I used to have this small group of friends that I grew up with through Year 7-9. I felt like we were all soul-mates, we understood each other and could completely be myself around them. They were my only friends when I used to have social anxiety.
When I was in Year 10 I started to feel different from them. I felt really disconnected; like we were insanely growing apart. A lot of things about them started to annoy me and I realised that one of these friends isn’t actually much of a good person (I’ll call her Anna) They never made much of an effort with catching up together, it was always me who organised most things. I started feeling tired of this, so stopped trying to catch up with them regularly. So because I had a lot more alone time I truly began to discover who I was. I realised how different I was to these people and they then felt like strangers.
Since I overcame my social anxiety, I have turned into a confident person. But I still have trouble being my full self around others. So I hung onto the memories of how the friendship used to be and I still hung out with them and hoped eventually things would get back to normal. The more I tried, the worse it got. I felt like whenever I was with them my personality would just shut down and I would turn into a grumpy anti-social person.
Over the holidays I met these new friends who I absolutely love. I feel so much happier around them and more like me. Realising how it’s best to move on from my old friends, I still felt bad abandoning them. So I still tried hanging out with them at lunch, but every time I was with them I instantly turned into a sad person again. Eventually, I stopped hanging out with them altogether.
A month later, one of my friends messaged me asking why I stopped hanging with them. She then told me how she felt about it and how she just wants me to try, but I then told her I felt. I feel released but still uneasy as I feel she didn’t really understand why I acted strange around them and I now fear I look like a horrible person. Especially since my new friends are in a higher social ranking.
I’m still part of a group chat with them, I feel rude if I just leave so I put it on mute and only read things sometimes. Anna something that frustrated me. So I commented about it, but in a joking way. She took it seriously and trying causing a fight while venting about her problems. I tried ending the argument as I wanted to avoid fights, since I was still trying to move on without feeling bad. All my other friends took her side which made me feel upset and further like a bad person.
I haven’t written anything replying to what everyone said because I know things will get ugly and I also don’t know how to reply. I just want to move on from them in good terms but I’m having a lot of trouble letting go of how they are now making me feel. I’ve tried blocking it out, reminding myself how I don’t like them anymore but it doesn’t work. I really just want to leave the chat but I fear that will make me look even worse.