I Ended My Friendships With So-called Christians

My last two friendships went sour due to selfishness, jealousy and competition.  Both friends also claimed to be Christian, but their actions and words led me to believe otherwise.  I believe myself to be a Christian, so it is not that I am down on Christianity, lest someone mistakenly believe that.  The first friend was an artist, like myself.  She invited me to share a room with her at an art festival.  While we were at the festival, she did many things to try to undermine me as an artist.  She told people I worked from photographs, implying I have no imagination and cannot draw or paint from real life, which is not true.  She would interupt when someone came into the room and showed interest in my work.  She would critique my work while potential customers were in the room, trying to destroy my chances for a sale.  I asked her to take a nice picture of me so I'd have a rememberance.  She said, "just a moment" and put something on my head.  It turned out to be a banana peel.  Needless to say, I never kept the picture.  I am sure she said something to another artist who is married to my mother's cousin, because whereas he had been friendly before, he suddenly acted like I wasn't even in the room and wouldn't speak to me.  I believe she told him I thought his work was bad, which is not telling the truth, once again.  I told her I thought his earlier work was not very good, but that he had come a long way and had done some exceptional paintings of birds.  I believe she only told him the first half of what I had said.  Someone came in the room and she got into a discussion over certain Christian beliefs.  I felt prompted to contribute to the discussion, and the man's comments and questions were not directed just at my "friend".  After the man left, my "friend" proclaimed that God had told her to "remain silent".  I said God had prompted me to reply.  She then proceeded to go to another "Christian" artist in another room at the festival, apparently to validate whether or not the appropriate response to the man was to remain silent.  She, of course, implied that she was the one who had "really" heard from God and her response had been the appropriate one.  I had finally put up with enough from this person.  I had been outrageously patient with this person for too many years as it was, twenty-five to be exact, and made up my mind to end the friendship.  She tried calling me after the festival when she heard from someone that my father suffered a catastrophic event associated with his Alzheimer's disease.  I would not return her calls.  It dawned on me, in the midst of my father's and my family's very painful and personal crisis, that this "friend" had never cared about me as friend or as a human being, and never cared about my family, either.  She always treated me as though I were inferior.  Once I saw a boxful of pictures of her with groups of other friends enjoying various celebrations.  I was never included in any of them.  She and I always spent time just one-on-one, as though I were never good enough to be part of her parties. She also used me time and again to try to make herself look good, including trying to make herself look like the benevolent Christian.  I find her to be a very disingenuous Christian, and I am glad the friendship, which never really was, is over.  The second friendship I have more regrets about ending, and I do blame myself in a way.  But on the other hand, I found out what this person's true character could be.  Let me give everyone out there a piece of advice.  Be very careful about asking a friend to be a partner in business.  Greed can sometimes rear its ugly head and end even the best friendships, and this is exactly what happened.  I asked this friend to be a partner, helping me to teach dance lessons.  She and I both have a passion for dancing, and we both really believed it would work out well.  Things started out okay, until the owner of a bar we both go to asked my partner to come teach dance lessons.  He only wanted one of us, because he did not want to pay two people to teach.  I told my friend I had a problem with that, since we were supposed to be partners and were to share equally in duties, expenses and profits.  This is the business definition of a "partnership".  Look it up.  Apparently she didn't agree with the definition, and she proceeded to tell me of her plans to teach "private" lessons.  I said okay, but that I should participate in the teaching as well.  Her reply was that two people weren't really needed to teach, and said "If I get the clients, why shouldn't I get all the profits?"  to which I replied, "fine, but we aren't partners then, and we should dissolve the partnership, as I am not going to pay for 1/2 the insurance and expenses and receive less than 1/2 of all profits".  In fact, I had paid $100 more of the expenses than she had.  She would claim poverty, but had a closet full of clothes of which my wardrobe would not even take up 1/10th of the space.  I also bought her a plane ticket to fly to a city where we took dance lessons.  I also failed to mention that it was I who taught her all the lessons we started with which she then "stole" to use for herself.  When I had enough (my patience was much shorter by now) I  proceeded to buy separate insurance and start my own dance company without her.  She acted as if I was the one that had dumped her!  I suspect she told many people that I had dumped her as well.  I can't be sure of all the damage she did in revenge, but I was damaged.  I know she said things, as not one single previous client showed up for any of my lessons, even though she wasn't teaching at that point.  People avoided me and looked at me as if I were a disgusting *****.   She also proceeded to tell others that my lessons "weren't working out" but that she would soon be teaching.  I know this for a fact because this is what she herself told me she was telling people!  I said, "Thanks a lot - tell people I've failed and then they'll really want to come to my lessons".  I told her exactly how I felt this time - and that she should correct any damage she had done and any misconceptions that people had regarding our going our separate ways, business-wise.  Not once had I bad-mouthed her in public.  I have made up my mind that we are going our separate ways friendship-wise, as she has not, once again, behaved either as a Christian or as a friend, in my opinion.  Money meant more to her than our friendship, and because of its tantalizing draw, she was ready to cut me out of the partnership, and in turn, the friendship.  I continue to grow older, but regretfully, I don't feel like I am getting any wiser.  About all I can say is that I am no longer foolishly patient with people who are only out to use me and make themselves look better or gain in some other way at my expense.  I hope I can find a true friend someday - one that won't misuse and abuse me in the ways similar to the ones I've described above.    

Scoutabout Scoutabout
46-50, F
Apr 5, 2007