Once Upon a Time… I had a Friend


Whenever I talk to people about my past, I have a tendency to describe myself as having never had friends before.  I always say that “women and I just never seem to get along very well”.  Mostly, that is a true statement; as I verbalize this, the movie playing through my mind is high school and how I had a tendency to date boys who had girlfriends and how I developed a reputation for being “easy” as a result.


I was always different from most girls in that regard, when they would confront me and were incredulous at the fact that I was a cheater, I would become doubly incredulous at their stupidity that they had no idea at the definition.  The fact that I was unattached and could date whomever I wanted and that their significant other was the one who was being unseemly had clearly slipped past their tiny little high school minds.  As a result, I had no friends, and since most women appeared to buy into the same mindset, it did not look like I would find one anytime soon.


But, somehow, it always slips my mind, that for a few years I had a very good friend, even best friend if you will.  We were practically inseparable.  We were opposite in so many ways, but that was probably one of the attractions of the friendships and what allowed us to remain close for several years.


Even though she came from a broken home in the classic sense that her parents were divorced and she lived with her father and brother, she was so much more stable and together than I could have ever been.  She was confident, self-assured, and was easy to be around.  She was more of a friend to boys, but when she got a boyfriend, she was in a relationship for a very long period of time; unlike me who flitted from boy to boy and had relationships that overlapped, sometimes three at a time.


By the time high school ended, our lives were so different and we had gone so far beyond our separate ways that it was ten years before we saw each other again.  It was an exciting reunion as we made plans to see each other for the first time.  I was beyond exciting, as I really considered her to be the only friend I had ever really had in my life.  We spent the weekend meeting halfway between our two homes, we talked about our lives since we had seen each other, we reminisced about high school, and we talked about our future together now that we were back in each other’s lives.


We still could not have been more different, but it was an easy and seamless reunion, I could not have been happier.  I had no idea how much I had missed having a friend.  As an adult woman I did not realize how important a friendship like that was, so different from a mother or a sister, especially when you come from such a dysfunctional family with so many secrets.


We remained friends for a few months, when tragedy struck.


I went to her house for a visit, I was thrilled to have a weekend away from my husband and kids, I needed a break from life.  A year before I had been diagnosed with bi-polar manic depression, borderline personality disorder, and OCD.  I felt like my life was spinning out of control.  The weekend promised to be one of fun and freedom.


The first night I arrived, we went to a party at her friend’s house where there was alcohol, marijuana, and lots of people, everything I needed to make me feel like I was the life of the party.  The next morning I awoke to find my things packed and sitting by her front door, she was sitting in the living room drinking tea and invited me to leave.  I found out very curtly from her husband that I “got out of control” and embarrassed her and she never wanted to see me again.


That was it, that was the end of my friendship.  I have never seen or heard from her again.


So, when I say that I have never really had a friend before, I suppose it is just a mental block because of the damage that I did myself, or I did not deserve a friend.  Either way, the result is the same, I do not know how to be a friend anymore.


10 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time… I had a Friend

  1. I liked this one because of how well written it was… once again bringing me with you back through the memories of your wonderfully placed words to make me feel as if I were there too! But sooo very sad. I guess you don’t know what happened. Making it hard for me to judge her… which is my first reaction… to come to your aide and say… “Hey wait a minute!” But thank you for sharing. You are a talented writer.

    • Thank you so much… you are right, I have no idea what I did, beyond embarrassing her. I was mortified to know that I had ruined my only friendship beyond repair, but more hurt to know that she was so unforgiving. I have had many people in my life who have cut me deeply, but they are still here, or would be if they wanted to be.

      I cannot judge her because she made a choice for her life and perhaps she felt I was that toxic friend that she just did not have room for me in her life. My hope is that nobody turns around and treats her the same way.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


  2. This is really brilliant. It was well written, and I actually sat there with my mouth agape at the end. I never expected that. That’s surprising for me, because I’m usually pretty good at predictive reading.

