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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Frenemy



I've been trying to think how to put all of this.  I cannot sum up a 'many-years' long friendship in just a few paragraphs, but I hope I can be clear enough..  I guess we'll see.

I had a friend, for a very long time, who allowed me to be myself, was my confidant, and as close to me as a sister... and every chance she got... she used me.  

I loved her like a sister.  Trusted her.  Confided things in her.  Boy was I stupid.

There were a lot of things.  Firstly..she rarely came to my house.  There was always a reason.  She didn't have gas, or "just couldn't", (whatever that means), or it was just "easier" for me to come to HER house.  (I had kids, and her only child was grown and gone).  Then it was that she "couldn't talk the way she wanted to" at my house.  Translation is she couldn't talk about personal things, or swear as much as she liked.  But she had no problem getting me to drive out to her house, which was about 17 miles one way.  Several times I drove out, picked her up, drove all over the place to everywhere she wanted to go, and then took her home.  My husband was not pleased by all the gas I was burning up.   But she didn't mind one bit.  Ever.  She never did the driving in all the years of our friendship.  Not once.

The final and last excuse she used for not coming over was that she felt my husband had lustful feelings for her.  Trust me, he didn't.  He was being nice and paid her a compliment once, in front of me.  I thought my husband was being very nice and thoughtful to her.  She took it as he was openly hitting on her in front of me, and acted mad that he was just so "insulting" to me "right in front of me".  Whatever.  Any excuse to not spend a drop of gas driving to my house.  All she did was make my husband feel bad for having been complimentary to my friend...  his comment had been kind and gentlemanly.  Not at all what she was making it out to be.

Once she bought jewelry for herself behind her husbands back and had it shipped to my house.  She'd bought it from a coven of witches.  The item was "haunted" and "blessed" by the coven.  Knowing my feelings about spiritual things, she shipped it to me anyway.  When it came, she couldn't be bothered to come get it, and wanted me to "deliver" it to her.  My fear of having such an item in my house she found funny, and felt I was over-reacting.  When I finally took it to her, I watched her take it into her back yard with her special water and wave her hand over it and said some sort of incantation over it.  That scared the hell out of me.  When I asked her what was going on, she told me she considered herself a "kitchen witch".  

This "friend" called the shots.  And I let her.  She chose when I came over, and what time I was allowed to call.  She had me drive her to certain places, so she wouldn't use up her gas.  If we decided to have a yard sale, and she saw something of mine she wanted, I gladly just gave it to her.  If she had something that I liked, then she wanted to charge me for it.  This went on for years... one way or another.  As I grew in my Catholic faith, she grew in... whatever 'felt good' at the moment.  Even bad stuff, I am afraid to say.  And she was very, very defensive about it.  She wanted everything she 'thought' to be accepted.  But if I mentioned something, such as "40 Days For Life", she snorted, made this little bemused face, and said "no thanks" like she thought it was a joke and trying not to laugh.. even though I knew that she is against abortion.  Why were my views such a joke to her?   

She had a bad habit of putting a price tag on everything.  I wanted to say, "So what?!" but I didn't.  I don't believe on putting a price tag on friendship.  But she did.  And it hurt me.  But still I said nothing.  I don't know why I just wanted her approval.  But I did.

She and I had opposing opinions on different things.  Which was fine with me.  I don't actually expect everyone in the world to agree with everything that I think.  But she would get LOUD in public, and make fun of things that I liked.  She mocked things that I liked to my toddler, encouraging her to repeat things back contrary to what I liked... I guess just to get my goat.  I'd ask her to stop, and she continued... and when I got upset, she made sure that I knew that "I" had offended "her".  I was supposed to take it, and like it.  If I didn't, then she said that I "embarrassed her".   

