Looooooong ass post…

One of the things that I promised not to blog about…

I’ve tried to be respectful of other’s privacy, which is why I don’t really write about my friends beyond the IVP and such, or about Narda’s personal stuff, or my mom.

But I started this blog as an outlet for ME, and then it became a land of self-censorship. But I need to get this out, I need to share, I need to know that I’m not a bad person, and that sometimes, it actually IS the other person, and NOT me.

This may be long.

At the end of 7th grade, my K-8 school and another local K-8 school changed, merged, what have you, and my school (which was my primary school after I left private, Yeshiva-Day school,) became a K-5, and the other school became a 6-8 school. So just before my 8th grade year, I went to Robert Gray Middle School. I made some friends, I still had friends from the old Hebrew Day-School, and all was good.

In High school, I made some other friends, not tons, but some. I went to two high schools, actually – one in the morning for academics, and another in the afternoon, for theatre arts. I can count on one hand the number of people I am still in contact with from those years, despite the best efforts of classmates.com, facebook and myspace.

After High School, I went and lived in Israel for about a year and a half, and then moved to NY, and went and got my associates, and then took another year off, worked doing theatre, and then transferred to Hofstra, and got my Bachelors in theatre production.

Upon graduating university, it became imperative to move to NYC, in order to, you know, “be a professional artist, and work in theatre for the rest of my life (koff koff)” I moved in with a college friend, who’s family lived in NJ for a spell, and then got in touch with an old High School friend, whom I had known since the “merger,” if you will, of the two schools in Jr. High. It was great, she and her roommate were looking for a third roommate, to split expenses, and we were all in our mid-20’s, when multiple people in a tiny amount of space was natural and comfortable.

A few years later, the old friend from High School and I moved on, and got another apartment, where we each had our own bedroom, a shared living room, kitchen, etc. We even got two cats. We had separate, and together social lives – we’d hang out and do stuff together sometimes, and sometimes not.

Fast forward to 7 or so years later, it’s 2000, and we each, of course, enter the “7 year itch,” we find every little thing annoying about the other, we each have our own girlfriends that we are bringing over, and all of our quirks seem expanded. It’s normal. I was still a smoker then, and refusing to smoke outside, I’d smoke in my room, with the window open, sure, but I’m sure it was nasty.

But then.

Then she started getting a bit too specific about things. If I did the math wrong on a bill, and I mean, by being off by ONE PENNY, she’d leave me a nasty note for me, all in caps, saying that it was WRONG!!!!!! It’s $23.84 each, not $23.83 each. Um, OK. Now, granted, she had survived me not being the best bookkeeper, but I was far from being a vagrant, and even if late, I always paid my share of the rent (I was a free-lance stage manager – HELLO…. Not a “9-5” kind of world). But things started getting weirder and weirder. She had decided to cancel the phone service, and I had called the phone company to ask about changing it to my name, and she WENT OFF on me for calling the phone company, and if I wanted my own phone, to create one from scratch. Um, WTF? The phone company was cashing my checks, too – what difference does it make if it switches to my name or cancels? (obviously, this was before cell phones took over our daily lives, and we were still using the phone to access the internet… you know, on a MODEM.) And all kinds of weird shit like that started happening.

About a year after Narda and I were together, she (the roommate, not Narda) started leaving me “hints” around, like ads for apartments, and the like – and THEN she started bringing boxes home, with notes saying that these would help me in my move.

If you are looking at the screen funny, with furrowed brow, head tilted to the side, that’s the same reaction I had in the moment. Now of course, I’m not the easiest person to live with, but I DO believe in communication and even if it’s hard, I believe in talking about the hard stuff. I believe in getting things out in the open, and I DO NOT believe in head games. Which obviously, were in place here.

After some discussion, and Narda having talked to HER roommate, we agreed that I would move in with Narda and her roommate. I did one of the hardest things I had to do – I gave custody of the cats to my old roommate. I did, however, in a vindictive act of retaliation, call and cancel the electricity and AOL, and told her that if she wanted either, she’d have to set up her own account. I also had a good relationship with the landlord, and told him to use MY half of the security deposit as MY last month’s rent. She had a hard time getting her girlfriend on the lease, but the landlord gave me a beautiful letter of recommendation a year or two later when Narda and were applying for a mortgage, etc.

