Bea -

I want to start off by saying that I don't write any of this lightly.

We agreed to give each other space to do more self-reflection and after doing that I've decided that I need more space. I've thought a lot about this and after we talked after our fight, it felt like there was a lot of blame being put on me that was undeserved; I'm not going to take responsibility for something that I didn't do. That conversation felt really unfair, especially given how you decided to come to me after the fact.

You claimed that what I'd said was disrespectful and that I should've defended you against whoever was upset by something they'd seen. And I could have, but I didn't, and there was a reason for that. It wasn't because I actually thought you'd do something that crude at a party, but because I was also upset about a few things that you'd said then, albeit for different reasons. I held it in and didn't say anything because it didn't feel like it was worth it to talk about at the time, and I didn't want to upset you when you were just joking around despite how I felt.

If you're going to focus on how actions can be disrespectful, then coming to the hospital unannounced to have a serious talk like that, is off the charts on the respectability scale. Coming to my workplace went beyond bulldozing boundaries. It was completely inappropriate. It could've been a safety hazard had I been with a patient, it could have gotten me in trouble if not fired altogether, and on top of all of that, it was straight up manipulative. Choosing to approach me in a setting where I was around my colleagues meant that I couldn't express myself in the way that I wanted to, and that I had to maintain as much decorum as possible despite how hurt and upset I was feeling. I like to think that I would never lash out at you in an explode-y way anyway, but coming to the hospital was really not okay on so many levels, so if you really want to talk about disrespect, then I think you should start there.

I want to reiterate that none of this is easy for me to write, and to say that none of this is coming from a place of malice. I care about you and you're the closest friend that I've ever had. I doubt that will change, ever. I'm going to continue to process this with my therapist, and I truly, sincerely hope that you do, too. I know you said that sometimes it's just really hard to control your emotions — but that blow up felt like something bigger and more significant than that. Emotions can be difficult, but we always, always have a choice in how we choose to act, and you chose to allow yourself to explode.

We're not dumb teenagers anymore and we haven't been for a really long time. We're too old for that kind of behavior. Yelling at me like that wasn't just lashing out, nor was it a 'triviality', as you'd put it. Someone else's impression of you may have been, but the fallout of me trying to talk to you about it in the kindest way I could think of was so hurtful and damaging and beyond unhealthy. Even after I explained how you made me feel, you still chose not to apologize. The only apology you offered was for assuming the worst — there was no apology for making accusations, for comparing me to your exes, for projecting your insecurities onto me, for treating me like shit, for gaslighting me, or for showing up at my workplace. I'm taking more space for myself because trust has been broken here and I don't feel safe in our friendship right now.

I never want to come between you and your family. I haven't told Joe any details. He knows that we had a fight, and he knows that we tried to talk it out, but that's it. I want to think that you and I can be friends again someday, but right now I need more time and space to be able to move past this.

Please take good care of yourself.

- Nora

P.S. Thank you for the Christmas gift. Yours is in the mail, and I hope that you take the message that accompanies it to heart. I believe in you, Bea.