I’m feeling terribly awful right now, so I thought I’d blatantly beg for comfort from everyone. I started a thread a while back about James, my best friend, with whom I was in love. I told him, he doesn’t love me back. Feh.
For the past month, it’s been fine between us. We’ve hung out quite a bit, and although it took a while to lead up to the hugs/phone calls stage, we were nearly back to normal. I even threw him a surpise birthday party last week.
Now this man, for the record, was someone I truly loved. I saw him as a shining example of all that is good in the world. I trusted him completely, without reservation, and was the best possible friend I could be to him. His parents are going through a yucky divorce, and I’ve been there nonstop. Three days ago, I held him while he cried on my shoulder.
Well, rewind three weeks ago: new girl Nancy gets hired. She’s thin, she’s cute, she has a boyfriend. I liked her (and I’m nice to everyone) so I invited her to A’s birthday party (we work with her) and to James’s surprise party. At A’s party, James hit on Nancy nonstop even though I was sitting right there, even though he knows I still love him, because we’ve talked about it. I reacted by being really quiet (rare for me) and he led me to the bar and asked what was wrong. I told him that it made me uncomfortable seeing him flirt with someone else, and then I left to spare myself more discomfort.
The next day I talked to Nancy. I told her that it made me uncomfortable to see James, for whom I care greatly, flirt with her, and that if I avoided her when the two of them were together, I didn’t want to be hurtful or mean: it was just self-preservation. Fight or flight, you know? She said she understood, had been in the same situation, and was fine with that.
I foolishly thought that I had handled this well.
Then Saturday, I was at work talking to James about our upcoming plans to go to the Walter’s Art Gallery on Thursday. Nancy came over, James started acted goofy, so I excused myself. It was time for my lunch break anyway. I was extremely nice to Nancy: I smiled and said hi, asked her how she was doing, etc, then said, “I going to head to lunch now, it’s 2 o’clock.”
I came back from lunch and James hunted me down. I was immediately put on trial for my offenses against Nancy, since I hurt her feelings to horribly. He called me immature and childish, then walked away. I hunted him down and we went out to talk. Basically, he called me immature a couple more times, claimed that I was intentionally hurting Nancy, that I was being rude, that everyone in Marketplace was pissed at me because I was “exclusionary and cliqu-y” toward Nancy. He told me to stop acting so silly, stop being childish. He accused me of having ulterior motives in our friendship, claiming that inviting him to dinner at my house or buying him a book for his birthday was my way of trying to win his love, which he had already told me I would never have.
I have never felt as worthless, in my entire life, as I did when I sat crying next to him and he just watched. All the times I held him when he cried, when I comforted him and was there for him. This is the first time, the first time, that I asked for something in return, and he wasn’t there for me.
I couldn’t stop crying so my manager told me to take the rest of the day off. I went for a hike with my dog and sat and thought for a while. I talked with my mom.
Then I called him up and told him that he was wrong. I told him that I had let him get into a position where his opinion of me meant more to me than my opinion of myself, and his low opinion of me made me doubt myself.
I said that I had been 100% true to him as a friend, and true to myself as a person, over the course of our friendship. I am not a person who is intentionally mean or cruel. I am not a person who acts with ulterior motives. Everything I did for him was pure and good, and that he would question that made me realize he didn’t know me at all. I told him that his opinion of me, or Nancy’s or anyone at IKEA’s, did not matter because I know who I am, and I know what sort of person I am. I told him that he wasn’t the person I thought he was, but I’m not either: I’m stronger, and have more self-respect, than I ever thought. I told him that our friendship was over. I told him that who ever had issues with me at work could discuss them with me.
He said it would be awkward at work, and I agreed. Then we said goodbye.
Today did suck, because it was hard not talking to him and avoiding him. I felt like complete shit. My nerves were shot, I can’t keep any food down (keep throwing up), and I want to hibernate for the next two months.
He just e-mailed me and said, “this is stupid. Why are you acting like this?”
My reply was:
I’m proud of myself, but I still feel so awful. But having gotten it off my chest helped a lot.
Thanks for reading this.