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The Friends Who Are Not - You Know Who You Are. 
20th-May-2007 10:53 am
I'm thinking of some friends, some of whom I think of as friends I have loved deeply and feel all of that now in the past tense. And that makes me very sad. Even angry. If you think it's you, maybe it is. If it is, you'll know it. The only question is what are you going to do about it?

It all got started when I was talking to my friend Shannon the other day, and she was in the process of ending a lifelong friendship out of necessity and putting another on notice. She wrote about it in her own LJ, and I felt every word of it in a profound way. Then yesterday Damien mentioned to me that he was thinking about a mutual friend of ours that has completely ignored us for months now. When he asked me to guess who it was, I guessed someone else who fit that same description. He told me who it was, and went so far as to say that he misses him so much that he even came to tears about it recently - which made my anger rise quickly and I could taste the iron in my blood in my mouth. It happens when I am angry or fearful, that metallic taste. Ever since then, I'm emotionally bombarded with the friends who aren't. For the record, the person I was thinking of when he asked me to guess was the same person I messaged just a few days ago saying "I miss you - I really do", and got -0- response. That's pretty shameful.

I know that throughout the course of your life, you have intense feelings about people who end up all being categorized in some way or another. I believe in that whole notion of reason/season/lifetime. That people come into your life in one of those ways, either for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. It's just that there are people I have literally given my all to, who successfully convinced me that they were in the ranks of my lifetime people - and end up anything but. I feel scammed in a way, I feel ripped off.

I've bled my goddamn guts out for some of these people, and what I have to show for it now is a few memories that quickly go sour and a handful of pictures I look at now and then when I can stand to do it. And if fucking pisses me off. I don't beg ANYONE to love me, you either do or you don't. If you do, then you'll love me enough to take care of it and give a damn about it. You'll be there for me when I need you to be and you'll be falling over yourself to do it. If I called you and I were obviously upset, you would never ask me if I'm okay - I'd hear you grabbing your car keys and you'd be asking me where I was and telling me you were on the way.

You would never look at me like I was crazy when I'm making perfect sense.
You would never take for granted that I am always going to be there for you, even if you're not taking care of me like you should.
You would never let me ache for you in your absence, thinking "this is really happening".
You would never let me miss you in the first place.
You would never let me find out what is going on with you from someone else, let alone your LiveJournal or MySpace page.
You would answer my phone calls, emails, and text messages saying "I was just thinking about you, I love you and wanted you to know".
You would respond to messages of "I miss you, and I don't like that I have to".
You would never be content to know that I hurt because of you without making amends and kicking your ass for ever letting it happen in the first place.
You would call me now and then just because you wanted to talk to me and not because you needed or wanted something from me.
You would take any opportunity to look at how good your life is and find a way to thank me for helping you be the better person you are.

A little bit more of me is dying as I write this, and you don't even care. Or you're so embarrassed by your lack of involvement and disinterest when I call you on it that you do even more to dishonor it by letting things be, letting it stay that way. The big bad world tore you down and left you for dead, but I couldn't have that - I helped rebuild you and stomped and clapped and cheered for every little baby step you took, measured your successes and pointed out every flower on the path we walked. I didn't do it because I had to, I did it because I loved you. And here I am missing you, wondering how it is even possible that you could let me do that.

I'm tired of feeling broken down from this shit, because that's what it is. You insult me and you insult my heart, and I'm too hurt to even get near how angry I know I am deep down. I'm tired of how much it hurts me wondering if you're worth all of this.

Maybe one of you is reading this now and it is like a knife at your throat - it's not my knife, it's your own. Don't think you have the nerve to ask me if I'm writing about you - YOU DON'T. If this speaks to you, don't waste my time with that nonsense. If I am, you'll know it - do something about it or don't.

Maybe you're reading this and it puts you on the defensive, and you want to point out my own shortcomings instead of being accountable for your own - does that change the fact that this is what I've been reduced to, this is how I see you, and you're doing nothing to put brakes on that? You're thinking of how to retaliate and dish this back out on me instead of doing what you SHOULD be doing, thinking "Holy fuck, that's how he sees me. I can't have this, I have to fix this RIGHT NOW."

Maybe you're reading this and time and distance just doesn't make it mean for you what it would have a year or two ago - and you won't even have the balls to admit it.

Maybe you're reading this and you know it has nothing to do with your relationship with me, but it's hitting a raw nerve with your relationship to someone else.

