Remember this wedding F and I went to back in August? I thought I told you about the woman who showed up towards the end, but now I see I did not. I must have thought better of it at the time. The wedding was going all fine and well, we were all having a great time, when the origin of the word "Frenemy" walked in. Our table fell silent. Now this woman, I had not seen or heard from her in almost 20years. I was completely shocked to see her. And then I was completely upset. After almost 20 years the old rage and anger and hurt came exploding to the surface. I had no idea anyone was still in contact with her. Frenemy was the queen of the cut down, friend or foe; no one escaped her cutting words. She could deliver a backhanded compliment that would only dawn on you days later, that, HEY! That was MEAN! She always thought she was better than the rest of us, even though my circle took her in when the "in crowd" tossed her out. Out of all the girls in our circle of friends, I seemed to be the main focus of her attention when it came to slights and belittling. More often than not I held my own against her. But it stung. It hurt. And when we all scattered to different colleges, I was not at all heartbroken to be rid of her. Every now and again when I would go home for a visit I would hear what she was up to. Kicked off the college volley ball team. Dropped out of school. Drugs, she told me herself at a wedding one year. Then the reports stopped coming. I didn't really care. I felt that I had finally moved on. Then I heard she gotten married. And had the mother of our mutual friend, R, do the flowers for her wedding. Not once did she try to contact R when she was in town dealing with R's mom. It appeared to me, that she'd had no problem cutting ties with her old h.s. acquaintances.
The Bride from the wedding in August sent out an e-mail announcing she was expecting. So I waited for the invite to her baby shower. It never came. So I put out feelers to those I knew keep in better contact with her than I do. In the end we decided to throw her a little shower of our own. A few ladies from way back were invited, no prob, it would be nice to see them after all these years. But then the Face Book message arrived from R: "A sent me text telling me she invited Frenemy and wants to honor her as well since she just had a baby."
Well ok. That little message sent my anxiety sky rocketing. I do not want to buy her a present. I had no idea she was even pregnant. My anger rolled over me. I shot off an e-mail to a friend who had recently come to me with a similar situation. I was disgusted with myself for still allowing Frenemy to affect me. To still be able to get under my skin after almost 20 freaking years. I tried to search myself for the forgiveness that I see in so many others. And that is when it hit me. My anger, my hurt, came not just from what Frenemy had put me through all those years ago, but from the lack of support from the other girls.
No one ever told her to stop. No one ever stood beside me in my defense. No one else, to this day, will admit what a bitch she was. A's husband actually told F at the wedding that "she's just a poor misunderstood little rich girl." Maybe. Maybe not. But it is with this realization that I am still hurt by my friends’ lack of support, that I feel calm. That I feel I can handle seeing her again, and being forced to interact with her.
It also comes with sadness. Sadness at the realization that my friends maybe weren't, and possibly aren't the good friends I thought they were/are. I am a ferociously loyal person. Every personality test and horoscope will tell you the same thing. I expect the loyalty I give to be returned, in full. And now I finally have to admit, that my childhood friends possibly aren't that loyal. Something F has been telling me from day one.
This saddens me to no end. And I am not sure how to move forward from here. I do not want to cut ties altogether, after all, R and I have been friends since 3rd grade. That is a lot of history to walk away from. But at the same time, walking away may be the only way to let the healing begin.
What to do my digital friends? Have any of you found yourself in this spot???