I have a friend-or at least she used to be a friend-that has become condescending, unavailable, and caught up in a 12 year relationship with a man 18 years her senior. She has been with him the better part of 13 years. She left her husband of 27 years for this man. She and her husband have been friends of mine since 1975. Her boyfriend is jealous of her spending any of her time with others unless it is someone he approves. I know he is controlling, condescending, rich, and hates me because, of course, my friend has told him I do not like him. He stated from the being of their affair he would never marry her or leave her anything in his Will. What she gets, she gets while he is alive. Nothing after he dies. So, he dangles money and trips in front of her like a carrot so she will comply with his dictates for her behavior.
When her brother was in the hospital, she told a mutual acquaintance he was so jealous of her time she did not know how she would visit her brother. I had a fairly serious surgery a few years ago. She promised to come by a specific day after work. She texted me that she had the day off unexpectedly so I waited for her to show up at my house. She never came. When I confronted her about it, she curtly told me she had errands to run that day.
I rarely see her, but she tells me about spending time with people who are work associates or friends of whom her boyfriend approves. Yet, when she has a serious situation, she calls me and I am there for her.
When I was originally diagnosed with lung cancer and the surgery to remove part of my lung was scheduled, she stated she would come stay with me the day after surgery. That day came and went. The following day she breezed into the room, announced her boyfriend had brought her by so she did not have to park, brought some magazines that were hers-the address label still on, and breezed out within 30 minutes. My sister, who came from Florida and had been there all day, could not believe this was supposed to be my best friend.
Now I have been diagnosed again, within six months, with a recurrence of lung cancer. When I told her, she was so upset about it. It was decided I would have a special type of radiation to the lung tumor. (I have not been a fan of the hospital for which my physicians work, but the oncology department and the cancer physicians at this facility are phenomenal. My friend worked for this hospital for 30+ years with children and seemed smug about me finally choosing “her” hospital for treatment. (My dad died at this hospital and it was a horrible experience for all of us.)
So I was “marked” for radiation two weeks prior to beginning the treatment. The techs tatooed me also so there are permanent markers to go by for the radiation, but they also used black marker with bulls eyes and lines down both sides and my ches. The one on my chest is right over the area of the tumor. The black magic marker lines began to fade before the end of the first week and I was worried. Although I had followed all the instructions, the lines were still fading.
I call my friend to ask her advice about the marking fading. She always has her phone on speaker and her boyfriend is always in earshot making comments. She raises her voice and talks to me like I am the most stupid person she knows and states I should be turning my back to the water and not let any of the water go on the sites directly. Her boyfriend hears all of this. Then she begins to talk about her garden and the geese that walk across her boyfriends yard.
I called the doctor who is in charge of my radiation, (at the suggestion of my sister who has no medical background), and the doctor stated not to worry about the marks. The tatoos will be enough in and of themselves for the techs to line up the treatment area.
I got off the phone-every time she calls I am usually on for an hour and she only calls at times she chooses-and I was so upset I almost cried and could not sleep. I was so upset over her callousness. I spoke with my sister the next day and she told me she thought my friend had to sneak around to see me. She advised that there must be some reason we have been friends for so long….and then she advised me to ask this friend to call during the day. Number one, she will not be drinking and number two, if she upsets me at least I will have some time to get over it before I go to bed. If I attempt to discuss her behavior with her, she becomes defensive and justifies her behavior so that never helps. She decides when I should be upset and when I should not-although I cannot tell you how many calls I have gotten from her over many things I thought were less serious than she thought at the time. I never acted as if her concerns or upset were inconsequential or silly.
So, sure enough, she calls after three days around 7 pm and leaves a message to call her. I texted her around 9 pm when I listened to the message. I told her it had been a long day and that I would call her the following day. I did that and the call went immediately to voice mail. I left her a message and then texted her, told her I had left her a message, and asked her to call before 5 pm, please, so my husband and I could have some time together at night.
Crickets. She has not called. I texted her today and said I hoped everything was okay. No text and no call. (I forgot to mention, he paid off her car and her condo recently. She made the comment she would be glad when he paid off her condo so she could stop walking on eggshells.Well, I guess the eggshell thing is still happening. He took her on a cruise and to the beach though because she wanted to go.)
She has yet to finish and comment on Amazon about my book, which is like 150 pages. She has had a copy for over six months. She never reads this blog. I still don’t get her posts from her FB page and have mentioned this numerous times. Sadly, some of the friendships I have made in the last two years are more consistent and supportive than this one.
What would you do about this friendship? I would value some thoughts on this. I am stumped.