I know I have been absent from my tri-weekly blog regime and have missed you as much you have missed me! I am working on a lot of fascinating projects right now, so will be checking in with you as often as possible. I wanted to share my thoughts on the ever prevalent concept, known to all of us (thanks to Lindsay Lohan…and Rachel McAdams), of MEAN GIRLS. I seem to see it everywhere – in real life, on TV, in the media…and even in the crevices of my long and unforgiving memory.Embed from Getty Images
The Real Housewives of Atlanta, FOR EXAMPLE, just wrapped up Season 2 million and 33, with a three part reunion special (they sometimes don’t go beyond two, so when you get three, you can count that as a pretty special season). Why was the latest season SO special, you wonder? I personally think it had to do with the salacious feud and divide between the women. I have referred to this in the past as Team Nene and Team Cynthia, who are former BFF’s…ex-friends…the only thing worse than that is a frenemy. I would know, as I have decades of experience with not one, but two. This is probably why the cattiness of women resonates with me.
There are lots of high school horror stories, about being a nerd or not fitting in or having a catastrophically embarrassing experience. My experience had more to do with the two people I called my best friends for not years, but decades. They say three is a crowd and I totally believe that. It can not only get ugly and embarrassing (like my experience) but can also get downright dangerous. Just look at the heartbreaking and bone chilling story of Skylar Neese. That is a very extreme case of mean girls, but does provide a window into the intense and volatile potential of toxic teen friendships.
My former friendships began at the age of 8 and 12 respectively. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I am finally in a good place in my life, that my former friends/mean girls/childhood friends have been coming to mind. In fact, I WISH they were mean, because then I could at least identify a behaviour. They weren’t. It was more a case of confusing behaviour. Perhaps in the process of cleaning out my demons, I have located the file that they have accumulated in my brain. I don’t want to, nor know how to go into too much detail about it – but wanted to point out some of the highlights in these long standing former friendships, which have left me confused and slightly frustrated:
* friendship lasted 25 years, yet never been invited to a birthday party
* inseparable, to the tune of learning how to put on make up together, yet the only framed photo in her room was of her and the popular kids
* not invited to her wedding, or even informed of it’s occurence while working abroad
* have her husband say “she showed me the email you sent her…” only for me to respond “did she also show you the email she sent to me?” to which I received no reply
* have her college room mate verbally accost me at any and every interval, when I would visit her as an invited guest
* when meeting up in New York (from London), have both of my childhood BFF’s ditch me and defame me behind my back to my friends there…if you didn’t like me then why were you meeting up with me in NYC?
* when studying abroad, the other one visited only to leave me upset, confused and angry…why would you visit me abroad only to disrespect me?
* after losing my wallet and left stranded by the situation, and calling her for help. was told that she was on a date
And, most recently…
* invited to baby shower, but not to meet the baby
* after being asked to, helped coordinate the media wall for an event she was holding…yet was not invited to the event itself
I have approached both of these mean girls about their past hurtful behaviours, but was not only ignored but blocked from their facebook. This has left a tiny demon lingering in the back of my heart and mind as I have never received any answers from them. I am willing to let it go – as it has been 5 years since we have spoken…even though we have been friends since the late 80s. Now, we are all inundated with marriage, children and what not, and not able to share it with one another. I am ok with the concept of drifting apart and moving on, but that is not what this is. I had two former friends telling me constantly that they loved me and missed me, only to be lured toward them and receive second rate, disrespectful and downright alienating treatment. The reason why this impacted me so much, is that I left town after high school and made it my mission to remain close and stay in touch. I wish I realised sooner that it was a LOSING BATTLE and can finally close this chapter with the following message to them:
IF YOU DID NOT LIKE ME, YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST TOLD ME THAT.
IF YOU DIDN’T WANT TO BE MY FRIEND, YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST TOLD ME THAT.
IF YOU COULD NOT RELATE TO ME, YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST TOLD ME THAT.
IF YOU RESENTED ME, YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST TOLD ME THAT.
People just want answers when they are treated badly. I asked for them from my two former friends, not when they were children or teens but full grown adults. I did not get them.
At this point, the only person they have left to answer to is themselves. I wanted to share my experience with you, as both a healing exercise for myself and hopefully some shared insight for you.