Alright, so here is an issue that’s been weighing heavily on my mind. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts and I’ve tried not to think about it. But its an issue that brings anger into my heart and I just don’t need it. So, I’m hopeful that putting it out in the universe will dissolve it’s place in my mind.
Every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve hated my birthday. I never had enough friends to throw a party, and then there was the issue of my separated parents and having to choose with whom I would celebrate with. Then it turned into “another year older, another year of not accomplishing any of my goals.” I just don’t like my birthday.
Well, I really thought this year would be different. I had a group of friends that I though actually cared. Then as my birthday got closer, I realized that nobody actually did care. See, I am not the party girl type. Going out and getting shit faced isn’t fun for me. I’ll go if someone invites me for a special event, but even then if I have any excuse not to go…I don’t. It’s just not fun to me. I don’t know how else to phrase it. My ideal “fun” is going to the beach, trying a new restaurant, getting my nails done, listening to live music, seeing a play, just generally more laid back activities.
I am the oldest of my friends group. And when we first became friends my closest friend would go on rants about how she didn’t need alcohol to have a good time. And that the people who did were just sad. Then she turned 21, and that changed. Every time we hung out turned into “I need a drink.”, “Lets order drinks” and so on. A drink or two is no problem. But the thing is, I am the only one who drives. And my closest friend was a lightweight. So most of the time I was just the DD who had to babysit a loud, clumsy and semi obnoxious drunk. It wasn’t fun for me. I get it, we all deserve to let loose have fun. But it was becoming a routine for me to babysit.
Leading up to my birthday I was asked what I wanted to do. I had told everyone I just wanted a chill day on the beach. Volleyball, maybe a beer or two and a bonfire. Everyone was disappointed in my answer. They all wanted to go out a party, but they all begrudgingly decided that it was my day. The week of my birthday, my closest friend had brought up the concern that the weather might not be good for a beach day, so we should do something else. That was reasonable so I suggested we just go the beach the following weekend or during the week. (It’s So Cal so the weather really isn’t that bad). I was kind of taken back by how fast she agreed to not celebrating and moved on to some other plans she wanted to do instead. But I shrugged it off because it was just her personality type to move from subject to subject really fast. I didn’t think much of it. Later in the week, another friend made the comment
“Oh! It’s your birthday this Sunday!”
to which my “best friend” responded sourly.
“Oh that’s this week? I thought It was later in the month.” Just the way she said it as of it was disgusting fly buzzing around her face. Again, I shrugged it off not wanting to make a situation out of nothing. But it bothered me. She proceeded to then make plans for my birthday weekend, al of which included her dragging me to someone elses party where she hopped to never see a certain male friend. Again I chimed in that I wasn’t interested in being a babysitting DD for a party that I really didn’t want to go to in the first place, but there was going to be a kickback at one of our closer friends houses and that I would gladly go to that. She didn’t rally respond and quickly moved onto another subject.
The day before my birthday I quickly realized I would either be going to the beach alone or staying at home just with my family. I ended up staying with my family. That morning I received texts and calls all from my family. I received social media messages from acquaintances and co workers. I received radio silence from my friends.
Then in the group chat my friend Corrine sent a short and sweet “Happy Birthday” with some cute emojis. I was just happy that one of them remembered. After that my so-called best friend, interjected about the plans for us (she wanted to get waxed and had somehow turned it into a reuse “fun”? girls day) Again, I would be driving 30 minutes to pick her up and then another 30 minutes to the place where she wanted to go.
Another friend noticed this and quickly point out that we should all do what I wanted to do. Now, seeing as none o them wanted to go to the beach. And it was already the day of my birthday. I just said we could all get together the upcoming Thursday and do something.
My best friend responded with
“Okay, you guys figure it all out. Let me know.” still not acknowledgment to me at all. She later responded in the group text
” I Just don’t want everyone to think that I don’t care about (my name) birthday.”
she receive several texts from other members of the chat, saying that no one thought that. I didn’t reply. I was irritated and done with it all. She still hadn’t acknowledged me.
Two hours later she text me the same exact birthday message I had told her on her birthday, almost verbatim. She had put 0 effort into it at all. And she was the one I was closest to. She was the one who had made pacts “never to leave each other” that we were “sisters” and she was being a complete bitch to me…because it was my birthday? I don’t know. And it came out of nowhere.
