(rant, long, self-indulgent wallowing, etc.)
tl;dr I have no friends and life sucks.
Last December was my 30th birthday. I decided to invite all my local friends (and their partners if they wanted) to go black light bowling at an alley that was licensed to serve alcohol because I knew my friends (and I) would want to drink. But my boyfriend doesn’t drink, and one of the women invited was pregnant at the time. I wanted the non-drinkers to have something entertaining to do. Hence, bowling with a bar instead of just going to a bar. I asked people for their input on what they thought sounded fun. I did all the organizing legwork. I provided cupcakes and bought a prize pack (for the ugly sweater contest part of the party).
Of all the friends I invited (apprx. two dozen people) know how many came? The pregnant one (who is part of a separate social circle), and my boyfriend’s sisters.
I invited everyone well in advance because, having a December birthday, I know to make sure people commit to your shindig before all the work parties and crap start piling up. It was the big 3-0. And yet, everybody decided they had better things to do (including at least two people who RSVP’d a definite “yes” but then ditched when something “better” came along). Hell, eight people couldn’t even be bothered to RSVP for the damn thing.
This was not only an important birthday, it was my first birthday since leaving my ex. So yeah, my feelings were super hurt.
After that, I decided to say “fuck it.” I was done chasing after people who weren’t willing to treat me like they cared.
Then I got sick. And even if I had wanted to be the one doing all the reaching out and planning and inviting I wasn’t capable of it anymore.
I’ve made no secret about my stupid, mysterious chronic illness. But have these women gotten in touch to see if they can do anything, or to just ask how I am? No. None of them have any idea how hard things have been because they don’t talk to me. No, scratch that. One of them got in touch and tried to peddle her MLM product to me. And when I called her out on how shitty that is, she pretended it was just because she cared. I hadn’t heard from her for months before that and haven’t heard from her since.
Did any of them show real support when my marriage ended? Nooooope. In fact, last fall the ex was being a pill about committing to watch just our daughter (not even both our kids) so I could go to my grandmother’s memorial (she didn’t want a funeral). I asked a bunch of them for help watching her for just a night or two because I had no-one else to turn to. Nobody stood up. One “friend” just told me why she couldn’t (too generally busy and no extra sleeping room for a six-year-old?) and then added how it’s my ex’s job to do his part (no shit, don’t you think I’d already told him that?). I’ve tried to, despite how exhausted I always am, invite their girls over for playdates (I’m not going to chase their friendship, but I’ll be damned if I let personal crap get in the way of my daughter’s friendships). Those couple of playdates were more stressful than you’d think given my health, and have not been reciprocated.
One woman FB messaged me to say something about the divorce (which had gotten super nasty at this point but she had no idea how bad it was) but this was months and months and months past the point of me realizing how low a priority I was for all these people. I didn’t have the energy or the inclination at that point to open up to this person I hadn’t spoken to in ages about the hell I was living. But it was enough to weaken my resolve about waiting for them, any of them, to make an effort to include me in their lives. So when I’ve seen FB posts asking to borrow tents or watch their kids, I’ve volunteered...though never been taken up on it.
I came to Canada with my ex eight years ago, then to my current city for my ex’s education five years ago. My family is 1800 miles away. The few real friends I have live on the other side of the continent. I’m isolated as hell and my health isn’t getting any better (getting worse in some ways, going up and down but never reaching normal in other ways). So yeah, I’m pretty fucking bitter about these women I thought were my friends. I thought I was finally finding a local social circle, a group of women that enjoyed each others’ company and cared for each other. They say getting a chronic illness shows you who your real friends are. If the endless fatigue, and growing body pain and bazillion other stupid symptoms weren’t enough; if the psychological crises involved in getting out of an emotionally abusive relationship and navigating a hostile and increasingly expensive divorce process weren’t enough; I find myself feeling incredibly alone.
What a depressing disappointment.