I'm bad at letting things that need to die die.
posted by anonymous to human relations (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Despite a dubious first impressions, I became very close friends with a girl during my college years. She had a bit of reputation for being cold and robot-like (I'm pretty much the opposite), but I realized, or thought I realized, over time that this is just a facade. I was convinced that underneath it all, she was a caring and fiercely loyal, if somewhat emotionally stunted, person. Over the years, our social circles grew together and we spent a ton of time together; during our fourth year of college we shared an apartment. This is when the problems started.
She would make passive aggressive comments about me leaving cleaning supplies around or not cleaning... even though I was the only person who ever did any cleaning. Or allowing my art supplies to accumulate in the living room, which admittedly they did on occasion. I would always rectify the situation as soon as she pointed it out, even if I felt it was unreasonable. Despite being hurt by these comments, I mostly let it roll off my back. Until...
Enter my old friend from abroad, who I will refer to as OFFA. My OFFA came to visit me during the spring of my fourth year. My friend/roommate, even though she had never met this person, expressed an interest in seducing him before he even arrived. Despite not really having any romantic feelings for this person, I asked her not to make a move on him for three reasons: a) I was going through a rough time emotionally partially because of a bad ex/boyfriend situation b) I didn't want to feel like the 3rd wheel in my own apartment c) I wanted to spend time with my OFFA without sex/drama entering into the situation. But as soon as I expressed my wish that she not to make out with my OFFA, she got angry and couldn't understand why. So, of course, a few days after my OFFA arrives, they've hooked up and are instantly a happy couple. And, of course, I am upset because I feel betrayed. I do everything I can to hide this fact, but mostly just end up staying away from them as much as possible for the remainder of the trip. Despite superficial efforts, they're both pretty terrible at making me feel included. After my OFFA leaves, I explain (again) to my friend why it upset me, but I tell her it's ok and I'm happy for them. I mostly mean it, though I still don't understand why they couldn't both have been mature enough to keep it in their pants for a couple of weeks. Over the next three months or so, my friend/roommate grows increasingly distant and passive aggressive. She almost never left her room.
Several weeks later, I was packing to leave town the next day for a short trip. It was late and I was tired and stressed. She came out of her room and asked me when I think I might be able to do the dishes. In unusual form, I tell her that I couldn't deal with it right then because I had a flight to catch early the next day, and I reminded her that almost all the dishes were dirty ones she had removed from her room and simply left in the sink for weeks without cleaning. Somehow, I even worked up the chutzpah to tell her it was hard on me to do all the household chores. I'm sure I was visibly upset (confrontation doesn't come easily to me), but I wasn't cruel or angry. She stared at me blankly and said "ok" a few times, and then went back to her room. As far as I can tell, this is when our friendship ended. Every interaction we had from this time on was very oddly strained ... indeed, the robot-like way of interacting had become her default mode with me.
At the beginning of the summer, as we were moving out, I realized I had forgotten to give her my share of the rent for one month; we had a pretty relaxed, casual arrangement, and since her parent's covered the rent, she didn't pay too much attention. I mentioned it to her, and she just told me to get it to her whenever I could.
After 3 or 4 months without hearing from either her or the OFFA, I decided to unfriend them both on facebook. Everytime I saw them pop up, I had a terrible pang of pain, and I decided it just wasn't worth pretending we're going to be friends anymore in any meaningful way. I didn't do this to hurt them; I did it to try and get past my own painful feelings and accept that our friendships were over... which it seemed they had both decided long before I did.
7 months later, and I learned through a mutual friend that my ex-friend/roommate is moving abroad to be with my OFFA. I'm mostly happy for them, in an abstract kind of way. I also learn that my ex-friend/roommate thinks I'm mad at them because they're together, which baffles me. Yes, that is a tangentially related issue, the tip of an ice berg. What I'm bothered by is this apparent disregard for my feelings, lack of loyalty, selfishness, the fact that neither tried to contact me, etc.
Shortly after learning about this, my ex-roommate/friend contacted me about the rent money I owe her. This doesn't bother me--it's understandable. We agreed on a time for me to pay her back, and it's fine. I try to keep my messages short and polite, but her e-mails are curt, bordering on rude. In the last one, I tell her I hope her move went well and I ask her to send my regards to the OFFA. She responds telling me that if I have anything to say to him I can tell him myself.
This absolutely breaks my heart, and now I feel both angry and horribly guilty. I don't know how to get over it. I want to explain myself, but I'm quite certain it wouldn't help anything. Am I in the wrong? What should I do? Do any of you have experiences with this kind of thing? How do you get over irrational feelings of guilt? Do I need to confront them?