Relationship Killers–Breaking Up with Friends {part II}

I need to revisit breaking up with friends.

{I do not like sequels.}

Which leads me to my most recent break up, of the three sides–this is mine.

We met almost 15 years ago, during a very precarious time in my life. My friend, was a strong woman who had endured many traumatic events in her life, including the loss of a child. She offered me guidance and advice. As well, she offered companionship and somebody to have coffee with. She had then and still has way too many opinions for my liking.

 {You know the old saying opinions are like assholes….}

She has an opinion about EVERYTHING–it may be something as simple as the color of my hair. MY HAIR. That was an attack several weeks ago. Sounds ridiculous? Right?

Voicing an aspiration to volunteer abroad and the desire to work at a refugee camp are more personal examples of things have expressed the desire to do.I have been taking criticism about these notions a lot lately. Seriously–the mockery may be in response to something as simple as me helping somebody make a cheese decision at Whole Foods or making small talk with a man or woman in line at the deli.

I’m not having it. I can not continue in a relationship if I feel that the other person is continuously trying to undermine my desire or ability to make my world, or the world in general a better place.

My biggest mistake was not addressing these incidents as they happened. I want to believe that these behaviors started with good intention. When we met, I was trying to achieve something life changing and she had been successful with her own personal goals. She became a mentor and then later, a friend.

When I became pregnant with my first child, the boundaries began to blur. She criticized my childbirth choices, my parenting choices and even how I shopped for and prepared food. She mocked my breastfeeding causes and the fact that I slept with both of my babies in my bed. I took her criticism and assumed it was just her way. She felt as strongly about her parental choices as I did about mine. I just don’t push mine on others. I accepted her – I respected her family, her choices and the fact that she is a different woman than I am.

Quite frankly I do not wish to rehash all of the jabs I have endured over the years–I kept playing in the ring. More than often, I have felt as though she portrays me as ignorant and believes that I do not understand how the world operates due to her lack of belief in me.

I grew up in a single family household. Pretty much white-middle class. Lots of dysfunction – but I had opportunities. My parents both told me I could do anything. I had opportunities to take different paths. I had the voice and the ability to take them.

{However, much of that was taken away with my esteem and innocence many years earlier.}

My friend and I both grew up similarly, on the outskirts of a major City. While she is ten years my senior, life choices in our twenties hold many parallels. Our differences are not defined by class, education or socio economic inequalities. For some reason unknown to me, I feel as though she takes me for a joke.

{Over the past few years the comments have gotten more personal, more frequent and come at me from alternate avenues. Now she is speaking through my Husband.}

As a reminder, my husband is the father of The Boy and The Girl. We are separated and living together raising our children and owning a business together. This was a choice we made as a family. And so far, this decision has worked out wonderfully in the interest of the children, the household, the business and my husband and my personal lives.

We love our children. We love each other. And for now, this is how our family is living and evolving. Quite happily and functionally I might add.

Through various odd jobs of which she has needed help with at her house, she has befriended my husband. My husband is one of the most generous men I know. He sincerely wants to help people and does so when he can. Initially, posing her intentions as a means to check in on me as a concerned friend; she began reaching out to him through texting, soon followed by chatting on Facebook. The frequency increased as I had pulled away from contacting her.

 {Perhaps my actions and avoidance were an attempt to remove the excess criticism from my life. Or maybe they were in preparation for an inevitable parting.}

While she has befriended my Husband, she doesn’t like my sister and never misses an opportunity to let me know just how she feels.

Anyway – for years my friend has wanted to go to Las Vegas. Back in February, I agreed, against my better judgment, and we planned a ghetto trip. She did not want to spend any money on proper flights or accommodations. I figured, “Fine – I’ll deal, we can rekindle our friendship and have a few laughs.”

 {There was no laughing to be had.}

I should have known when two weeks before the trip, as she was sitting on the beach, she said it was probably a bad time to go, due to her most recent mortgage crisis. I should have jumped and taken some vocal opportunity, but of course, I did not.

