I have a friend I’ve never met, she lives in another state. I met her through an online writers group and in a very short amount of time she became a very close friend. Life being what it is, she discovered she had cancer, and decided on a hospital to get treatment and surgery. Things did not go all that well. She ended up in a coma.
Since that time I have been in contact with her father, supported him by phone and text through a lot. Other friends and co workers reached out to me and I often could get info that others couldn’t and passed it on.
Along came a friend of hers, someone we had often talked about, she was in an abusive situation, and I wanted her to ask this friend for help. She’d known the woman for 40 years, so in my mind this woman should have helped her. She told me repeatedly that this woman would not help her, that she would say she would and then wouldn’t follow through. My friend often called me when things got bad. She told me things that she didn’t tell others.
Anyone who knows me, knows, I don’t lie, and that I don’t judge. Most of my friends feel very comfortable telling me anything, and talking with me about things that they don’t tell others. Autumn (not her real name) confided in me. We texted sometimes 200 times a day, IM’d while she was at work and emailed several times a day and talked on the phone several times a week.
This so called 40 year friend of hers has now managed to cut me off from any info about Autumn. Her dad has stopped taking my calls; I can only imagine what this vindictive, shallow woman has said to him. I went off on her the other day when she again reiterated that only family should have any info about Autumn, she isn’t family either but apparently told the nurses at the care facility she was. I’ve caught her in several lies in the time I have talked to her.
I can see her being hurt that Autumn didn’t share everything with her. But friendships are different, some you wear a mask with, and Autumn often talked about taking off the masks she had been wearing all her life, with me she didn’t have to wear a mask, and didn’t.
And length of time known doesn’t preclude you from loving and caring about someone. I feel punched in the gut. And I am sure this woman is wearing a self-satisfied smirk, and is more than happy she has managed to shove me out of Autumn’s life, what there is of it. She is very much like Autumn’s abusive husband. Doesn’t really know the real woman under the mask and doesn’t want to. She only cares about being Autumn’s only friend, and standing on her moral pedestal, while she passes judgment on others based on the time they knew Autumn.
Seriously, are we still in grade school? In this situation everyone who knows Autumn should be pulling together and supporting each other because of our love for Autumn, not quibbling over who knew her longer, and how that somehow is a measure stick of love and caring.
Yes she has known her 40 years, but that doesn’t mean that Autumn has told her everything in her life. And given some of the comments this woman has made about abusive relationships, I doubt Autumn would have told the real story, she wouldn’t have seen any support there, and Autumn herself was just starting to realize that her situation was abusive and that her husband had no right to do the things he has done to her. That she didn’t deserve the treatment he gave her.
And now Autumn languishes in a persistent vegetative state, and I won’t even know if she is getting better or worse—because of a shallow minded selfish woman who can’t even see past the mask someone she knew 40 years wore!
If you can’t be yourself with your so called friends, then what is the point of having those friends? I guess we all have that one friend who we have had maybe forever who we can’t be our self with, but for fucks sake, if I ever end up this way I hope none of my newer friends get treated this way by my so called lifelong friends.
If they do, then I wasn’t very good at picking my friends.
I will have to find a way to live with being cut off this way because of this woman who can’t accept that Autumn had other friends, and had friends that she confided in more than she did in the 40 year friend, but it isn’t going to be easy.