Bestie, Adios

It’s been a hot second, and some of it has been due to working/not working/looking for work, some of it is physical and some of it is emotional. I haven’t been processing things the way that I want to – it’s been kind of a slog through thigh-high muck. There is the very real coming to terms with my Uncle’s passing, and knowing that this is coming hard and fast for Mom – and yet I’m still not in a position to move. That stuff takes money. But I think the real trigger point for me was the straw that snapped my relationship with Bestie.

I’d had some bad labs. Scary labs. As in, “Hey we’re adding diabetes and stage 2 Kidney Failure to your long list of diagnoses codes.” I freaked out – the thought of dialysis absolutely gave me the willies, because this came on like a hurricane, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it that far. I couldn’t talk to my mother about it, she’s always threatening to come down and “help take care” of myself or my sister. Not a good choice – especially when she might be able to pull off an hour at my house before returning to my sister’s. So I called Bestie and begged her to call me back.

I get that I was a mess. I probably sounded “shook” because, oh yeah, I 100% was. I waited for a return call or text. I said it it was really important, I needed a shoulder to cry on, I was scared. I waited a week…. “Checking in.” Excuse me? I get some rando response to a very distressed call a week later? I put my frustration on the back burner and waited until I could reply without being incredibly rude. Which, to be honest, I feel may have been not only warranted, but a fair call. So I asked her the next day why she hadn’t called. That seemed a safe enough bet, some neutral ground to begin with. Was I ever wrong!

The excuses began to flow like lava from Kilauea. She was “busy”. She couldn’t understand my voicemail. She was on a video call with her therapist. She didn’t think it was that important. Not entirely unlike that scene in ‘The Blues Brothers’ where John Belushi is explaining to Carrie Fisher why he left her at the alter. Only a damned sight less creative, and wow – it just was the end for me. If she had said, “Oh, God, I’m sorry, I’m in therapy now. let me call you in 45 minutes”, I’d have been OK. More OK, I still would have been hurt, but I would have felt less abandoned. Less disposable. Like I mattered just the tiniest bit. But I didn’t get that – and that’s when I threw in the towel. I could have done so when in prior calls she’d put me on speaker so her fiancé could be a part of the conversation. I don’t know him. I don’t have a 15 year history with him. I don’t trust that he’s the knight in shining armor that she sees him as. I certainly don’t like the way he has talked down to me. I could have given up at any time in the past 15 years in which she totally immersed herself in drama, and then was a victim.

I tried to be a good friend. I really did. I tried to listen, to have boundaries, to be there when it mattered. I spent money I really didn’t have to attend a wedding in Las Vegas, to visit her, to send flowers when beloved pets died or when her father passed. I made an effort to send gifts for birthdays. I carefully chose good cards or projects to mail for special days. When we lived within a few miles of each other, we did do things like pedicures and “Girl’s Day” out. I tried to be supportive of choices she made, and be a cheerleader when it was appropriate. Maybe that wasn’t enough – I don’t know. Maybe she sees how I did things in a totally different light. That’s OK, we all have our own perspective on what is and isn’t happening. I’m not going to say that I was, or am, perfect. I’m just saying when I needed help, a bit of support, she didn’t make an effort. I can’t keep pouring love and energy into a void.

So, that’s the end of 15 years. There is a hole that was her presence in my life. I can’t pretend that I’m completely at peace with how this imploded. She’d been my sister, my confidante. my support and conscience, – she’d been all the great things that you read about in books about lifelong friends, even though we didn’t meet until long after school. But in the end, after years of making phone calls about all her traumas, with a “Oh, and by the way, how are you” kind of closing, and her absolute insistence on being the “good” one all the time… I’m done. I’m sad, and I’m grieving, but I can’t do this kind of nonsense any more.

I’ve spoken at length to Mum about this, and her take on it is that Bestie is a “taker”. That maybe I need to figure out what it that I actually need and want to have in a friendship. What is it that friendship means to me? That last bit has me mulling over a lot of things – platonic love, shared experiences, shared interests, the ability to not “keep score”… I haven’t figured it all out yet. I hope to, because if nothing else I’ve realized I’m lonely, and long for someone who understands some of the trauma I’ve had, and I can understand theirs. It’s not that I don’t have other amazing and truly fantastic friends, people that I give thanks for and enjoy immensely. I just don’t have that history, and realistically, that’s something that’s going to be started from scratch – or at least from a different point in time.

I am blessed with one truly, and deeply amazing friend that makes me smile every time she writes. She makes me think. She makes me blush, because she’s quite complimentary, and even if I don’t know as much about a topic as she does, she freely shares that information in a really great way. We have had a few visits, and hope to have more. She’s a doggone angel in disguise, and she’s filled so much of the pain within me with love and kindness. No matter how fantastic she is, there’s still a difference that leaves behind a little reminder of what is lost.

On the kidney front, in case that was on your mind, it turns out I was over relying on ibuprofen and NSAIDs for pain. Does some nasty things to kidneys, and after a month of dietary changes, daily blood pressure evaluations, and lots and lots of water (to say nothing of a kidney sonogram) I can say all is well. I just can’t take anti-inflammatory agents for pain. You know, that’s likely a fair trade for not being on dialysis, because all my blood tests came back nice and healthy. It even is looking good for a Power Red donation to the Red Cross in December! Still, I wish I’d had someone, aside from the hubz, to hold my hand through this, and celebrate with me.

I don’t know what else to say here. It’s definitely the end of a time in my life that was shared, and had amazing giggles and deeply intimate conversations about things I don’t want to go into now. I’m hurting, and disappointed that I’ll be leery of any new friend overtures. Best of luck to you, M.

3 thoughts on “Bestie, Adios

  1. Losing best friends is very hard. Very hard. Though it does sound like your mom is right on this one-she’s a taker. You may not ever find one like her again-but bits of pieces in different friends will come. Grieve as you need to. ((hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ruth. I’m still tender in bits, but I guess I’ll know what to look out for as a “hard pass” in the future. Time will help.
      Fantastic photo of you, and a wonderful smile!

      Liked by 1 person

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