Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Frenemies

I met Sara* when we were in our senior year of high school. Wait!...maybe junior year?...I can't quite remember. I had known of her, but I didn't actually really meet her until that time. We had a science class together, and since her BFF ( whom she was slowly falling out with ) wasn't there with her, we ended up pairing up a few times when we had to pick "partners" for things.

From there, the story unfolds...

Sara was from the same sort of background as me, except switched up a bit. Divorced parents, unstable environment, shitty self-esteem, and looking for love in the wrong places. We seemed to have a lot in common. What I didn't know was that becoming her friend was one of the most toxic things I've ever done to myself.

But soon, we were BFFs. We would ride to school together. We would hang out after school. When she wasn't with her boyfriend and I wasn't with mine, we were together. I saw the signs from the get-go but it didn't get really bad until after we graduated high school. That's when shit hit the fan.

She was in a physically and mentally abusive relationship with a boyfriend that she had met online for years. He had moved here to be with her and he was also very insecure. He would use me as a way to get to her--saying sexually perverse things about me to her to piss her off and feed into her low self-esteem. But instead of being mad at him for them, she would become mad at me. Daunting insecurity grew a wedge between us fairly quickly, even though I hadn't done anything to even cause the matter. Unfortunately, I allowed this to happen for a number of years before I finally wised up and decided to make Sara a part of my past.

The summer/fall after graduating, she called me bawling at 2:00 AM because her and her boyfriend had a blow out. I lived 30 minutes away. I got dressed and drove my ass to come get her and some of her belongings and bring her back to the place my ex and I had together. I took her in for a month. What did she do?...she went back to the asshole. Can I blame her? No...I did it many times before. But I learned a while after this that she had seduced my boyfriend, walking around in a revealing towel and saying inappropriate things while I wasn't around. Yep...my "best friend".

Now I will admit, I'm almost certain that I've blocked out a lot of memories, mostly because if I recalled all the shit she did to me, I'd be even more damaged. But do you know how much it hurts to feel so alone in the world and have the one person you wanted SO BADLY to be there for you through thick and thin/never judge you/always stick up for you/love you no matter what ACTUALLY treat you like their worst enemy?! I do talk about it in therapy. It did scar me. As much as I wish it didn't have an impact on me, it did. And it sucks.

Another ex approached her on Myspace/Facebook instigating a threesome with her and his buddy...while I was still dating him. Did she put him in his place? No. Because it was attention for her and hurtful to me. She told me later, during a fight, with no remorse.

She slept with my ex-fiance and lied to me numerous times about it, simply to "get back at me". For what?...standing up for myself? Who the HELL sleeps with their BEST FRIEND'S ex-fiance?! ESPECIALLY knowing he mentally abused me, and being a victim yourself of mental abuse?! I found pictures she had sent to him...in his softball shirt. Yes, he was my ex but he was the guy I was with for so many years and she was supposed to be my friend.

She even went as far as to make fun of my dog to get to me. She would joke with other mean girls that Lola was "ugly" and call her names, also. How sad and rude.

I had to always babysit her and never even got a thank you. Whenever we would go out, she would get obliterated and I would have to 1) make sure she got home safe and 2) make sure she didn't get raped. I remember one instance when we went to the beach and she had a very low cut top on--she was trying to get an older guy and his son to buy her free drinks. Well, I stepped outside on the boardwalk to smoke a cigarette and apparently while I was outside, those guys got handsy. And she got MAD AT ME because "I wasn't there for her". We literally got into a screaming match on the boardwalk because of it. But instead of texting ME to come back inside, she texted a friend back home saying that I "left her to get sexually assaulted" pretty much. Uh, WHAT?! I had my phone with me. I was a text message away. And you text someone 4 hours away simply to bitch that I wasn't "there for you"?! GTFOH.

