Hi there!

This is going t be a long one, so hunker down.

My article is written from the perspective of a forty-two-year-old woman who no longer accepts mediocrity and one-sidedness in her friendships, and who has erected one final boundary.

Yes, I have been hurt and disappointed alot in my life and by this particular person, which is the only hurt that matters in this case. I would never transfer my experiences and feelings toward one person to another.

As far as compassion, sensitivity, and true friendship (the latter not being part of any psychology curriculum), these are first resorts, but they should NEVER come before the preservation of one's own mental health and well-being. When it's time to save one's self from an unhealthy relationship of any kind, compassion, sensitivity, and true friendship does not have to be shown toward someone who has none.

After YEARS of broaching the topics of downward spiral and stagnation, and helping her with her children, household chores, and life planning when she was too drunk, high, or sad to handle any of it, I'd had enough of this one-sided friendship.

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:

(1) The woman never even visited me except twice in three years -- to use my pool and to ask me to watch her children. Yet, every other night she asked, "Wanna come over?" After a while, I noticed she would drive 30 minutes to visit other friends, the ones she would never ask to do the things she asked me to do, like watch her kids, fix broken things around the house, or install a damn security system (like I'm some sort of handyman). This was her willfully demeaning me.

(2) She got so drunk at my wedding, she embarrassed me and herself. My guests still talk about it to this day, how she told everyone how awful HER marriage was on MY wedding day. This was her taking the focus off of me and my marriage and placing it on hers.

(3) She criticized even the sketches in my third book back in 2009 when I showed her the pre-bound pages that came in from my publisher. The sketches! Pencil sketches we paid an artist to make to look like the ones in The Joy of Sex. In front of my mother, son, and another friend, she said they said they were awful and proceeded to name all the things she thought wrong with each one. She is not an artist, has never drawn anything in her life, and that book went on the be another NYT bestseller. This was her undermining my successful career because hers had since faltered.

NOTE: This incident caused us not to speak for four years. Yet, here she was, back in August, doing it again. And I'm not the only one whose livelihood she criticizes from the sidelines of life. I've heard her do it with at least 4 of her closest friends, all of whom are successful in their lines of work.

(4) She LOVED to tell me how much her friends didn't like me and how poorly they spoke about me to her, and ofcourse, how much she would defend me to these people I don't even know because she's a REAL friend. She even put me in confrontational situations with people she knew didn't like me, even though I'd never met them, all in the name of "you guys should meet and talk about it." This was her pretending to be the hero to distract me from the fact she was the villain.

(5) Once, I was very sick. She called and said she was concerned and would bring me some oil of oregano and other natural remedies the next day. She never came, then, called me a day later to let me know that she drove by my place (1 block away from hers) but had forgotten about me. Then, asked me to come by her place as soon as I felt better. This was her showing me she didn't care about me or my well-being and that hers was and should always be the priority. Classic narcissism.

###

If a woman had been in a relationship like this with a man, we'd tell her she was in an emotionally abusive relationship, because that's what this was.

Fuck compassion, sensitivity, and true friendship at this point, and fuck anybody who would tell a woman to show any of these traits in an abusive situation.

Also, just because a woman chooses to leave a relationship doesn't make her life lonely. As my grandmother says, in our native Caribbean accent, "One monkey don't stop no show."

Furthermore, judgment is important and we should all exercise our right to righteously judge the people and situations we let into our space. Without judgment, we cannot assess and discern. Ergo, without that righteous judgment, we would not be able to make informed decisions about what is best for our mental health and well-being.

It is that introspection of which you speak that allowed me to finally give her the what-for and walk away from her toxicity and abusive relationship style. It is that introspection that, after years of giving her another chance, informed me it was time to hop off this circus ride and go home.

If anyone finds themselves in this sort of relationship, they should do the same. And if they've had it up to here with being gaslighted, they should say what they need to say exactly how they need to say it, and not give two shits about how their abuser receives it.

I left that relationship, and then, my family and I moved 3,000 miles away. And what did she do recently? Follow me on the ONE social media platform I hadn't blocked her yet.

Now, tell me that's not reminiscent of a sick relationship with an abusive ex-boyfriend.

And this, sir, is why you have no right to criticize. Not because of my work accolades; that's silly. It's because you too have shown no compassion or sensitivity in your response, which makes you no better than my abusive ex-friend.

Good day.

Written by

3x NYT bestselling author. Pen name Karrine Steffans. Psych Major. Performance + Life Mastery Coach. lilibetovesen.com

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