I woke up yesterday morning like it was any other day. I watched my future wife get ready for the day and for the millionth time her beauty took my breath away. I thought wow she is absolutely beautiful. I checked in with our oldest just as she was getting ready to leave for school – I love how independent she has become over these past couple of months. Then the two boys followed not far behind. Slamming out their morning routine with practiced ease. I sipped my coffee and logged in to work for the day. The keys on the keyboard were an extension of my fingertips with my mind clear, and focused. I texted our other two kids and wished them a good day at school. The kitten playfully jabbed at my toes while the dogs slept soundly waiting for their kids to come home from school. A peace washed over me as I realized that this is the life I was meant to live. It wasn’t until around noon that I realized it was the 3rd anniversary of my motorcycle accident.
I crave riding again and dream of having a motorcycle of my own once again. Everytime a motorcycle passes me, I feel a deep sense of craving to be on a bike again but worry that I’d have another PTSD episode. I still have unexpected pains in my left wrist, is it enough to stop me from being safe or am I just too scared to try? A nicer bike this time. One with better brakes and a wider body. It’ll never happen I mumble.
Then I realize how fortunate I am. I lived. I faceplanted on a semi truck with only a plastic shield and leather to protect me and I lived.
Those months trapped in a broken body were terrorizing. There were no physical walls to keep me in and there were no guards who could unlock the doors and windows. I was trapped in a body whose tongue didn’t speak the words the brain had in mind (and still doesn’t when I’m tired). I was trapped in a body that was affixed to a metal rod that grossed people out and made comfort nearly impossible. Sleep eluded me almost entirely making my body neurotic. My brain told me I was never hungry. My mouth often refused to chew. I lost almost 50 pounds. Flashing lights, loud noises, and fast movement shut my brain down. I couldn’t drive and the bus torqued my broken body but I as the only breadwinner, I had no choice but to go back to work within a week of the accident. I was trapped in a brain that lacked the memory skills I once had. I was missing pieces of my own history. And, I was in pain.
The distance between myself and my family was made permanent when they never called to ask how I was doing and so many other ridiculous hateful things. The beginning of the end of a 20 year friendship started when she thought demanding I remember to call her daily was reasonable. She could never grasp that I had trouble remembering to eat, take my strong pain meds when I was hurting, and to even get up to go pee! – let alone make calls. She would call me and yell at me for forgetting. She would never recognize that I required 24 hour a day care and calling her was not a priority to me or my caregivers. My life flipped upside down, inside out, end over end, and back again. But, I lived.
I’m free now and so entirely happy. I’m free from most of the pain. My mind is functioning almost as clearly as it did before the accident. My ability to chew and eat again has added several pounds back onto my body. I went through years of pain and memory impacts. I have a fantastic team of doctors who have helped me navigate this steady stream of fallout issues. I still have memory gaps of my past – often having to search through old emails or Facebook posts to see what I forgot. I have solid plans for a future now. I have the love of my life, my children, my pets, and a home I can be proud of.
For those of you who knew me before, during the worst times, and now – thank you for standing by my side, understanding the battle that a head injury can inflict and for helping me to push through the pain to find the life I have today. There were many times I almost quit and you were reason I didn’t.
Why can’t I fall asleep at night? Why does my body want to shiver and shake? My legs and arms won’t relax without benadryl and melatonin and pain meds. Something isn’t right. Getting up three or four times to wear down my limbs so that they’ll pass out like my mind and the rest of my body craves for them to do. I’m crazy during the day, can’t put words together like I should sometimes. I’m fidgety, can’t sit still in meetings. I’m making poor decisions. My driving skills have waned a tiny bit but not enough to stop driving. Something needs to change. I go see the doctor and he says – I’d bet your anemic. I hadn’t thought of that – figured I was just genetically predisposed to a horrifying life with restless leg syndrome like my father has. Has me start taking iron supplements and within a few days, the restless legs and arms are better but not resolved. So he sends me in for a sleep study. I have been diagnosed with periodic limb movement disorder. It sucks. But since I’m low on iron, doc won’t give me sleep meds until my iron is up because we won’t know what scale we’re dealing with until then.
So I start taking iron and I get my period, it’s a vicious one and it wipes me out. My body can’t handle the blood loss. I’m weak and tired and suddenly What the hell is this sharp pain in my hip? Ugh. Why am I suddenly getting cramps? I haven’t had cramps in years. Huh there’s a little lump there where this hurts. That’s odd, this lump is pretty big, how have I not felt this before… Weird… Two days later, lump still there, but it doesn’t hurt any more – no pain, move on with my life. Four months in a row this happened. Each month it hurt a little more. Eventually, it didn’t stop hurting and I couldn’t walk up the stairs without crawling in as close to a fetal position as I could muster.
In August 2016, it never stopped hurting and it put me on the floor a few times. On Sunday, September 4th, it hurt so badly my fiance put me to bed and had me take some powerful drugs. I went to bed at 7:30pm hoping to not feel the pain any longer. I woke up in a flurry of pain several times through the night. I called the doc in the morning. On Tuesday, I had an appointment with the doc. On Wednesday, I had an ultrasound. On Thursday, I had surgery scheduled.
