Speaking of friends though: I had a great time with my friend tonight. Much as I worry about the future, if things will continue to go positively, no matter what nobody can take from me the good vibes I had from hanging with them tonight. Even if the future involves heartbreak. Even if the future involves bitterness. Even if the future involves a souring of relationships. Which can happen at any time or place. Nothing can rob me of the knowledge that tonight was a good night, and I hope all future nights continue to be this good.
I do worry about my friend potentially walking down the wrong path--the same way my friends worry about my decision to remain close to this friend, I imagine. (The irony is not lost on me.) I don't believe that my friend currently IS walking down the wrong path, but I fully worry they WILL walk down the wrong path. All it'd take is a moment of weakness from them, all it'd take is a bad decision, all it'd take is one moment of having chosen a bad path, and suddenly they would have actively renewed all the harm going on.
After all, while I disagree with my friends in believing my friend already has and continues to walk down the wrong path...they are still my friends, no matter how badly I mess up the friendship on my end from my weaknesses. And I place trust in my friends to have valid concerns, even if I believe those concerns aren't going to manifest.
I trust in my friend. But I also have at least some trust for my friends. So while I trust my friend isn't actively walking down a wrong path deliberately, I trust my friends to know what they're talking about in there being a risk my friend would walk down a wrong path.
Obviously, public blog. Can't say too much. Even this is probably pushing boundaries a bit much, and neither side would be particularly happy to learn what I say here, I imagine. (Sorry.)
To some extent, I regret my previous blog entries already, although to some extent I also stand by them. Regardless, the ugly truth of my feelings, complex as they are, shouldn't be deleted from the record even if I'm not proud of them. If my friends read what I've said the last few weeks and are mortified, if my friends read what I've said the last few weeks and are furious at me...even if my feelings are changing with time, I said what I said, and it's against my beliefs to delete having said it.
The choice with what to do with what I said will remain theirs. Whatever they decide would be valid. If they wanted to cut ties, I'd deserve that. If they wanted distance, justified. If they forgave me...they're better humans than I am and I thank them for that. But they owe me nothing. I'm not owed any response at all. Good, bad, none. They owe me nothing, and I am okay with that.
I will say I thoroughly enjoy my time with my friend. Despite my concerns about my friend, nothing will convince me they are not a good person at heart. I don't need to be convinced they've hurt people. They have, I know that, so nobody needs to prove that to me. Knowing they've hurt people, I could be convinced they are likely to continue hurting people. I can be convinced of nearly anything, no matter how mortifying, because there is very little about my friend I wouldn't believe, good or bad.
But, because I believe my friend, no matter what, is still a good person at heart...they are worth keeping as a friend. No matter how badly they have messed up. No matter how much harm they have caused. My friend, as long as they are still a good person at heart, is worth it. I'm not going to say things couldn't be strained. I can, and am, likely to get hurt. If my friend crosses a line and deliberately acts with malice, then it will devastate me. (And yes, I do have concern about them doing precisely that.) I'm not sure even that could truly break the relationship, despite the pain involved. I'd be well within my rights to cut them off at that point, and arguably should. But I'm not sure I would, because if I believe a person can be redeemed, if I believe a person can do better, if I believe a person is still good even if they act in malice...I'm not sure there's any force in the world which can shake my commitment to them.
In many ways, that's a bad habit I picked up from Vee. Vee is ridiculously empathetic and forgiving. She literally forgave a mass-murderer who was, despite her rampage, a good person that made a string of terrible life decisions including unforgivable sins of murder. Vee was capable of forgiving that person because she had a good heart, she wanted to do good but was led astray, she caved to malice but was still someone who could, and ultimately did, do good, despite her past mistakes.
In a similar vein, my friend reminds Vee a lot of that person. Within reason, it doesn't matter what mistakes they make, if they are a good person at heart. I would never justify their actions. I would never downplay their actions. I would never say their actions are okay. I would never say that their actions don't deserve consequences. If they are guilty, they deserve the punishment of being guilty. Yet the punishment of being guilty doesn't require me to cut contact with them.
I realize that attitude jeopardizes my standing with others. How easy would it be for me to defend a monster with that belief? Well personally, I do have a list of unforgivable sins which would violate my trust in a person and anyone monstrous to me would fulfill that, yet my definition of monstrous may not match that of others. So, for someone they see as monstrous yet I see as not...my unwillingness to cut the monstrous individual out of my life would likely condemn me, in some way shape or form.
