We moved the summer before I started the sixth grade. In general, I wish my parents had skipped me ahead to the 7th rather than sticking me in an elementary school where everyone had spent the last 5 years in the same class. It really wasn't until 7th grade that I made friends - and even those friends were rife with the drama that accompanies being 13. It was in the 7th grade that I had my first real "best friend" - and it's in quotes because she started our 8th grade out letting me know that I would never be popular enough for her to bother continuing to be my friend. And that really defined the rest of our friendship. She'd be cruel. Then she'd need my help in one fashion or another and me, being naive would be her friend again, until such time as she had more abuse to heap on my head. In high school it was worse, because instead of just being ugly to me, she'd spread it around to anyone who would listen. On the other hand, I had my own group of friends in HS who all just rolled their eyes at her - so it was certainly easier to deal with. But when we were friends, it was like we were sisters (at least to me), and so her cruelty cut all the deeper. In college we drifted apart, as you do, but her father died and I reached out and we were good friend  again...until she divorced her husband because he didn't make her happy and I couldn't help but say "That's not his job. You need to work on it with him." And that was that. My feeling that marriage is not disposable was the death knell of our friendship. And for all the drama...I missed her for a long time (and guess I still do occasionally.)

My best friend in high school was a guy and, had he been a Christian, I would have dated him in a heartbeat. But his world view was so diametrically opposed to mine that there was just no way. Still, we remained friends into the early 2000s, when he became obsessed with Ayn Rand and objectivism and he couldn't understand why I couldn't buy into it. And while we didn't talk all that much as adults, and the loss of our friendship wasn't as ugly as with my other friend, I miss just knowing that it's possible to dial him up and chat.

They, and a few others who were shorter blips in my life, have been on my mind lately, because the cutting remarks always seem to come out of the blue - I never expect it. And that's what's going on lately as well - people seem to just want to come out of the woodwork to remind me that, in essence, I suck. The latest in the long parade of comments like "You're notoriously critical and hard to please" (notorious, mind you...I still can't find the dictionary with my photo in it, but hey), "You're impossible to know", and so on and so forth involve my apparent inability to plan something fun for us to do and how hanging out with me is a waste of time and the fact that I walk around with a big "confess" sign on my head. (So...I'm judgmental, I'm guessing?)

And so what I really want to do is just crawl under a rock and say to heck with all of you..but then the ghosts of the people who have said it before all come back and whisper at me when I'm trying to fall asleep, nibbling at my psyche. And I have to stop and wonder...if I'm the only one who seems to disagree, maybe they're not the ones who are wrong and I should just stay in my hole and quit trying.


michellewillingham said...

Hugs, Beth. True friends are the ones who stand by you, no matter what (and you've got me! :) ). Fair weather friends aren't worth the time and energy. And you've got Tim, your best friend of all. :)

beth said...

Thanks, Michelle. I really do treasure your friendship. And Tim is a blessing beyond words - if I had to be friendless but for him for the rest of my life, it would indeed be a fair trade.

The little nasty grams still hurt though, you know?

Rachel said...

Beth, you are a great person! It's them who stink! You are always there for me when I need to talk about anything and I too value you even though we are locationally challenged. Here's a solution, just move over here :P. You'll be rid of the ghosts hehe.

michellewillingham said...

God gave us the Delete button for a reason. :)

Jen said...

Beth, those people are crazy. I wish we could hang out more. Actually, I'm bummed I didn't think to try to plan a play date this week when Beau was away. I think you're GREAT!

beth said...

Thanks Jen. :)