Friday, January 04, 2008

Out Out damn spot

Imagine this- you have a cancerous tumour. You have had it for say 15 years. Most of the time it is friendly - it doesn't bother you much. But every now and then it gets nasty and it upsets you - it hurts you so deep in your core that you can never let go of that pain. You try to - all the times it is nice to you, you try not to remember the hurt, but just focus on the other times you have had together. It is there - it is part of you, but you also know that it is slowly killing you.

One day after another attack you decide enough is enough and you decide to remove it. You make the incision, and after a few days of it trying to attack you again, you are finally free of it. It is gone. The thing that was hurting you so very much is out of your life. You still hurt. You still remember, and you know removing it was the very best thing you could do for yourself.

You vow to protect your son from knowing it's wrath. You promise yourself that things will be better from now on.

Well I had such a cancer in the form of a friend that I have known since high school. We were good friends then but I had trouble understanding her actions a lot of the time. Maybe that was the attraction. She was unpredictable to me.

We used to go out to nightclubs and if any guy as much as spoke to me she would sully those giddy girly feelings I got by telling me he was only speaking to me so he could get to her. That hurt. Yes she was pretty. Skinny, tall. Nothing like me. But maybe the guys were talking to me because, well, because they liked "me".

She got married and had two beautiful children. I loved visiting her and the children - but she hated me having anything to do with them. She told me that she was insanely annoyed that I spent so much time with them. That it really got to her that i would greet these children running into my arms as I entered the door, before I ever stopped to greet her. She made it very clear that if I visited and brought presents for the children, that I had better have brought her a present too.

She spoke to her children in a way that really upset me too. When on the phone to me I would ask where the children are and she would say "in the bath". I would say "shouldn't you be in there too? they are only young" to which she would answer "nah - hopefully they will drown". It always gave me shivers.

They lived in a street where instead of houses on the other side of the street there was an open railway line. She would tell the kids to "go play on the railway line and stop bothering me". I hated hearing it - these were children without the senses of logic yet - they were too young. What if they went and did what she said?

I questioned her about these things often and she would say "they know I am only joking".

Once out shopping, she was trying on a dress and her 5 month old child was crying. I asked "can I pick her up?" and she yelled "don't you dare touch her - the bitch only wants attention". I knew it was an insane comment then, and now that Alex is almost that age I know first hand how insane that comment is.

There was much much more wrong in our relationship. We both tried to fix it - many times. Of course, it wasn't all bad, and I have only given you some examples of the things that really upset me, but we were very different and we grew more and more apart as the years progressed.

So then there was the final straw. She lives about an hour away from me. I go past her place if I go visit my sister. So when I went to visit my sister recently, I dropped in. She met Alex. Something I swore I wouldn't do - I didn't want her attitude to affect my son in any way, shape or form. I stayed for a while but I still had a 2 hour journey ahead and after Alex was fed, changed and snoozy, I left to continue my journey. She knew I was coming back past again in 4 days time. She said to drop in on the way back. I said "i'll try but will see how we are going and if Alex is settled then I will probably just keep going while the going is good".

So on my return journey, Alex was asleep and I had about an hour left before his next feed by the time I went near her place. I kept going.

Next day I get an angry email from her - she wasn't impressed that I didn't drop in.

It was my final straw. I told her I just couldn't take any more abuse from her. I worded it nicely but i was honest. I told her that we were growing too far apart and it just wasn't working anymore. I told her that I think it was time we ended the friendship.

I got abusive emails from her for the next few weeks.

On my birthday she emailed me to tell me that she hated my husband and told me why. She said some horrible things about what she suspects he is like. She told me that she didn't trust him around her children. It actually made me stop and review whether I was blind to his faults. I hated that she made me question my own husband.

Eventually the abuse stopped but I cried for weeks about it. I still do.

So why then - do you think - that when I dreamt the other night that she came to make amends, that she wanted to start over, and wanted us to really work at our friendship - why did I wake up and actually consider calling her and trying to repair it?

Why can't I stop thinking about her - 2 months after finishing the friendship? Why can't I stop wondering whether I should make contact? Whether I should apologise for being a crappy friend and see if we can salvage some of what we saw in each other all those years ago?

Why would I want to invite the cancer back into my life? Her "friendship" as it was was slowly killing me. I know it had to go, but why can't I get my brain to see that too?

Why do I want to contact her and say "I am soooo sorry. I should have worked harder at our friendship, and I am so sorry that it fell apart"?

It is driving me crazy. Every time I stop to think about anything - I think of her. I think of her when showering, when having a coffee, when I wake up for goodness sake. What is the universe trying to tell me?

Is this going to haunt me forever? How do I get closure on this without it involving any contact with her? How do I stop myself contacting her?

Please help.



At 5:13 am, Blogger Dr. J said...

This is going to be me being waay to amateur-pop-psych hour, but have you really tried to figure out what it was you got out of that friendship? This isn't as easy as it seems and if you kept going back to it despite its apparent cancerous overtones then there was something there that you wanted/needed. It's not going to sound very logical or nice, but it was there. It could have been a sense of superiority, or feeling needed, or feeling... well I don't know - but you did get something from it. Maybe if you can identify exactly what it was, then you can either get past that need for it, or find another way of getting it.

