I could just say this directly in one of the many tearful phones calls or distraught text messages I've received from you, instead of through an online forum you never read, but the sad fact is that I'm sure that, in either case... you won't hear me. No matter what I say or how I say it, you never seem to hear me.
So, let's start there. You don't hear me. Then, there's the fact that you don't listen to me. Note the distinction between hearing and listening:
* You don't hear me because our worldviews are SO different that it's like we're speaking different languages. Your outlook and mine are fatally incompatible.You don't respect what I have to say (those few times that you "hear" me), so you don't bother to listen. If you don't respect what I have to say, then you don't respect me.
* You don't listen to me, which simply requires your attention on me and what I have to say. There's another word for it. It's called "respect."
Respect is like love. You can have love FOR someone and you can show love TO someone. Both are important, but if you don't actively show your love for another person, as far as s/he is concerned, it does not exist.
Your respect is for me, at best. You don't respect me by cutting me off, ignoring me, waiting for your turn to talk, calling me "nigga," disregarding my woes while harping on your own, etc.
A number of factors contributed to the demise of our friendship. Maybe many of them sound petty to some, but the biggest one, of all, was the way that you'd disrespect yourself. You'd consistently disrespect yourself, even going so far as to put yourself and your daughter in harm's way, and then expect me to listen to and respect your repeated rationalizations.
I'm pretty sure there are scores of people out there who think I'm a bad friend for not being able to deal with the constant worry about my friend of over a decade and her daughter whom I've known since she was about four-years-old. Maybe those people are right, but it doesn't change the fact that I cannot deal with all of this anymore.
Like lovers, we've had "breaks" and "separations" where we no longer shared the deepest and most shallow parts of our lives with one another, but like lovers, there comes a time when one must consider the possibility that things can't go on that way anymore.
I'm very introspective and have considered what elements of myself I would have to change in order to retain and maintain our friendship. I've even tried some - and failed.
You have told me time and again, usually regarding a disagreement you had with someone else, that you are who you are and you. are. not. changing.
You've said this to me enough for me to believe it.
I hope you believe me when I end this the way I began it - by telling you that you remain in my thoughts and continue to have a place in my heart, despite the painful fact that there's no longer a place for you in my life or me in yours.