It was diagnosed as and confirmed to be endometriosis. Caused by the c-sections I’d had for both my kids more than 10 years ago. A few cells escaped and embedded themselves in my abdominal wall way over near my left hip. I asked the doc to do a hysterectomy while she was in there. I am done having kids and the bleeding plus my anemia is making me ill each month. She agreed and so did my insurance company. So in I went, they sliced me wide open and removed the endometriosis lump, my uterus, tubes, and cervix – leaving my ovaries behind. Then they saw another endo lump on my right hip and took that one out too. Doc says less than 2% of endometriosis cases are caused by c-sections. I felt lucky.
A month later I went into full menopause. WTF? I still had my ovaries, they are supposed to allow me to go through natural menopause. Again, WTF? So I visit the doc and get put on Estrogen. Yay. The estrogen does a great job of helping with the mood swings and night sweats but it also helped a fibroid grow rapidly in my right boob. It was in the exact same spot as one I’d had removed in 1995. Went to see my boob lump doc and she said – yep, the estrogen will make these pop up wherever they are.
So then I had to have another surgery to have the lump removed. Fun times. It’s been a couple of months and I’m doing better now. But I’m gaining weight. I need to do something about that. Oh and my blood pressure is increasing so I’m going to go see my doc today. And I still have PLMD.
I went on a business trip that took me within a few hours of my only cousin on my mom’s side. I spent a few nights with her and her partner before relocating to the hotel for the business trip. What I learned while there has haunted and tormented me since.
My cousin and her partner went to visit my estranged family in California over the summer of 2016. They knew we’d had a falling out but I hadn’t provided details. While there, they were inundated with horrifying stories about me. My cousin who knows I’m not the person my parents and sisters were portraying me to be, contacted me by email and let me know that she fully supports me and she knows my family is full of shit – her words, not mine.
The night I arrived at my cousin’s house, she wanted to talk about my parents and sisters. I knew it was bound to happen and decided to keep myself protected but to allow my cousin the opportunity to share what had been burning inside of her for nearly six months. She let me know what they were telling everyone and I’m even more hurt and angry then I have ever been.
My ex told them that I was a whore. That I came home from whoring and told him all about it to rub it in his face. That I had sex in front of the children all the time. That he never, ever wanted me to have that relationship. That I maliciously left my precious children with him so I could go whoring. Oh and I’m apparently very addicted to prescription drugs, pot, and alcohol. I’m so high all of the time that I might require inpatient help to quit. I hate my children and avoid them all the time. That I have a new family and I love them more. I never, ever give him any money. He’s broke and can’t afford anything. I treat him horribly. I’m an awful person. And on, and on, and on….
The reality is he is living a financial high life while I scrape together meals with leftovers brewed from an empty pantry. Breakfast dinners are almost mandatory once a week because it’s extremely cheap. I have no left over funds each month because he takes half my income. I can’t even count how many payday loans I have had to get and loans from friends that I’m repaying just to keep from getting the electricity turned off but yeah, he’s “broke”. I’ve clearly left him destitute. I often wonder how he will survive when he doesn’t have the money coming from me anymore. But for now, he’s comfy with his steak dinners, buying every DVD he wants, getting the kids extravagant gifts. Anyway…
He spends no time with the kids. Like none. He works until dinner time then goes to bed at 7pm. He watches TV in his own room and totally ignores the kids (probably to hide that he’s drunk). He wakes up at 9:30pm to tell the kids to go to bed but according to our son, he often forgets so the kids put themselves to bed around 11pm. I ask my son if they played in the snow – no. Have you been outside this week? – no. What did you do today? Played video games or watched YouTube. That’s all he ever says. Are you fucking kidding me? I’ve never gone to bed while my kids are up and awake. I cherish my time with them. But yet he’s supposedly a far better father than I am a mother. Such bullshit. I play games with my kids, I take them on adventures, I teach them responsibilities, we do homework together, we do art together, we do stuff! Random fun stuff! We go on vacations that don’t include just staying with family and doing nothing all day.
So I’m hopped up on drugs. I hate my children. I’m a whore. I’m a monster to my ex. I’m a money hoarder. The details my cousin gave me were even more disgusting than the small amount of detail I posted here. I was absolutely horrified.
My ex is a disgusting liar. He did such a fantastic job of lying to my family that they won’t even give me a moment to hear a rebuttal. They believe hand over fist what he’s told them and that they are now sharing with anyone who wants to listen. I had hopes for reconciliation but there’s no fucking way in hell these people will ever be in my life again. Fuck them. My cousin asked if she could talk to my mother and I told her that I will neither request that she talk to my mother nor stop her. My parents and siblings will no longer be a part of my life. If she wishes to try and break through the shell of stupidity, she’s welcome to try but I’ve tapped out of those relationships and have no expectation to renew them.
The Christians seem to want to claim this holiday that is celebrated in nearly every home in the world and criticize anyone else from being able to celebrate or NOT an originally pagan holiday. Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the “birthday” of the Messiah. It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god, worshiped by millions throughout the Roman Empire! Do I fault Christians for wanting to celebrate their Messiah – Not at all? But they need to wake up and realize that most of their traditions are not rooted in Christianity and are therefore not for Christians only.
