WARNING: This post will contain ridiculous amounts of profanity. I apologize in advance if I offend. I try to avoid it, but sometimes the Hillbilly Redneck falls right out my mouth.
Yesterday, my husband told me my friend from the past tried to contact him on Facebook. Can I just say, “Leave me and my family the FUCK alone. Please.”
What?? I said please.
A little history:
I grew up with a girl from my hometown. She was popular, funny and so very sweet. She had a natural charisma and sharp sense of humor. Everyone liked B. She was welcoming, nice, open. I met B on the bus in Kindergarten. I fell in friendship love from the first morning on the first day. I’ve known B since the age of 5. Our birthdays were only 1 month and some odd days apart. I didn’t know it at the time, but we were going to be closer than sisters. Any sister I ever knew.
B had a strange, rare ability to make fun of herself, laugh at her mistakes and put herself in such a vulnerable position that just about everyone could not resist the B Show. Lunch buddy status with B was highly coveted. Sleepovers were even more exclusive. B was the shit.
During the middle of 5th grade, B left. She moved to the next town and I was heartbroken. I was lost. I was so sad. But we vowed to keep in touch. Several girls did. But I may have been the only one to actually write fanatically.
People asked me about B. How is she? What’s she doing? I seemed to be the only one staying in touch. I had a friendship leg up with B. We were destined to be friends, but I didn’t understand it, this attraction to specifically her, or even expect it. But I truly hoped for it. To be and remain her best friend.
B and I had a few sleepovers after she moved, but then she moved, not just a town away, but an entire state. We kept in touch, wrote consistently and one day, I got the good news. B’s coming back!
Expecting B’s arrival and to see her again was the most exciting anticipation I had experienced to that point. The waiting seemed to go on. She said she would let me know when they had settled and I was welcome. It really was like having a boyfriend. A long-lost lover. She was only ever my friend, but I cared about her more than any other human being except my mother. When you’re a girl, before sex, your best friend is your soulmate.
What’s better than a soulmate?
Someone to talk about your soulmate with. 🙂
She finally wrote to let me know the date. As soon as she got her phone number, she let me know her digits. I still remember the number. 816-(555)-4356. I remember the prefix, but I replaced with those fake Hollywood numbers so as NOT to disturb the current phone owners of 4356. 🙂 I remember it because I blew that number up. Daily. For years. It was my suicide hotline, my Phone-a-friend. My whole, stinking life was on the other end of that ring.
I hung out at their house so often to escape my own that I seriously irritated their mother. B’s mom was sometimes fussy and sometimes cruel. She had a hot temper at times, sometimes was physically violent, but her husband was away so much on business and the girls constantly had friends over.
I would beg to come over just to be a part of their dynamic. Good food, lots of laughs and a beautifully comfortable home. The mother being grumpy or even irate at times was just a small price to pay to be near B. I was used to it. My own house was even more chaotic. Just being at B’s house was fun. We didn’t have to do much to have a good time.
We played and sang in the yard. We made up games. We rode bikes, laid in the cool of the basement, primped in the bathroom. Drank soda. Unintentionally spit-laughed said soda through our noses on bed sheets. We were entranced by MTV and Atari. Entranced by waving, summer-breeze curtains and tired, old bed quilts. We swam in the neighbor’s pool. Swung on the back porch. We told the worst jokes. AND I witnessed the most heinous bathroom toilet adventures ever produced by two girls.
We went to college together. We went to bars together. I went to all of her theatre and music shows every weekend she was starring, singing, or just appearing. We did stupid, stupid stuff together. And then she did the stupidest thing of all. She got married.
It was like losing her all over again. Just like 5th grade. Keep in touch! We’ll hang out.
Except. It was never the same. Hanging out always included New Husband or talking about New Husband. Makes sense. But during that time, I turned to S. Her sister.