I do right by everyone - it is a given. I don't fail my friends, and if I ever feel like I am, I work hard to make amends long before they would have to let me know I'm dropping the ball. My life gets the best of me sometimes and I don't pay as close attention as I would like, but goddamnit I TRY. I'm far from perfect, but I TRY. I know just how fleeting this life really is.

Will it take me saying directly to you "I give up, I'm not chasing after you anymore to get love or give love - it's on you now. I either matter enough or I don't, make a choice." I have to tell you, if it comes down to that, if I decide to go that far, that's damage I won't try and fix. Sometimes broke is just broke.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves, and you know it.
20th-May-2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
Fuck. How did you know I was feeling exactly the same way this morning?
20th-May-2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
Dunno, but I hate like hell that we have to.
20th-May-2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
I can relate a great deal to the things you are talking about. I have "lost" a great number of people in my life because they decided it was completely up to me to maintain a relationship, even if that meant very unrealistic and apparently uncompromising expectations about me constantly staying in touch with THEM, or me always driving to where THEY lived. Out of sight becomes out of mind, but it stings when the other party won't put in the time or energy to keep up their half of the relationship, no matter how intimate or distant that relationship is to start with.
21st-May-2007 04:00 am (UTC)
I've had some huge wake-up calls recently, and I'm grateful to know where I stand. Plus, writing this really liberated me. You're damned right about that sting, though.
20th-May-2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
I don't know who hurt you so bad, but I'm so sorry you're going through this. It pains me to see someone I care about hurting.

I know the feelings too. Before I was diagnosed with the cancer and other health problems I ran my ass off for everyone. I never said no to anyone, but when I got sick friends and even close family members ran away like I had the plague. They are no where to be found, but you can bet your a$$ they'd be there if I suddenly had some money. Fair weather friends my Mom called them.

I know now who really loves me, who will be there at a moments notice, (I could count them on one hand)and I had to come to the realization you have that some people are what I call emotional vampires, they use you and are gone when you're in need.

I'm sorry you have had to go through this too, it hurts like hell. Especially after you do so much for those you love and it isn't reciprocated.

Looks like others are going through the same, looking at the replies in your post. Sad that so many people today are "takers only" in relationships.

I love ya Jude, for you, you don't have to change for me, you can be who you are and nothing will change that love. Just wanted you to know that!

Hugs my friend, Christina
21st-May-2007 04:03 am (UTC)
At current, this is about 6 different people - and I'm not even considering family, that's a whole 'nother story.

I do know that, and I know that I never have to question your motives for anything. You're one of the few that is perfectly consistent, and I love you too honey.
20th-May-2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
As you know, I'm not on often these days... but when I am I come to see if you're doing well. I'm so sorry that someone you obviously love is hurting you this way.

I so hope that the situation resolves itself in a way that leaves your heart whole.

Hugs and love.
21st-May-2007 04:05 am (UTC)
Writing this really helped me open myself up. It was in a way my means of saying "There's a big mess here, I didn't make it, and for once I'm not cleaning it up, either. That's YOUR mess, YOU clean it up - or don't, but either way, I have shit to do."

Much love back, my sweet one!
20th-May-2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm sorry you have to feel like this. Peopel fucking suck ass sometimes.
21st-May-2007 04:11 am (UTC)
Yeah, they do - but I'm putting my focus back on the ones who don't, because when I pay too much attention to those who aren't taking care of me, I take attention away from those that do.
(Deleted comment)
21st-May-2007 04:12 am (UTC)
Those who don't compliment your life only serve to complicate it. I don't despise the human race, just the ones who claim human kindness where they show none.
20th-May-2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
We don't often talk. It's even less seldom that we see each other. But I always know that if I should need a sholder, an ear, or just someone to knock some sense into me, you're there. And the same is for you and D. Much love to both of you hon.
21st-May-2007 04:06 am (UTC)
I appreciate that very much, and yes - you're right. Back at ya!
20th-May-2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this. It had me thinking all day regarding the people that enter our lives and why they enter and then why they leave. There are some good people out there. There are some bad people out there. It is hard finding good friends. It is even harder to keep them. Big huggs!
21st-May-2007 04:07 am (UTC)
I said it earlier, but it bears repeating - writing this really liberated me, I'm glad I did it and grateful if it resonated with you.
20th-May-2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
Hugs. Humans in general suck, although I have been lucky enough to have found a few that didnt. I count you amonge those. much love to you I hope it helps
21st-May-2007 04:08 am (UTC)
Likewise, sweetness - likewise.
(Deleted comment)
21st-May-2007 04:09 am (UTC)
I'm giving the benefit of the doubt in so many areas, and this is one of the times I don't have to. This was my way of liberating myself and saying "There's a big mess here, I didn't make it, and for once I'm not cleaning it up, either. That's YOUR mess, YOU clean it up - or don't, but either way, I have shit to do."
21st-May-2007 04:46 am (UTC)
I am so here right now with some others in my life too.

