Almost embarrassed to admit it


I don’t know where to begin.

I am pretty sure I lost the last friend that I have left.

I have acquaintances a plenty but as I said: my circle of friends has always been small.

I am not sure what happened behind the scenes but I can suspect and surmise.

Hesitant to talk about it because I don’t want to sound trite or like this is a middle school girl’s zone.

Bear with me because all of this is going to sound crazy and maybe even silly  but please, this matters to me, so here goes:

Cast of Characters:
Pat – the friend and subject of this gripe
Debbie – former friend I had that ticket mess with back in April
Tina – somebody I parted ways with nearly 4 years ago (she moved away to a town maybe 30 miles from me some dozen years ago  and after that, Tina didn’t seem to want to continue the friendship. We more or less grew apart and I sort of lost touch with her. It more or less a became distant acquaintanceship 2 years after she moved away)
Now for the story:

I do not hear from Pat very much. We are not very close friends. We go to a movie every so often or grab coffee but that’s about it. We talk once a week.

The last time I talked to her was a couple of days after that event that happened here on Saturday morning, 3 weeks ago.

She’s got a bad situation with a very ill father. We talked about that 3 weeks ago. I guess I spent maybe an hour and change on the phone with her that day.

I called her that Friday; she did not ring back.  I finally reached her on Monday and we spoke briefly. She ended the conversation with “I have to go; I’m waiting to hear back from my mother.” I said goodbye and hung up.

I called there again on Friday of that week, no call back. Ditto for Monday and Wednesday.

There is no way she can be that busy with her father.  Something is wrong here and I think I know what it is…get ready, because this is going to sound crazy:

Flashback to last fall.  Pat said to me, “How is Debbie?”

I said “Okay, I guess. I talked to her a couple of days ago” and then Pat said, “Does she ever mention Tina? Because Tina hasn’t called me back and I am wondering if she is mad at me…”

I said “Tina?? Debbie and I are out of the loop on that one; we haven’t spoken to her in 3 years…”

Why would she even mention Tina? Pat knew about this mess with Tina when it happened 3 years ago. She knew I was not on speaking terms with Tina. So why is she even asking if Debbie has heard Tina say something about her?

I will bet you any amount of money that during that phone call last fall, Pat accidentally outted Debbie (as well as Tina too)  — and Debbie is thick with Tina again and has been since at least the fall.

And now I am wondering if the 2 of them have said God knows what to Pat and now I’ve got Pat leaving me out in the cold. As they say, stranger things have happened.

This no calls back stuff cannot be “because of her father.” My mother was in a hospital and was critical upon arrival; she was gone by Day 12 — I still made time to shop, do laundry and yes, call friends. I even had time to go to my local little mall and buy a few things on winter sale!

Albeit the calls would not consist of  a long conversation; I would have a brief conversation or leave a message.

So, no — this is not a “father” thing and no, I do not feel like a guilty little shit for saying it.

Something is weird here.

I don’t have a good feeling about this.

Why am I getting the idea that something happened behind the scenes and Debbie and Tina are involved in this?

Tina and last fall is a whole other story in itself. During that same conversation with Pat last fall, after I made the comment about being out of the loop with Tina, I said “gee, I was not even there at Debbie’s house that nightand I haven’t spoken to Tina in nearly 3 years but come on; that wasn’t right what Tina said about me” to which Pat replied “Tina doesn’t see that the same way.”

WHAT??? You are not even taking my side in this — you are siding with Tina???

I should have known and then and there I should have said, “Pat, listen: you and I cannot be friends right now. I’ve got to go” and hung up.

Maybe I didn’t say that but I did tell Pat about the rotten things that Tina said or did over the years — including how she was taking bets on how long my marriage would last — and how she said to me during the phone call I made, telling her that I and the spouse split up — “Well, if you want to meet a younger guy, I know lots of them. My boyfriend has a lot of friends who are younger guys.” Who the eff says this to somebody who’s poured their heart out and who is in a critical and sad time of their life???

I said exactly that to Pat…

And all she did was listen. No “this is terrible” and “this is not right” — to me, the silence means “I do not agree with you.” Eff that noyze.

I have concluded that Pat accidentally outted Debbie during that phone call last fall and that friendship with Tina is now happening again. Stranger things have happened and you know how secretive Debbie is, from what I told all of you. You think she’s going to tell me that Tina and she are friends again???

