She's Still My Best Friend, But From A Distance......

     A year ago, I quit talking to my best friend because I couldn't stand to watch her be abused. We have been friends for 20+ years, but over the last 2 years she has become a different person. She has always been the kindest, most generous and giving person I've ever known but her new boyfriend is using her fear of being alone to manipulate and control her.

     When her last relationship ended, the guy wasn't "man" enough to just break it off; he berated her, belittled her and destroyed her self-esteem so he could feel justified in leaving someone that treated him like gold. Unfortunately, she took every word to heart and now believes she isn't worthy of being happy or loved.

     After the break up she didn't date at all for over 4 1/2 years and when she finally took that first step, we (her friends and family) thought it was great! We all KNEW that she was special and we were hoping that this meant she was finally realizing it too. Unfortunately, that first date became an "instant relationship" - they were a "couple" after the first date, living together within two days!.  This threw up warning flags for those that care for her, but we still hoped for the best - she DESERVES to be happy! Unfortunately, our hope was short lived.

     Within 3 months, he had literally cost her 2 jobs, one she had for over 20 years, working in her family's store! When he was fired from his job, he started going to work with her every day. Almost immediately, she was fired for the till being short, something that had never occurred in the whole time she had been  working! Her other job was as an in-home care giver for the state, but he told her "if she really cared about him, she would quit so she could spend more time with him. He was lonely and she was ALWAYS working", even though she only had 1 client for 1 1/2 hours a day!

      He's has isolated her from her friends and her family, as well. Everyone stays away because when you care about someone, it's painful to see them treated so poorly. Of course, he doesn't just confine his rudeness to her, but is equally rude to her friends and family. I'm sure that is just another way of insuring that she isn't around the people that she might listen to when it comes to him. I was the last hold-out, having told both him and her that I wouldn't allow him to cause a rift in our friendship, but when he stepped into my face and I felt my own safety was in jeopardy, I had to back away.

      He has been living off her and her 86 year-old Mom for the past 2 years now, first by living in an apartment her Mom owned (then later sold to her son) and when, after 8 months without paying any rent, he was evicted, he moved in with my friend at her Mom's!  He's even trying to talk my friend into putting her Mom into a home because she "monopolizes" too much of "HIS" time with her!

      He has been stealing from her Mom, justifying it by saying that she "isn't going to miss these things, she doesn't even know what all she even has in the house. She hasn't been in the upstairs in what, 6 or 7 years?" It has even gotten to the point where she agrees with him and brags about what they've taken and pawned! It's hard to believe she's fallen so far, so quickly!

     Just before I quit talking to her, she asked to borrow $400 until her final check came in 4 days. She said they needed it for rent, and since I've loaned her money off and on for 10 years without incident, I thought nothing of it. I had always helped her when she needed it, just the same as she had for me. When her pay day came and went without a word from her, I KNEW something wasn't right. HE called me the next day and  said that I shouldn't expect "them" to pay me back because I knew neither of them were working, that if I was really her friend I wouldn't even mention the money! She wouldn't talk to me when I asked.  He said, she felt I had betrayed her, but  I say she wouldn't talk to me because she felt guilty for treating me and our friendship as if it were disposable.

     This "man" calls her names most would never consider for even the lowest life form, much less the one they profess to love! He hits her and degrades her at every turn, but the really sad thing about the situation is that she doesn't love him and she's admitted as much on more than one occasion. She has convinced herself that if she wasn't with him, she'd be alone, and in her mind, thanks to the ex-boyfriend and this new piece of work, this relationship is all she can hope for and anything is better than being on her own!

     Finally, it became too painful for me to see her treated so poorly and I had to walk away. I told her that I loved her like a sister and that I would always be on her side and will never close the door on our friendship, but until she realizes what we all know - that she has value and she is worth more than what she is accepting in this relationship - I would be a friend from a distance.
 

     Hopefully, she will come to her senses soon and realize that EVERYONE ELSE can't be wrong about this guy! It's been almost a year since we last spoke. I am friends with her whole family, so still hear about what's going on with her. From what I've been told, things haven't improved and she's no closer to standing up for herself than she was when all this began. I hope she finds her way out of this mess soon, but until then, I'm her friend from a distance.

imacamarogirl2 imacamarogirl2
46-50, F
1 Response Mar 6, 2010

You've done the right thing by distancing yourself from your friend. It's sad that she has such a low opinion of herself. All you can do is pray that she sees the light one day and chooses a different, better path. Hopefully she will. Have faith.