Marriage – it’s been happening for thousands and thousands of years. Christianity is what two thousand years old? So how is a tradition that predates Christianity only theirs? They didn’t come up with marriage, they simply participate in the practice and add in their God where they choose. People can get married by a judge in a courthouse. They don’t have to be in front of a pastor at a church. Add your God to the ceremony but don’t force me to use “Civil Union” because you have some deluded recollection of where marriage came from.
Along that same line, maybe the rest of us should use a different name for Christmas because we shouldn’t tarnish “Jesus’s birthday” by celebrating with our non-religious customs like Santa and a tree with presents underneath (oh wait they found a way to make those things “Christian” too). Let’s just rename Christmas to something else for non-Christians – maybe “gift giving day with a tree and a dude in a red suit” or “XMAS!!!!” (Using XMAS really pisses them off – taking the Christ out of Christmas) Maybe we should be banned from celebrating anything other than Christian holidays and if we do only in the way that Christians deem suitable? Of course, this would disenfranchise millions of people who aren’t Christian and have other holidays that they prefer to celebrate but Christians only care about themselves it seems. We should hold annual votes for this – even the different Christian groups can’t agree on how to celebrate Christmas. Some open presents on Christmas Eve, some do stockings after presents, some don’t have a tree because they actually understand that it’s sacrilegious, some require a birthday cake be served…. I’d say let the Pope decide but then Protestants would have a conniption. So people who want to vote would have to somehow prove that they are indeed Christian or else the vote would be tainted by non-believers (that’s how they ended up with Moderates and RINOs in the Republican party). And what makes someone a Christian? So we would need to first create a litmus test and have the entire country vote to agree on the standards, then test every single person to see if they fit the criteria as a Christian, then hold a vote that only Christians are allowed to participate in just to figure out how we are all allowed to celebrate just the holidays they deem acceptable? but if the non-Christians vote for the litmus test standards, won’t they be skewed? OH I KNOW – they can just shut the fuck up and just let people celebrate the pagan holiday that has become a day focused on family and gift giving however they see fit.
Perfect Example of revisionist history to suit a purpose:
I’m angry with my family for walking away from me. Everyday I think about missing them. I wonder if they even think about me. I wonder what they think of me. Do they hate me? Do they pity me? What do they think I am doing besides ruining my life by divorcing an abusive asshole who couldn’t stay sober or truthful for the entire course of our marriage? Do they know I’m engaged to a beautiful woman who makes me extremely happy? Why haven’t they reached out? Do they really not care that I am gay as they once claimed and have some other issue with me that they’ve never had the balls to ask me about? Do they think I’m playing a game for attention? I may never know. I will never be the first to call them ever again. I tried too many times to reach out only to be rebuffed. I’m moving on. If they want to know how I’m doing, they will have to be the ones to take the next step.
My family didn’t cause my marriage to fail. And my switching teams didn’t cause it to end either. It was doomed from the start, it was horrible, my ex did everything he could to betray my trust, and it failed on its own. It wasn’t until months after it was very much so over when I let go of the thought that divorce was not an option and began to let my heart wander free that I found a woman, the brainwashing shattered, and I found the world I belonged in. But my family did drive me into a straight marriage and forced me into a lifestyle that was doomed with a partner that couldn’t hold up his end of the marriage agreement. Had he been a faithful partner, I would probably still be “happily” married and oblivious to what true happiness feels like. Growing up, I was routinely ridiculed for looking like a dyke. My clothes weren’t girly enough, my hair wasn’t girly enough, I didn’t wear makeup and that wasn’t girly enough. The first time I shaved my legs about age 11, my older sister told the neighbor boys that I was an idiot and explained how I did it wrong in detail to kids younger than me. My family and their friends teased me into compliance and conformity. I was trained to be disgusted by gays and lesbians. Especially the ones with “an agenda”. Having boyfriends was highly encouraged. Abstinence was just as important. For me, any boyfriend was considered amazing. I grew my hair out just to make them stop ridiculing me. I didn’t wear jewelry or clothes they didn’t approve of because I didn’t want to be teased. It was made clear to me that gays were gross and unnatural and that they wanted to recruit everyone with their evil agenda (- which was what to make everyone gay?). Anytime a gay couple was featured on TV or in a movie my mom would audibly scoff at it and demand we change the channel or stop watching. My older sister fought against the “That’s a Family” materials being taught at her son’s school. Pulling him out of school for a week to purposefully keep him from learning about Jane’s two moms from a pamphlet. Her friend, a teacher, moved to another state because she refused to teach the materials. I voted against gay marriage like 9 times because I was trained to. I remember being so relieved when George W. Bush won reelection because he would be choosing the next supreme court judge and he for sure wouldn’t pick someone who would allow the abomination that was gay marriage. My only lesbian friend beat on my dashboard after he was confirmed and I remember thinking ha ha, gays lost. What was wrong with just giving them a domestic partnership – it was the same thing, why use our word – “marriage” is for straight christians. These were my words – or so I thought. I was brainwashed and corrupted by a religion and family that outwardly “loved” everyone but secretly wished they would all disappear.