I never gave this a thought last fall. What am I supposed to do — read into everything? (and as it is Debbie has a lot of confidential information about me.  She’s really pissed at me and I would not put it past her to violate every confidence I disclosed to her)

And even if this is not Tina and Debbie or one of the other… something is terribly wrong here. You do not just stop contacting somebody. I doubt if this is a depression thing or a “I can’t bring myself to call Dude” thing.

And all this time later, Tina — nearly 4 years later — and you, Debbie, four months later — and you still both have your bats on for me and you’re both hell bent for slander and lies and damage???

How sick. How sick and how vile.

I feel just awful. How does one get along without friends? What do I do if I have a real emergency? there is now nobody I can call. What do I do when I need to get something off my chest or if I need to see a friendly face or hear a friendly voice?

I don’t think I am wrong. Something is terribly amiss here — now I have Pat vanishing on me. This is not like her and if I am right — c’mon, there is no such thing as not being able to call somebody sometime — why did she do it this way? She left me hanging with no reason behind it and no closure? Man, I am not even assured of what really DID happen here!!

And you went and you believed all of this — 100% and hook line and sinker — and you don’t even call me and say “Dude, listen; I heard something and I want to know if it is true” and then tell me what you heard???

This is what value I had to you, as a friend.

Has anybody here experienced anything like this?  Has anyone been high and dry minus a friend?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had this odd nagging feeling — I never had a good feeling about Pat during those few weeks. Your gut has a funny way of telling you things.  I don’t care how crazy it sounds — somebody somewhere in Pat’s travels had to say something about me and Pat didn’t like what she heard. I suspect strongly it is  Tina and/or Debbie.

So this is what you do, you just take off and leave no closure behind it? You accept what you heard and I’m the shithead and culprit? This is what you do to a friend of 18 years?

And whatever it was that was said: how harmful is it to ME??? Suppose somebody said something really lousy that is not even true? This could be bordering on slander and defamation of character.

I thought Pat was so intelligent and so thoughtful. What is going on here? You were with me 1000% of the way all through that garbage with Bro and with me 1000% of the way during this past year that the devil himself sent me — yeah, and you felt oh so bad after my marriage ended —- and you felt oh so bad about my dog and what happened to him…you were allegedly so concerned about my nose bleed that sent me to a hospital and concerned last fall when I mentioned that speeded up heart rate thing to you…

And now all of a sudden, your ass is gone???

Your gut? how do you confront this person? All you have is a nagging bad feeling. Where does this leave you??

Again, this is not a “dad is sick and she has her hands full with him and she cannot call” thing. Gee, her father isn’t even IN a  hospital; he is home and they are still contacting physicians over in the city, trying to figure out what to do. My mother was dying in a hospital and I still called Pat and whoever it is that was in my loop!

All of this is enough to make you hate people.

And getting back to Tina: after I was told by Debbie that I was cursed out by Tina and Tina said a lot of rotten things about me, I picked up my phone and uninvited Tina to my art reception. How funny…Tina cared so much about me that she never called me immediately upon hearing the message with “Dude, what happened? You and I are friends; why can’t I come to your reception?”

Considering how undependable and wow, effing queer these 3 have been, this is no loss. I should have gotten rid of Pat, perhaps after that “Tina thinks otherwise”  statement.  You don’t have my back and you didn’t even say “This is my friend, cut it out”? How the eff old are you, really, Pat? And why is there no solidarity for me?    You let her run rampant and ramshackle over me? Why??

We’ve got 2 whole weekends that passed since I spoke to Pat — last weekend and this one — and not one sound out of Pat. Gee, I always thought that if a parent was dying you’d want to turn to your friends — yes I might be putting it in a  crass and shitty way — but it is very very odd that I can’t seem to raise her. I cannot be wrong; she’s gone and I have no reason behind any of it.

It’s manipulative and childish and just plain rotten.

You can call on your lunch hour or you can call right before you leave for work — Christ, you can leave a message saying you are okay.

I am upset. Find new friends? that will take awhile. I am nearing 60 so there are not that many meet-up things for people in that age category. I want friends who are intelligent and fun and are not hung up on the adult child/grandma track.  I more or less want women and men who are in the same boat as I am — perhaps have the friends as an extended family of sorts.

There is a divorced/widowed group that meets/socializes and is based in a church — I have never had any success with those groups. The people in them seem to be maladjusted and antisocial.

