With Friends like these…

Fighting

I was contemplating whether or not I should post this piece because of it’s personal nature, but because I heard that a colleague of mine is going through a similar situation I thought it would make a great piece for anyone who might be in the same boat.

In bigger groups of friends you can always expect dynamic shifts and power plays. For 2 years I was blissfully unaware that I was merely a “Plus one” of a very important part of their circle – my dearest Ginger. And there I was, thinking that the people I shared my secrets with were my best friends.

The girls in the group were always bullied by the guys to accept and befriend their new girlfriends which was difficult because we’d just about get used to one girl when, at the next braai, she would be replaced with a generic version of herself. Regardless of their disposability, we always tried to make them feel accepted and I’ve actually formed a real friendship with one of the girls (let’s call her Angela and let’s call her now ex-boyfriend “D-bag-ex-friend”). When Angela and “D-bag-ex-friend” broke up, some horrible stories of her made the rounds – everything from her sleeping with an older man while they were together to her getting high and vandalizing his car.

We were forbidden to contact her again which broke my heart – she never did anything to me. And even if she was guilty of the crimes they accused her of, aside from the cheating (which Ginger confirmed), physical abuse and mental abuse he inflicted on Angela, he wasn’t a very good person either. Even though I considered him to be a friend, he had no authority to tell me who I can and cannot be friends with. Needless to say, I stood up for what I thought was right and I supported my friend, Angela, through her difficult time.

When a picture of Angela and me got leaked on Facebook the entire group of pseudo friends unanimously threw all their grievances against me out on the proverbial table. I never felt more alone and hurt in my entire life. I had lost my only male friend, I had been accused of things I’ve never done, my deepest darkest secrets were revealed and Ginger and I were completely ostracized. Because I’m an emotional starver, I lost 5 kilos in less than 3 weeks and none of them cared.

Throughout the entire fight I was told (by Ginger) to keep my piece until the time was right. The dust just about settled (4 weeks after the incident) and I had heard just about enough about what a horrible person I am when I decided to make my exit – gracefully. By this time, I was so emotionally drained and so numb to anything they could possibly throw at me, that I didn’t hold anything back. I wrote an email with the subject line “I’m sorry” and sent it to all of them.

“Dear ex-friends

Whether you read this email or not makes no difference to me, but I will be dammed if I don’t say my piece.

I must admit that I’ve enjoyed our time as friends – I have never felt more loved than when I was with you. But the love you showed me was equally matched with your betrayal and the hurt you’ve caused me. So I’m very sorry that I’ve allowed myself to become this emotionally attached to you in the first place.

You’ve called me names behind my back, accused me of things I haven’t done and you thought it wouldn’t reach my ears but I know exactly what each of you said which should make you rethink YOUR alliances. So I’m sorry that you now face suspicion of each other.

You are all angry with me for befriending someone that you forced onto me. This doesn’t seem like sufficient reason for ostracizing your lifelong friend (Ginger) nor does it justify the horrible things I’ve had to endure (because of you) over the past 4 weeks. It goes without saying that you will never see me again. So I’m sorry that I, your seemingly favorite subject of gossip and object of your hatred, am no longer there for you to bash.

In conclusion I wish you the best of luck in this “Survivor-type” relationship that you so cleverly masquerade as friendship. If I were any of you, I would be really careful of what I say to whom.

Cheers”

By this time I had completely fallen off the grid and had managed to successfully cut all correspondence with them – the last remaining thing was to close the email account. Message sent, account closed and then there was nothing.

My “informant” tells me that they have pretty much remained the same and D-Bag-ex-friend has managed to find a clone of Angela. Their relationship is rocky to say the least. He is still a loser and they’re all still gossiping about each other. What I realized? I don’t go to bed at night with knives in my back anymore, and I must say, the sleep is wonderful.

xxx

HPG

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