I have unfriended two people on social media today that I need to let go of. This is pretty big for me, because one of them was a friend from middle/high school and the other is someone I have known for a long time. She used to be married to someone that I am friends with in the Air Force.
The ex-wife of my friend was a slightly easier unfriend. I liked her ok when I used to see her often. We lived in the same neighborhood two duty stations ago. I deployed with her husband once, on my second deployment. We got to be good friends and went through some serious shit together on that deployment. The month after we got back, he invited me to his son’s birthday party. What always happens in this instance is that I end up outside, around the grill with the guys that are my friends and I am not inside with the woman, fussing around the kids. It was always a delicate balancing act. She was always good about the fact that I was more her husband’s friend and that I was NOT out to take him from her. I knew she had some mental issues and a huge spending problem, but I never let on that I knew that much about her. Eventually they separated and then got divorced. It was pretty messy and she was really dramatic on social media. Eventually everything simmered down and they’ve been cordial to each other and are friends again. She never dropped me and I never played snitch on either of them. I just didn’t have enough energy for that, especially because I was going through my own divorce at the same time. So on Sunday she posts something about having feelings for someone but not wanting to go for it. Then she writes about how this is only viewable to a small audience and some might be seeing it by mistake. I felt happy for her and wrote a nice comment of support, along with 9 other people. She liked every single one of their comments but completely ignored mine. Got it, I am only seeing it by mistake. I started thinking about it yesterday and decided that I would unfriend her this morning. No need for her to have to worry about mistakenly including me on her more private stuff. I will simply see myself out. I don’t even really like her that much anyway.
The other person, she was much more complicated. She lived down the street from me for 4 years, starting when I was in 7th grade. She was a year younger and she was prissy. She never played outside and acted like a snob most of the time. There was another girl that lived near her that we went to church with and their whole family was awesome. Through my church friend, I became friends with prissy girl. All three of us walked to school together when they were in 7th grade and I was in 8th grade. I sold prissy girl my NKOTB shirt when I needed money for a school field trip. I also invited her to church dances, where she always magically marched right up to whoever I told her that I liked and asked them to dance. Every fucking time she did this. At the first dance, we were riding him with the youth group leader and she was rambling on about how awesome the boy was that she asked to dance. His name was George. What was really sad was that I pointed him out to her and said I think I want to dance with him. Foolishly I thought she ran right off to ask him for me. Nope, she marched right up to him and asked him herself. And I did not see her for the rest of the evening until it was time to go home. She had the nerve to say “I am so glad you pointed him out to me. I had so much fun. Thank you.” And I replied “I didn’t point him out TO you, I was trying to tell you that I wanted to ask him to dance.” She said “Oh” very quietly and that was all she ever said about him again.
But that wasn’t even the worst thing she did to me. That would come two years later, at the end of my 10th grade year and her 9th grade year. We were in the same band together and at our concert, the lone boy that played clarinet seemed to like me. Perhaps she remembered when she stole George, or maybe she was feeling nice, or most likely, she had no interest in clarinet boy but she was all for getting us together. I liked the attention from clarinet boy, and she talked to him on my behalf. By the end of the concert (we ran around the school while the other bands and orchestra played), he was supposedly my boyfriend. He knew I was moving away over the summer, but he said his parents had a good phone plan and it would be fine. She was happy because she was trying to date one of his friends and this made everything more fun.
So for the rest of May and June, I had this boyfriend. We went to the movies once and I hated kissing him. It was terrible. He was terrible. Any time he touched me, I felt myself recoil with disgust. I had no idea why, but I loathed any kind of intimacy with him. He was always pushing me to do more than I felt comfortable with and I wanted him to just leave me alone and let me live with the idea that I was actually in a relationship. Not the reality that it was a boy and it felt completely wrong to me on all levels.
So the pressuring for sexual activity…one day we were at her house. My parents were always really weird about making sure an adult was home if I was at my friends’ houses, but not this time. Her mom was not home. Prissy girl lived right down the street and it was more about making sure I wasn’t alone with boys rather than my friends that were girls. I went over there, expecting to just hang out and watch a movie, but my boyfriend was there with his best friend. They were about to play this tag game where we had to run around her upstairs. She had a split level house and the upstairs part was a circle that went around the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and a couple bedroom doors. I don’t know who was it or what the game really was, but as I was passing the bathroom door, prissy friend shoved me into the dark bathroom and pulled the door shut. She held onto it too. The boyfriend was in there and he pulled me down onto his lap. He had been waiting for her to knock me in there and he grabbed me and sat on the toilet with me on his lap. I remember flailing about as he tried to put his hand down the front of my pants. I was wearing jeans so it wasn’t that easy for him. I found a burst of strength right as I felt his hand in my underwear and I got up and away from him. But she was holding the door so I couldn’t get out. I could see the light under the door interrupted by her feet. I begged her to open it but all she would do is laugh and tell me I had to be in the bathroom a little longer. I could hear him laughing behind me too. He had stood up and was grabbing at my chest. Eventually I got the door open and she was standing there like a moron.
She made some stupid comment about me having fun and how red my face was. I was livid. I was also sweaty, my shirt was twisted, and my hair was a mess. I hated her at that moment and I looked at the clock and told her that I needed to leave. And then I left.
The walk home was like 3 minutes, but I was so close to crying. I got home, bitched out my parents, and went to my room. The easiest thing to do was to be angry at them, not tell them I had just been assaulted by that stupid boyfriend and definitely not tell them that she aided him in that assault and then made fun of me. I am sure they were thinking WTF is the problem here, but I never told them. There would be no point. They wouldn’t have done anything about it anyway.
I didn’t stop being her friend at the time and I didn’t dump him either. He would assault me another time, cheat on me after I moved, and then I would finally dump him.
But today, after I dumped my friend’s ex-wife, I got to thinking about how I have just let people back in even after they really hurt me. I have given people too many chances. Prissy girl hasn’t even interacted with me on social media in 7 years. So we aren’t even good social media friends. I don’t read her stuff. I don’t care. All I can remember about her now is this time she broke my trust. She wasn’t even a good friend to me back in the day.
For the first time in my adult life, I feel like I am standing up for myself and not just accepting the status quo. I don’t have to keep anyone in my life if they’ve hurt me. And I definitely am not a bad person for unfriending anyone that I don’t even like. It’s not petty. It’s not childish or wrong. It’s simply that I don’t have to subject myself to anyone I don’t want to interact with and I am finally understanding that I alone control who has access to me and I don’t have to give it to just anyone.