A few weeks ago, my husband was taking a look at my Facebook page. It’s not something I use all that often, as the whole thing with Real Name has left a sour taste in my mouth. But one of the people that Facebook’s algorithms encouraged me to friend was none other than my old high school friend, the same one who wrote a screed about me last year and who doesn’t think that having a Confederate flag on a vehicle license plate should upset anyone. I had been saying for a while that I needed to take a break from her. Prime set that in motion.
He blocked her.
Now, I’ve known this woman for over twenty years and in that time, I’ve learned her patterns: she’ll start out wanting to be your best friend. Then she’ll start dumping on you, little by little. It’ll start innocently enough–she’ll make a comment about how she isn’t judging you for something that happened years ago–but then it will escalate. Eventually, it will go straight into her speaking badly about you, whether in public or to one of your mutual acquaintances. Then she’ll try everything in her power to stir up drama–usually about something that doesn’t involve you personally–and try to drag you into it. I’ve seen it happen before and right now, I know if I continue to interact with her, it will happen again.
I can’t deal with it. I just can’t anymore.
The first time this happened was at my birthday celebration, where she blatantly made remarks about how stupid I was while looking directly at me. She thought it was a great joke and laughed about it but I didn’t find any of it funny. In fact, I found it downright insulting but rather than call her out on it, I decided to be the bigger person and let it go.
“Being the bigger man is overrated.” — Huey Freeman
This started a pattern: she’d make sharp comments then wonder why no one wanted to be around her. The final straw–at least for me–came when my ex-boyfriend told me of how badly she had spoken of me when he chatted with her at her workplace. I’ll never forget that night, as I had been writing a letter to her. Once I hung up the phone, I stared at the page that I had been working on then shoved it into a photo album.
To this day, that letter is still unsent and unfinished.
When I left home, I lost contact with her until 2003. Then she sent me an email and we started talking again. The cycle started slowly: a slightly dismissive comment about how I had “met someone and moved on” rather than staying with my ex, a slight dig at how I had “done something” to my ex during the break up to her slow revelation of how, when my ex was still trying to work things out with me, he tried to kiss her. Again, I let everything go, as I don’t like confrontation. Then came the second last straw.
It seems one of the guys I knew was dating someone who had been dating one of our other friends. As to whether or not this guy had broken the two up, I had no idea but there was my friend, demanding to know what would I do about this.
I did nothing. Everyone in that circle was an adult. I figured that they could either learn to get along or not. Besides, I was a thousand miles away and too damn old to get involved in something that amounted to high school drama. I quit emailing her and hoped that she’d get the idea that no, I wasn’t interested in that sort of thing.
Fast forward to 2010, or thereabouts. She came back into my life yet again.
Only this time, it evolved over the course of my blogging. She began to post comments on my Blogger site and most were positive. Then they slowly started turning negative. Until she finally posted the aforementioned diatribe on her blog.
By that point, I was done. I’d had enough. I pretty much quit blogging on that site. When I dipped my toe back in the water earlier this year and made a post about Josh Duggar, she took that as a chance to corner me and try to drag me into some more drama, this time dealing with my ex. I almost fell for it, then realized something, something that had been in front of me since the start.
This is the pattern. This is exactly what she does. And I don’t want to do this anymore.
So I started this blog, away from her prying eyes. But when Prime noticed her as a possible acquaintance on Facebook, he made the hard decision. I had told him that this was something I needed to do but I didn’t have the strength to do it myself. Prime took it upon himself to do this.
I needed it. Oh, how I needed it.
Don’t get me wrong–we had a lot of good times. But I can’t keep this up. As much as I might have cared about her, the relationship has turned toxic and I’m too old to deal with toxic people. It’s far too draining for me. And even if I were to try and explain to her why this is happening, why I have to do this, she wouldn’t get it because I would be the one with the problem and not her.
Break ups suck. They are painful. But sometimes they’re needed. This case is one of them.