Several days later, her “not a boyfriend” told her he could not make it to Vegas to see her while we were in town. Normal people would be disappointed however, she did not expresss any disappoint me to me.

How could she not be disappointed? She had been prepping for months for this meeting, with a twenty pound weight loss, a three hundred dollar haircut and dental work. Seriously, how could it not suck?

Once we arrived in Vegas, we both quickly expressed disappointment in our hotel, the pool and the gambling. We decided we were both really tired and that we would nap furiously and get up in the wee hours of the morning to hit the floors early on!

Powerless and unmanageable were her choices and circumstances throughout the short trip, and once she had blown her load, her game of choice–was to get into my shit! I believe she felt her only options were to live fast and hard spending quickly to feel something, anything, other than disappointment.

Feeling frustration and my own disappointment, I went for a walk; looking for weed and seeking people to randomly talk with. Weed is not to be had freely in Vegas. If you want a four foot cocktail, that’s a different story. So instead I bought myself a facial with a gorgeous young Italian boy and I purchased $800.00 worth of skin care products. I sat down outside of a Casino giggling on the phone at the sights and sounds of The Strip and I made a decision that I needed to leave.

I could not comfortably stay at our hotel and function in Vegas with somebody with no money and a shitty demeanor.

Yes, I said no money and no credit card. She was under the impression that she could survive on $160 dollars for the next three days.

When I came back to the room, she was angry and waiting for me like a child. I told her we should leave and gave flight options. I paid for two flights home and figured it was a done deal. We ate at a deli where she bitched about the sandwich prices and again immediately got down to business. MINE.

After hearing me tell a man that I was a writer, she started questioning my career choices for the future. Questions of how I will support myself, after my husband falls in love and abandons both me and our children. After saying I am not comfortable with this conversation, she decided to discuss my sister and her issues with my sister. Now I am just getting pissed. I told her that we cannot and will not discuss my sister at which point she repeatedly told me to lower my voice. Guess what? I am a LOUD talker. Ask anybody who actually listens to me.

Fast forward and we are walking through Caesar’s Mall, looking at lovely stores wandering happily amongst strangers, which is one of my favorite things to do.We went outside and she decided, “This isn’t fun!”, soon after she was headed back to the derelict room. Alone.

I was so angry that I was in Vegas and not having fun. I stayed out all night. I realized I could not wait another twenty-three hours for the new flight. I talked to my Husband, Miss Carry and my Sister. They all agreed that I needed to take care of my own needs. My husband told me to book another room and get a good day sleep–then he told me she was texting him saying how angry she was.

{WTF!?!?}

 This was when I realized that there was no way she was going to take personal responsibility for her actions during our stay and sadly, this was when I realized that she was playing both sides of the fence, between both me and my husband.

I began to question her intentions. Did she have my back? Was she trying to destroy me? Why?

I went back to the room at 6am and threw my shit in my bag and left. Yup. Left. Like a thief in the night. I went to the airport and caught an earlier flight.

Upon realizing I was gone – she called my husband. Imagine that? Did she think he would send for her?

I sat at McCarran International for six hours alone. Angry and upset. It was there that I realized that by allowing her to embed herself so deeply in my life and surrendering my voice with her; she had managed to manipulate her role as an alliance of mine. She had erased any of the boundaries of trust and friendship I had ever given her.

 I have since realized that she was no longer insulting me solely to my face, but rather reporting back to me of discussions she had with my husband, regarding the choices both he and I have made within out marriage; with supposeds’ that she and my husband were in agreement that I was taking advantage of my role within our marriage.

 Before, during and after this fateful weekend, I have talked in great length with my husband about our decision to live as we do and as always his allegiance is with me and our family as a unit.

 As I reflect on this loss, I am left with the realization that the friendship came to an impasse as I continued to grow amid the universe around me.

Some people will never break out of what they were taught, what they grew up with or whatever nonsense prejudice notion they have. I am okay with people living their lives as they see fit, I am not okay with living my life to make others happy or okay with themselves anymore.

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