I like to consider myself a good friend. It's definitely on my list of priorities for things to work on, and I think it's one of the most important things to be good at. I think that may be why it's pretty upsetting that I've found myself in a situation where being a good friend, or really a friend at all, is a bad idea.
I had this friend, see. Two friends, really. Perfectly nice people, well meaning, did fun things with me. But they were very very bad for me. Not bad for me in the peer pressure sense or anything, but when I was with them, I got caught up in subjects and ways of thinking that are very negative for me. It didn't seem to matter how hard I tried, or how many times we agreed that we would all try to be slightly more positive. I would spend time with these friends, and end up having to squeeze black guck back out of my brain for the next three days. Even chatting with them over email changes me a bit. I have, reluctantly, come to the conclusion that I need to cut the connection.
This is probably something that happens to everyone, and perhaps the more clueful out there figure it out in middle school. In fact, it may have happened to me before too, and I just didn't notice. I lose track of people from time to time, either through subconscious avoidance or because I'm super lazy about keeping in touch with people.
It's particularly hard on one of the two friends (ex-friends, I guess), who will be having a tough couple of months. I'd really like to stick with her, at least until this hard part is over. If nothing else, ditching her makes me feel like a rotten friend. I can argue self preservation (and in fact I'm arguing it right here), but the fact remains that if I were better at ... well, something, I would be working on being an active part of her life. Someone work out what it is that I need to be better at, so that I can at least beat myself up about something specific.
See? Even blogging about them brings it on. Self defense, I swear it!