I don't want that to happen--but I would accept it if it did, because I make my choices, and my choices have consequences, and if I side with someone I shouldn't side with, then I have to live with that mistake. It IS my choice. It IS my decision. So, I will do what I believe to be right. I will always do what I believe to be right. I am not perfect in my judgments. I am not perfect in my belief of what's right. I know my definition of right/wrong is thoroughly alien to most people. Yet, I still live by my moral compass, and let it dictate my actions.
And that moral compass says if I have a friend who is a good person--help them. No matter what. No matter the circumstances. As long as they're not guilty of the unforgivable sins, no crime is something worthy of outright cutting them out. I might be hurt by them. I might be upset by them. I would make my feelings known, and if they didn't value those feelings they might slip into becoming guilty of one of the unforgivable sins. Yet as long as they don't slip into the unforgivable sins, I, personally, can forgive them, no matter how terrible their crime is.
If a good person truly wants to do good, then I will support them. The only way I can lose faith is if I lose faith they truly want to do good, and/or that they are a good person. But this path I've chosen...it's not going to be an easy one. It likely will get me in big trouble. Big, big trouble down the line.
I'll certainly hope it doesn't. I'd prefer if it didn't. Because I'd prefer for anyone I would go to bat for to genuinely reform, refine their life and rebuild it to be healthier and free of the prior harm they caused. Yet if they continue to cause harm and if, despite their harm, I don't lose faith in them trying to do good...then I will be protecting someone that is in the current moment being malicious, making me an accessory to their malice, and thus fully justifiably punishable as an accomplice to their crimes.
As long as it doesn't happen, though. I am cautiously optimistic I might be able to repair my damaged friendships. Reconciling that I am still the friend of the friend in need, while also a friend to my friends in conflict with the friend in need, is something which I might currently not be able to do...but I believe with time, it can be done in the future. Will that happen? Who's to say? Maybe things go horribly wrong. It's quite likely. I've never had a good lot in life, and I can't control how others act. If things go south, if things get worse than they already are, then that hope of mine likely never manifests.
Still. While it might not happen for any number of reasons. I maintain hope it could happen. That I CAN be friends with the friend in need, while also being a friend to my friends. Maybe it doesn't happen. Right now it's still possible, and I will strive to make it a reality.
My friend deserves a chance to live their life, even after all the harm happening right now. Even if they messed up badly in the future, worse than they already have, this would remain true, because my friend is still a good person, no matter how flawed, no matter how much malice they cause.
My friends deserve respect, and to do what they need to do to avoid further harm coming to them. I can still be friends with them, as long as I respect their boundaries.
Those two can and do coexist.
I plan to continue having good times with my friend. The feelings within me from our hangouts together are something I've not felt the joy of for years. They make me happy. Despite all the issues. Despite everything. I am happy when they are around. I worry for them, because I worry that they could very easily choose the wrong path in life, a hurtful path, despite my recommendations trying to steer them towards a path of healing free of such malice and harm. But no matter how valid or invalid that fear, at least right now, they bring me a level of glee indescribable.
If and when all parties are ready for it, I plan to continue being friends with my friends.
And regardless of what the future may hold, I intend to continue living my own life regardless. I got a spirit guide reading this year, and received some advice. To be on the lookout for glass stones. To pick up sticks. To gaze at the stars. To go outside, be in nature. To pick up calligraphy. I know my guides have my back. I may not know what to do with my friend, I may not know what to do with my friends, but regardless of what the future may hold, I will continue to live my life to the fullest, and to try and live by my morals, doing what I believe is right even if literally everyone else believes it's the wrong thing.
Part of that reading was also saying to think more kindly of myself. I do have a real knack for describing myself as a monster. I genuinely believe I am, my own actions today prove I am. (To some extent, deliberately so. While I made a genuine mistake, I still acted monstrously, because I thought it was important to give a glimpse to my friends of how monstrous I can be, to make them believe me. I thought letting them see with actions rather than just words how I'm a monster would be good longterm, but in hindsight, I was probably just meaninglessly hurtful.)
I thoroughly believe that if judged for my actions, my beliefs, my chosen course in life, my thoughts, my viewpoints, my everything...that the answer really is I am a monster. But to respect the wishes of my guides, I'll try to soften it, and instead say:
If people view me as a monster, they are well within their rights to have done so. That viewpoint is valid, and justified.
But regardless of whether I am a monster or not, I still intend to live my life, and to live it doing the best I can.