At 6:59 am, Blogger Casp said...

I would steer clear of her.

If she makes you feel this bad after contact, it isn't worth it.

I think you feel like you should be able to act in the right way to fix it, and you are casting around for a solution. But there probably isn't one.

Some people are just nutbags and whatever you do things will not work out well.

At 8:24 am, Blogger Bugsy said...

Thanks guys,

Casp - I think you are right - I don't like the way it ended. I guess it would have been easier if it had ended a little more nicely - however that could have played out.

Dr J - you really made me think on this one - interesting. What was I getting out of it? The last 7 years have been minimal contact and most of that was abuse. I will have to give this thought a lot more consideration - Thanks.

At 8:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you know the answer to this and need to remember why it is you know the answer.

In likening her and your relationship to a 'cancer,' your relationship was more bad than it ever was good.

Perhaps you did have some good times with her but it seems as tho it was all on her terms, when she willing to be nice and if it benefitted her.

You would probably feel regret if you resumed your friendship with her- I doubt she would make it very easy for you, considering the horrible things she insinuated about your husband and the numerous abuse she has subjected to you through email.

You deserve better than that. You don't seem to feel so now, but you are the stronger, more mature person for removing her bad influence from your life and resultantly from your husbands and importantly from your sons life.

If she is able to so freely 'joke' about her kids playing on the rail way, imagine how she might take liberty to joke about people's other children? How would that make you feel? Is this friendship really worth that?

Anyone who say terrible things about their family, then your own family should be steered clear of. It doesn't seem she is very rational, but a little bit crazy even.

I don't think you will ever have a relationship with her and if you make a move to make amends- (and why in the heck should you say sorry? you didn't do anything wrong)- you will likely have more misery than relief.

Give things time- as it is possible you may be preoccupied with the void she has left in your life- as in you have known eachother a long time and that association was a level of companionship, regardless of how bad you felt with it at times.

At 10:32 am, Anonymous Rachel from Melbourne said...

What really concerns me in all of this is how this woman treats her children- it's worrying. From what you said Bugsy, it sounds like the children are in real danger- not only physically but emotionally. Sounds like this woman has real problems- I mean who in their right mind would let their kids play near railway tracks?? And to speak about them the way she did to you in the store?? This woman is leading her kids into a lifetime of low self esteem and self destructive behaviour. She's the one person in their lives who should be protecting them and building them up- not putting them in danger and tearing them down.
Also, I have experienced a similar break down in a friendship recently and I was given some advice which I found helpful, and that was that withdrawing from the friendship for a time may cause her to examine her self and bring about a change in her for the better- walk away until you're strong enough to go back and be honest with her about why you left.
Take care=)

At 11:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Bugs, I am sorry you are having a hard time.

I have had friends like this over the years - awful, crazy people who for some reason or another are just really great at getting people to love them. Sometimes they represent the past and it's hard to let them go. what does this friend represent for you?

I understand the feeling of missing them. I still want to seek out this friend of mine, C., even though I know I am better off without her. I dream about her sometims, and I try to remember that its what she represents - the part of me that didn't think I ws worthy of better treatment - not her, that it's about.

Often I find that part of me is coming out in some area of my life.

At 8:39 pm, Blogger Sitting in Silence said...

I'mmmmmmmm Back !!! and I missed the photos of my little spunky man !!

Anyway back to the post...

I think sometimes we have to look at what we base a "friendship on', it sounds to me like this woman is an emotional mess.

Sometimes because we feel sorry or pity for the person,we try and connect in some way.

Hope I am not too deep here. I live by the rule of asking myself...when did I let the behaviour become exceptable?....the answer is ....never.

Having met you in person and knowing you now for a few years, you would have to be one of the most caring souls I have ever met.
This woman saw this and has crossed the line in a huge way.

You being you Sis will worry to the end of the earth that you did something wrong.

Truth is...she has done you a huge favour....

Run while you can and if it helps, write her a note (you never have to give it to her),you can place it someplace safe, but at least you have closure....

You deserve that !!!

At 11:56 pm, Blogger OHN said...

Hi Bugsy--I read this post with interest as I had a similar situation several years ago. The only thing that made me feel better was to put into writing my concerns and the reasons that I was hurt. I waited a week to send it and re-read it before it went out and I still felt all the things I had written were honest and really represented my view of the fractured friendship and I have never regretted sending it. I did hear later from a third party that my letter struck a cord with her and she did change for awhile then went back to her mean and spiteful ways. It is hard to lose a "friend" but a friend doesn't hurt another friend. More than anything I agree with the above commenters...I am worried about her kids.

At 12:36 pm, Blogger Katt said...

Hey chicken little

You know where I stand on this "friend".

I walked away from a friendship almost 6 years ago. And still to this day I miss the good times I had with this person. BUT waslking away was the best thing for me and my girls (mostly my girls).

The fact you are referring to this friendship as a cancer tells me volumes of where it really stands.

Not having many friends and losing one is hard, but when its needed its needed. I know..I've been there.


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