Leslie's Omnibus

Rules of the Road

My BlogMama is struggling with a painful issue right now -- an issue that seems to be especially pesky for women: why, when and how to let a friendship go.

Funny, because I just had a former friend pop up out of the ether extending the hand of renewed friendship recently after zero contact for several years. (No, Cheryl. This is NOT you.) A friendship where my goodwill had been wrung dry, and I'd been forced to draw some very clear and drastic boundaries. And the message was left in one of my well-known haunts, which creeped me out entirely.

Wouldn't you know, my first impulse was to reach back out, but gingerly.

Then I gave myself a great big mental head-slap and decided that I wasn't the person who'd broken faith, abused my big heart and good nature, repeatedly made stupid choices and expected others (usually me) to fix them when they blew up in her face -- my so-called friend was.

I know what good friends are, because I'm surrounded by them now. And good friends just don't treat you that way.

I have no desire to go back to all new episodes of "As the Stomach Turns."

That doesn't make me a bad person; that makes me a smart person.

As for my BlogMama, she's under the mistaken impression that sorry-ass excuse for a human being is her friend. She's not. My BlogMama is a good friend. That other person is a user and an abuser.

A lot of women are conditioned to be "nice," to not "make waves," and to play well with others. We sometimes put up with way too much in the way of others' bad behavior, because we believe we will be perceived to be a "bad person" if we don't.

Phooey on that nonsense!

I've sent a text message to my former friend that I'm simply not willing to go down that road again, and wishing her well. If she shows up in my favorite haunt, well... I'm a favorite of theirs, too, and I know who'll be welcomed and who'll be escorted out. I don't want a scene, but I can handle it if it comes.

As for my BlogMama, I hope she understands that people will respect her more for giving that emotional parasite the push-off than for putting up with her barbs. Life's too short, and there are too many other good people out there to spend our hearts and energy on for a far, far better payoff.

It's time we all had the doormat tattoo surgically removed from our foreheads.

Update: I just took a closer look at the note she left me, and now I'm really creeped out. Why? She moved in one block from where I lived at the time she moved away in the first place. Too freaky.


Northwoods Woman said...

I have struggled with this so many times. We had a discussion about this in my faith sharing group just yesterday as a matter of fact.

I always believed, if you loved someone, you loved them unconditionally. But I never learned it wasn't supposed to be at my expense.

It took me a very long time, and an awful lot of heartache to realize that I was only allowing people to abuse me.

Thanks to a lot of people, like you, I learned that life is so much better when the parasites are not in it!

I know how difficult it is and I pray that your blogmama does what is best for her.

Btw, next Thanksgiving if we are both still alive! Love ya!

Richmond said...

Excellent post Leslie! And oh so true...

I took that doormat tattoo off my forehead a while back - it's a great thing to do!

Moonbeam McQueen said...

Sometimes, it's hard to find the line between being a friend and being a doormat. I'm so sorry you got stepped on, but I don't think we should let the parasites make us close the door to other, more deserving people. We just have to brush the mud off of our foreheads and promises ourselves that we'll be smarter next time.

Omnibus Driver said...

I don't know about that. My bullshit radar is getting better all the time, yet I'm always open to new friends. I just learned the difference between a good one and a false one, and know which one I'd pick every time.

Big hugs to you, my (good) friend.