A lot of people come and go in your life. Some you’re closer with than others, or at least you think you are. It’s during the tough times that you really learn who those friends are and who you can count on to be there for you when you need them. I always hear the saying
I’ve learned throughout the years, despite wanting to give people chances to do what they say and change for the better, they usually never do. Whether or not it’s due to them not believing they’re doing anything wrong, or they just don’t care, no one can say for sure except the person themself, sometimes not even them. If they aren’t aware of what they’re doing, it’s hard to remain angry, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep catering to their needs and tolerating their destructive behaviour in your own life.
My own recent experience arose right before my boyfriend and I received confirmation of our last miscarriage. My friend called a few days before the fact to tell me she was coming into town. It wasn’t specifically to see me, but at the time I was working full-time and it was a really busy week for me so I informed her I wouldn’t have time to hang out. Then, as it turned out, I was put on bed rest and confined to my house, which she took as an open invitation to come use my facilities. The initial visit was nice, catching up and talking for a few hours. It was more her just talking about the same old drama in her life the entire time, which was basically our entire friendship, looking back.
Anyways, after the visit, she goes to get wasted with some of our mutual friends. As she’s leaving my house, after getting ready, she asks if she can leave her things here. I wasn’t keen on it but trying to be a good friend I said sure, and she left her crap in a pile on the living room floor by the wall. Not to mention my belongings that she used and left out including a wet towel on a kitchen chair.
A while later, she texted me asking if she could come back over the next day to have her hangover in my house. I tried to tell her no, because I was on fricken bed rest, and with my heightened sense of smell I didn’t want to get nauseous at the post alcoholic stench, but she insisted she’d be quiet and just sleep so I caved. Next day she didn’t show up when she said, called me all fucked up from a friends workplace rambling on and on, literally repeating the same phrase for the entire conversation, then had the nerve to ask me why I wasn’t excited about what she had to say. Um maybe because you’re annoying the shit out of me with your shenanigans while I’m already stressed out, while you’re messing up my house and expecting me to drop my life to cater to your drunken messes. I tried to be patient.
When she finally sowed up at my house it was later in the afternoon, I had gone to my bedroom in hopes of avoiding her and I was tired and wanted to sleep. I woke up to her banging around in my shower a couple of times, then after she saw I was awake and came barging in, jumped into bed with me to cuddle (which I was not in to at the time as I was already livid) and proceeded to recount her night’s drama. I got up and went down to the couch. She was going out again that night, so she got ready again.
I had another friend coming over that night to get my help in picking paint for her house (I used to be a painter), and the invader friend knew of this, yet when that time came around she was still hanging around. As she was leaving she made this scene in front of my friend on the phone saying “my best friend this and my best friend that… I’m staying at her house this week”. My paint friend and I just stared at each other, then she took out the garbage when she was leaving, a nice gesture that I appreciated but the whole situation made everything feel so fake to me. There was still a pile of crap left on my floor and shit lying around.
After my friend left, I messaged her asking her if she intended to be using my facilities and house as storage for the rest of the week, because I was unaware of and definitely not okay with it. Apparently she was staying at her parents for the rest of the week, but then why would she just leave her shit on my floor again? I made her come get her shit in the morning and after she left I sent her a novel message about how rude, selfish and inconsiderate she was, and has been the last few times I saw her (pressuring me to party when I wasn’t in the mood or feeling well, only caring about what she wanted to) and that I didn’t want to hear about her garbage life choices anymore if all she was going to do is constantly complain about how unhappy she is and how everyone else is always in the wrong. She responded with what sounded like to me as a plight to just get me to shut up, saying she’ll change, put it on her to do list, that she looks up to me and uses me as an example (what she said before when I told her I was unhappy with her previous behaviours). I almost felt like I was in the wrong in bringing it up, still kind of do, but what about my own feelings? I’m not about to hide them for the sake of someone else’s.
It was in that moment that I realized that she had never really been a friend to me unless I was giving something to her like getting wasted or involving myself in her drama. Every time I actually tried doing something about my issues she was only around if I wanted to drink my sorrows away, then it would always en up in a conversation about her. That if she really cared about me would ask and listen and react to what I needed and not herself only, that she would be able to pick up on my emotional and body language cues if she cared to notice (they’re not subtle; if someone gets up and walks away from you don’t fucking follow them and keep doing whatever it was you were doing to make them leave in the first place). I told her how I felt and haven’t really talked to her since, side some short reply texts when she asked how I was doing; she still acted like nothing was wrong.
Right now I’m still really pissed off for letting her make me believe she was actually a good friend to me. I think maybe she wanted to be, but she just couldn’t, and that would make me more mad at myself for allowing the situation to keep happening. I feel like she treated me more like a guidance counselor or psychologist, but without the perks ($$$), than a friend. I have plenty of friends, even acquaintances that treat me better than that and they don’t refer to me constantly to everyone within earshot as their “best friend”. Maybe I was a best friend to her, that’s what she felt, but she wasn’t returning the action and I wasn’t willing to tolerate that kind of toxic relationship in my life anymore.
I should have seen the signs and not given so many chances, but people make mistakes and often learn from them, so I try to be optimistic. Who someone is is not a mistake, though, and that can’t really be changed. Sometimes people can learn and grow, but who they are as a person, is always the same, and not everyone meshes well together. It’s no insult, at least it shouldn’t be if you simply do not like someone, you aren’t required to like any one person or give them your time. But if someone does show you who they are, and you choose to ignore it, that’s on you for any more hurt you may acquire as a result of their actions. The people you choose to have around you will reflect who you are, also, and if you grow out of someone, I think it’s better for everyone involved if you do what’s right for you: the only person that truly has your best interest at heart.