Over the years, I have struggled with friendships, mostly because it takes a lot to earn my trust.
A while ago, back in my late teens, I had a friend who was like a leech. She would drain you faster than a yard glass full of beer. She thought she had my wedding (I told her I wanted a big frilly dress, lots of bridesmaids and groomsmen etc) and I laughed when she wore a dress that made her look like a meringue, and apparently the dress would have been enough to purchase a new car at the time.
This toxic friendship ended when I developed a friendship with another girl, who called a spade a spade, and I liked that about her. She was no nonsense, fun, interesting, and so much more street smart than I was. We got along so well, that my original friend was jealous, especially when I invited her to be my bridesmaid and not my friend.
It didn’t take long for things to deteriorate between me and my toxic friend, which didn’t bother me because I had a new friend, one who wasn’t toxic, didn’t want to spend every living breathing minute with me, and would tell me to bugger off if she’d had enough – and I respected her enough to do that, and vice versa.
A family relative, the ever so elegant and tactful person that he is (NOT!) used to take the micky out of my friend, and called her a name, that I won’t repeat here. Why? Because it was derogatory, and I didn’t like it. My new friend said she didn’t mind, but I did. I didn’t invite her around to my house often.
I ran into my toxic friend, and talking, as we do, I told her how horrified I was at my relative for saying such things to my new friend. She sympathised (she knew this relative) and told me not to worry about it. So I didn’t.
One day, my toxic friend and my new friend were at a course together. I rang my new friend to see how her day had gone, and she hung up on me. I rang back.
What’s going on?
Ask your toxic friend.
I rang her, what happened? Why isn’t my new friend talking to me?
I don’t know, ask her?
I rang my new friend back, toxic friend doesn’t know what you’re talking about.
She told me the name that the relative called her.
I asked why that was a problem now when she’d told me at the time that she was okay with it.
Because apparently, you have been going around calling me that.
Yip, toxic friend was concerned for her, because I was going around calling her this name.
But I didn’t, I tried to explain.
It’s too late for that now. Goodbye.
Wow. What had happened? How didn’t I see that one coming? I had trusted these two women with my friendship, and one had thrown it back in my face. The other one had twisted my words for her own benefit. Needless to say, I was down by two friends.
I had one friend from school, who had gone to Australia. Another friend had gone to Uni, they weren’t around for me to talk to. It was just me.
Being an introvert, I didn’t make friends easily, and it was a good ten years before I allowed anyone close again. In that time, I learnt to rely on myself and my Mum, because they were the only two people in this world I could trust.
Ten years ago, we moved to a small rural town. I didn’t know anyone and was pregnant. Talk about isolate yourself! I knew my sister in law, and that was it. Until I ran into my brothers ex one day at the shop. Apparently she lived out here too. Yay. At least one other person I knew.
I went to Playcentre and got to know some other mum’s, but it was always surface chit chat. Nothing deep and personal. Until one day, I met my bestie. She was an unusual person, would run hot and cold. One day she would stop and talk, the next day completely ignore me. It took a while for the friendship to develop, and when it did, it blew my mind. I had never had a friendship quite like it before, and probably never will again. We knew each other, we got to know each other inside and out (I mean emotionally). We did madcap things together, like tell check out operators that she was on day release from the mental home, but I had to get her back soon before the medication wore off. That was just how we rolled.
Then of course, my deep south friend arrived up, she brought a property here, and I had waited three long years for her to finally move here, and when she did, our penpal friendship picked up where we left it, back when we were teenagers. Except we were now adults, fully immersed in a world that didn’t like what we did, but we did it anyway. We defied odds together, by doing something that we were told we couldn’t do, we tramped the Abel Tasman.
Another lady came into my life, quite by accident. I had met her, but it wasn’t until the Grass Kart event last year, that we really got to know each other. She wanted to race her kart, I wanted to race mine – how about a women’s race – and we have been close since.
We have all weathered storms together. My bestie and I had a bust up a couple of years ago because of a third party stirring, but we have patched up our differences, and we are back talking. My deep south friend, we can go for weeks without seeing each other, then we will spend two or three days together, she’s been there for me when things have been tough at home, and my grass karting bud, well, we just do shit for the fun of it, and build each other up. We’ve been an ear for each other when things have got tough.
All three of these lovely unique women, are my closest friends, in fact, I would go so far as to say, they are all my besties, in so many different ways. My first bestie, we understand each other’s past and history, My Southland bestie, we have been mates for years, and we have been through some tough times together lately, and my grass kart bestie, well, she knows my real “freak” and allows her own “freak” to join in. I’m sure the other two would too, but this is a unique bond that we have, and each one of these girls is precious and special to me.
In fact, we are more than friends, I am bold enough to say, we are best friends, we are sisters in our emotional, physical and spiritual bonds, I love each of these girls very deeply (not in that way!) and I would do anything for them. And they respect my friendships that I have with the others. None have tried to change my mind or poison me against the other, none would expect me to chose one over another. They all know that I love them, and want to spend time in their company.
I still have my friend from Australia, she came back, got married. We talk to each other once a month on the phone for hours. Because we can. And we always pick up where we left off.
I believe that you can have more than one best friend, I know I have four. My Mum, Bestie #1, aka Rachael, Southland Bestie – Deborah and Grass Kart bestie = Kaye.
Thanks girls for making me the person that I am and accepting me, warped, cracked, weird, quirky, warts and all.