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thick skin

So this happened today. I found out that someone who ghosted me during the summer of 2020 (after telling me to get professional help when I admitted to them I was going through a hard time) has been telling people in our circle of friends and acquaintances that we “no longer have a friendship”. I don’t know if they have been saying WHY (which might actually interest me since I was never told) or whatever else is a part of their own personal gossipy drama around this, but fuck this sucks.

I mean, I was way over the fact that this person had decided not to be friends any more. Because who needs friends like that? BUT I MEAN, to have this affect my professional life to the point where an event organiser felt they had to “warn” me that this person would also be in attendance… you know, just to avoid an “uncomfortable situation”. I was totally taken aback. I know the organiser meant well, that their heart was in the right place, and that’s fine. But the fact that they even knew, or thought they knew, that there might be some ISSUE between me and someone I’ve had no contact with for almost a year and a half… well, that takes some constant stoking of the ol’ gossip machine. But why?

I’ll be honest that this hurt me. Felt like hot stabby knives in my heart and I’ve spent the afternoon in tears. It’s a feeling of betrayal somehow. Not because this person no longer wanted to be friends, because I realised later on they were never actually a friend. I was just useful to them for awhile. But what is it with the social backstabbing and gossipy shit? Why would someone feel a need to do that? Why am I such a threat to them?

Anyone who actually knows me also knows that I am a rather complicated and (so I am told) sometimes challenging person. Apparently this is also a part of what makes me “interesting”. But those same people, those very few who actually know me, also know what a vulnerable quivering insecure mess I am most days. Sure, I’ve learned how to pretend I have thick skin, have learned how to appear strong when it’s the last thing I am feeling… but most of the time it’s like I have no skin at all. So how do I go about acquiring some thicker skin? I don’t want to get all hard or anything. Just so that everything doesn’t hurt so much.