when you finish reading a book you read really fast and you’re like wait i should’ve read that slower
I’ve probably talked about this book before but I have a long history of having a really hard time making friends. Not like a normal hard time, but like impossibly hard, like there’ve been times I just thought okay, I don’t fit with anybody.
My teenage years were particularly bad for this because I’d moved to a new state and didn’t really get along with a lot of the people I was around, and I was so lonely that I ended up with friends I maybe shouldn’t have had. Just friends that didn’t value me, that took advantage and treated me like a doormat a bit. At the same time the girl who had been my best friend for years suddenly wasn’t anymore. Or, not so suddenly. It had been brewing for a while. Constant fights don’t make for the most rock-solid friendship.
I had the sort of interactions where I’d try to fix things with my close girl friends and end up frustrated because they denied there was anything wrong. And where I’d be crying in my room because I felt left out or because we’d had a fight. I had a friend where I felt like I “had” to be her friend because she didn’t have anyone else solid in her life.
And I had no idea what was wrong with me, why this kept happening.
It wasn’t until I was 20-ish that I read Odd Girl Out and suddenly things made sense. This book was, like, textbook my friendships the few years before. I read the book and couldn’t stop myself from marking up the pages with my own notes and highlights. There were so many passages that reminded me exactly of my own life. It was sort of creepy. But mostly this book showed me that I wasn’t the only girl to have gone through those things, that it didn’t mean there was something terribly, terribly, fundamentally wrong with me that I kept screwing up my friendships.
This book kind of saved me. I don’t put up with the things I used to in friendships and though it’s not entirely because of reading this book, Odd Girl Out did help me see things more clearly and, possibly even more importantly, it helped me be able to label things as unhealthy. As warning signs. Sometimes I think if you don’t have the language for something, if you can’t think of what it’s called, then it’s really hard to see it or handle it. And this book helped with that. I don’t have perfect friendships now. I still have friends that annoy me on occasion, friendships that I wish were different. But it’s not like it used to be; I don’t feel plagued by bad friendships anymore. In a large way I have really good, reliable friends.