I still love Painter, and despite my best efforts--and hers--probably always will. However, breaking the pattern requires I stop pursuing the distancers in my life. As such, despite her stories I stopped pursuing Painter a long time ago. Today I pursue growth.
The truth is I had one set of secrets and lies in my relationship with Painter. It was a meaningful lie and secret, full of fucketty and shitheadery, but it was the only one.
Of all the friendships I lost in those chaotic first few months, the one I miss the most (besides Painter) is Et Al.
Painter sat at the defendants table and announced with absolute certainty, "This is all your fault." And I wonder, "Which part is my fault?"