“I had a friend who always put me down and I always put up with it because….. I honestly don’t know why. I would say that she was not the worst. We did have some good times, but every opportunity to put me down, she took it. I always asked her to stop and she always said I was being too sensitive. One day, I snapped and lashed back at her and she got angry at me for that one thing.
That is when it hit me, she had normalized being mean to me to the point where, when I hit back, I was being abusive. Then again, I was right there when she was being mean and nasty and I took the abuse. Over the years, I would say something, but she would dismiss it as me being sensitive.
I realized how much I had been there for her and how little, if at all, she had been there for me. On top of everything, she was abusive and insulting regarding my appearance. I was there for her when her her abusive boyfriend left her, through her divorce, when she needed a babysitter, to help her study, but when it was my turn to need just a little bit of kindness, she already had a good job and a stable relationship and could not be bothered to be there for me.
Funnily enough, all I needed her to say was, ‘I’m sorry, I’ll do better to be there for you,’ instead she said, ‘if it was so bad, why did you stay?’
That is when I realized that she did not see me as a person with feelings and needs, rather as a tool that she can use for comfort and advice and a free babysitter for when she didn’t have money and a punching bag for her stress and the shoulder to cry on during bad break ups and family deaths.
It was time to leave.”