I wrote previously about a “friend” whom offered to help me with my Support Group, but after involving one of her friends, became very defensive and aggressive when I tried to do my ‘due diligence’ in understanding the problems her friend was having. The week before my first group meeting, she decided to leave the group.
We didn’t get to have a discussion about her decision to leave before she did so and the more I tried to share my feelings with her, the more accusations and aggression were unleashed upon me.
I learned, later, from the ‘friend’ she’d brought into the group, the truth about what had been happening, how things came to be as they were.
Once I’d learned about the exchanges that had taken place between them, I decided I needed some time to digest everything that had happened, process my feelings and just step back a bit. I also thought that since this person had removed themselves from the group, that in time, it would fall on them to speak to me about the whole incident.
This happened in September 2012. Yesterday I received a phone call, out of the blue, from this individual, telling me they were in the town where I live and wanted to drop off some things of mine that they had and pick up some text books of theirs I had borrowed. They were on their way.
Unfortunately, I was still in bed. I’ve been having a terrible time sleeping as a result of chronic pain and a nagging cough I’ve been experiencing for nearly 3 weeks. My husband has been having trouble with our car and so when the phone rang, I didn’t look at the caller ID, I just picked it up.
There was a voice on the other end that I couldn’t understand, it sounded garbled, muffled and was very soft. I kept saying, “Hello?”, but all I could hear was this mumbling sound, nothing discernible. I said, “I can’t tell who you are, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Suddenly the voice was louder, still muffled, but louder. The person said their name and informed me they were in town and wanted to drop off my things and pick theirs up, they were on the “Golden Strip”, not far from me.
I was, at first, stunned. I jumped out of bed, went into the bathroom, started to get dressed and suddenly there was a knock at the door. I wasn’t even dressed yet. The first thing that went through my mind was, it was a good thing I had bagged the books when we’d rearranged the master bedroom three weekends ago and that I knew where they were and I could get to them, because I had no time to go looking for them.
I went to the door, expecting to see this ‘friend’, hoping we’d finally get to have a bit of a ‘sit down’, a ‘face-to-face’ to iron things out, now that so many months had passed, but as I looked through the window in the front door I realized the person on the other side was someone I had never seen before. She was holding my book and folder.
I opened the door and she complimented my dog. She handed me the book and folder asking how old he is. I told her and handed her the bag of books. We thanked each other and she walked away.
I was truly stunned that this ‘friend’ couldn’t even face me, after all this time had passed. This was a perfect opportunity to discuss what had occurred and whether there was a path forward for a friendship or not. An opportunity missed.
She could have contacted me at any time all weekend to set up a time when she was going to be in town and available to pick up her books, but she chose to wait until moments before she was going to arrive. There was no consideration as to whether I had the books available to me or not, they may not have been where I could get to them, seeing as how I’m disabled, this person knows that, they could have been put away in a place I couldn’t access.
It is sad that someone whom I shared so many intimate details with, someone who had opened up to me, couldn’t come and speak to me. I guess that makes it clear that there is likely not a pathway forward for a friendship and that it is time to just move on.
People need to stop expecting me to understand, to accommodate, to be tolerant, endlessly, and to be more cognizant of my needs and feelings, to treat me with respect.