I Never Had a True Friend
And I'm Starting to Believe It's What's Best for Me
I've been sitting for hours, irritated. I know, I need to leave things in the past, but I think this is the best way to do it; through a blog story.
I'm twenty-one years old. I've been let down more times than I can count by people who have claimed to be a friend of mine. As a friend, I've always had a listening ear. I've always offered advice and a shoulder to cry on. I've always been patient. I've always had jokes and plans ready to share and do.
Don't get me wrong, I was a friend of flaws. I got jealous. I've never been anyone's "best friend." And if I was, there was a list and I was always at the bottom. When I was little, I didn't have money. I came from a family who got by paycheck by paycheck. A family that grew to be a family of eight (counting my parents). A family on food stamps. A family who was on the Christmas Angel list. I couldn't afford the best toys or clothes. Hell, I got my first cell phone on my graduation day.
In fourth grade, I was "invited" to a friend's birthday party. I waited all day on my porch for her to pick me up. I learned that it was just a joke. My mom came outside and I could tell she felt sorry for me. "Emily, I just don't get it. Jaclyn has Jessica as her best friend. Kasey has Chelsea as hers. Why can't you find one?" All I could tell her was that I was trying so hard. As I kept going through each grade, I would make friends, but was never close enough to have that girlfriend I could call "my sister from another mister." Yeah, girls would tell me that, but like I've said, I was at the bottom of their idiotic list. They were calling everyone they knew that. If you know me, you know my mom later got diagnosed with colon cancer that spread to her liver. About two years later, I watched her take her final breath at fifteen. Honestly, with this experience, I felt alienated from everyone in school. To this day, I STILL feel alienated. My mom always wanted me to find that special friend that would stick with me through life. She wanted me to be a social butterfly, but she never understood just how hard it is to be someone who never fit in. I only seem to fit in when I had answers to homework questions and even did people's homework for them. This didn't end until junior year.
Another flaw is that sometimes I fall into the shadow of my sisters. Like any little sister, you tend to acquire their personalities, their sense of humor, their taste in music and movies. But I wasn't as attractive as my sisters. Why is that important to not having true friends? Every friend I had that was a male enjoyed my sisters' companies more than mine. Which is fine, they're amazing people and boys will be boys. But even my girlfriends preferred them over me. This is one of the reasons that has brought me in this pity party today.
My older sister was telling me about a friend I had that I was beginning to lose connection with a few months ago. It's not your standard, "I'm an adult. Adult friendships are hard. We don't have the time to hang out." No. It was more of me getting tired of being compared to other people. Getting used for car rides. Being used to help pass the time so she could hang out with her better friends. I get it. I'm married. I have responsibilities. I can't party all hours of the night while getting high and drunk. But even married women deserve friends, right? I mean, my husband has his friends. My sisters still have theirs.
Anyway, my sister was telling me about this friend and how my dad saw her the other day. She works at Wal-Mart, so it's kind of hard not to run into her. My dad couldn't remember if she was my friend or one of my sisters' friends. So, he asked her. Her answer included my sisters and, as expected, me at the bottom of the list. I don't know why it bothers me. Maybe it's because I thought I meant more to her since she was MY friend. We made memories. We went out to eat a lot. We had pathetic best friend necklaces and made best friend shirts. Yes, I know. I'm twenty-one, but those were things I never had before and just wanted the experience.We shared jokes. We had deep conversations that I wish I could take back. She was even one of my bridesmaids in my wedding. But even before hearing that, I was upset with her because she was beginning to lie about little things that I should've confronted her about. Things that were silly to lie about, too. Like, her car was broke down when it was fixed the same night as her accident. She just wanted someone to drive her around, and who better than her "best friend."
But this isn't the only time I had a failure of a friendship that I really cared about. Going back to my high school years, I know I need to leave the past in the past, I met a girl in my Algebra class in freshman year. I could already tell we shared common interests because I was one of those kids who thought they were "emo." She dressed in black. Had wristbands. Had side bangs that covered her eye. Like me, minus the wristbands. We had a great friendship at first. She invited me to her house for a sleepover. We goofed off in class. But she began acting different when she would get into relationships. She was changing, which I accepted. But with each relationship, she would change more and more and distance herself. She started keeping secrets. Lying. It got to where she was hiding her relationships from me. I didn't care about the guys she dated. I wasn't a boyfriend-stealer and, frankly, they weren't my type. Plus, I was NEVER single because I was dating outside of school, except for one guy but that's irrelevant. In senior year, after a breakup she had, she was looking online for guys. She found a guy who worked in the next city over at a Wal-Mart. So, she asked me to come with. We drove over there and went to the garden section where he worked. She was constantly trying to grab his attention, but he seemed to be avoiding her until the last minute when she was about to give up. They talked for like five minutes and we left. When we headed back to the car in the parking lot, she got a text that said she was cute and so was her friend. She laughed it off, nervously. I could tell it got to her. I had my suspicions before, but that moment confirmed what I was thinking. She was intimidated by me, which explained her trying to hide her relationships. Honestly, I thought she was crazy. I wasn't attractive, in my opinion. But our friendship started fading away. We weren't hanging out anymore and I was dealing with more serious problems at the time. We still tried to make the friendship work until she got into a relationship that was obviously going to end badly. I always gave her advice. But it would go from one ear and out the other. I was sick of it. I knew he was cheating on her. I knew he didn't love her. But she was blind. So I finally forfeited. We fought. The friendship was over. I tried reconnecting with her later on, apologized, but she already made new friends and just didn't have the time to hang out.
These are only a couple of examples of friendships that I couldn't maintain. So, if you're reading this, you're probably wondering why do I care so much about old, toxic friendships with people I don't even talk to anymore. To be truthful, I envy the friendships other adults have. I still feel isolated with people my age. I still hear my mom's words and feel like I've let her down. However, I know she could care less about me making friends in adulthood. I mean, for Christ's sake, I have a husband who's my real best friend. Sisters that are guaranteed to be friends for life. And I don't know what the future holds, but who knows. Maybe I'll find that true friend who will stick by my side.
It's time to leave these girls in the past with the rest of the memories I'm willing to leave behind. So, today, I deleted these girls off all my social media platforms. I delete their numbers out of my phone. I keep the good memories and move forward.
This is what's best for me.