Pick Your Friends Like You Pick Fruit

Writing this particular entry is difficult for me. I reached the end of my tether with someone and really bit back. I usually don’t get to that point anymore. What I guess bothers me is that it happened over something that I had got into the bad habit of ignoring, and just decided I didn’t want to ignore it.

Also, I realise I had been swallowing, ignoring and repressing my anger about the person’s behaviour for a long time. I just couldn’t stand it anymore.

The problem I have with this person, is not unique to me. Just about everyone I know, who’s had any contact with me and who I’ve introduced to her, has confessed to me later that she spooked them. Truth is, she spooked the shit out of me as well.

What is sad, or rather, the hardest part, is that I sense her pervasive loneliness and understand many of the outward manifestations of her personality, but her personality drove me crazy! I tolerated and tolerated, until a couple of days ago I just blasted her for all the little things that drove me crazy over the course of the eighteen months or so that I’ve known her. I know it wasn’t the best way, but that’s how it came out.

I managed to tell her exactly how I felt about many of the ‘highlights’ in our relationship, however it wasn’t really about the incidents, it was her. I just didn’t like her personality and didn’t want to pretend about it anymore. I was tired of her ‘teasing’ and ‘jokes’. I was tired of her insensitivity, and her arrogance. I also tried very hard to get past the superficial, but she made it very hard to talk to her honestly about anything, and in the end I felt, why bother?

I’m digging deep, trying to find some remorse for cussing her ass now, but in truth my only remorse was not telling her to fuck off the first time she bullied me. I think I was so shocked, so stunned by her momentary psychosis then that I literally lost my ability to speak. I mean, she was supposed to have her shit together better than that. In the end, it set the tone of our relationship, and she did things I ordinarily would never allow anyone to do me. It’s moments like this that I realise you know, even the best intentions pass through the filter of one’s self, and thus, do lead to hell if you don’t do something to prevent it.

What is worse is that I allowed her to do that to me, to bully me in a way that everyone around me could see, but I couldn’t seem to stop it for a long time. To be honest, I’ve seen her irrational or distressed about things rational people cope with easily, often enough that in truth, I was afraid of what she would do. By the time I realised something was ‘off’ about her, she was already living next door to me, and in my life enough to make me excruciatingly uncomfortable.

I think the thing that freaked me out the most about this chick, was the thin veneer of ‘chipper’ she’d try to slap on top of her personality. She also had the most annoying habit of twisting her face when she talked, grimacing and frowning just to talk. The effect was almost mask-like quality, to a range of painful expressions you had to watch, in order to have a conversation with her. Added to her truly bizarre and quite alien behaviour, all of it made for the most draining relationship I’ve had with a person not in my family for years!

I don’t want this to be a post listing all the many different reasons why I just stopped feeling friendly in my heart towards this girl. But let me just sum it up as succinctly as I can.

The first time I knew something was definitely not, ‘all there’ was early last year, about three months after I met her. I was staying with her for a week, trying to escape my family and one night we got into a discussion about a soca artist. I expressed an opinion based on a 12 year career of writing about music and entertainment. Although she was just offering simplicities such as, “I like it,” I made the mistake of continuing to expressing a thoroughly well thought out assessment of the pedantic music she was then playing.

In the middle of a point, this chick yelled almost at the top of her lungs, “I don’t see why I can’t have an opinion about music I like in my own house!”

Then she stormed off, either into her room or out of the house, I dunno. I pushed the door closed, turned off the light and went to sleep. The next morning, as I was writing down the story of her behaviour in my journal, she walked past the door, smiled like Mary-fucking-Poppins, said “Good Morning,” and went to get coffee.

I was so shocked, both at the yelling at me, and the Jekyll/Hyde thingy the next morning, but I said nothing. Maybe somebody out there doesn’t think that was bad. Maybe you would say asking my mother to fetch cigarettes wasn’t really a preposterous request, but where I grew up we consider that disrespectful. Not just bad manners (of which she possesses an abundance) it plain disrespectful. It also wasn’t the first or last time her behaviour would shock me. I’ve seen her overreact and blow small things way out of proportion with other people, and seen her behave in what I can only describe as tantrumish immaturity.