So you see, I couldn’t be gay. It wasn’t a real thing. After my husband’s brother came out as gay, my husband and I discussed many times over the years about how it was just a choice. He hadn’t dated enough women. Maybe if he had women friends in high school. Maybe if their dad hadn’t treated him like a piece of shit his whole life he’d be a real man and into women. He clearly chose to be gay and should not be. But to his face, I supported him. I asked about his boyfriend, I attended his parties with his other gay friends, I made it seem like this was totally ok but once we were in the car, my husband and I went off on how wrong it was. We ridiculed their aunt for joining PFLAG after her son came out, secretly teasing her for being ridiculous and over the top. Because that’s what I was taught to do! It was just a bunch of degenerates that should just go hide that shit at home or repent because ew. My mom was disappointed when she realized her only niece was gay. My mom grew up near Buffalo, NY. Her dad had passed away and I went with her when I was about 14 years old to help sell off Grandpa’s stuff and relocate the keepsakes to my aunt’s and cousin’s. I was strong and agile and she needed my help. I had spent days climbing through attic rafters and crawling into tiny dirty spaces to find the lost treasures so my mom arranged for me to spend some time off with my cousin at her house. It was nice to relax. I’d been there for a few hours when mom came to collect me. My cousin had brought me so my mom wanted a tour before we left. My cousin happily took her around the 2 bedroom apartment. Here’s the roommates son’s room, here’s our room…. (MOM BLANKED)…., here’s the kitchen, etc. Mom noticed ONE bed in their shared room and her face went ashen and she momentarily froze in her tracks before saying “oh this is nice”. They had lived together for like 10 years but somehow this was a shock. The drive back was fairly silent as my mom processed this awful news. She asked if I realized they were sharing a room and I remember saying no. Truthfully, I hadn’t asked for a tour. I was busy hanging with my cousin and couldn’t care less what bedspread she had. For the next few years, I watched my mom struggle with my cousin’s partner and their son. She would talk to her when she called to say hi. She would send her Christmas gifts but there was always this deep seeded air of disapproval after she hung up the phone. She tried to hide it and probably thought no one really knew how she felt, but I saw it. The flicker in her eye, the tightening of her jaw muscles. These moments shaped my own beliefs. Ok to be ok with them in public but deep down, it’s ok to hate and reject them because they are sinners and gross and going to hell. Lie to their faces. Make them feel loved. Puke when they are out of site. Pray that they will find God and repent.
I have always known even if I couldn’t realize it. I secretly tried on my dad’s ties when the house was empty. I have always wanted a man’s suit. I gawked at men wearing khakis and polos when I had to be in a skirt and wished I had been lucky enough to be a dude so that I didn’t have to wear skirts. I fought with my mother over clothes almost daily. I wanted jeans and a polo or button down. She wanted nice slacks and a blouse on me. The most epic battle I recall winning was over a canvas belt. She didn’t want to get it for me because I wanted a navy blue one. She made me get a tan one too, I only ever wore the navy one. When I was about 8 years old, I was brought into a counselor’s office. The walls were a dark color and we sat at a small round table. The counselor, my mom, and I were there. My mom doesn’t recall this happening and flatly denied it occurring but I remember almost every word. The table was next to a window but it was too high for me to see out of. The counselor sat across from me with my mom on my left between us. You see, it was the first time I was told that I couldn’t be what I wanted to be. My favorite teachers were sexy blond women. My favorite actresses were women. I remember being grilled about the colors pink and blue. Blue was my favorite color. I was asked why blue, why not pink? Every girl likes pink. Blue is for boys. Blue shouldn’t be my favorite color. The counselor made me agree to green being my new favorite color. For years I was afraid to ask for anything that was blue because I wasn’t supposed to like blue. Blue was for boys and I was a girl. I had short hair a few times growing up but each time was an awful experience. One time a lady yelled at me to get out of the ladies’ bathroom at a store because I was a boy. Mom told me she was probably drunk. My mom loved repeating this story and embarrassing me with it. Then on my first day of sixth grade at a new school all the kids thought I was a boy and through the window I could hear them saying I wonder what his name is. Only to witness the shock and horror that I was indeed a girl with a girly name. I managed to find two friends that entire year. So within a year, I grew my hair to shoulder length and didn’t cut it off again until after high school. I didn’t want to be a dyke anymore. I was tired of being teased for having a haircut I liked and wearing clothes I liked. For the next twenty seven years, I obeyed the hetero rules to avoid being called gay. When the teasing kicked back up again, I asked for help with makeup or had a sister take me clothes shopping. I wore what they said was in style even if I hated the way I looked. I let the hairdresser choose my hair style. I let my sisters and mom plan my wedding so that it was up to their standards. I quit. I gave up trying to be who I was supposed to be because I wasn’t supposed to like the color blue and short hair is for dykes.
