Years ago, my ex boyfriend had a pretty decent group of friends. And those friends, because of their respect for him were very protective of me. That has carried over all these years later. We don’t talk much, because I’m not part of that scene anymore. But when we do it’s fun. And they still will not allow anyone to treat me bad.
Enter my best friend. She and I weren’t speaking a lot when Bob and I were together. She’d gotten married right out of high school and her husband hated me. Anyway, she wasn’t aware of our group of friends. She didn’t understand the dynamic of our social group. So, she’s been having fun texting one of those friends. She’s known him since they were little, but she didn’t know him. The other night I took him out to her house and we smoked a bowl together. Dude was really high and just kept staring at me. I was a bit creeped out. I told my best friend this in private.
Apparently, she decided to have a long convo with this guy and told him I said he was hitting on him. No, I knew better. None of those guys would dare hit on me even 20 years later. It’s a whole different dynamic, like I said. And she just doesn’t understand that level of loyalty. He told me everything she said.
I was livid. Because she talked all about me and MyDude and how stupid I am. She told him all kinds of fun stuff about my intelligence, my life, my thinking. Personal stuff that a best friend should keep to her fucking self. Then I was ranting to my sisters about the betrayal (without specifics). I did that separately. Then I found out I was the subject of conversation from all corners. They each told on the other so I wouldn’t be mad at them. It was fun to hear. Fun in the “what the ever loving fuck is going on here… I don’t need this” kind of way. I didn’t say a word to anyone. I just listened. Then I put all that knowledge away. I’ll be leaving the area soon and when that happens I will disappear. Fuck it.
I know I’ve made some rather poor choices. When MyDude and I were just newly together his life imploded. He needed someone to help him and his people weren’t doing it. Well, when I lived up that way I was in a similar spot. I lived in an apartment in a bad neighborhood – an apartment that everyone knew how to get into. Many times I’d come home to find Lil Miss’s dad sitting on the couch, or a neighbor kid looking for her, or a drunk dude that just needed to sleep one off. I couldn’t afford to move and so I asked my landlord for a more secure door. Instead he broke in and raped me. It was horrible. Because of the area I live in and who my landlord was, no one took me seriously. They’d decided I gave it up. I had to move but I had no money.
One of my friends from work was buying up cheap houses in that neighborhood (it is a bad neighborhood) and offered to let me stay there for a while. I didn’t have to pay in money, but I had to pay. I did, too. You know why? I was desperate. When I moved none of my people came to help. I stole a dolly and moved my shit myself. That includes a stove. I took that mofo on that dolly 2 blocks away. Sure did. And I was my new landlord’s best toy until he went to prison for dealing. Fun, huh?
At one point I was without heat, no car (I walked to work on days the bus didn’t run) and no money for food. My people took Lil Miss but left me in that house. It was miserable. Cold showers, staying in a single room because of the space heater. Not able to cook on the stove, washing my work clothes by hand. I was all alone and I hit the fucking bottom. I was ready to just end it but I was too much of a coward to go through with it. I stayed drunk a lot.
Then my mother finally came to see me and she was horrified. She took me home. I left behind every single thing I owned – pictures, furniture, appliances, most of my clothes. Everything. Fuck it. I stayed with her for a couple of months. Until the summer, I think. I was miserable there because my mother and I hated each other at that point. She was evil. She called Lil Miss a bitch, told her I was a miserable mother, called me all kinds of worthless. I was glad to be out of there when I finally got a shitty little apartment.
I was working two jobs at the time. One started at 2 or 3 until 10 or 10:30. The other was a midnight job. I worked 6 days a week and rode a bike to work. I finally got a scrubby apartment when I met TheMan. Then things started looking up and, well, you know the rest.
When MyDude was at the bottom and I saw what was happening I couldn’t just say “good luck, man, I hope it works out.” I was able to help so I did. And you know what? I’m proud of that. Because that man was in a really bad place. Yes, he took advantage of my kindness eventually, but not at first. At first he was grateful – and he still may be. I don’t know either way. His baby’s mom convinced him I just did those things to have control of him. That’s not the least bit true. I’d have been much better off if he’d have had his own place and his life hadn’t just gone totally to shit. But it happened and I was there. And I was not going to let another human being suffer like I did when I could fucking do something about it. I am proud that I am that kind of person. I am proud that I pass along the goodwill that I have received (from strangers and from family).
I ignored the shit he was doing after a while. I fell in love with him. Yes, yes. I was stupid in that way. I saw what was happening, but I thought he was a different person and I was hopeful. Not so hopeful that I took back everything I gave to him when I saw that he had no qualms about hurting me. But I still held some. Yes, that was completely fucktarded. But helping him? No. Never. I will never apologize for that or feel shame for it. I have done some shit just to survive and have had people watch and let me drown. I wasn’t going to do the same thing – regardless of what he did later. Regardless of the kind of person he turned out to be. I don’t care.
I have forgiven these people for leaving me rot. Because I was able to get out of that hell and am a much better person now. I’m capable and I’ll do what I need to do. I’m just really angry that my best people – the ones I trusted with my insecurities and my tears – just laughed at what I was going through. As if I deserved it. I didn’t. What TheMan did and what MyDude did were not my fault. I didn’t bring that on. And the betrayal of these particular people is just too much for me.
When I finally get TheMan’s retirement money, I’m paying back some folks and then I’m disappearing from here. I know from experience that if I move more than 10 miles away they’ll stop bothering with me. I might as well move to another planet. That’s going to be ok for me. Honestly, I had no idea they felt this way about me (“Jen is stupid. Jen’s so smart but look what she let MyDude do. Jen is really stupid for divorcing TheMan – now look at her. Jen has wasted her intelligence. Her life is shit. She’s going to end up like her mother. What a waste.”).
What a waste. I am the waste. A waste. The trash being thrown out. I am a throw-away person. I’ll be glad to be gone.