Saturday, May 21
With friends like these...
When people aren't quite who you thought they were...
A departure from baby business. I recently received confirmation that a certain friend isn't really who I thought they were. Or a friend at all. I guess I'm not surprised... just hurt.
I've known this friend since we were in the 1st grade. We were immediately friends and stayed connected throughout elementary school and on. I'd be over her house or she'd be over my house constantly. I considered her a best friend. But looking back, there were some oddities. Often when I had friends sleepover we'd wake up the next morning and having had so much fun, I'd ask my parents if my friend could stay an extra night. After the okay from my mom and dad, my friend would call her parents. I did it all the time with friends, but I can specificially remember a few instances where this friend, N., would act all excited about sleeping over a second night... then she'd go to call her mom, ask for privacy in my bedroom, and I would hear her telling her mom that she didn't want to be at my house anymore. In essence, lie to me then make it seem like her mom or dad said no. It was odd... but I never really questioned it. But really, it set the tone for a lot of our friendship.
We moved on to middle school... passed notes, told jokes, and I thought had a good time. Then in 7th grade, her parents got divorced and I think that's where pretty much everything changed. Immediately my already quiet friend became even more quiet. I don't blame her... it was a really hard divorce on her and her sister. But the more I reached out, the more I felt pushed away. We still stuck together, but things just weren't the same. It continued the same way through high school and I eventually branched away simply because she didn't seem to want to be friends. We moved on to graduate, me going to school in Boston her going to school in Western MA. And of course we promised to stay friends, to stay in touch... you know, friends forever.
That summer before college I knew she was second guessing her decision to move away, so I made her a "College Survival Kit" for her birthday. I had gotten the idea from my cousins who made me a similar graduation gift. I put my heart into that kit. I spent a ton of time and money on everything- supplies and pictures and the explanation pieces. Basically I loved it and knew she would too. But when I gave it to her I didn't get so much as a thank you. She didn't look at it while I was around and I never heard about it ever again.
Again, we moved on. College began, we were busy but we'd chat on AIM. (Remember AIM??) She told me about school and told me she was in a relationship- but wouldn't so much as tell me the name. Again, she was shy so while I thought it was incredibly odd that she couldn't so much as tell me the name it was just another thing that I shrugged my shoulders about and moved on with.
The end of our first year at school my friend Sarah and I planned a big birthday party for ourselves and Nicole RSVPd that she'd be there. The party came and went and Nicole didn't show up. Confused, I called Nicole to make sure everything was okay. I emailed. I tried to catch her on AIM. I emailed her mom. I talked to her sister at work. The entire summer went by without a word, as far as I was concerned, Nicole fell off the face of the Earth. As a last ditch effort, I left a birthday present on the doorstep of her mom's house along with a note telling her I was searching for her. I got an email back where she explained her "issues". She explained that she was bulimic, that she was getting help, that she couldn't deal with the party, and that family issues were just overwhelming her. Again, I told her I'd be there for anything-- and I felt horrible that I didn't know what was going on with her. What kind of friend was I?
So we continued through college and kept in touch, but we had very separate lives. Every time I talked to her, something new was going on- or so I was told. One day she was in an honors program that was ending her to Paris. The next day, she didn't go to Paris because the trip was cancelled. Little things like that I didn't really know what to think.
Then in 2005 Johnny and I got engaged and planned to marry in August of 2006. Invited to the engagement party, shower, and wedding, Nicole opted out of all 3 festivities. We got a lot of "No's" for the wedding, but I didn't expect Nicole's. Most people who said no left a note on the back of the reply card-- "We're so sorry" and "Thinking of you on your day!" Nicole's was a little "x" next to "Cannot attend" and that was it. I was devastated. Heartbroken. But I moved on and enjoyed the day and the next few years.
Fast forward to 2008 or so. After a few years of wondering what I did wrong to be totally cast aside, I emailed Nicole and asked just that -- "What did I do wrong?" She proceeded to tell me that I had invited her mom to the wedding and she felt betrayed for that. As a result, she decided not to attend. I was a little shocked, but I ignored it and we tried to get past the issue. Over the next year or so I told her what was going on with us and getting pregnant and life in general. She finally let me know a little about her life and her relationship. It was strained, but for some reason I still felt like we needed to "make it work". We met up a few times while I was pregnant with the boys and she seemed excited.
Then I went on bedrest and had the boys. I got an email saying "You're a Mommy!" Then two days later Connor died and I heard nothing else. Not.a.word. She was absent at the funeral and you know what? I was still surprised. STILL.
And again, I just let it go. We'd send messages back and forth on facebook and I never mentioned the funeral (my fault, I know). She let me know that she was getting married herself, but it would be a small family affair. Meaning- I wouldn't be invited. But I kind of expected to be told? And I ended up finding out on facebook just like everyone else. And then she said she was having a big celebration for friends this past fall to celebrate the wedding. And again, the day came and went without a word.
And it just kept piling up. I went through IVF again, I got pregnant, I ended up in the hospital, heck I was having two kids. And not a word, so I went searching while I was in the hospital. And found that she had de-friended me on facebook. (I feel like such a middle schooler whining about that.) She had de-friended me, but we still had 64 mutual friends. You know, the people that you never talked to in high school, but still friended?? Exactly.
So, two nights ago while I was up at 2am unable to sleep, I wrote a message to her. It was long and it detailed everything-- from the party to the wedding to the boys to Connor's death to her wedding to now.
And this is what I got.
" It seems that every six to eight months I receive a venomous, accusatory email telling me what an awful person I am. Hopefully, the latest one you sent will be the last. You obviously have a lot of anger that you haven't dealt with, and I hope that someday you will get the help you need. "
My breath caught in my throat as I read it. Not only because I have never written a venomous or accusatory message to her. But because she's definitely right. I have A LOT of anger. And yes I have anger toward her. I thought I was trying to deal with it by talking to her, but evidently she thinks I have a lot to do. And had finally completely written me off.
Oh well, so long winded, but I'm glad I finally vented. :)