I had thought I was past all this, thought I’d dealt with my feelings. Since I’m sitting here writing this, I guess not.
I’ve worked hard in the past month to remove the negativity from my life. It’s done wonders, really. I find when there’s less stress, less bad feelings, I feel better. Mentally and physically.
Would it surprise you to know that you were the catalyst for my month of self-care and positivity? I found I had so much anger built up inside and it was eating at me. Quite a lot of that anger was for you. I worked hard to put it aside, focus on my blessings, and move forward. I told myself that things would be okay.
But you never called, not once, to check on me or us. Not even a quick text message in the middle of a busy day to say hi or that you were wondering how things were. Still, I put it out of my mind, focused on the good, and tried to forget that my feelings hurt.
Until last week.
Last week, when I went back to the doctor to make plans for resuming my medications. As I sat in my doctor’s office and cried while he examined my hands and talked of the damage done to my joints in the last two months, all of my anger and hurt came back.
I realized it had never really left.
I’ve always said that I’m a doormat. I don’t care what happens to me, just don’t hurt someone I love. I guess I was wrong. Because it does hurt.
Do you know how it feels to realize your closest friend isn’t just a couple miles down the road, but over an hour’s drive away? Do you know how it feels to know that the people you would do anything for don’t feel the same?
Do you know how it feels to love someone only to have them walk away?
For the longest time, I took the blame. Yes, I changed when I got sick. Yes, I flaked a lot. Yes, I became pretty high maintenance. But as your wedding drew near, I realized it wasn’t me. How could it be, when you would maintain a friendship with someone who did nearly everything to sabotage your wedding?
I can’t count how many times I put my health and well being on the back burner to come to your rescue during those months leading up to your wedding. Dentist appointments, babysitting, the afternoon I spent hand-addressing your invitations.
Do you know how it feels to realize your friends don’t care about your health?
Do you know the shame I felt at being angry that I caught your daughter’s cold? Even as I raged when it developed into pneumonia, a part of me hurt that I could be so mad at someone I cared about.
But that’s the key: I cared. You didn’t.
In hindsight, you’ve not once taken my diagnosis seriously. How many times did you lecture me about going on a diet, saying it would solve my problems? How many times did you tell me to push through it? How many times did you poke fun and joke that I was faking it? How many times did you tell me I was just being lazy?
A friendship is based on mutual trust and respect. If you can’t have either of those things, you have no grounds for moving forward. I trusted you to care about me and my health. You couldn’t even trust that I was being truthful about my condition.
I think that I won’t be able to move past this for some time yet. It feels like a break up, and my heart is still raw. I loved you and your family, I took you in as mine. There’s very little I wouldn’t have done for you.
Shame on me for expecting the same.