So after I moved out, which SHE claimed as a victory, and I felt was empowering myself, she had sent an e-mail, stating something to the effect of that “in time, we could both be friends again, yada yada yada.” I moved on with my life, and many of our mutual friends were simply amazed that we had lasted 7 years as roommates, and all agreed that it was best that we had gone our separate ways.

Then September 11th happened. She worked downtown, and all self-imposed superiority complexes aside, I was worried about her, and we re-connected, thankfully, she was OK. (I finally got a hold of her folks).

I think we saw one another a few times after that, and made some e-mail attempts to make plans, and exchanged a few holiday cards, but that was that.

And now we come to present day, more or less. (If you’re still reading)

Someone a while back suggested, that for fun, to google your name. I did. I found myself in lots of theatre quotes, reviews, mis-quoted for something a lighting designer said to me eons ago. Heh – they still had me listed at my old job as a contact. (That was helpful, so I let them know about that one) And then I googled a few friends names, including hers. And I found out that she and her partner were TTC w/o luck. Now I didn’t bring this up to her, because, well, that’s kind of personal, but I did e-mail, and ask if anything new was going on, to, you know, open the door, so to speak. I told a mutual friend of ours, in confidence, about it, and we both pondered the concept of her as a mom. And we both kind of had a quick visceral reaction that we both acknowledged.

As many of you know, I recently received my Ravelry invite. It’s AWESOME. There are MANY knitters there, with talents that are FAR superior to mine. And I searched around for some patterns for Malka that I might use in the future, and guess whom I found? The old roommate. I dropped her a line, added her as a friend, and excitedly awaited a response. Her response was pleasant, and encouraging. I then responded with: “Great, I see you’re on flickr, and I’ll make you a flickr friend, so that you can see pictures of Malka.” I got the following response:

Shelli,

I have tried to be gentle, but you are not getting it.

I don’t want contact with you. Please unfriend me on flickr and Ravelry and do not attempt to contact me again.

I spent the better part of the morning crying. Not so much in that I didn’t’ expect the royal welcome, but in the stinging, sharp rudeness and hurtfulness of this response. Narda called, mid-cry, and immediately, used a number of negative words about her. I said I KNOW, I shouldn’t have expected anything less, but it’s still hurtful, and WTF?! I sent our mutual friend a note, forwarding this message, asking her if she’d heard anything from the old roommate, and she simply replied with love and support, which sent me crying even further. I’ve shed the tears I needed to shed over this, and I’m moving on, but the sting, the pain I felt at the emotional slap in the face was hard, and writing all of this down, which was the original point of my blog has been helpful.

Again, I know that I’m not perfect, and that I’ve made many big mistakes in my life, and I know that we can get enmeshed in other people’s “emotional stuff,” but it’s helpful to know that sometimes? It’s the other person who’s the wack job.

So if you’ve made it this far?

Thanks for letting me share, and for having an outlet for my emotions.

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33 thoughts on “Looooooong ass post…

  1. WTF??? That is seriously messed up.
    It seems to me there was no indication that she didn’t want to talk to you EVER again. And if so, shouldn’t she have said something YEARS ago???

    And then to say it in such a blunt and mean way. I don’t know her, but she sucks and you’re awesome.

    Sorry you had to go through that. 😦

  2. I made it to the end and I wanted you to know that I think it’s her and not you. You are lovely. She has issues.

  3. definitely her and not you. very, very weird. was she a total wackjob when you lived with her or did she seem more normal then? i can’t imagine saying something like that to someone, unless we had had a major falling out that was obvious to both parties. and it sounds like you two never really had that. it was more a living arrangement that ran its course, with both parties perhaps acting out a bit. glad writing it out was cathartic. good riddance to her, ey?