What a rotten 12 months this has been. I was prepared for the fallout with bro — I couldn’t let that garbage continue; that house would have been recalled by the town for nonpayment of taxes; that usually takes 2 or 3 years and this would have been Year 3.  So that house would have been gone by now. I at least had the option of getting it sold so it would not be a monetary loss.

I have no human factor at this point. And wow, the last time I saw Pat? My birthday — that was in October. So what did  I have here, a phone friend thing? That is awful.

I suggest I not tarry and get out there and start trying to meet people — but this is horrible. HORRID.  I feel like I am living inside some kind of Twilight Zone episode or a Lovecraft short story. You don’t even know why this person’s missing in action? And she calls herself a good Catholic? To the devil with her; you ain’t worth SHIT to me, lady.

You are up the creek with no paddle. There is no way you can ask this person what happened. I do not cross paths with her. T here’s not even a group we meet at or some common point where I’d encounter her fairly often where I would be able to say to her “Pat, what’s going on? where have you been?” I’m STUCK. and this MIA nonsense shall forever remain a mystery and so will it remain a mystery if she heard something about me. That’s the ONLY thing I can think of: somebody said I said something about her.

Lady, use your brain: would I ever do that to you???

….Or maybe she got sick of having a friend who has had too much trouble in her life. Gee, right now her friend is in a shitty  building with all Section 8 people and 2 of them are known mental cases. Poor Dude. Yes, Poor Dude but I can’t continue this friendship.

Is that where it’s at??

The loneliness factor is indescribable. I told you guys I cannot and will not mix with this neighborhood. I can’t really “make friends” with the neighbors — I see but 3 of them: that lady with the kids and the other 2 I told you about. There is “nothing” here for me.

Had things worked out in another way for me: I’d have bought a home years ago and moved to an actual locale where there’d be a lot going in it for me. I’d make the new friends and have the new experiences.

I didn’t want to come to this neighborhood — I have talked about this before. For the entire time being, I have only myself. And my options are getting out there and doing something each day and finding things I can attend where I can at least talk to people.  As for the friends? that takes time to nurture the friendship.

So I am uprooted yet again and for whatever reason it is, Pat’s gone.  I have no substantiated reason why and I am guessing I never will — it will be open to debate and I can only guess at what happened. Though I think “She heard something about me that involved her” is a very very good guess.

Suggestions or aid? or anything??? I need it badly.

Kind words will help, too. Thanks.


8 thoughts on “Almost embarrassed to admit it”

  1. Well, I actually have been through what you’re going through. I have been unemployed, and because of that ‘undesirable’ for my friends to have me around. The only way I actually got through that ‘period’ of my life was by seeing a therapist. The happier I was ‘in myself’, the less I needed ‘friends’. I have had a friend ‘flake out’ on me like that, but that was due to my friend having ‘psychiatric’ problems. The second time my friend, with the psychiatric problems, ‘flaked out’ on me I was in not nearly as much ’emotional pain’ because of it as during the first time. Your friend obviously has some major problems now, and you aren’t able to ‘be there’ for her because of your own problems. The best thing to do is not hold yourself responsible for the situation, and just recognize that this is how life works. You may need your friend, but right now she needs something different then you can offer her. You should try to get free ‘therapy’, because in the end life gets harder as you get older and you’ll need to have coping mechanisms for that. Your chronic unemployment will have changed your personality, and therefore it means you have to find new friends who can relate to your situation; and the person you have become because of the unemployment situation you’re in. I have been there myself. In our respective lives we’re defined by our jobs, and when we lose our jobs we become ‘undefined’ and have to redefine ourselves differently. One has to do this in order to have a social position, and therefore friendships. ‘We are what we do’, and if we do ‘nothing’ then we are ‘nothing’. This is your problem ‘in a nutshell’. I suggest you find a ‘support group’ for the ‘long-term unemployed’, and start attending. I think you’ll find people there that are much more able to relate to you, and your current situation then your former friends were. You mentioned your ‘art show’. Did you sell any of your art? Perhaps, you should start “hanging out’ with artists, as well.

  2. I have a pretty sizable number of artists as acquaintances but not as a friend per se. It does help to keep on broadening your horizon.

    There are not that many support groups for long term unemployed. They have them through churches, usually – I’m going to start looking around for some.

