Abby - Brookston, Minnesota
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: forgiveness
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“Everyone thinks that you’re turning into a slut,” she said. “I’m only telling you this ‘cause you’re my best friend, and I want to help you.”

Anyone who knows me knows that this isn’t remotely true. And in seventh grade, I knew this about myself. I asked around, and realized that my “best friend” was the only one who thought this about me. My anger at her lasted about two class periods, and then we were back to being bff’s. But a small part of me wondered, no matter how unlikely it sounded, if she was right.

“I’m worried that you’re turning into a slut. And I’m not the only one.” We were in eighth grade now, and that’s when I became afraid of talking to boys. I mean, if my best friends were that concerned about me turning into a slut, then it most certainly must be true. So I avoided talking to the opposite sex as much as I could, and I was especially rude to those that I knew liked me. I couldn’t disappoint the people I admired most.

“You’re not yourself lately, you’ve changed. I’m worried that you’re gonna turn into a slut.” It was later on that year, and now her opinion was all it took to make me feel like a failure. My self esteem was now so low that I just tried to avoid drawing attention to myself. Along with being called that awful word, I was blamed for fights we had, our relationship drifting apart, and I was often left out. Every argument was inevitably wrapped up with my “I’m sorry” and her “It’s alright, we’ll just hang out more.” Of course this renewal only lasted for a week at most, and then we started drifting again. Years in which you are meant to find yourself were lost to me as I hid.

She moved during the summer before ninth grade. Once she was gone, I began to hate her. She hadn’t treated me like a friend should, and I resented her for everything she had done to me. We only kept in contact for the first few months after she moved, and eventually we stopped talking all together. I found myself blaming her for everything that was wrong in my life. Eventually the hatred dimmed, but there was still the resentment and bitterness. I knew deep down that I couldn’t hold onto these feelings forever, but they gave me an excuse, a scapegoat for my short comings.

I’m now a senior, and only recently have I realized the importance of forgiveness. The bitter feelings I had toward my ex-best friend weren’t helping me; they were doing the opposite. Finally I had realized that I needed to let go. And I did. I no longer think, “I can’t believe she treated me that way.” I can focus on moving on with my life rather than what’s holding me back. I’ve learned the importance of forgiveness, and in this importance I believe.