Even after getting married the signs were there. How was this a surprise? When watching porn with my now ex-husband, I refused to watch any porn involving penises. Each time I realized this I became enraged and broke the porn DVDs or tore up the magazines because porn was evil and wrong. I hated sex with my husband. I avoided it as much as possible for the entire duration of our marriage. Touching his penis was gross and felt unnatural every single time. The ten blow jobs he got from me over 16 years were all in desperation and I would violently wretch or vomit if he finished where I could see or feel it. He never, ever turned me on. I had sex with him out of obligation. I pretended as if I were into it. I honestly cannot ever remember initiating sex with him. When we were done, I rushed into the bathroom to clean up because – gross. We slept with the comforter rolled up between us because I didn’t want him touching me. In the mornings, I would wait until he left the bedroom, hop up, quickly lock the bedroom door then get dressed. Pajamas were an absolute requirement. If he knocked, I made him wait until I was fully clothed before he was allowed to enter the room. When I showered, I not only locked the bedroom door, I locked the interior bathroom door too. I made it a challenge for him to ever see me naked because it was so unnerving to be naked around him.
Now that I am who I really am, I have a much healthier view of myself. Sex with my fiance is amazing and is nothing like the dreadful engagements with my ex. I’m excited to be there with her, I initiate sex as often as she will allow me to. I never ever have to look at a penis again if I don’t want to. I enjoy touching her intimate places and exploring them as we explore and excite each other’s bodies. I walk around my house naked when she’s home. I have never, ever felt the need to get dressed after she’s left the room. We sleep holding each other, spooning, holding hands, cuddling, foreheads touching. Rarely apart. We shower together almost every day. I wear mostly men’s clothes. Not because I want to be a man but because it’s what I’m comfortable wearing. Oh and I wear a lot of blue, and black and gray! I don’t like the cuts and colors most women’s clothes come in. I even wear men’s underwear because panties just don’t feel comfy. I like the way boxer briefs feel on my legs under my jeans. I like the freedom from having elastic around my girl bits. The thick cotton and wide waistband are home.
Is this why my family hasn’t spoken to me in years? Because I am finally who I was supposed to be and they lost in the battle to hide it from me?
I’ve held my tongue for too long. It’s time to unleash this beast of emotions and anger that I have kept hidden for the sake of others.
My fiance chose to end a friendship a couple of weeks ago. The now former friend was once very important to her. They’ve known each other for years and we have even spent time vacationing together. My fiance and I met through this friend. They talked everyday on instant message while working. They were very, very close. I had the horror of watching it fall apart from up close. Then I got the pleasure of being blamed by the friend when the blame laid entirely in her lap. I listened to my fiance explain the final falling out but never gave my fiance any indication of what she should do. I listened. I hugged. I did not make this choice, nor did I push for this choice to be made. I didn’t push at all, I never provided an opinion, I did not even hint which direction I thought she should go. Of course I had an opinion, it didn’t matter what I thought and it still doesn’t. It was their friendship, not mine. My fiance made the decision to end their friendship completely of her own volition.
My fiance has had a few frustrations with this friend over the past year regarding the friend’s treatment and response to my fiance’s mental health. She told me that the way the friend spoke to her about her mental health bothered her but never really wanted to talk about it. I wasn’t a party to their conversations, I stayed out of their friendship. I had my own with each of them but didn’t interfere with theirs. I purposefully never challenged their relationship. Before the friendship ended, I never stated a negative opinion of the friend. I do admit though, that I did on occasion vent about rude comments being made by the friend regarding my daughter. As a mother, I could not accept such petty, childish, backhanded insults to be thrown toward my daughter. When my fiance was frustrated with the friend, I listened and said that sounds shitty or some type of response like that. I just listened. When I found out the friend’s husband hated me after being unfriended (childish), I didn’t ask why, even though it was horribly painful to realize I was unwanted in that home. I loathe rejection, it is my greatest anxiety. Turns out based on the friend’s own words, that she has been telling my fiance for months that I’m a master manipulator and accusing me of all sorts of evil deeds. She’s been encouraging my fiance to consider alternatives, you know, to consider leaving me. Thankfully, my fiance didn’t listen to her lies and manipulations. Even going so far as to write my fiance an open letter on her blog where she flat out blames me for the friendship failing. She accepts no responsibility for the friendship failing, even though the blame is entirely hers.
My fiance has depression and anxiety. She doesn’t hide it, it’s not a secret. She wakes up each morning and fights hard. She never gets a break from the battle. It’s not a winnable war but each day brings a new opportunity to fight hard enough to enjoy life. She is following the advice of her medical team and she is currently winning most days’ battles. She is in counseling, as am I. She goes to group therapy. We attend a parenting class together. We’ve had joint therapy together. We go to the gym as often as we can. We eat healthy. We read books. We care for each other’s well being. I love her with everything I have to give and she loves me. We have learned how to communicate and speak each other’s love languages. We know we love each other but when two broken people love each other, they have to work harder to make it work than those people who just have it easy in life. In the beginning, we had some communication issues that were briefly exasperated when we first moved in together but using the tools and techniques we’ve learned from our therapy teams, we now know how to ask the right questions and are in a place where we can be honest about things that bother us – without fear – because we know how to do it respectfully. We have discussed what makes us happy and what upsets or frustrates us and it’s working! These past few months have been so entirely happy and positive for the two of us – but this friend isn’t happy about it. It seems as though she’s been against us for months now and I have no idea why. Both of us are happier than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. I wake up each morning with a beaming smile after falling asleep in her arms. So, so happy.