  4. I”m comming out of lurkdom to say that she sounds like a rude person, and prbably has become a negative person. She is obviously UNhappy about something in her life one way or another otherwise she would have welcomed pictures of Malka and conversation as to how far the both of you have come. It’s always fun to look back on our confused/crazy/younger years and laugh about it, its simply too bad she hasnt grown up enough to be able to do that.

    So ya, basically, im comming out of lurkdom to say, it aint you baby!

    Besides, surround yourself with solid, positive, confident people and it will reflect a better you!

  5. seriously…that was a harsh thing for her to send. & by harsh I mean over the top and rude.

    she is doing you a favor by cutting the cord this way. Who needs that sort of hostility?

    (((hugs)))

  6. Wow, what a harsh and hurtful thing for her to say. No wonder you were so upset.

    Even if she didn’t want contact for whatever reason, she could have just let it rest and end naturally. That message was just unnecessary.

    I don’t know her, of course, but I know you. There’s no way this is about you.

  7. Ugh! I hate stuff like this. People who are hurtful when it is TOTALLY unnecessary suck. People who are hurtful in general suck. I’m sorry you were on the receiving end of someone else’s crap. Give yourself some love.

  8. I agree with everyone above- this is clearly her issue. And it appears to be one of many, if she is that mean about a freakin Ravelry and Flickr “friendship”, she has some serious serious issues….

  9. Yeah, definitely her, not you. I’ve had a few friendships gone sour, and like you, I’m always willing to connect again and forget the little stuff. Some people just aren’t, though. They like to hold grudges or something. Still, she did not have to be so mean. Do you think she might have been extra sensitive because you have a child now and she does not? (not that that is any excuse)

    (Oh, and as an aside, I have to say that after Portland dismantled all their K-8’s, it’s ironic that now they’re going back to trying to put them back in.)

  10. Straight up she doesn’t make any sense. I mean, she continued to maintain pleasant contact with you and gave no indications of anything and then went berzerk. My guess is that infertility is behind her and “pictures of Malka” put her over the edge, but still – her issues, not yours. It’s not you, baby!

    But but… crazy aside… you went to Hofstra? When? I went to Hofstra! We can wax poetic about the unispan and the Adams Playhouse and the bush that looks like a cock and balls!

  11. Here’s my opinion…

    I think she was, like it or not, in love with you. You guys were living together for 7 years, shared friends, shared a life, had cats together, etc etc.

    By how you tell it, everything started going downhill when you started going out seriously with Narda. That is when she started to freak, and when she started dropping hints about you moving and such.

    The fact that you are living a happy life, with a daughter, only exacerbated the initial feelings.

    Why I think so? Because the only way she could have such a violent reaction is if she was in love with you, and to a degree, still is.

    3 1/2 years ago, I broke up with my ex of 5 years because I found out she was cheating on me. She had constantly tried to gain a “friendship” with me after we broke it off, and I tried several times, but each time she mentioned how happy she was with the girl she left me for, I just flipped. It didn’t matter that I was in a great relationship at the time. I just couldn’t bear to know she was happy WITHOUT me.

    I think the same thing is going on with your ex friend.

    Dunno… Could it be?

  12. I am soooo very sorry, that’s pretty darn awful and I can’t believe it was said.
    :hugs: to you- it’s her loss and I say good riddens!
    Remember you’ve got a lot of great friends out there – even online 😉

  13. Aw, honey. I hope I haven’t friended her on Ravelry. If so, I shall spite her and remove her.

    I think Erika may be onto something, though. Still, what a shitty, spiteful way to go about it. Can you see how you’re better off without her in your life, at least?

  14. Shelli, I’m so sorry she hurt you. That was mean and spiteful and hurtful and she sounds like an unhappy nasty person. You are a wonderful and much better off without her. Big hugs to you.

  15. Delurking to say that I know you both and have done so for a very long time and she’s the headcase, NOT YOU my dearest.

    I don’t think she was in love with you – but that’s an interesting theory! I’m sure the ttc/Malka stuff didn’t help, but that’s no excuse whatsoever. She simply unpleasantly different, emotionally inconsistent and hurtfully harsh, and has been as long as I’ve known her.

