I don't remember how I found out but I felt completely blindsided by it. I didn't know how to react. She tried to just talk to me about it but I always got scared and just found a way around it.
I could not stand the thought that when she needed me the most in her life I was not strong enough to be there for her. I hated myself for it which made it even worse. The more I pulled away the worse I felt. The worse I felt, the more I tried to hide what I was doing which resulted in me pulling away even more. It was a vicious cycle. I could not bring myself to own up to my actions.
I was so afraid of losing my best friend, of having her look at me and reject me like those other kids did in elementary school, that I ended up losing her anyway because I couldn't handle the shame.
Since then I have come clean and apologized for abandoning her when she needed me most. Ever since then I made a promise to myself to never give up on someone when there was something that I could do to help. If other people look at me differently because of it, I ignore them.
I try my hardest to be the friend that I should have been all those years ago. It has been a work in progress but I'm happy with who I have become from this experience.