    I am going to check into the therapist as an option — there is one not far from here; I found her office by happenstance; I’ll call to see if she’s accepting new clients.

    I need it becauase this last year was hell — I never expected this kind of a fall out. I was prepared as far as Bro went; I knew it was going to happen, like I said — but losing friends in the bargain?? I can see if she and I had a bona fide argument and I was the one out of the 2 who was wrong. That’s not what happened here.:(

    I have sold pieces here and there, which is good. I need to sell more of them.

    I do not know what Pat’s problem is or was. I am not Father Flannagan. I should not be a Father Flannagan, either. I won’t find out what happened here and to tell you the truth, I am not certain I want to know what the root cause of this nonsense was. I have a life to live; I can’t let this dwell in my mind or take front and center stage.

  3. Taking care of yourself and figuring out what the best path for you to take are far more important than making yourself miserable by wondering about why people who are not that close to you did what they did. Chances are that wherever you go, these people would have stayed where they are, so a distant acquaintance would become even more distant as a best-case scenario.

    It is hard to underestimate what you’ve been through during the last few years. You had that pitched battle with Bro. which required you to transgress things about yourself that you were taught that you should be, In a lot of ways, having a choice is both pleasing and intimidating, if only because of the fear of choosing wrongly.

    You want to know “what happened”, but what you might be witnessing is just the final pulling apart of a series of distant relationships. One of the sadder things of life is that people tend to fall away over the years, even if they are still living. Can you live, sooner rather than later, with not knowing?

    1. I have given this a great deal of thought over the last week or so.

      I concluded that neither Pat nor Debbie are good people.

      And if not “not good people” most certainly very childish. Geez, who does things like these — you just cut out and don’t even say “Dude, we are heading in 2 different directions; I’d like to move on; it was nice while it lasted.”

      I was never even to Pat’s apartment — I really must be insane — I only faced that fact a few days ago.

      Never to her home but I can invite her to parties here and my wedding and quite a few other major events, when I was still holding parties at my place.

      Anything could have happened — it could be one of a trillion things — what sense is it even trying to figure it out? it’s gone.

      Perhaps she is best left in the past, along with Debbie.

      I am trying not to tarry — I know finding new friends is going to be like dating — trial and error and there are going to be a LOT of stinkers in the bunch. What can you do — if I had 30 more years, there would be an easier chance of it — there are oodles of things for younger people. There’s not so many meet up groups for people who are my age…and I am looking for friends who are not on the grown kids track or the grandma track: looking for like minded women who are in the same boat as I am.

      I will check out the long term unemployed groups — there were not many to start with in this area — I will have to see what’s out there now, Now that “everyone” has gone back to work. That would be my best bet, because I wonder if it is possible for people like us to have friends who are gainfully and securely employed. They must look at us like we are too lazy to want to go back to work.

      1. After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that these 2 were confining, limiting and not for me.

        No allowances were made for me. Nobody called and said “Gee, I’m planning a weekend trip in April to such and such a place; do you want to come along?” or called me in December and said “So what are we doing for vacation? Let’s start thinking of places to go; I was thinking in June” or “Gee, I’m on my way to the city in an hour, just to hang out, take some photos and maybe head into the village; do you want to come?”

        I would ask Debbie if she wanted to do something on such and such a weekend in the summer — and I’d get “I haven’t thought that far ahead yet.” That was her answer to every thing I’d bring up that involved a trip or somewhere to go over a weekend during the summer.

        A couple years ago, I had an opportunity to attend this community ball — there were some neat things going on and I thought it would be fun — somebody Iknow had a pair of tickets paid for (she was not able to attend; she got called out of town on business last minute).

        I called Debbie and told her I had tickets, did she want to go — I described what would be at the event — and I said “She’s gotta know now if it is yes, being she’s got somebody else who might want to go instead; she asked me first.”

        Debbie said “Oh. She has to know now?” in this voice that had a not so fairly distant echo of annoyance.

        I said “yes, well, she’ll give them away” and that was the end of the subject. Never said “no, I’ll pass.”

        This is a good event — how can you pass it up? It’s a free and fun night out!!!

        Nope…she didn’t want to go.

        By way of that shitty little silence, the answer is no. And she never mentioned the tickets again! Never said a word.

        And I couldn’t find anybody who would attend with me.:(

        Limiting. Nobody wanted to do anything spur of the moment or come over for a games night last minute.

