Bad Friends

I ran into an old friend over the weekend. She's one of the handful of friends I've divorced over the years. I tend to attract people with emotional issues. I've never fully figured out why. I think it's partly because I have a strong personality & for whatever reason, weaker personalities are drawn to that. I don't know.

Over the years, I've dropped certain friends who took more than they gave. Friends who used me more as a therapist than a friend. Now these are extreme cases I'm talking about here. Obviously, friends talk to each other about their problems & everyone feels like a bad friend sometimes, but this is different. I'm talking about people who do this ALL THE TIME. People who only call when they have a problem, which tends to be every day, & who seem completely oblivious to whatever may be going on in your life.

Everyone has friends like this. But not everyone walks away. I do. It may take me a year or two, but once I reach that point, I'm done. I'm a good friend. I'm a good listener; I'm generous with my time; I'm loyal; & I'm occasionally fun to be around. I think knowing this about myself makes it easier for me to walk away when I feel I'm being taken advantage of.

I don't talk about this much because I fear it reinforces all the bad things I think about myself -judgmental, harsh, perfectionist, impatient, etc. To the untrained eye, it looks like I'm dropping friends when they need me most -when their boyfriend cheats on them, or gives them an STD. When, in fact, I'm simply fed up because said friend & I have been playing this game for some time now & I'm just done. I'm done giving sought after advice that falls on deaf ears. I'm done spending 90% of our conversations talking about your problems. I'm done with your "emergency" calls. I'm done not being able to remember the last time we talked about me.

So I ran into this ex-friend over the weekend, who I haven't seen since "the divorce." And I mean I dropped her like a hot potato. She didn't have a chance. I had been so fed up for so long, that by the time it ended, it ended badly. I honestly feel a little guilt over it because I was exceedingly harsh. Anyway, when I saw her this weekend, I remembered how much I used to like her & how much fun I had with her. All day I contemplated getting back in touch with her & trying to give it another go. I've 99% talked myself out of it. But I wonder..... Was she just going through a bad phase that she's out of now? Does she realize she was sucking the life out of me? Would I get my old friend back or would I be pulling my hair out in a month?

Please, if any of you have gone through this, let me know because I beat myself up about it & it would be nice to know that I'm not a total bitch. Or if you think I am a total bitch, let me know. I'll immediately divorce you, of course, but I'd still like to know.

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