Dumped By A Best Friend Of 20 Years

I never thought I would feel this way, but I ******* HATE this *****. We grew up together, went to school together, were maids of honor in each other's weddings. I thought we would be friends forever. I never had a negative thought about her, or at least not a major one. But now I wish her nothing but harm now. I hope she gets divorced. I hope her baby-to-be is ugly and ill-behaved. I hope her daughter grows up to resent and avoid her. I hope she never has another good friend, and feels lonely forever. I hope the air force permanently stations her family in the Dakotas.

Her good-bye message to me smacked of jealousy and insecurity. She chose to get married at 18, have a baby at 20, to waste time and money finishing a degree she knew would be useless before pursuing a useful one, to have another baby long before she had achieved financial stability. She chose to push her family away and to systematically eliminate all but roughly 3 social supports from her life. A little about me: I'm happy in my life. I've made all the right choices, done all the logical things for me: Finished a degree in a career I want; married a man who is present and isn't deployed half the year, put off child-bearing until I feel financially stable, if ever; started a PhD; moved to my dream city; made a lot of friends. I do what I want, when I want, with whomever I want. I'm happy and in a good place. I've had all the time in the world to enjoy my youth and enjoy it well. I did therapy, got good meds, straightened my head out. I'm secure and confident, and excited about my future.

And then I visit her: She's stressed, she's losing it at her kid, she's about to make more poor decisions. I'm so tired of watching her self-destruct. So insanely tired of watching her make the most ridiculous choices and then bend over backwards to justify them. When people ask how she is, it takes me a good half-hour just to explain what the hell she's doing to them in a positive light. I'm her own PR agent, letting everyone know how great and smart and brave she is. But I visit her and it's a different story. She's been obsessing with food and exercise for years, getting dangerously skinny. She's got no patience with her kid...never have I had to sit through so many time-outs within the span of a morning. So I gently, so gently, in the way that all of the advice columnists advise, ask if she's ever thought of a support group or counseling. You know, for the kid, for the separation anxiety. For a group of moms to talk to.

I can see her brow furrowing in  a way that means she's angry. It's subtle; she's terrible at expressing her emotions. I know automatically I've pissed her off. "We don't need that. Thank you for your concern, but I know those things are available to me and would use them if I need them. Sometimes things are bad and we just have to deal with them."

Okay, okay, I get it. Geez. I put my hands up in surrender. I disagree, but she doesn't want to hear it, so say no more.

Weeks pass. A phone call. Yelling. Telling me all the ways I'm a bad friend. I don't listen. I judge her. I think poorly of her. I am also, apparently, not allowed to respond to any of this. I am expected to sit for hours and listen to her list all the ways I am inadequate as a friend. When she makes accusations that are false, that are in no way founded in reality, my attempts to responds are shut down. She is not interested in a discussion. Only yelling at me. Yelling at me for all of my failing as a friend. The plane tickets I spent on visiting her over the years, the phone calls when I had finals the next day, the driving hours to watch her sick daughter, the messages and emails, the commiserating, And always, always putting myself in the back seat for her. Refraining from complaining about anything in my life, lest it seem petty next to her problems. Not getting to call her when I want to because she's so busy with her family, so busy with her second degree, that she can never pick up her phone, let alone listen to a voicemail or answer a message (of course, once when I went three weeks without calling her, I got reamed out. I guess it only goes one way). And now part of her beef is that I don't "tell her things first." I did, or at least I tried. She just never answered the ******* phone.

And then silence, followed by the kiss-off message. A long message detailing everything she hates about me. Telling me I'm the most insecure person she knows (pot, meet kettle), that I have a "need to be superior." When passed around at a party, the consensus is pretty clear: It's not me who is insecure. It's her. It's all her: She's insanely insecure and my very presence reminds her of that, I suppose. "She's just jealous" always sounds so petty, but it's so very apparently true in this case. And I'm so mad that I can't respond to this, that I can't point out how completely flawed her thinking is here. That if she really knew me, she would know I'm actually pretty secure in my life these days and that the only person I compare myself to is myself (I do admit to a pathological need to overachieve; this is true of most PhD students. But my desire to do my best isn't motivated by anyone else's performance...I can't think of a single person that I have actively compared myself to with the exception of my sister when I was a child. That hasn't been an issue for a long time, now). Apparently my "need to be better read" is a deal-breaker for her. No informed people allowed, I guess.

But I guess that's just the problem. She doesn't know me at all, anymore. She thinks she knows me...she thinks she knows what drives and motivates me; but she's completely and utterly off. And maybe I don't know that about her anymore either. But I never planned to make those assumptions and yell at her for them.

I was supposed to be there for the birth of her second baby. I can't even see her facebook page, now. At first I was sad. Now I just hope one day she wakes up and realizes that she's utterly, totally, alone. And it's because she was an insecure, petty friend who couldn't be happy for others and could only focus on herself. I was always surprised when her now-estranged parents called her selfish, but now I understand. She is, totally and utterly selfish and self-focused, and is unable to differentiate between what causes her insecurity: Herself, or others. I only ever had good things to say about and to her, about her life and her parenting and whatever else she did. If I made her feel inferior, it wasn't my actions but her thoughts that made that feeling. I do not have control over that, and could not have done differently...perhaps other than achieving less success or by being less satisfied with my life. I feel lied to: All this time she pretended to be happy for me, but she was really seething under the surface and unable to control her jealousy. This is not friendship, and she was never a real friend. She clung to me because she had no others...she failed to find friendship wherever she went. always finding faults with others and never attempting to foster deep connections. She tried to deepen her connection with me to make up for that, but when she found that it made her reflect on her life and choices in an unpleasant way, she jumped ship on that, too.

Her one remaining life-vest will deflate before long. I hope she drowns.
copterq copterq
May 13, 2012