- 7 years ago
I am having an ongoing issue in my life with the friends I grew up with. This was a problem for us in high school which carried over to college and now “real life.”
I used to be very close with a small group of girls, one in particular was my best friend and we did everything together. As we got older and our lives changed (I worked full time, they went away to school), my priorities and my lifestyle changed and they didn’t really understand that. If I said I didn’t want to participate in something they were doing because it was too expensive, they would come back and say I was making up excuses, that I make more money than any of them and I could definitely afford it. (Meanwhile, I was saving up for car repairs, tuition, and to move out of my parent’s house!) If I was tired from working a 45-hour week plus 15 hours of class, I couldn’t say I didn’t want to do anything on a Friday or Saturday night, because that sure was no excuse. Especially when they were home for holidays, it was like I was supposed to drop my responsibilities for them. One time they even got mad at me for staying at work when they wanted me to leave to go to lunch with them.
This all came to a head when I met my SO. We had plenty of problems at first and I would look to my friends for support, but at the same time I was slowly moving away from them and spending more time with him. I realized how bad that was, but that fact that I felt relief in not having to be with my friends – well, that was a bad sign. Eventually, I since they would never accept “no” as an answer in not going out, I started making up excuses. When you never accept “no” as answer, you are setting yourself up for that kind of disappointment. As I got closer and closer with SO, and my relationship with my family became closer as well, I started either making excuses, or just canceling plans with my friends.
I know, that’s horrible! I have no excuse for doing those things. I was out of my mind with anxiety about the whole thing. Our friendship had just become tense – we never had a conversation without disagreeing. My best friend and I would still spend a decent amount of time together, but we would always end up arguing. It was like I couldn’t disagree with her point of view, and she would get angry at me. I know it was all risidual anger from what I’d been doing to them. But I wanted a way out of that controlling friendship. I needed to have the freedom to choose to do the things I wanted to do and not feel uncomfortable. At one point, I canceled on going on a trip with some of these friends and that was it. There had just been an ice storm, I was afraid of the drive, and I canceled. She blew up at me, I apologized, but agreed that we needed time apart. We didn’t speak for a couple of months until she called me on my birthday, and then I called on her birthday, then over the summer we hung out with mutual friends on occasion.
Jump ahead one year, and now she is texting me pretty often about miscellaneous things (TV shows we both watch, etc) and I am really not initiating it anymore. She only recently re-friended me on facebook (so childish) and is still “blocking” my SO on facebook. It’s not a real friendship; it’s hanging on, by a thread, to our childhood friendship. Which I appreciate – I wouldn’t want to let that go, but maybe we must. We have a lot of mutual friends, and I know we would never really be out of each other’s lives completely, but our lives have gone in completely different directions.
I heard from another girl in this group (who I do not speak to often anymore, but we never had a big fight, just grew apart) that she wants to be a bridesmaid when I get married! I was planning on having family-only bridesmaids, if any at all, besides my Maid/Matron of Honor (my sister). I am not even engaged yet – just planning ahead.
Now, she has invited me to her birthday party via Facebook. It is in a bad part of town, when I have never been, but that is where she lives now, rooming with another friend who I was in the same fight with (but I don’t talk to him much anymore, texting every once in a blue moon). I don’t want to go, but I was invited. So I’m back to where I started. I do not want to go back to my old ways and make an excuse. I just want to say, no, I don’t want to go. But I know I will have to face the questioning from her and other friends if I just say, “no thank you.” These two had a Christmas party where NO one I knew was invited, and one of them (the guy – we WERE facebook friends, then he made a new facebook with a fake name, and only friended a select group of people…cool, right?) invited me via facebook. I denied and wrote something along the lines of, “Sorry I can’t make it, have a good time!” I was then deleted and blocked from the event. Shortly after I was de-friended.
But now, to make matters worse, one of SO’s friends, who I am actually pretty close with at this point, has the same birthday as the former best friend. So the same weekend, he has invited us to go out and do something else. Problem is, I got HER invitation first, so I can’t exactly say I was already committed to something. It is simply choosing one thing over another.
What do I do in this situation? Am I overthinking this? I just want to run away from it all where I don’t have to feel trapped anymore.