“It’s hard to separate our feelings of obligation from our own healthy choices…bottom line, people do what they do. If they don’t want to do it, they won’t. If they did it with strings attached, they shouldn’t be surprised when someone has scissors, and knows how to use them.”
The above quote is one of my own, and appropriate for this post. The scissors necessary in this case have to do with a certain friend who has let me down one too many times. I have high standards for the people I consider my close friends, but i also know how to forgive when warranted, and the value of compassion and second chances. But there are no more Get out of Jail Free cards for this friend.
I mentioned her most recently in a previous Herniated Disco post…she was the one who was coming to help me in my time of greatest need. She was going to live in my home for free and be around when I needed help during my recovery. She was going to attend the nursing school here–a goal she claims to have had for a long time, and for which she is not only suited but has lengthy practical experience for since she has worked as a CNA for a long time. She was also going to move to Colorado with me and start her fresh life there. Not only did she not do any of that. But she just abruptly stopped calling. Mind you i live alone and my best friend is two hours away and could only get away from her 15-hour a day, 6 or 7 day per week job to help me once a week. (But my best friend called me several times a day). Here I am, laid up in bed, in excruciating pain, all alone, and she goes off the grid. (I also had a bit of a setback because i had to go get a box of kitty litter in and down the stairs, and also dump a pan that had gotten too full, and I think that’s what caused my disc to regress to where it was three weeks ago…this was the sort of thing she had promised to do for me when she got here.)
Now, this silence isn’t new for her. I wasn’t concerned for her well-being. This is a pattern she has. She’ll appear, asking for my advice–usually about a relationship. About the last 30 times it has been about her most recent girlfriend. The one who turned out to be abusive and quite literally mentally ill. Long story short, my friend continued to go back to the relationship even after repeated epiphanies about why she should not, and thanking me for my counsel and agreeing with my assessment, etc. Back and forth, like a yo-yo–swearing she’s DONE with the girl, DONE with being mistreated, and all fired up that she’ll finally start having some self respect, and then there will be a long silence and she’ll reappear, having gotten back with the girl, and then experienced a new wave of issues, and breaking up again…and it will be OVER. DONE FOR REAL THIS TIME. This most recent one was the same relationship in which she asked for my help–asked me to do something on her behalf, and when her girlfriend verbally attacked me for it, screaming at me on the phone over it, my “friend” did not stick up for me and confess it was her idea. I finally just wrote her an email that was all about me trying to make her see, once and for all, how this pattern was going to destroy her life, and indeed had been destroying her life…I was firm, but honest and genuinely trying to help her one last time. She took the crazy girlfriend’s side, twisted everything around and said some pretty hateful things back to me. I let it drop and assumed that was the end of it.
Then she came back later with her hat in her hands, the same song and dance, thanking me, telling me she was so sorry and I was right, etc, etc. Against my better judgment, I accepted her apology. I knew she was her own worst enemy.
Now this, with her emphatic pronouncements of helping me, all the things she could do to make me feel better, etc, free of the last crazy girl for a little longer. I again took her word. But here is the pattern again. She falls off the gird, stops calling, and I know that either she has gone back to the psycho girlfriend, or reneged again on her promises to me–or BOTH.
It might be important at this juncture to point out that she had done this very same thing before–giving me her word she was moving in–that was going to allow me to save the money to move to Colorado and get her out of the town she hated living in, and allow her to go to nursing school. And then weaseling out.
SO –I heard nothing from her for several weeks. Several weeks while I am still in a recovery process and needing the help she was supposed to provide in exchange for a free place to live; several weeks wherein she did not call at all, and so had no idea if I was better or worse or in the hospital, or DEAD.
Then day before yesterday, she started calling and I was just unwilling to answer that phone. She called about three times and then a few times yesterday. She left no messages. I know how this part goes and I’m sick to death of it.
I believe it’s time for me to cut the cord. Not on the phone. On her. I just can’t go round and round like this, and I have to know I can trust the word of my friends. And I also can do without the emotional damage that keeps her in bad relationships and bouncing back to me for advice she agrees with but never takes. I can’t do it anymore.
Remember those Necessary Scissors?