At First I Was Heartbroken, But Now I’m Just Plain Pissed:
A Refection On Friendship
I just went through a pretty rough six weeks. I do not wish it on anyone. It all started in early May with a routine breast ultrasound. Other than the usual cysts, something else came up. A very nervous doctor, on the spot, who didn’t let me leave the lab without further opinions, classified it as a BIRAD 4: suspicious malignity. After conversing with other doctors and not knowing what the hell was going on, I was referred to a private Oncologist and ultimately to the Oncology Centre. For three weeks my left breast was groped, squeezed, ultrasounded, mammographed and finally biopsied on two locations. On June 6th the results finally came in and all was good(ish). I will stay under vigilance every three months because they can’t figure out what caused the lesion that raised all the suspicions.
So now that you have context, I can start telling you my story of heartbreak. During this whole thing it just so happened to be my birthday. Now, I’m not a social butterfly and I don’t have that many friends. I’m shy, awkward, Sheldon Cooper kind of quirk. Still I have managed to accumulate a dozen or so good friends over the years. These people are closer to me than my own family with whom I barely have contact. I did tell a couple of them what was going on because I needed to vent and I needed someone other than my mother who was more scared than I was at the prospect of a bad diagnosis. They listened to me, distracted me, kept my mind off the negativity and one of them forced me to shower on one occasion. I will always be grateful for that. But it doesn’t erase the fact that all of them forgot my fucking birthday! On the day I received a mere four text messages from acquaintances, not friends. Even my goddamned boyfriend spent the day texting me how miserable he was feeling at a cousin’s wedding before I reminded him that
IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY, STOP WHINING LIKE A LITTLE GIRL WHO DIDN’T GET A PONY FOR CHRISTMAS!
I had a horrible, horrible birthday. I’m not usually one to celebrate and throw a big party, but until now all my friends had remembered and called or texted. I spent all day looking at my phone waiting for it to ring or beep. When the clock struck 12 I realized even my best friend had neglected me. She’s very, very pregnant. The sort of very pregnant that for the last week my phone’s volume is on max because she can pop out the kid at any second. A few days after my birthday she called. I thought she was going to congratulate me and apologize, but no. She asked if I wanted to go to IKEA get some storage boxes to prepare for her little guy’s arrival. Resentful as I was I didn’t say a thing. I was going to jump on her the first chance I got. She picked me up and we talked about the kid and everything she needs doing still. When we get to IKEA and get out of the car, she looks down at her feet and starts sobbing uncontrollably. She had forgotten to put on shoes and was wearing her slippers. I guess that’s a pregnant brain for you. I forgave her. She did eventually remember and started sobbing again when she saw the date on her receipt and realized she was four days late.
This experience has left me wondering. Are the people I call my friends really my friends? How was it that acquaintances remembered my birthday, but not my friends? Am I surrounding myself with the wrong people? Would the people outside my close circle be better than the ones inside? Can I forget and forgive and move on like nothing happened?
Even knowing what was happening to me at the time these people neglected me in this particular matter.
I have been struggling with how to deal with it and what my next steps should be. I feel like calling them out, or ignoring their birthdays, or not giving credit to any achievement they might accomplish in the future. I feel bitter and resentful towards all of them. I am hurt and I am angry. I am steaming and hoping I don’t have to interact with any of them face to face in the near future. Right now I’m ignoring calls and texts. I have been going out and talking to other people and consider replacing them.
Maybe I am still too angry to make a decision. I should wait until the steam blows off before acting.