I am not very good at meeting new people. Im an introverted extrovert..if that makes any sense. Getting me to say that first “hi” is excruciating. More often than not you will find me in the corner, alone, with a book and quite content to be so when I don’t know the people there with me.
However, once I am in my core group and I know the people it’s a different story. I am loud, obnoxious in a particularly Jersey way, rambunctious, exceedingly feisty, and all around pixie like. There are reasons my friends call me pixie and little imp.
I get this way when I let my guard down; when I let people in.
The first time I ever really let someone in I was twelve, in a big group of friends but near the fringes (you know, those middle school clicks? Think back, waaaaay back). On the fringes I became friends with two girls. Ones friendship was casual, another member of the group. The other became my first partner in crime.
D had issues, she always has. She had a rough upbringing with a mentally unstable mother and divorced parents. Her dad has always wanted more for her than he had, and she has instead tried to closely follow in his footsteps. Her existence isn’t complete without a partner, and the level of codependency in her relationships is a level I’ve never really been comfortable with.
Despite this, we’ve been friends for over a decade now. I’ve stood by her through breakdowns and suicide attempts when there wasn’t a man standing there yet. I got the frantic sobbing phone call when her mother kicked her out, and helped cover her ass when her mother started going through her shit. I sat next to her and cut when she cut, trying to show her that self-harming wasn’t just harming her. I still have the scars on my wrists, covered by tattoos.
When I moved from Jersey to San Francisco I expected distance to form between us. At this point I had lived away from home for a good four years, having spent the time in Boston for my undergrad. We were used to the distance game, and we had gone months without speaking and then would suddenly reconnect. Our friendship was just..constant.
However, when I moved we were already having issues. Her boyfriend… does not like me, and the issues go way back.
When we all were in high school together he was the delinquent. He would sit in the back of our history class and attempt to light our hair on fire while D and I sat next to each other passing notes. His behavior with us got him expelled. We both reported him to the principal and he was just..gone for years. The two of them reconnected about 3 years ago, which involved D ending the relationship she was in to pursue one with him… and it’s been history. They are very much in love, nauseatingly so, and I support her happiness, but he has continually lashed out at me since they got together because of issues from our past.
I do not hold grudges. It’s too much of a burden and takes up too much of my energy. I don’t like grudges. I don’t see a need for them. I am not at all the same person I was at fourteen, and so why would I keep issues from that time? I have no issues with him. I barely remember fourteen, it was so bad; I can’t imagine how it was for him.
He has called me every name in the book, especially when we go drinking together (which happens when I go ‘home’… there’s nothing else to do in Nowhere, NJ unless you’re going into the city), and yet I’ve tolerated him.
On top of all this, D has struggled with school, and with finding a career. She excelled in high school, loved it, while I wanted nothing more then to get the hell out as soon as humanly possible. My nickname in high school was Shadow, because I was D’s little dark shadow while she was blonde and fair and shining. I never minded. I knew it wasn’t my environment and that I would be leaving soon. She, however, never adjusted to life after high school. For the longest time she was the artist and I was the writer..and then somewhere along the line it switched. I got into art school. She got rejected. Again. And again, and again, to the point where I knew better than to tell her when I was having success. I didn’t want to rub her nose in it. Besides, she was having success in the romance department when I was either in a clusterfuck or on my own, right?
Over my spring break, I went home. I saw D briefly when I went into the city to the Met and we chatted, as we are want to do, and caught up a bit. She told me about a few issues she was having, and a new job she was starting. I mentioned having met Sir, and that I was seriously considering going that direction.
She was..horrified. Now D is not a traditional girl when it comes to most things. She loves horror conventions, zombies, vampires, Wicca and witchcraft, and all those screaming goth music bands that I can only listen to in small doses. I thought an alternative relationship, especially coming from me who she always knew had a kink edge, wouldn’t be too hard for her to swallow.
WRONG. WRONG all over the place. She was out right disgusted when I told her about the age difference between Sir and I. And the fact that he had children? How could I even consider being with a man who has another woman’s children to care for? She didn’t care what the arrangement of our relationship was, just that I wanted to be in it and was willing to throw away two and a half years with Jason for it was enough to disgust her, and she told me this before I left.
I mentioned Sir one other time to her, when I was sure that I would pursue the relationship with him. When I was sure I wanted to belong to him, to be his submissive. Jason was coming to visit for a week during his spring break, and D had texted me telling me good luck and to do what I knew was right. I told her what I thought was the right thing to do… and she shut down. She pulled away, wished me the best of luck, and disappeared after telling me that I should definitely not get serious with Sir, and that he should be a toy, a sex object and nothing more. I was… a little flabbergasted, and told her as much, and was promptly told to fuck off.
Since then, the two of us have gotten worse. We barely talk..and the moment anything gets hard and I make the mistake of posting it on Facebook (root of all evil, naturally) she will take the opportunity to throw in a dig, like “welcome to the real world, princess. You’ll get used to it. It’s not always a privilege life, is it? All things can’t go your way” etc. Why? Why kick me when I’m already down? I don’t understand. That’s not what a friend is supposed to do.
D plays passive aggressive when I’ve never had the ability. I’m an up front, honest person who’s very much a “take it as you see it” type. She’s a brilliant mind fucker. I’ve seen her do it to others who have crossed her, and on rare occasion to those who have crossed me. However I’ve never seen her try to mind-fuck me… and wonder sometimes how our friendship has gone so downhill.
It bothers me. This is the person that I have been closest to the longest, and for a long time was my partner in crime. Yes, we have had our ups and downs, but I never thought she would be so disgusted with an aspect of myself when she herself has admitted to being a submissive in bed. What is so wrong to her about me being one in and out of bed? It’s my identity, not hers. I’m not dragging her down with me, and I won’t contaminate her precious monogamous relationship with my poly one. I’m not forcing my lifestyle on her, or even talking about it anymore. I don’t post my relationship all over Facebook or the internet in general.. In fact I’m exceedingly private about it. I talk about it here, in my journal, and to a couple of close friends and that’s about it.
Ending a ten year friendship feels like a divorce. It shouldn’t be done lightly, because it’s very hard to come back from. Do I want to burn these bridges? Do I hope this will be another one of our cycles, where our friendship ebbs and flows and eventually regulates again?
Right now, my life is good. I start a fantastic job on Friday. I’m finishing my last semester strong, making work I’m proud of, and I get to spend time with a fabulous man this weekend. I get something that I have been craving for quite some time, and finally can put a missing piece of my puzzle in place. My parents and most friends are accepting of my lifestyle, and have only been supportive, or at least their normal selves.
It’s just D who lashes, who bites and stings, when she knows that I have enough ammunition against her to blast her from the sky. The difference between her and I is that I would never use it. She would, and has… I have a lot of thinking to do when it comes to her and I, and whether this should continue, or if going our separate ways would be best.
There is a reason her nickname is Dragon. She bites.
Yours, bruised but far from broken