solo in sydney

Unfriended and Replaced
October 11, 2013, 1:37 am
Filed under: dear diary


In between what can only be described as weeping, he meekly asked if we could remain friends.

“Of course,” I said, and he pulled me closer and cried some more.

It wasn’t long before we weren’t friends anymore, at least in Facebook terms (which are admittedly tenuous at best).

I only realised I’d been unfriended when, courtesy of his unconventionally expressed name (in non-Roman alphabet characters) I attempted to navigate to his name via mutual friends and realised, with a shock, that he was listed as little more than someone with whom I had friends in common. It could have been anything from 6 months to a year later, but after so many years together, it felt raw.

I hovered over the Friend Request button for quite some time before clicking away and closing the window in a blur of unwelcome tears.

My intention of briefly shooting him a cordial message asking him if it was at all possible to ship one of my abandoned items soon resulted in an all-out Facebook stalking episode that would have intimidated most investigative reporters.

We had been friendly. We had wished each other the best. We had posted birthday greetings and even caught up just before Christmas, where both pleasantries and gifts were exchanged. We had recognised that we had once loved each other, but that time had passed. I thought we had truly managed the impossible feat of becoming “just friends”.

But suddenly, unexpectedly, our friendship was over. It didn’t take me long to find visual proof of precisely why that was – he had moved on.

I had been replaced.

She looked very much like I had in my earliest days with J. Same hair colour, same hair style, same eyes, same skin tone – we even shared some more unusual facial features.

I irrationally felt myself wondering if the hotly-contested wall clock had been replaced just as soon as I had been.

It wasn’t difficult to piece together, through our many continued mutual friends and their many shared photographs, that my “replacement” now lived with J, in the very home we had  shared together for many years.

I’m not sure if recognising my old home was quite as painful as realising how many changes had occurred since I’d left, even at a superficial level. Different prints on the wall, different furniture, different layouts. I wondered if my name was still on the lease.

For a long time, it hurt desperately. I felt that after so many years together, after being the first person he’d ever loved, I had been replaced so easily, so seamlessly. His life went on, whilst mine felt like it had been ripped out from under me.

Even now, years later, it still stings. But looking through old photos of us together, and thinking about our old life, I’ve slowly come to realise that no matter how much I loved him at the time, that time has also passed.

We are both in better places for knowing that we now seek love, support and acceptance from those who can give it to us without hesitation, without caveats.

And yet, it still hurts.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

My heart goes our to you in your grief and heartache. I wish you peace and the ability to move on too so your feelings become memories rather than pain. You seem such an incredible strong person and I wish for your happiness xx

Comment by Tanya

Thank you Tanya. I like to think I’ve moved on but strangely, as time goes on, I find myself thinking more and more about J, and what went wrong, and what I could have done to fix or avoid it.

On the whole, I don’t feel that I miss J for the majority of my day-to-day life, but it’s usually when I’m feeling especially low that I feel the need to write and reflect, and that usually defaults to wondering what went wrong with him and I.

Hopefully I’ll just eventually accept that we were a terribly bad fit for each other and we’re better off far, far apart.

Comment by soloinsydney

i can’t express how glad and relieved i was to search for your blog and see that you had been posting again recently. several times over the last two years i have checked in to see how you were doing but was always disheartened when you hadn’t posted. having suffered with depression badly myself i can totally understand the need to take time out to re-build yourself and i am just thankful that you are safe and in a better frame of mind now.

as difficult as it is, keep looking forwards lovely, don’t look back.

all my love x

Comment by nostalgia.

Thank you so much for this. I really have tried to focus on looking forward, but whenever I’m down I find myself instinctively looking back and wondering what went wrong. I know that too much of this can be destructive, but at the same time there’s a level of reflection that’s needed if I’m to avoid the same mistakes again. One day I hope to get the balance right!

x Cat

Comment by soloinsydney

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