t but the charade is bought by all?
Only she and I know the truth of who she says she is today.
And if you’re wondering if she knows what she’s doing, the last we spoke she said, “you made me this way”.
I rejected that statement as soon as it was ignorantly spoken.
Her cruel version of me being blamed on me was manipulation and left me heartbroken.
My life and experience is mine alone and no gimmick to be recreated.
I didn’t share my truth with her to see it repackaged in her logo and poorly translated.
But clearly this poem is me saying I’ll no longer be quiet and take it on the chin.
If all I can do is write about what was stolen then I’ll write about it again and again.
No one makes you steal from them, my old friend.
No one can make you become someone entirely new.
What you’ve done is yours alone, it’s a hole you dug, and it’s created wholly by you.
You have frankenstein-ed yourself into a rough draft version of me.
And your discomfort will only continue to grow until you finally let go and be free.
Yes, I truly want your freedom and don’t possess in my heart any ill intent.
But please stop passing off my words as your wisdom, you do not have my consent.
Sit with yourself and find your true voice, like you used to do with me…just listen.
The person you were was wonderful and kind; I don’t know why you’ve abandoned her and replaced her with this exhibition.
Did you think becoming like me would open doors for you that would better your life?
Has it worked? Or are you realizing it’s quite a lot of work to maintain living a lie?
I want you to find peace and rest in your real authentic truth.
And I want you to give back everything you stole from me in your youth.
Deception, betrayal and masking only takes us so far.
Their shelf life is short but their consequences can be stunningly bizarre.
Ahhh, that feels better to let it all out in public.
I’ve kept it in for so long, at times I felt I’d be sick to my stomach.
Come to think of it, there are many pains in my life that I’ve kept locked up inside.
Writing this out is making me wonder if it’s time to let loose all that’s been forced to hide.
But for now let me confess your betrayal made me never want to have another friend.
I thought it best to close myself off, unwilling to trust anyone for fear of another traumatizing end.
Yet as time has gone on I see now that I can in fact still trust.
Not everyone listens to copy, in fact those now around me are honest, loyal, and just.
Which helps make it possible to live pain free; scars now fully healed.
And a voice that went silent for years now ready to be confidently revealed.
Sometimes telling the truth doesn’t feel kind.
But facts don’t care about your feelings I’m told, so I trust it’ll all smooth out over time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your time playacting, passing off my revelations as your own for the crowd.
But I’m back now, baby. You are now well and truly disavowed.
What you’ve stolen I take back in full.
Everything of mine that you claim I return to me.
Our paths intersected for a brief time but forever now we’ll walk separately.
While I may never get the reconciliation and remorse that I have long deserved,
I won’t and don’t withhold the forgiveness that you have never earned.
But that’s the thing about forgiveness, isn’t it?
We give it regardless of true apology and repair.
We give it because it sets us free and freedom for all is my only prayer.