The problems began after my fiance had a mental health breakdown in May that required some additional care. While I was the one that hit the panic button and asked the friend to check on my fiance since she was down the street from her and I was 45 minutes away, my role in my fiance’s life was ignored. The friend treated me like an outsider and shamed me when I asked for information. The friend took over control of my fiance, including taking away her phone, and ignored my persistent requests for updates letting me believe everything was “fine” until it suddenly wasn’t. My fiance was forced to put someone in charge and chose the friend. I had issues with that choice but she and I have discussed all of this openly and honestly, and I accept her reasoning. Regardless, after being put in charge, the friend has done nothing but brag about how she dropped everything for my fiance like she’s some sort of superhero. She’ll share with anybody and everybody my fiance’s personal matter just to sound even more important. Well, guess what – a lot of other people dropped everything too. I can’t even tell you how many people came to help me pack both my house and hers for our move or came over to be with me. But the friend wasn’t one of them. I spent the entire time working my ass off for my fiance, does that mean I’m a superhero too? No! It means we are good honest people that did what needed to be done for someone we care about. You’re not a superhero, get over it. And if you were – you certainly are the opposite now.
This friend began planning more and more things during times I couldn’t be there or it would be very inconvenient for me to be there. Like right after work, across town near where my fiance worked but not me. She flat refused to EVER come to our new house. It’s too far, she has too many responsibilities with her kids… These are not my words – this is what the friend said to my fiance and is now claiming she never said. She claims she has all these kids and just can’t make the drive but guess what, we have nearly as many kids who are with us more than hers are with her, they are all in sports too, and we can still make the trek. If something is important, you find a way. My fiance knows this and does not accept this response. She sees it as the friend being too self absorbed to realize she is not the center of the world. She keeps saying she’s like this with everyone but yet claims my fiance is one of her best friends. When I found out her husband didn’t like me, I wasn’t surprised. They are both fickle people and honest people like me aren’t welcome in fickle houses. We don’t understand fickle bullshit so we can’t play their games which makes them hate us. I wasn’t told why, just that he didn’t like me. I was told that he could be civil so I shouldn’t be bothered by it. What the holy hell fuck kind of answer is that? I’m supposed to smile and be nice to someone who has made it public that he doesn’t like me but doesn’t have the balls to admit it to my face or even tell me why so I can maybe fix whatever behavior is bothering him? He and I are just supposed to pretend that we like each other because it’s easier for fickle people to be fake and lie. I’m not fickle, I don’t lie, and I’m not a fake. This friend went from being a friend to tolerating me at best and I have absolutely no idea why or even when I became her target. I brushed it off. I let it go. It hurt but it was important to my fiance that I pretend that it didn’t.
As someone who has been rejected by many people, I was simply waiting for this friend to take the final walk away from me too. I am too familiar with the body language and behaviors that precede being rejected that I saw it coming but I said nothing. My fiance held this person close and I didn’t want to be in the way. Just the day before the falling out, I encouraged them to go and have a spa day while we were supposed to be camping together. Or coffee, or something! I knew by then I was persona non-grata with the friend and her husband but my fiance was excited about camping so I was too. I rallied up the kids, I helped plan where I could. I never said one foul word about camping except to defend my daughter. This former friend was constantly asking my fiance about my daughter. It was repetitive, it was obnoxious, it was angering. I just wanted to scream ASKED AND ANSWERED – Now what about your kid? Oh but when I brought up her daughter’s behavior that led to my daughter’s behavior I was being rude – apparently criticizing someone else’s child only goes one way with this friend. After all, her daughter picked almost every fight last year and would NOT give my daughter the space she kept begging for. But an occasional swear word is enough to turn my daughter into a villain. I’d rather be around a kid that pops off a swear word once in a while over one that can’t give me personal space any day. But I bit my tongue because I didn’t want to start a war. It wasn’t my friendship anymore.
What led to the final straw in this friendship and the moment my fiance decided to walk away, was the behavior of this former friend. She was horrific and she needs to be called out on her behavior. My fiance had a bad night. Her mental illness is similar to mine in that it manifests quickly in the form of they don’t love me anymore so now they are going to leave. It’s my first thought when someone is upset with me. It shouldn’t be, but it is. My fiance and this former friend had some conversation that led my fiance to believe the friend was done being her friend. I’m not sure what was said – I didn’t ask. But my fiance suffered a breakdown thinking about the loss of that friendship. I held her while she sobbed on the kitchen floor. I held her while she fell asleep crying. I listened to her as she attempted to put into words the feelings she was having. I never said one negative thing about the friend. In fact, I assured my fiance that she was probably perceiving something incorrectly. The next morning I texted the former friend and let her know that my fiance had a bad night and provided one or two key sentences from her concerns. I encouraged the former friend to reach out to help reassure my fiance that their friendship was solid but asked politely for the friend not to betray my confidence. I specifically asked her to reach out in a way that didn’t let my fiance know that I “ratted her out” so to speak. She did the opposite and as soon as possible used my words to confront my fiance during what was supposed to be a fun get together.
