A post from our Community Correspondent Robert Terry
Friends drift in and out of your life, stay for a while or disappear for months or years and when they return, a true friend will always be welcome.
They lift your mood when none other can. They’re the only one who can say how it is, explaining in simple terms why you’re being a d*ck. They help you define your self-identity as you do for them. They nudge you to look beyond what and where you are now, in life.
Being a lifelong outsider I have to take chance when it comes to making more than just a person’s acquaintance. I don’t know how many times I’ve suffered betrayals of every kind, possessions stolen or damaged with malicious intent, as though you were never more than a stranger.
Rough times and hard lessons for learning, but when you don’t know any other life, how do you know it is wrong? Over time your realise your experience contrasts with how things should be .
What should have been lessons in life become ingrained patterns of self-destructive behaviour, continually gravitating toward the next group of users, bullies and abusers. You don’t understand your patterns of behaviour but recognise the familiar errors of judgement. Breaking these habits requires solitude and self-understanding, but not everyone is taught to think for themselves.
Or you lose faith, awaiting the knife, testing emotional bonds and the limits of give and take; testing the grounds for pal and mate. Always testing gets you barred from intimacy. Now twice abandoned and socially isolated many times over, is it a wonder that a person can fall toward the bad crowd?
Could a person invest and reinvest such time, effort and emotional risk in a stranger, having previously been wounded?
What redeeming factors would make them worth it? Is anyone worth risking your wellbeing for? Of course, the answer is yes to taking a risk on friends.
I reckon there would be more harm in our modern world if nobody was willing to take a risk of losing your faith in trust.