A few years ago we were shopping.  We went into a small mom and pop store.  I purchased something for my grandmother, and got a gift box for it.  When she saw that I got a box, she literally RAN up to the counter and insisted on boxes for all her purchases, even ones that were NOT gifts. Never mind this was a small store and they have to pay for those boxes.  She only cared that they were free and got them BECAUSE they were free... I was so embarrassed I could have died.  But I said nothing.  Then she started carrying on with some strange man in the store..  she got so LOUD I was humiliated and walked away from her.  When we got outside, I had a strange moment... I am not proud of myself but after putting up with this kind of thing for so long.. I'd just HAD IT, and I chewed her out.  I was not loud.  And no one else was on the sidewalk.  I said what I needed to say, and she acted like she agreed with what I said.  We went into another store, and she didn't say a word.  We got back to my house, (I know.. RARE moment), and my sister called.  I can't remember what it was about, but I do remember that my sister was upset, so I talked to her, maybe five minutes.  I did not think this was a big deal, since my friend regularly took long phone calls whenever I visited her, and she certainly never minded making me wait.  My bad.  She was offended.

A few days later, on a public forum we were both on, she publicly stated how she supported homosexuality and gay marriage and was proud of her paganism and basically dared anyone to say a peep to her.  She posted this, on a Christian forum.. and knowing it is against my religious beliefs.   I did reply, and told her that I was not against gay people at all, but I felt that no one had the right to redefine marriage.  The equivalent to this would be if I went on a pagan forum, aired my views, and challenged anyone to disagree with me. She then emailed me privately and informed me that I was "NOT ALLOWED" to reply to her, and proceeded to chew me up side and down the other.  How I had embarrassed her and how mean and closed minded and unaccepting I am.  How she pitied how my husband lusted after her, and how her "religion" was "equal" to mine.  (huh?) We didn't talk again for a few years.

A mutual friend contacted me.  My "best friend" had been talking major crap behind my back. Twisting everything.. making herself look like some poor abused victim.  I could barely believe what my eyes and ears where telling me.  It was like I'd fallen down the rabbit hole into bizzaro world.  How on earth could a rational person twist things like this?  It took everything I had to ignore this.. not say anything.  Let it go.  It wasn't easy.  To this day I have not let on that I know what she was saying behind my back.  What good would it do?  None.  Another year passed.

She started emailing me again several months ago.  She acted like she wanted to give our friendship another try.  I tried explaining that her paganism scares me.  She "just doesn't get why".  About a month ago, we were supposed to meet at a funeral of someone we both used to know.  She sent me a text.. TELLING ME what time she expected me to be there.  Not asking.  Telling me like I'm too stupid to know how early I should be there.  I was unable to go, as my child was ill.  Did she even ask how my child was?  Sure.. two days later.  Like an afterthought.  Why should she care?  Not her kid.  As long as I followed her directions and showed up when and where I was supposed to be.  Same old "friend".  Nothing has changed.

Why am I having such a hard time just cutting her off permanently?  Why do I keep going back for more?  She is nice and fun and understands my "quirks" (most people don't) and never made me feel like I'm weird, (most people do) but then she starts her manipulation and "friend bullying" and selfishness.  Am I so pathetic and desperate for a "friend" that I put up with anything?  Am I just a doormat?  With a "friend" like this, I don't need any enemies.  Trust me.  

2 comments:

  1. You are NOT a doormat, Susan! NO WAY, JOSE! Don't let her manipulate you anymore. Of course, we should be accepting of other people and their beliefs...but to what end? Friendship is MUTUAL...that means that each person gives a little and takes a little. When one friend does all the giving, and the other does all the taking...it is not a friendship. I don't think this is a relationship that should be cultivated. This pagan-coven of witches thing is not of God, no matter how nice she is. He has asked us to stay away from such things...and such people. When you are finally able to let her go, you will feel relief. You will feel cleansed...and you will probably be sad. It's ok to grieve a friendship. But sometimes, it's best. Sometimes, it's just something we've got to do. I think you are an awesome person, Susan. I love your personality, your sense of humor...your family. You are a very special person...and should be treated as such. You are worth so much to God...and to others (like me!). Pray for her....don't stop praying for her, but, let her go. It's the right thing to do. Hang in there!

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  2. Nancy, not only do you totally ROCK, but you are hands down one of my very favorite people in the world world. Thank you so much for your kind words. Love you too Sister and I am so hoping we get to see you soon! I miss you!

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