I was there through the good and the bad for her, and did not judge unless I was pushed by insults. And even then, I didn't really want to but I didn't know how else to make her feel the hurt that she would cause me. She would call me every name in the book simply because her boyfriend got her mad, including "fat chubba chubba whale" ( we were the same size and she KNEW I was insecure about my weight ), a slut, a cunt, a fucking bitch, etc. She would constantly throw my mistakes in my face, like how she had to go rescue me and a guy friend out of a wooded area because his car got stuck in the mud. Sure, I was being sneaky with that guy, but as my BEST FRIEND you don't use that information against me. YOU LOVE ME REGARDLESS or you tell me, "Hey, Jenn, don't do that shit--you're better than this!" When you're friends with someone you are supposed to raise them up, NOT put them down!

I should've known when she spoke of Jess* poorly that she would do the same to me. The insults about her mom, jealous of her new car ( even though she obtained that car from insurance money her mom had after she had DIED ), etc. She was mad that Jess moved on from her, which I clearly see now. But she never talked about Jess to people the way she would talk about ME to others. It's like she wanted no one to like me, and made it her sole purpose to get people to hate me. How did I remain friends with her for so long?!

I write this not for pity or for spite, but to get a message across ( and also it's kinda therapeutic ) I have depression and anxiety, and as I age it becomes worse. But having a mental disorder is NO excuse for being a shitty person to others. If you have bad self-esteem, your main purpose should be to help others rise to their potential, not degrade them to make yourself feel better. I never intentionally put someone down to make myself feel better UNLESS I was being attacked; and even THEN I toned it down, because I know when you piss off a bully, all it tends to do is make things worse. I put up with a LOT of shit from my so-called best friend--even more than my abusive ex did to me! But I stayed...for years.

I don't know who reads this blog honestly, and I don't care. I have very few friends these days, and no one really knows the extent of Sara and I's "friendship". And it's not their business. People from the past may THINK they know how things happened, but there's only two correct stories: mine, and hers. And they may both be correct...perception is our own truth. But what I perceived was that my BFF was being mentally abused and, to cope, she mentally abused me. And it sucked. I wished so hard for years that karma would come bite her, but now that it has numerous times I just feel...indifferent.

It's a fine line of feeling sorry for *anyone* because of the battles they face, and feeling sorry for a certain person because of who they once were in you rlife. No matter how shitty of a person you may be in life, you will ( hopefully ) have someone that loves you. And to know that there are others hurting because someone they love is hurting...it's sad. I would never wish such things on anyone. I would never intentionally cause harm. But I can honestly say...that I don't care. 

I guess it seems a little hypocritical to say that I don't care as I'm writing this, but I don't care--now. I care how the past has affected my life. I care how it has affected my self-esteem. I care how it has affected my current relationships in my life. I'm not a perfect person or a perfect friend, but everyday I try to be even a minuscule amount of a better person than I was yesterday. And yes, people can change...but only if they want to and work hard to.  

I wish that everyone in life could be the best version of themselves that they can be, and sometimes...we need help. I take meds, I do talk-therapy and I analyze my actions on a daily basis. I think, "what could I have done differently?", "how could I have said that better?", "what is the point I'm trying to get across and how do I approach it?" But because of the trials I've faced, I also fall back. I distance myself. I shut down. I don't know how to adequately talk to someone about my feelings because I remember being put down so often by people who claimed to *love* me. 

I empathize and sympathize with people far too often; and when you do that, you start making excuses for behavior that has no excuses.

I wish I would have stood up for myself and I wish I had had the backbone I've desperately always wanted. Maybe things would've went differently...and maybe not. But in the end of all of this, the past is the past and there's no way of changing that. All you can do is strive to be a better person tomorrow and not make the same mistakes that you did yesterday.

I'll leave with this--if you know that you have a problem with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder or any other mental health issue, do not be afraid to ask for help. There are so many available resources out there. It's not you giving up and no one will think less of you. We all have issues, but it's about what you do to solve them that counts in life...