Last night I was feeling pretty alone and melancholy. I was thinking about those long-term friends I’d lost following the separation from my husband. One, in particular, stings. Today, I was trying to figure out why it hurts so much. After all, when I think back on our friendship since we were 8 years old, M wasn’t exactly a very good friend to me. In fact, if it weren’t for my naivety and capacity to forgive, we wouldn’t have stayed friends as long as we did. Sometimes I think back to all those things I forgave and get mad at myself for being so stupid. My mother always told me I am too trusting. I know in myself that one of my major faults is wanting to be liked. I guess those things combined lead to this toxic friendship lasting as long as it did.
I did not have a good time at school, until around year 11 when I started having fun. Being smart meant being unpopular, and I definitely didn’t have looks that could make up for the brain. But earlier on in school, it was M who would make school difficult, despite being my BFF. Some examples I thought of just a few moments ago:
- After coming over my house for dinner and being disgusted with the chicken feet in the soup my mum cooked (which I loved), she told everyone at school about it and teased me. Mum never made that soup again when M visited (granted, we were quite young at this time, and little kids can be cruel).
- We would walk to school together in primary school, but some days I would reach the corner where we were supposed to meet and she hadn’t stopped. She was ahead of me, and when I ran to catch up to her, it was like she was angry with me, and I had no idea what I’d done.
- In year 7, her, K and T thought it would be hilarious to tell me that this boy I liked, P, liked me too. It got to the point where I was supposed to meet him at lunch time to kiss him, and it was then he told me that it was all a joke.
- At the start of year 8, she cracked the shits with me for copying her, because my mum bought me the same school bag as what she had, and bought me a pair of Nike Airs. She had Nike Airs too, but aside from being the same brand, they looked nothing alike (mine were grey mesh and hers were white leather) but it didn’t matter, because I had copied her.
- In high school we didn’t have a lot of classes together, but we’d hang out at recess and lunch. Until, that is, one of her new friends didn’t want me hanging around anymore because I was boring, and so she told me I couldn’t hang around them.
- In year 8 she brought her diary to school, and someone told her I called her a slut based on what she’d written in her diary, and she didn’t even give me a chance to tell my side of the story.
- In year 9, I can’t remember the specifics, but N told me that she’d heard from M that I was a big liar.
M then went to a different high school when her family moved to the other side of Adelaide partway into year 9. Things were ok for a while. At least, there’s no painful memories I can recall. Obviously as you get a little older you do less childish things, and so the past was forgotten for a time. There are only a few things in adulthood that stand out for me as being particularly painful:
- Before her first son was born, she asked if I’d like to be the child’s godmother. After he was born, I was overlooked.
- She stopped talking to me for a few months when she thought I was stupid for forgiving my partner at the time and staying with him.
- She took my marriage separation personally, and hasn’t spoken to me since.
So, why the hell do I care that she’s no longer in my life?
I am in no way perfect. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. I can’t change my past, but I can change me. I have some amazing friends in my life right now, who love me unconditionally. Even if they don’t support my decisions, they support and stand by me. So why is it so hard for me to forget someone who finds it so easy to forget me?