This hasn't been a good year for Gavin friendships.

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I'm not good with change. It scares me to the point of often avoiding itt. Sadly, sometimes change is out of my control. This past New Year's Eve, I was informed that two of my best friends were going to be moving away by year's end. This was an announcement that I was unprepared for. I reacted like I normally do when something like this happens: I pretended everything was OK while slowly distancing myself from said friends.

I've dealt with friends moving away before so it wasn't new to me. People move away. However, I'm not the type of person who is optimistic that "things aren't gonna change and everything is gonna be fine!" That's not me. I'm realistic (albeit on the side of pessimistic) about these situations. When you put 6 hours between you and your friends, things are going to change.

Without going into too many details, there was a huge falling out with another member of the group (who decided he was going to move with the other two) involving some inappropriate things said to someone outside the group about me. This essentially became the cataclysm for a group-wide falling out.

When someone says something awful about you, especially in your inner circle of friends, you'd expect the group to step up and have your back. Sadly, that didn't happen. Because of my attitude towards everyone moving, I was met with indifference to the point of being alienated. In their defense, I had decided to remove myself from any group activity that the problematic person was going to be a part of. To my dismay, this ended with me spending a lot of time at home alone and later seeing photos of my best friends hanging out with someone who I no longer associated with.

I don't want to give people ultimatums, but when the choice is easy, it shouldn't be an issue. I still attempted to patch things up with the remaining members of the group who I was good with, but again, my attempts at friendship weren't reciprocated. So many of the issues that were had could have been solved by a text message, but alas, that never happened. My feelings weren't being taken into consideration, even after I had verbalized this.

Yesterday, one of my closest friends in the group decided that our friendship was now over. And that really hurt. Sadly, it was expected as this person has a hard time having empathy for anyone who doesn't react how they would. Their judgment had been a constant part of contention throughout our friendship.

Are the previous 400+ words just a way for me to escalate drama or somehow get back at them? is this a way for me to martyr myself and show that my feelings are ultimately the most important in any given situation? That's not my intention. I recognize that I could've handled things better. I know that my insecurities and jealousy pushed them away. I was protecting myself. I don't want to feel hurt, so instead I pushed them away like they didn't matter. I was hurting too.

My goal is to let you know that it's going to be OK. If you have people in your friend group who won't go to bat for you when things get rough, you have to wonder why you're associating with those people? Just because you've handled the toxicity of a friendship for this long, doesn't mean you have to continue carrying that burden.

Surround yourself with people who actively want to be in your life. They far outweigh those that are there just because. In the aftermath of all of this, I've been able to cultivate and grow existing friendships, as well as make new ones. While you can't replace the friendships that you've lost, you can make new ones that are fulfilling. There will always be a place in your heart for the friendships you've lost, but you have to accept that maybe everyone involved is better off. While I'm hurt that the most recent friendship is over, I just hope that, in time, this person can come to terms that they aren't always blameless and sometimes apologizing, even if they see no reason to do so, can fix a lot of issues. And I hope the person that said the awful thing about me grows up and figures out that the world doesn't work the way he thinks it does.

In conclusion: I'm going to be fine. You'll be fine, too. Give your friendship to those that deserve it.