She went up to Barbados, my mother took her to the airport when she was leaving. My mother bought her a beer and they were waiting for them to call the flight. This chick, almost twenty years my mother’s junior, sent my mother to go and get a pack of cigarettes for her. My mother said, at the time she did it, because she was just so shocked and also wanted to see how far this girl would take it.

It’s for me, the kind of outrageous display of disrespect or miscalculation of personality, that she makes on a frequent enough basis, as to be overwhelming from time to time.

My mother had been very critical of me when she came down last year, and realised the way this girl was behaving and treating me, and even then I kind of made a real half hearted attempt to put a stop to some of the more outrageous behaviour. It helped, because at the very least the worst of it stopped, but you know, she just had no sense of timing and was far too aggressive about even the smallest things.

It all boiled down to her immaturity for me. That is ultimately what really put me off more than anything else, because I saw a lot of the other behaviours growing out of that. It seemed to me as though she bullied and bossed around people, and hid behind this kind of ‘nice’-type behaviour, using it as a shield. West Indians, especially middle class West Indians are so polite, I’m not surprised more people haven’t told her to fuck off.

Then there is this thing of telling me her business, which in many cases it’s quite uncomfortable to know about, and her sometimes sly like moves that I see her making. She will tell me her business and pry into my mine. For the most part, I am almost always desperate to get out of conversations with her.

The thing is, she was and does have an interesting personality. My main reason for trying so hard, was because she was one of the few people my age who had any experience of people who were practising Ifa tradition in any form. So for me, it was an opportunity to talk with someone on an intellectual level, and with regards to the tradition she is very knowledgeable. Maybe this is what I felt we had most in common, and it felt like a strong enough connection that we could try to build a friendship out of it.

Instead, I realised she really doesn’t understand the kind of soul to soul opening up that goes on with true friends, or she never really considered her a real friend and vice versa.

I know what it is, she has a kind of psychic bullying thing that she does. She intimidates you so much, sometimes with her physical mass, and the thing that makes me think she’s potty is, I don’t think she has any idea how or why she’s doing it. My mother thinks otherwise, you know, that I’ve been making excuses for her behaviour, (she’s an American, and Black American Middle Class Girl–doesn’t that like say it all?) However, I think it’s a bit of both.

Argghhhhh! You see, it’s like I was in a dream for years, and the people around think I’m so fucking nice and sweet, and it’s okay for them to just say whatever they want, and do whatever the fuck they want, because I’ve just stopped taking heads. What the fuck? Where is the hellion that grown men fear?

Where’s that fourteen year old girl who chopped a man with a meat tenderiser for touching her breasts and trying to kiss her? Where’s that little bitch all the fucked up people in my family fear to hear me open my mouth and start to boof, because they know I’ll speak the truth and they never want to confront the mirror I walk with? Where’s that seven/ eight year old girl who fought back girls who bullied and belittled her? Tell me? Where has that spirit gone?

For a long time, I felt sad for her. I really did. I tried very hard to reach out to her on more than one occasion, but there were other times when I really just wanted to slap her around her constantly shape shifting face! Find an expression and stick with it. She also really had no self control where her mouth was concerned you know, and I found the same thing that annoys me about all Sagittarius women, pissed me off about her too.

It’s also the fact that she freaks out my family and my friends that made me realise it wasn’t just me. It wasn’t that she wasn’t nice. She was a little too fucking nice, you know in that ‘what are you on?’ kind of way? I mean my mother told me to tell her to fuck off back in August, and I wouldn’t listen.

What I will say is, I’ve enjoyed relationships with beautiful, imperfect sisters of all ethnic backgrounds, as well as social and economic standing etc. etc. etc. I have, however never experienced a relationship with a woman as manipulative as this one is, before. I just can’t imagine what she considers friendship. If what she’s been giving me over the last year and half or so what she considers to be it, it doesn’t surprise me she has so few close friends. I just don’t like how easy it is for her to step on other people’s boundaries while rigidly maintaining her own.

I’m just disappointed, I suppose. She talks so much about ‘grooth’ and ‘develoopment’ that I really believe that one day, maybe she will finally grow up and develop into someone capable of going through life without trying to domineer and boss everyone she comes in contact with. She just not doing it to me any more, and I’m sorry I put myself through months of silence about some of the more annoying or disturbing manifestations in her behaviour.

