Recently I got a message from a friend saying she was back in town for the foreseeable future, working just along from me, and wanted to meet up for friendly drinks.
What she doesn’t know is that about 4 years prior, at a low point when I was struggling (and losing, badly) against debilitating depression, shame and self-loathing, I developed a terrible, terrible case of oneitis for her after some awkward, post-night-out kissing. That was all it took to prompt me into an obsession that kept on for nearly two years. On the surface I was her awkward grumpy friend she once had a slip-up with, who she liked getting drunk and being weird with. But underneath, I was deeply unhappy, lonely, neurotic, having suicidal thoughts and obsessing over her every day. Oh, and we were work colleagues!
It was fucked, but thankfully things changed. She moved away, I started therapy, my life got a little better, slowly. I didn’t see her for a long time. I still thought about her sometimes, but when I heard she had started a serious relationship I was happy to have another reason to put her out of my mind. When a mutual friend tried to tell me they’d broken up, I just didn’t want to know. I just kept making progress, getting better at making the most of the ups and recovering from the downs. I still having a nonexistent love life and a shitty job, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made, because I’ve started learning how to value my own feelings and enjoy being me, in spite of everything.
But now that she’s back and I’m staring down the idea of seeing her again, I’m realising that I never fully cured my oneitis, and I still feel inadequate when I think about seeing her. My mental health has taken a bit of a dive as a result. I know I don’t want to be with her but I’m still really attracted to her. I feel like I couldn’t possibly be myself around her. I feel like her opinion of me matters more than my own, like I need to please her but never could. Which is insane, because I haven’t felt this subservient to anyone else I’ve had feelings for, and because she was always a loving, supportive friend to me. It almost feels like I’m getting dragged backwards to that darker time in my life, just as I was learning how to trust myself.
What I want most is to stop worrying and just be as honest as possible with a view towards getting out of each other’s lives so I can let go of how I feel about her once and for all. After all that time apart it hardly feels like much of a loss. But I feel like a part of me is worried about hurting someone who was always just a kind, supportive friend, while another is scared of being judged by her. I’m also worried I won’t be able to properly explain this to her, or that it won’t give me the closure I’m hoping for, or that I’ll just be making the wrong move entirely.
The added kicker is that she isn’t to blame for any of this, and has no idea I ever felt this way. Every day we saw each other, I was lying about how I felt. I’m definitely ashamed of it, and kind of scared of making it all real by talking about it.
I suppose what I’m asking is, what’s the best way for me to resolve this thing and put old obsession behind me?
Link to The Past