A few days later, the two of them were going to meet up for a drink and for my fiance to collect a payment toward camping. According to both of them, they were not in each other’s presence for very long. Both reported that the friend told my fiance that using her mental illness as an excuse is a “cop-out”. My fiance ended up storming out. That’s all they agree on regarding this confrontation. My fiance called me while driving home, sobbing and screaming about the friend’s behavior. I was stunned and said very little. I just listened because that’s what I was asked to do. I hugged her when she got home and tried to help her forget about the confrontation. My fiance said that the former friend immediately started verbally attacking her. Telling her she was ridiculous for thinking their friendship was in jeopardy. To this, my fiance attempted to explain that her brain, her wiring, her mental illness, makes her think that everyone is leaving (as does mine). The former friend told my fiance that using her mental illness to explain a breakdown was a “cop-out” and that she should be over it (her mental health issues) by now. To hear my fiance’s version of events just shattered me – the ignorance behind such a statement is bewildering. So I waited a day or so and called the former friend. I only asked – what happened. I tried asking some questions and to pass along some well intended thoughts but I was interrupted so many times, I quit talking and resorted to grunting noises. I was told by the friend that my fiance walked into the bar “looking for a fight”. (No she wasn’t, she called me just before excited to spend time with her friend). And that soon after they sat down together, the former friend confronted my fiance and in describing her version of events repeated the words “cop-out” no less than 20 times – thereby admitting to the most despicable act. She also mentioned that had my fiance spoken to their other friend, she’d be all better by now because that other friend was once depressed and fixed it. According to this former friend, a lifelong battle with depression can be cured by talking with this other friend who can fix it within a few days with the tips and tricks that worked for her… Not the team of professionally trained doctors and therapists that my fiance is already working with. The most disgusting insult and most ignorant thing I have ever heard someone say is to accuse someone with a mental illness of using their mental illness as a cop-out and telling them they should be over it by now. These two perceptions are easily the most uneducated and misaligned idiocy I have ever heard and to hear them coming from someone my fiance trusted was infuriating. Then the friend went on to proclaim as many times as she repeated herself that she did nothing wrong, she is a superhero remember, and would stand by what she said. I kept my cool for the most part, at first I tried to rationalize what was being said but I couldn’t find any rationality. She was refusing to admit she was wrong. In fact, she was insisting she was completely justified in her words. I wanted to scream at her but knew it would solve nothing and it wasn’t my friendship. She was yelling in my direction and I let her. The one or two minor corrections I tossed back at her bounced off her ego so hard that it wasn’t worth trying. I finally told this former friend that I was going into an area with no cell signal just to be done listening to her self righteous, egotistical, uneducated, misinformed, misaligned idiocy. It wasn’t my decision on what was going to happen next. I knew when I hung up the phone that I would likely never speak with this person again. I didn’t even tell my fiance that I spoke with the former friend until days later AFTER my fiance had decided the course she was going to take. What was I going to say? Oh hey, you know that person you once held dear? Yeah, she’s gone psychotic. Instead I listened to my fiances suggestions on how we could make things better and discussed options for going camping still with this former friend and her family. Yep – after being told that I was a piece of shit, after being excluded and treated like shit, after listening to my daughter get slammed for asinine reasons, after listening to this person admit that she insulted my fiance in the most despicable way, after finding out the husband hated me – I still listened as my fiance worked through her options including going camping after all.
This former friend thinks she is amazing. She’s not.
- Nothing is ever this friend’s fault. I have never heard her apologize for anything. At least not in a sincere manner. She’ll apologize but it is words to appease, not an admittance of guilt. For example, I’m sorry you can’t understand me instead of I’m sorry that I didn’t word that in a respectful way.
- She is consistently negative. I’ve never heard her say much of anything nice about anyone but she blankets her statements with coy terms like “but that’s just how I feel”.
- I’ve been trying to think of a time when she had something nice to say to me and I can’t. Every time she talked to me, I felt shamed. She talked down to me so much that my self image deteriorated with each conversation. I grew to be fearful of what she had to say because she could never find a positive approach to anything.
- Like for example, we had a long conversation about gay marriage. She’s against it – feels it’s a sin, would vote against it, doesn’t think it should be legal – but she would be in our wedding in a heartbeat. (WTF?) Then she wrote a whole blog post about how wrong it was but she loves us anyway. If you can’t accept that we deserve to be married as much as you then you’re no better than the worst of them. Fickle…
- She claims to be broke and borrowed money left and right but goes on vacation without repaying her debts first. It’s like she lives her life on a gamble that someone else can fund it until she balances her checkbook. But don’t ever tell her husband that she borrowed money because then she might actually get rebuked.
- I was always hearing about how the friend owed my fiance $100 for this, or $200 for that. My fiance said she gave up asking to collect money from the friend because it was never paid when first promised. It always got paid, just much later than planned.