        I am going to find people who are fun and make allowances FOR ME. Make sure they don’t have oddball boyfriends or oddball friends attached. This time I am going to be the boss and I am going to get the pick of them litter, so to speak. No leftovers and no unmotivated people who need a fire lit under them.

        I have never liked any of Tina’s contingency. When I was still a friend of hers, she’d bring several of them with her if some of us were going someplace as a group. They are, as my deceased friend said, eclectic. And that’s an understatement.

        So I am wondering if it’s the whole very exciting thing of being part of Tina’s group, that’s the allure for Pat. Ugh. Wow, want a group that has an allure? Join something that has decent people in it, not gloms that are nearly 60 and still living at home with a mother.

        Life is too short to spend with people who are not like minded. And life is too short for you to make allowances for people who never make them for you. Everything is “their way” and you are the one who winds up making a concession and losing out on going to wherever it is YOU would like to go. Let it be “my way” this time around.

  4. Having to drag people along to things or to need to spend a lot of time persuading them to do something are always danger signs. Back in about 2008, Teller of “Penn and Teller” was doing the illusions for a production of “Macbeth” that was held at the Folger Theater in Washington, DC. I called a friend of mine, told him that I was definitely going and asked if he would like me to book a ticket for him. He hemmed and hawed and finally told me that he wanted time to think about it. I told him that I was going to buy my ticket because I expected the show to sell out. I got a seat a few rows back and the show sold out for a run of 8 performances in about three days. Had I waited for him to get back to me, as he did about a week later, I would have missed out.

    Wanting to be the boss might not be the best approach. I look for people with common interests and preferences who are willing to take turns and not hold it against me when I don’t want to so something that they propose. Being willing to go somewhere alone or do something alone is also helpful.

    1. 🙁 That is the problem: I am doing everything alone most of the time. And now I am doing it all alone now.

      These 2 never wanted to do anything that I wanted to do. My patience was starting to wear thin.

      Going way back to before I was that friendly with Pat: This bar/restaurant/nightclub was holding a swing dance lessons night during the week. The event ran from 7 pm until about 11 so even during the week, you’ll be home kind of early.

      I asked her and a couple other women to go; I figured we’d make a girl’s night out of it and get out of the house and do something.

      Nobody wanted to go. I remember they made up a bunch of excuses. And before I knew it…nobody said yes. So sorry I never headed out there on my own. Now I’d do it…but I wasn’t that daring back then. ha.

      (That establishment is now closed. it is too bad — they used to have things like a Game Day on Sunday afternoon and from Monday through Thursday things like line dance lessons and trivia, Nothing is there now, though I have heard that somebody took over the space and something will be opening soon.

      A few weeks back, I went to see a student production of “Les Mis” — I knew a few of the kids who were in the cast. The show was held at a local performing arts center.

      It was pretty good. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon — I asked nobody to go with me (and I didn’t think of asking any of my theatre friends if they were going…they were there, but they must have been at the other side of the theatre, not where I was — I didn’t see them anywhere in the crowd when I came out after the show was over).

      Things like these I would rather do by myself. Same goes for our local studio arts tour — I always go by myself. (I may exhibit in that show this year; a new group is running that complex; will have to see what’s what — it is usually in November) I get a chance to see the whole building and all of the exhibits. There are 5 floors’ worth of art.

      I need common interest people and people who can compromise. What this was with the 2 of them is almost communistic inasmuch as that it was “like they made all the rules” — you were iffy about asking them to see X with you or go with you to see Y because you knew there was a chance they would say no or bail the last second. I am tired of being the planner, the chauffer, the social director, the squad leader, the motivator and the one who winds up being disappointed.

      And I am disappointed for another reason:

      My rathole second floor penthouse looks great.:) I was looking forward to having them come over to see what I’ve done here…. but that’s not going to happen now. Rats…a great bunch of new art nobody will see, unless they come to a show that I might show them in, in September…and after that, in March, at my one person show.

      I am going to sign up at the community college for an art class.:) I will head over there on Tuesday; I am sure there will be a space available; first served are the matriculating students; after that, anybody can sign up.:)

      I haven’t taken a real art class since, wow, college!

    2. It can also be a sign that they are wet blankets, sad sacks, stay at home dullards or that they need a heck of a bonfire lit under them to motivate them.

      Why fish where the fishin’ ain’t good?

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