Sunday, August 16, 2020

Of course I'll forgive her

I'm in a mood. Maybe it's because my Cubs just lost their consecutive third one-run game. Or perhaps it's because I don't approve of the movies TCM scheduled for Cary Grant day on Summer Under the Stars. (What? No Penny Serenade?)

Or maybe it's because I'm still pissed at my oldest friend, and I don't know what to do about it. I love her so much and don't know where to put all these feelings.

Over 4th of July weekend, she and I had a great conversation. It was lively and funny. I felt so grounded in the world because I was so connected to her. She's been my friend since Kindergarten, and our relationship is important to me.

During that call I confessed how scared I was about the lump in my breast. At that point I had 2 1/2 weeks to go until the mammogram and was terrified. She was comforting and loving.

Then I heard nothing from her. For weeks and weeks and weeks. I called and left messages. She never picked up.

I wanted us to discuss whether I should go to my niece's bridal shower. My oldest friend knows my niece and my sister, and how complicated my relationship is with the latter. And the mammogram and lump! She knows how, after going with breast cancer with my friends Kathleen and Barb, for me it's not a question of "why me?" it's "why not me?"


She's unemployed. It's not like I'm keeping her from anything. I'm just not important. This hurts.

Finally, on July 28, she wrote me a chatty email about how excited she is about her new phone. Now she'll be able to tell who's been calling her!* She detailed her ongoing medical issues, filled me in about her writing, and explained that she's had problems with depression because her doctor switched her meds.

I get depression. I know it's real, I know it can be debilitating. If that had been the end of her correspondence, I wouldn't be upset.

But no, she wrote absolutely stupid shit about me. How did I feel about the Cubs season being cancelled? REALLY? The Cubs season is in full swing! She asked whether I'm worried about going back to the office. Nothing about my niece's shower, nothing about my breast. Nothing relevant or personal about me. She doesn't care.

Then she goes on Facebook and posts something chirpy to a former coworker about how delightful her life is, now that she's "retired." Really? With me, she's filled with self loathing because she was let go, can't find another job, and is unable to pay rent or make car payments. With me, she's crippled by depression and barely able to function. On Facebook she's happier than she's ever been in her life! (And too busy and popular to look at the six -- count 'em, six! -- photos of my niece's bridal shower.)

Last week, her aunt died out there in So Cal. She texted me today that auntie's ashes will be buried in here in Chicagoland when "it's safer to fly." Oh, goodie! She's going to expect to stay with me, isn't she? Maybe I don't want houseguests from a corona virus hotspot, during Covid19. Maybe I don't want houseguests at all, since my den is such a mess.

Maybe I want to feel like a part of this relationship, and not just a sweater she only reaches for when she feels chilly.

I'm so angry. I'm so hurt. I miss her so much.

She's my funny friend. My touchstone. The one I went sledding with when that teeny-tiny slope still looked like a big hill.

Of course I'll forgive her. But first I have to forgive myself for being sooooooooo fucking angry and hurt.

And, really, TCM. You couldn't give me Father Goose on Cary Grant day? Cary himself said it was his favorite performance!

*This smacks of plausible deniability. She wants me to excuse her not picking up.


  1. I am sorry about your friend. I have been through that. Worse, I had a friend "drop me" after 20+years. It is complicated but like you, it hurts. It took awhile, but I finally let go but not after it took a tole on me physically. I will never understand why, but maybe it is best that way. I hope you come to terms with your situation.

  2. I'm so sorry Gal. She shouldn't have treated you this way.

    Your friend's new medication could be giving her manic periods. Something she can't identify with, having depression for so long. She also sounds like she's just totally gushing on Facebook. I hate that place, it's possible to be absolutely poisonous in there.

  3. I am very sorry. Friendships shouldn't be so complicated, but anything involving humans are. I recently, like Susan, had a friendship of nearly 20 years just go "poof" - because I stopped playing by her rules. That's a toxic relationship, when a person has to play by another's rules to be friends. I know your friend is a long time friend and you care about her very much - but maybe it is time to stop being a sweater. It will hurt, maybe for always, but you will stop having expectations. That's key to many things, not having expectations. Have you read The Four Agreements? I recommend it if you haven't. Sorry, you weren't asking for advice, so you can ignore that and just accept my sympathy and empathy. Take care of yourself.

  4. Oh, Gal, I'm sorry I missed this in a timely manner. I know what you mean about allowing yourself to be pissed before you forgive her. And you're more than compassionate about her depression. As others have mentioned, changing meds can dramatically cause personality blips.

    You're still the friend I wish I was.