We were both still single. Both irritated with her husband choice. Both overweight. And we shared the same history. Wanting to be with B and being left by her. We were the jilted standbys who turned to each other for comfort. AND we didn’t have to learn a new friendship. I was already part of their family. We knew all the dirt, all the names, all the connections, all the jokes. And S was so like B that it was basically the same. A comforting substitute for Best Friend as my BFF made a new relationship.
As we all grew, we matured in different ways. I was always more intellectual than the sisters. Even by their own admission. I liked nerdy things. Books. Philosophy. School. Poetry. High-minded thinking. Art. We shared a love of theatre, music and crude humor. But the small differences started to grow when I got older: needed a job, was unsatisfied with small town life, wanted something more than just the next Tom-Dick-Harry for a partner. I was lost.
In some ways, one’s friends are okay with a person being lost because that’s who they fell in like with. Plus, any friend’s failure is a reassuring reminder of our own success. We can feel sympathy and relief all in the same emotional experience. A reassurance that we won’t be left behind. Left in the dust. Or surpassed.
One thinks of a friend as Savior. Finder of lost souls. But at some point I realized–the sisters are just junk collectors of broken people.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Except. Junk don’t work right. And junk has no value.
I had no value.
I was doing really screwed-up things to myself because I didn’t have value. I didn’t even assign value to myself. If I did, it was very little.
Why do I matter, what does anything matter, if I have no value?
I eventually broke from my toxic relationship with Little Sister. She was competitive, jealous and manipulative. She would say the same about me. WE were a toxic cocktail. Both of us. Our relationship, in part, was founded on neediness. Not a good start.
She was an attention whore. She was a liar. Thief. Cheater. She fucked around with a guy I liked and was jealous when I did the same. We broke up. Later, we gentled up to each other again after a 9-month break. She talked shit about another friend who engaged in the very same behavior that broke us up. I glossed over her hypocrisy at the time because we were trying to mend fences. She had toxic relationships all over the place. I was just one of them.
She monopolized my time and resources. She made big promises, but always let me down emotionally. I devoted my life to these sisters and they rarely showed up for me in the important things. After I married and had a child of my own, I just did not have the same energy to devote to this needy relationship. She gossiped constantly and talked trash about everyone. Everyone. I eventually realized, “If she’s talking trash about her family and every single friend to me, what does she say about my life to everyone else??”
But the final straw was almost 3 years ago. I had drifted in and out of the sisters lives. We had taken breaks before. But as of late, we were right back to besties. All of us. Sisters, new women, me. The sisters brought us all together. A hodgepodge of ladies from all walks. It was a great sisterhood of several women. Or so I thought.
I was in a play. I invited my friends to come see me in the show. It was important to me. It was a highly dramatic show and I had a really good part. It was some of the best acting I’ve done as an adult. It meant so much to me. I told them so. I had recently had cancer, thyroid surgery, just got my voice back and wanted to celebrate this moment with these women. Not one person came.
These aren’t my friends.
After all the BULLSHIT that I showed up for?? And you can’t come to the one thing I ask you to?? FUCK YOU!
YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!
And even as I write that, I still care. I care so much that when I found out Little Sister was sick and her husband lost his job/insurance, I gave to her medical fund. I gave anonymously online and wrote a small note of explanation to B, her sister, (fund manager) in private. I care. I don’t wish ill will. I actually want the best for her. I want her life to change. I want her to be honest. Stand up. Get better. Get physically well. Stop manipulating others. Stop talking shit about everyone because you feel horrible inside. But.
Just leave me alone. I can’t help you, Friend. I really tried.
I’m the best thing that will have ever happened to you if you don’t get better.
I have value. I value myself enough to know I can’t fix broken. I have to help myself. Good luck to you. You can’t have any more of my short time on this planet. Sorry. I truly wish you well, wellness, wealth. Without me.
She contacted my husband to tell me after 1 year thank you for the money and that a friend of a friend (someone I met and talked to only a handful of times, perhaps a total of an hour or more) that his son died. Also sorry. But I’m so far gone from Hometown USA that it truly doesn’t matter to me at all. I moved a town, a state, a whole world away this time. I wish it mattered to me. I really do.