Friday, July 29, 2005

Betrayal, or the disposable friend

I've long needed a place to vent about betrayal, and having a blog seems the perfect opportunity to get it all out of my system, once and for all.

When I say betrayal, don't think I mean a trench-coated shadowy figure, intent on doing me some malevolent harm. I mean your average, run-of-the-mill stuff that shouldn't happen to Good People, but does.

I had a friend (no! say it isn't so!) that I met via online newsgroups. We all inhabited the same online clubhouse, often communicating with each other outside of this space. We became very close. I was female, he was male. There was no romantic side to this, it was purely two friends, brought together by mutual interests. Said friend knew I was married, and had no intentions of crossing any lines, just looking for people to talk with.

We became relatively good friends -- letters came and went at a great rate. I loved this friend. He was funny, warm, sweet, and always there as a shoulder to lean on. I'm a demonstrative person, so I often told him what his friendship meant to me.

One day, Friend abruptly tells me that he's no longer interested in that aspect of his life anymore. He has no wish to hurt me, but he needs to move on, as he feels the relationship has become something of an albatross around his neck. I understand cutting ties. I understand moving on, but for some reason -- this hurt me deeply. I felt as if I were completely disposable, not worth the effort to keep around. It was so out-of-the-blue, so sudden. It was like being doused with very cold water. Of course, he was as polite as can be expected -- he never said that I was dragging him down, but he told me that he could not continue on as he had been, and that our association was a major reason that he was taking these steps.

I'm not sure why, exactly, it hurt me so. I know that I felt betrayed. I have been back-stabbed before , and in much worse fashion. And, in public, too. It was more the fact that I put all of me; my very essence; out there for display and I was found so lacking that it was easiest to cut and run. In other cases, I had had the sense to not invest all of me in the relationships, and I was somewhat spared because of it.

I have self-esteem issues. It comes from many years of being the overweight, plain girl, hovering on the periphery. It comes from early adulthood trauma. It's body issues, neuroses, and endless self-flagellation. It's the trifecta of suck. I'm a therapist's dream, really. And, having been so gradually conditioned to expect this sort of behavior, why did it blindside me so?

Why does it still pain me today? I have had romantic relationships end that hurt less than this. Maybe it was the fact that he really came to know me. If you don't know me and dislike me, there's no real emotional connection there, so it doesn't really resonate. Friend knew me, said he cared about me, and *then* decided that I was so toxic that it was best just to sever all ties.

I wish that it didn't bother me so. I wish that I could say that it no longer has the power to hurt me. I wish that there was some explanation for his behavior. I wish that there was some way I could encapsulate all my hurt. I could fold it all up in a sheet of paper that I would transform into a little origami boat and set it adrift.

I hope that I never treat anyone as if they are disposable.


purple_kangaroo said...

How painful. I've noticed, though, in situations like that, it's often not about you. Maybe he was feeling quilty for getting too emotionally close to a married woman, or something like that. Whatever the cause, it is painful and I'm sorry you had an experience like that.

liz said...

Give me his address and I'll go over and bite his shins.


halloweenlover said...

That sounds very hurtful. I would have had a terrible time with that also. How odd, as well. Do you think perhaps he had romantic feelings for you and just never admitted it? It just sounds so out of the blue and unnecessary.

Sorry that you had such a sad experience.

KLee said...

I'm not sure what his deal was. I will probably never know. Shin-biting is not necessary, although I am glad that you're willing to make the commute. :)

His sudden disappearance may not have had anything to do with me, but I sure felt like it was my fault. And, why is it that I feel as if I have to accept blame when he's the one who walked away? Why is it that I feel *I'm* the one responsible?

The situation never evolved into anything more than a friendship, at least on my end. I can't even begin to fathom what was in his head, much less figure out the whys or wherefores.

This whole situation has been over for more than a year, but I figured that I'd blog it, and let it go. I will try not to obsess about the things which are out of my control.

Running2Ks said...

I understand that. I have had a few "friends" just up and leave--sometimes just not showing up for plans they were the ones to make, and then never a returned phone call. It is incredibly hurtful and sad.

I'm sorry that there wasn't closure or even a decent explanation for you. Sounds like it was all coming from his end--not your bag.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Oh, it's really, really hard to get over losing a friend when you have no idea *why* the loss is happening. I've got one like that myself. It's the not knowing that gets me, ultimately. I'm sorry it's got you too. I hope blogging about it helped a little!

Time will help more though, I guess.

Yankee T said...

I'm so sorry. Time is really the thing. The key is to not try to figure it out now, but to acknowledge the pain and try to move through it.

Songbird said...

Klee, I'm sorry to hear this. (((o)))

KLee said...

Songbird -- I think I whined to you about it when it happened. It was a long time ago, but talking about it helps make it not such a big deal anymore.

RussianViolets said...

You won't, and your sensitivity to this kind of callous brutality proves that. I can't imagine not hurting in this kind of situation.