    I’m maintaining my anonymity (but you will probably figure out it’s me!). Lots of love to you!

  16. That sucks. I am glad you went ahead and posted about it because that can really help the painful feelings. But as others have said, it does sound like she’s the wack job.

    I mean, she did not have to friend you on ravelry if she didn’t want to. Weird.

  17. How horrible. I’m sorry she put you through that. For such hatefulness and mean-ness, there is never an excuse.

    Light and hugs headed your way.

  18. Wow, that is one spiteful woman! I usually lurk, but wanted to say sorry that she hurt you. I think she needs some lessons in common courtesy. On a side note, I too went to Robert Gray Middle School in PDX.

  19. Oh honey, that woman is just plain rude and stupid. No one writes notes like that, no one nice anyways. It hurts to be treated like that and you don’t deserve it at all.

    You are better than that. The most generous perspective is that she is in a personal hell and lashing out. If she doesn’t need old friends to help her, that’s her choice.

  20. What a wack job. I made it to the end, and yes, it is NOT you. However, I do agree with the commenter who thinks that she was/is in love with you. I had a roommate once, straight no less, who freaked out when I started dating Tina. Tina was/is convinced that she had a crush on me and it sounds like your ex-roomie is the same way.
    At any rate , when we become adults, part of what we do is learn ot be grateful for all kinds of friendship and ecstatic over old friendships recovered Life it too short. This woman needs to grow up.
    I hope you feel better for writing and sharing. On another note, I also went part time to academic high school and part time to a school of the arts, for theatre! Never met anyone else who has one that, outside of my school mates. Cool!

  21. Of course I made it that far. Lost friendships suck. I think lost friendships suck so hard because each person in our life holds one piece of our memory. With Narda, it’s a huge piece. With this woman, it’s a small piece. But it’s still a piece. And once that person has a piece of your memory and is holding on to knowing a part of you, it’s hard to feel fully whole again knowing that piece is out there and it’s unaccessible. I lost a friend in college and I still think about her to this day. It’s been 13 years! But knowing that someone out there knows this part of me that even Josh doesn’t know–this teenage Melissa that existed before we met–makes me sad sometimes.

  22. It’s so painful when friends-turned-roommates goes sour, and then doubly painful when your attempt to reconnect gets rebuffed like that. I’m sorry 😦

    [Also, thanks for the comment!]

    [Hope this doesn’t double-post – I’m having some problems here…hmmm]

  23. Ouch.

    No, I don’t think it’s you.

    I posted on Mel’s blog about a book I read last summer, “What Did I Do Wrong? When Women Don’t Tell Each Other the Friendship’s Over.” The author, Liz Pryor, has a website too. She makes the point that in romantic relationships, we are generally allowed to ask for and receive closure, a statement of blame, a clear break, whereas as “friends” we often resort to passive-aggressive measures, causing enormous amounts of pain and confusion.

  24. How terribly painful. Obviously, this is not you, but her. But it’s hard to feel that way. You don’t deserve that kind of treatment, and she is unkind to cause you such hurt. I’m very sorry.

  25. Just catching up with you darling. Wanted to send you some love and say, you were most certainly dealing with a confused bitter person.

    Scorpions are always scorpions, or rather… they will always sting.

    *hugs*

  26. I got an almost identical email from my best friend/college roommate a few years ago. I feel you. It’s totally HER, not you.

    xoxo

  27. Have been enjoying your flickr pictures and didn’t know you had a blog till you commented today on mine! Thanks for visiting! I will continue to visit yours now that I know there is one!

    As for this person, she is a nut job! Just be glad that she is out of your life! It is even worse when crazy folks like this keep harassing you with their craziness and don’t get it that you don’t want to hear from them. I have a sister-in-law like that!

  28. Shelli, I’m so sorry about that situation – it is SHE that is the messed up one. I’m sure she’s having jealousy issues too… and that makes her more ‘hateful’ as my mom would put it. I’m sorry she was so ugly to you. I hope you can feel better about it soon and move on. Chalk it up as a life experience that has helped you grow as a person… too bad she hasn’t been able to.

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