    I understand where your friend is coming from, but I can’t agree with her choice there. She’s supposed to know you better than that. And her husband – shame, shame. If he was any good friend to you, he would’ve put his foot down on that before it became obvious. Any decent person probably would have put you to bed at that point in time.

    Take that with a grain of salt, because I have a very black and white line of thinking when it comes to friendships and relationships. This is me judging, because I’ve been in your shoes, but in a slightly different situation. I woke up to an empty upstairs in the middle of the morning. The abbreviated version was that I went downstairs and my husband tore into me. According to him, I was inappropriately dancing with two male friends of ours. And according to him, I almost effectively ended our marriage that way.

    First, I was so blasted I couldn’t remember anything. Second, if I was dancing with those guys, I didn’t mean anything by it. I doubt they were even dancing back, just based on how I know them. I was probably just trying to embarrass them out of their shells and get them to cut loose, you know? Totally innocent.

    I felt the judgement was unfair then, and I still do now, even if we’re two years past it now. I feel it was an unfair judgement and a bad call on her part for you.

    It’s hard to read. I hope you are as well as you can be. I know how difficult this falling out has to be.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me. It was difficult, but I am doing my best to grow from my experiences. It was quite a long time ago now, about 14 years ago, but still very painful when I look back. It has shaped my friendships with women, my trust, my ability to get close to people.

      I am not perfect, but I am forgiving… I realize that alcohol, bipolar, mood disorders, etc., are not a good combination… And, friendships are not easy to come by. Life is too short to judge others and if you find somebody that you care about, I feel like you should do what you can to keep them in your life… if that is to stand by them in their time of need, that is what you should do.

      Again, thank you very much for sharing.


      • Maybe I’m a person who gives too many passes. I don’t feel like I do. I feel like I’m a very judging person. But, when you were saying that friendships are hard to come by, I found myself nodding in agreement. They are too hard to come by. I think that’s why I’m not too eager to start giving people the boot, even when my brain is screaming at me to do it.

      • I agree whole completely… true friendships are few and far between. But, that said, I guess she felt differently.

        I was so hurt by the experience that it has been hard for me to get close to anybody. I have not had a close friend since then. Thank you for reading my post.


  3. As your friend I will write the following paragraph:

    The context of your story, to make sense of it as if this was a fiction story, is that you had some sort of sexual indiscretion with your friend’s husband. Whether it was merely flirtatious dancing or something more I have no idea. I don’t know this to be true but look at the contextual lead in and that is what the writer demands I see. I leave it there. I neither know nor care nor judge. I do care about you but not about this incident no matter what actually happened.

    I think I have to categorize myself as asexual, albeit heterosexual. Ambivalent. Take THAT bikini model next to the red sports car! Sadly the bikini model works on me anyway.

    I see nothing wrong with you dating a guy who is in a relationship but I see him as being a potential betrayer depending on his “contract” with his girlfriend. I presume there is a girl code just as there is a guy code so that you lay off someone else’s “territory,” but honestly it is on the person in the relationship’s responsibility to enforce, not an outsider’s.

    I was so very much the opposite, being attracted/infatuated and looking for excuses to not proceed. Surely shyness and ineptness and lack of guaranteed potency were all factors, but the whole down and dirty sexual thing has always been an area of great discomfort for me. A happy cuddler am I, not a voracious beast.

    So in some ways, night and day are we. And the journey goes on. I look forward to reading the next post.

    Be well.

    • As you no doubt have read, Sir, I truly do not know what happened for my friend to have cast me aside… perhaps, a tryst with her husband… I will never know, and it is unimportant to me now, as our paths will never cross again.

      I have matured quite a bit over the years; I am not the same person I was in high school, I hope none of us are… though, sadly I have met far too many people who never seem to get past their high school persona.

      Still here we are… you and I… on this journey; a new found friendship, each day a new adventure.

      Thank you,

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