Why? Making me feel bad.

Okay, so like, let’s pretend for a second, like, that I’m, like, totally still in school and totally young and, like, naive, and, well, yeah, like, why doesn’t she like me? Why does she treat me like this? How can I make her like me, or just talk to me?

Flashback to 15 years ago is over and back to today. Oh, wait, I still feel like that. So, yeah, I have this friend, who I’m still going to call her a friend, because unlike 15 years ago when the smallest disagreement led to being mortal enemies, just because someone upsets me, makes me feel rubbish and fails utterly to ever be there for me, doesn’t stop them being my friend.

Although perhaps it should.

This friend (because, hopefully, she will always be my friend) has a lot going on in her life, an awful lot. She doesn’t have the happiest of lives and there are times when her life is even more worse than normal for her. From her point of view, a bad day for her is every day and on a worse than normal day, she can’t leave the house. Or even live in her own house and she has to go stay with family.

Sadly, she’s been like this for years and I can’t see any light at the end of her proverbial tunnel. Let’s call her Zoe. Zoe vanishes from the planet, it seems, for weeks on end and churns out excuses as to why she can’t see you (or why she’s cancelling at the last bloody minute) as easy as it is to breathe. It’s frustrating.

Zoe’s almost patented the phrase “I’m not in the right head place” – it’s her excuse… sorry, reason for everything and, I’ll be honest, it gets on my nerves.

And that’s when I then feel bad. Because she is living a completely different life than I can even imagine and it’s incredibly hard for her. I’ve known Zoe since I was that fifteen year old girl who became mortal enemies with plenty of girls in an inner city all girls school. She was never one of my enemies then and will never become one now.

Then I think about all of the time I invest in her. I worry about her. I text her and wait for a reply, fearing when I don’t get one that she’s finally gone and walked in front of a train. I make plans to see her, rearranging my schedule for her, just to have her cancel at the last minute. I listen to her complain about her life, about how she’s always tired because she can’t sleep, but also because she’s been out all day socialising with all of her newer friends and how the doctors want her to do things that she doesn’t agree with – how about do it because they’re the doctors and know their job!

On so many occasions, Zoe and her parents have told me that I’m the only one who’s stuck by her through the past fifteen years. And I keep sticking by her.

And that’s when I feel bad again. That’s when I feel guilty that it all annoys me, because she has the ultimate excuse. She’s fragile – mentally and physically and I feel bad whenever I get upset with her, despite the fact that perhaps I’m allowed to be.

For three months, Zoe has no idea what I’ve been going through, if anything has happened with me. And I’m not being selfish because I try and ask her, the answer is “My head’s not right” or “I’m not well mentally” with no other explanation or chance to see her to try and find out, to try and help her.

Any relationship is built by all members of it, maintained by all members. No one-sided relationship can ever thrive and grow, or even exist in a heathly non-bunny boiler state. It doesn’t matter if it’s a romantic, platonic, familial relationship — effort is needed from all parties.

Zoe’s been vanished for over three months now. I’ve had the odd text reply with her patented phrase and nothing else and they’ve always been in response to a message I’ve sent first. Why do I have to keep making the effort? Why do I let her get away with making no effort? Why do I accept her excuses and let her treat me like nothing? Why do I put up with her new friends who look down at me because I’m not sensitive enough to her? Is that what she wants from me, the pandering that her newer friends give her because they haven’t been around for as long, gotten as tired of fighting a losing battle as I have?

Why do I feel like the most awful person in the world for even thinking these things?

Why do I feel so freaking bad no matter what I do?

~ Persephone M

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