Picture me heaving a huge sigh, possibly shaking my head, cycling through a myriad of emotions…sadness, anger, frustration. One voice in my head says “just be done with the whole mess”. Another says “why can’t you just say what needs to be said?” A third says “those two are practically one and the same”. The last one says “this sucks”.
I’ve had a friend for 18 years. Well, let me rephrase…I’ve known someone whom I’m friendly with for 18 years. The count for actual solid friendship is several years fewer. We walked nearly identical paths for a long time, and then mine did the veer and hers came to a dead end at a race track.
She’s stuck. She’s miserable. And I think she’s broken.
I’ve been slighted, ignored, avoided, and dismissed. The part of me that’s just getting the hang of enforcing abuse limits is starting to chatter in my ear, asking what exactly I’m doing here. Because I’m a great friend. The kind who’ll bail you out of jail or come to the rescue when your car breaks down (distance not withstanding); who’ll let you crash on my couch indefinitely so long as you help with groceries, and has been known to loan out underwear in extreme circumstances. You call, I’ll be there.
There are limits. And I’m rubbing against them. I don’t think it’s the least bit selfish to expect something in return. Not only am I not getting near what I give, I’m not getting anything, and that includes the time of day. I am playing second fiddle to a 6-month old relationship involving a de-virginized Mormon who’s hell-bent on marriage at the first opportunity. He’s her world, because there’s control. I get the logic: when you’re whole life is spiraling beyond your grasp, you hold on to what you can control, fiercely. The problem is he’s not helping her get a better grip on anything else, he’s just distracting her so she can pretend reality’s not happening.
And as you can imagine, the few occasions I do get time with her they inevitably include him. I can’t stand him. He’s the least informed and most opinionated person I’ve ever met. My dad, being the most opinionated person ever, at least had the decency to do his research. This one is something else. And he whines. Constantly.
The dilemma is: how do I get time with her without him; closely followed by: is it worth it, considering I’m the only one fighting for this relationship? When I’m angry, the short answers are “don’t waste your time” and “no”. There’s a soft spot somewhere though (damnable soft spot!) that reminds me we’ve known each other longer than anyone else (outside of family which is a whole other cluster fuck) and there’s history there. It should be as simple as talking about it.
In my experience with this particular person, talking is harder than it has any right to be. Mostly because everything said could be the one thing that ends it all. She likes truth far less than she likes reality, and the people around her have found it easier to sugar-coat things or simply let them go. No one is attempting to break the cycle, not even me, though I’m beginning to feel that the consequences would be worth it. I’m a Leo – it’s impossible for me to hide when I’m angry. Anyone who’s actually looking at me can tell what kind of day I’m having.
Earth to Friend: Look at Me!!
She wanted to get together tonight. I blew her off. Two months without a word, then a weird chipper message about $4 pizza deals. My door’s always open, anytime she’s free to get together. No response. I can’t even get penciled onto the calendar cuz something better might come up. I’m not gonna beg for anyone’s time.
I don’t feel better. I don’t know what to do…whether I should fight for 18 years of history, be it patchy in places, or let it slowly fade into nothing. I miss my friend, the person she was when I was worth her time. I guess she’s not that person anymore.