You know, there are some points when you just can’t tell a person, “Hey bitch, dial it back a notch or two nah.” Not when they live next door to you, and it has the potential to get nasty. I sense that about her.

For someone as educated as she is (I mean she’s going all the way,) and intelligent as she is, I’m not surprised she’s so emotionally vacant in spots and mis-wired in others. Most academics I know suffer in the same way, or in similar ways. She’ll fit right in once she gets there.

I know enough of her back story to understand how she got to be at the point she’s at now, and how she is the way she is. I think everybody has a fucked up life, it’s no reason not to be an asshole whether intentionally or unintentionally. Especially when I was offering real friendship.

It’s fine to say, you try to put differences aside, and try to talk about things, but I find that she often cannot or will not take a hint when people try to be subtle, so there’s a time for subtlety and a time to be not subtle. I mean, she herself has a skewed perspective of when and where to really drop things on people.

It’s hard for me to admit it, but I have been holding a grudge. I just don’t appreciate someone who’s professing to be an enlightened sister, or striving for it, to squelch or manipulate me. Nah, because you know, my real friends know I don’t be pun dem scenes, oui? She never really saw me as her equal, and she hid some really disrespectful, and maybe more than a hint of jealousy, under her smile. Maybe I’m wrong for off loading in her ass, but you know when I was done, she said nothing. She only apologised for me ‘having so many bad experiences,’ and wanted me to apologise to my mother as well.

She actually sounded hurt, but you know at this point. I’m just glad I got to say what I had to say. I just couldn’t hold it back anymore, it just came out. I mean, even with Keffi she and I fell out because I told her shit about herself she didn’t like, but you know we always patched it up, and we got closer because of it. Me, a couple of nights ago is the first time I told her some shit about herself, not nearly everything I could think of, and not nearly in as articulate a way as I would have liked, but I did it.

I always come back to it, I have real friends. They know who the are. I would expect them to tell me when they thought I was going the wrong way, and we don’t have to agree on how to approach a situation, but we tell each other like it is, and we forgive each other for our humanity.

I’ve cut off dead weight before. I’ve cut out girls who just didn’t click with me, who’s friendship was less than strong, and women I didn’t trust. I’ve also made mistakes, bad mistakes. However, all that aside, I think I have the right to be choosy about who I allow into my life.

I’ve already buried one of the best friends I’ve ever had. My sisters that are down know who they are, the one’s that ain’t playing no sneaky, sly little games with me; at least not anymore.

I opened my mouth a couple of nights ago and told her point blank I had had enough. She’d crossed the line with me a few days earlier, and even then I didn’t really fully express my disgust with her behaviour. What I regret is that I really let it all spill out, how I really felt about some things, and wasn’t clearheaded enough at the time to be completely dispassionate.

She just assumed I would blow it off again and just let go of it, but I just don’t want the kind of friend that demands the kind of attention she requires. You know, I’m just not willing to feel uncomfortable, and sorry I opened my big mouth and let her move into the apartment in front of me.

I think that is where I have to accept responsibility for this situation, because if I had kept my mouth shut, I would have limited my exposure to her, and that would have been it. I could have kept her at arms length, and none of what happened next, would have gone down. So for that, I have to admit I did this to myself, and maybe that was our karma in the situation. Even that I think we need to accept as well. Maybe I needed to stand up to her, because lord knows her behaviour had me stressed out on more than one occasion.

Let that be a lesson to you kiddies, when your alarm bells go off about a particular person, please do Big Mami a favour and listen to those bells. You can and usually do spare yourself a great deal of stress, pressure and worry. Yes, even Big Mami makes mistakes. I should have cut my losses with this chick right after the first yelling experience.

:sigh: I could never really fully express this one in this forum. This is definitely one for the dead tree journal. I believe her to be a bit of a blog stalker, so to actually go into further details would be inappropriate. I won’t name names, or give away all the details, however I did felt the need to speak on it further, even if only for my own satisfaction.

The moral of the story is: Pick your friends like you pick fruit.

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thegoddessroom

The Vault

sungoddess

mermaid, dayo's mama, water priestess, writer, web developer, omo yemoja, dos aguas, obsessive reader, sci-fi fan, trini-bajan, combermerian, second life, music, music, music!