I have just been at a loss for words as I told you tonight.

But words I can say right now are...

Love you, mean it!
21st-May-2007 12:02 pm (UTC)
That was a great conversation to have just before bed - thanks, D!
21st-May-2007 06:44 am (UTC)
God this post strikes such a chord in me. Your words were almost identical to what I would write right now, if I had the balls, to someone who says they love me 'more than anything else in the world' that I have always been there for but has, temporarily I hope, decided to ignore me. It hurts more than I can say, but I can't unlove them and forget about them. I wish I could.

Someone told me that no-one owes us anything, and that if we give of ourselves we shouldn't expect anything in return because love is unselfish. I think that's really hard in practice unless you're some kind of a saint. What do you think?
21st-May-2007 12:02 pm (UTC)
That's really tough, Jo - because you have to do something for yourself to balance this sort of stuff out if no one else is going to do it for you. Balance is essential.

Perhaps telling them verbatim what you've told me here - point them to this post, screen your comment if you want to, and explain that given recent behavior you're at the point of almost wishing you could turn it on and off because you suffer in that absence.

No, I don't believe that. The people who supposedly love you more than anything owe you being consistent with that love and doing the work it takes not only to prove it but to maintain it. It's the people who don't know you at all that owe you nothing - the people that want to be part of your inner circle, they owe you the best of themselves and nothing less.
21st-May-2007 01:29 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry that you are dealing with this, but, like everyone else, I'm very grateful that you wrote about it. Last year I had a bad, messy 'break-up' with a friend, and another close friend of mine just drifted away from me, despite my efforts. I'm still hurting from both losses. As a kid, you're so used to rotating friendships, that you don't get too phased by it, but as an adult, it's hard to deal with b/c you have such higher expectations for people. At least, I do, and even though I've had to deal with a lot of shit from people, I don't want to lower my expectations just to avoid being hurt.

Like you, I too believe in the reason/season/lifetime theory, but I just wish some people, in the season category particularly, would grow up a bit. :/
22nd-May-2007 12:11 pm (UTC)
That's just it, being put in the position where you'd actually consider lowering your expectations to avoid pain. That's awesome, and really illustrates my point.
21st-May-2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
I'm going through the same thing. I've had my best friends all vanish and ignore me for no reason over the last year. I call them and chase them and they only say.. Oh Ive been depressed..or Oh Ive been too busy. It's hard for me because they are all far away in other states now. Lately, all I've had is my partner and that's it.

I just got tired of chasing them down for conversation or emailing them over and over before I got an answer that I've stopped.

I'm going to change that and try to make more local CLOSE friends soon. It's so hard though and I hate bars anymore...sigh. If you know any cool GLBT atheists near Philly, point them in my direction. LOL

22nd-May-2007 12:14 pm (UTC)
This comes down once again to "I'm not going to beg you to love me." My best friend last year went through some really intense depression and other crazy shit, but there's only so much you can do for that. It is made even more difficult when the choices they make are bad/unhealthy/selfish, because at a certain point you're not just supporting them but that behavior and quickly come to being an enabler.

Bottom line - love is action. If they show themselves by inaction, that speaks volumes.
21st-May-2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
I feel you so much on this. I've lost so many friends that I loved and enjoyed and went above and beyond to help, let myself be taken advantage of, and they never gave back, and then dropped me when I needed them. I will drop everything for a friend in need, I will leave work, I will run to them at 3 in the morning to get them to the hospital or get them out of jail or pick them up after an accident, or just be there for them, and is there anyone who will do that for me? And yet I have always felt that it was my fault when things go wrong, that I didn't do ENOUGH. I'm over that, finally; I can see what's my fault and what isn't. I don't want to give less, I just want to give it to people who appreciate me and will give back. My best friends in the world number 2 right now, and they're far away. It hurts. I don't have a partner anymore for much the same reason. It's hard to trust anyone anymore. I admire you for writing this; I never could express it.
22nd-May-2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean by all of that clarity in hindsight, that's when your big moment of reckoning comes and you really have to own yourself.
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