- She made my fiance pay for four campsites back in January for a trip in August and after rescheduling payments a few times, finally offered to reimburse her AFTER the camping trip. In those 8 months, the friend and her husband/family took several trips to the beach, went to winery after winery, landscaped their backyard purchasing all sorts of new vegetation, bought a bunch of new pool toys, spent money left and right but couldn’t fork over the few hundred dollars my fiance desperately needed to reimburse her for the campsites. After all, I had been unemployed for three months and we were broke as it was.
This friend used my fiance. She played on her willingness to do anything for a friendship; constantly borrowed money, used my fiance for free pet sitting, used her to pay for and reserve camping sites months in advance, invited her to bring presents to her kids’ birthday parties but couldn’t be bothered to come to one of my fiance’s kids’ parties. My fiance’s only compensation was friendship.
When my fiance decided not to go camping with the friend, the final falling out happened less than two weeks before a planned joint August camping trip (mentioned above). One day earlier and we could have gotten a refund but we were within the two weeks and couldn’t. My fiance decided without my input, that since the friend hadn’t paid a dime yet, the sites were rightfully ours so we would offer them a proposal to quit or pay. Basically, an eviction notice from the campsites for lack of payment. OUR MONEY USED AND IN OUR NAME = OUR SITES. We told the friend to reimburse us immediately, or we would have to sell off the sites to recoup our money and if they can’t be sold or paid for, we would be using them.
The friend lost her shit and unfriended and blocked us on Facebook claiming it was all about the money. What was really happening was she was embarrassed that she had to tell everyone, including her husband, that she hadn’t paid my fiance yet and that we wanted to be paid or we would rightfully use what we paid for. She was embarrassed that she caused the situation so she decided to blame me. Because Fickle people can’t handle being at fault. She thought that we would just not go and let her pay us in a few weeks, after the trip, losing money on the two sites we had planned on using while her and her buddies camped there. My fiance decided nope, pay for all four sites or it’s ours to use. The friend kept saying how we were ruining their vacation. Um nope, you’ve ruined ours and now you’ll ruin your own vacation if you can’t pay for the sites. We took time off work too and we intend to have a vacation of some sort. You have our plan, now pay or don’t show up. It wasn’t about the money. It was about fighting for months in mediation to have a vacation with my kids. It was about finally getting to spend time with all four kids at once. It had nothing to do with revenge or even anger. It was about wanting to have a peaceful vacation, and we shouldn’t have to pay for one we aren’t going on – pay your debts when they are due and no one has to ask for their rightful money. She also bitched about having to meal plan for everyone on her own now. Really? Um so do we – that’s a normal thing moms do? Anyway, waiting 8 months to pay someone back, making them feel unwelcome, and then having a fit about them asking for reimbursement is childish. You don’t get to pay for something after you’ve used it. You can’t eat a box of donuts then pay for it. You don’t get to pay for admission to the amusement park as you leave. You don’t get to take the groceries home, eat them, and return six months later to pay. You don’t get to use someone else’s campsites for free.
Here’s an excerpt from the friend’s blog about the falling out which shows her complete ineptitude to understand that I had no role in this and only wants to blame me because she can’t accept that she chased her friend away. I have no idea what lies she thinks I’m telling. I haven’t told any that I know of. I have admitted that I withheld my own opinions about the friend but that can’t be what the friend is talking about. I’ve never said anything to my fiance about the friend that the fiance didn’t say to me first.
While I still stand by the fact that in our last confrontation I didn’t do anything “wrong” per se, I do have deep regret on how you perceived things to be, and am sorry you were feeling the way you were/are. And unfortunately, it helped open the door to the lies you are being told. I can only hope, that you after 7 years, would know I would never ever say half the things you are believing right now, and that you’ll know, that’s not me. That the twisted words you are choosing to hear right now… are not ones I would say. I hope you will see the lies, and manipulation for what they are.
See – no responsibility taken for her own actions. Somehow, even though I wasn’t there and said nothing about it – I’m to blame for how my fiance perceived the “confrontation” and again, what lies? She wouldn’t say half the things my fiance heard her say? Huh?
I would never tell you who you can, and cannot be with. I know you’ll choose to remain with your partner, and I respect that. I sincerely hope though, given other events that have happened, you’ll know what you are hearing is not what was said, or done. We both know the extent of manipulation that can happen with her… and I will always regret that your partner is what caused our friendship to end. I should’ve seen it, and I should’ve known better. I should have maybe fought harder or gone a different way about things. I should not have let her come between us.
I don’t know what other wrongs you believe I have done you… and I may never know.
I repeat – I had nothing to do with this friendship ending. And I’m glad my fiance has chosen not to read this “open letter” because in her exact words she “knows it’s all bullshit and doesn’t need to read it”. I can only hope that the former friend’s remaining friends will find a way to reach her and help her come to terms with being a jackass to someone who relied on her and for blaming someone who had nothing to do with it. The only way this friendship ever resurrects is if this former friend comes apologizing on her knees for forgiveness and guess what – I’ve forgiven her, it’s not me that requires an apology, it’s my fiance. I don’t hold grudges. I never have, I never will. If this former friend were to admit she was wrong, I would listen. But my fiance might not ever give her the chance.