Anyways, that Thursday rolls up and we had all decided to go to The Queen Mary, because I love history and the paranormal. Another one of our friends had gone out partying the night before and decided she wouldn’t be joining us. I was a little hurt but then again, it was just her character so I didn’t dwell on it. The day was perfect, we all had so much fun. We ended up spending all day on the boat. And when we finally exited it was around 8:00 p.m. They had all assumed that we would be eating and drinking afterwards. So again, I went along with it. I figured wed sit down and eat maybe get a drink at like a chili’s or something. Nothing too much. Nope. They sent me on a wild goose chase around downtown Long Beach searching for a place for them to get “turnt” After the second time parking and walking around and not finding anyplace. I was tired, and cold, and hungry. And I still had about and hour and a half drive back home. everyone at this point was irritated and I was fighting off my anxiety.
(Factors of my anxiety that night: I wasn’t dressed to go out clubbing I legit was wearing overalls, I can’t see well at night and driving in new places makes it 10x worse, there were cops everywhere and I couldn’t make out the traffic lanes and weird traffic signs in the downtown area, there were creeps everywhere.)
It’s not much but it was enough to make me close up into myself. I was trying to control my breathing, and avoid having an anxiety attack. We finally parked and I sat a moment to inhale ( a “we finally did it”) moment. WE had found an area but still no particular place to go, so before exiting the car I asked
“Okay, so what are we doing?” to get a general game plan. I was met with silence and a quick “Just grab your jacket and get out, (my name)” from the girl who was my best friend.
They were irritated with me. And I knew I didn’t deserve it. That was the tipping point for me. I knew I was being treated like crap. So I shut down, and stayed completely silent. We walked around in the cold , walked away from strange men trying to talk to us, all while they quietly bickered about a place to drink at.
We finally sat down at some random bar, but they weren’t serving food anymore because it was now 11:00 p.m. and that would mean that I especially couldn’t drink because I’m the driver. My friends were irritated and I was too. I wasn’t about to sit there and play chauffeur/ babysitter while my friends got drunk on a day that was supposed to just be a chill birthday day. I found a Norms on google and ended up driving us there because we all needed to eat. On the way my best friend was muttering little remarks under her breath
“reminder not to bring friends with anxiety to downtown anywhere.” was one that stung. Because she too claimed to have anxiety and I had sat there apathetically listening to her woes, so many times I had lost count. And the one time, the one time I actually needed my friends support… I was alienated and made to feel stupid. We all ate in complete silence. Eventually my friends left mea t the table by myself so they could all go sit together and charge their phones. I wanted to cry. I felt betrayed and just ashamed. One friend grabbed a Lyft and I still had to drive my best friend, home. I was seething and sad. We rode in silence.
When we finally got to her place she tried to hop out of the car with a friendly “Talk tomorrow.” as if nothing had just happened. As if she hadn’t just made me feel like the smallest most insignificant human. I just responded with, “Don’t ever try to talk to me about my anxiety again.” and I left.
Because how dare she pretend to relate to my actual anxiety disorder, how dare she sit there and pretend that she was so close to me. I never tell anyone about that, anyone. I’m not a very touchy feely person. So It had taken me a lot to actually open up to her about my anxiety, about my depression and about my battle with eating disorders. I trusted her. And she made me feel stupid for it. With just a couple of words. And I was supposed to brush it all off? No, not this time.
I cried all the way home. The next day she text me and I opened it expecting a “lets talk about it” or at least an apology. Instead she had sent a long text about how we shouldn’t be friends and how she needs to focus on herself she ended it with “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t respond.”
A hole formed in my heart. She had clung to my shoulder a couple of weeks ago saying “Promise you’ll never leave.” (One of our really good friends had just decided that she didn’t want us as friends)
She was the one who always said “Either you’re in my life or you’re out. Don’t leave the door half-open.”
She was the one who had hurt me. It was all a slap in the face. The thing is, decisions like this one are rarely on a whim. So that means she had been wary of our friendship for a while. How long had she seen me as some disposable person? All the while I was fully invested. Sisters, a small girl gang.
It was the ultimate betrayal. I realized I never really had friends when they all stopped talking to me. Every now and then one of them will send a random text or snap chat. But I can’t be pretend to be nice to people who are fake to my face.
So I am alone. And they are out there calling me fake and making me he bad guy, and my other so-called friends are believing them. This is why I have always been a loner. Lesson learned. The only people who are really ever there or me, is my family.