My mama dropped some major knowledge on me. Or maybe it’s just major because it resonated with where I am right now. My most recent post, though focused on triggers for me in my life post-J, is really – as it seems everything I ponder and think through these days is – really rooted in the relationships I have now. They all become big sticking points for me at some time or another, but I’ve got a couple that seem to be at least in the back of my mind. But we’ll get to that in a second.

My mom and I had a lot of undivided attention to give to each other this weekend since her power’s out thanks to the storms that occurred last week in the South (btw, I’m PISSED at how little national coverage it’s gotten. There was some serious devastation right outside of my home city (well in it, too) and in Tuscaloosa, AL where I also have family). On my last night here she and I ended up in her bed talking about a whole lot of stuff and we landed on friendships.

In high school, I had a friend who I’ve referred to here as “then-BFF.” I’ve wanted to tell the story of our friendship, but like my relationship with J (and most other things in my life that have had a substantial impact) it’s long, arduous and not fit for a single or couple of blog posts. In any case, the synopsis is she and I became friends our sophomore year in high school, she had some ulterior motives around our friendship, got what she wanted and then ended our friendship shortly after graduation. Vague enough?

My mom talked about how she tried to keep me away from her because she could tell that this girl wasn’t a true friend. She said, “it pissed me off that she was using you that way… I always knew she thought she was better than you,” and she added that she knew I couldn’t see it then.

In an attempt to hear more of her reasoning, I asked my mom to tell me what it was about this girl that led her to conclude that she wasn’t going to be a good friend. Truth is, I always thought something was amiss about our friendship so I wondered if my mom could name what it was. Moms told me, “she was too cutesy cutesy…” In other words, too focused on self, looks and appearance. She went on to explain how this girl and I were mismatched and how she could tell from jump that something just wasn’t right.

My mom has an amazing ability to read people and I like to think I get some of that ability from her. Even in high school when this girl and I became friends, I knew something was wrong. I could feel it – things just didn’t sit right. I asked myself, for the duration of our 3 year friendship: “why is she friends with me?” From the way our friendship started right on up until the last day she spoke to me, that question hung on like a groupie. I couldn't shake it, though I tried and it would always rear it's ugly head at the most inconvenient of times: like when she conveniently failed to call to tell me she was headed to a party/event she knew I'd wanted to attend or making it a point to let me know a couple of folks had told her they thought I was a "bitch..."

It definitely wasn’t that I didn’t think I deserved her friendship. It was that I couldn’t figure out what would make a girl like her think that she and I had something, anything in common. Truth was, we actually did have a few things in common and I think if she had been more concerned with herself as a person, we might still be friends now, but that’s neither here nor there. Just like my mom did, I saw the mismatch but I was also a teenager who had her own wishes for the types of friends she’d have and so I played along to get along – being that girl’s friend exposed me to a lot of things that I would’ve never been exposed to without her.

So back to those relationships that bother me the most in my present life: I feel mismatched. I find myself wondering why these individuals are friends with me and this is something I’ve expressed here before – but now I have a larger idea to go with it. I want to know why we’re friends because the last time I was friends with somebody who didn’t feel right for me, it ended terribly. Though it’s true that now I’m grateful for both the experience of having had the then-BFF as a friend and the experience of losing her AND the experience of life without all that drama and stress… I don’t ever want to endure that sort of pain again. It was terrible – and while I know it was terrible because I was 17 and I didn’t know how much life was out there beyond my little situation – I do know that to have a friend I invest my time and care into and lose in that manner would be a heartbreak I don’t want.

So I keep coming back to these particular relationships: why me? Why now? What do you want and when you get it, will you bounce? I wish I could assuage my concerns by convincing myself that as adults, people don’t do this but I know that’s not true. If I really believed that, I wouldn't catch myself trying to form fit who I am into people's lives (those I want to be a part of) in a way that screams "you'll always need me..." It's a terrible thing to admit or realize or accept about myself because in the general way that I do things and believe things should be done, this is not in it.

I don’t want to be mismatched anymore or ever again. I know that I’m mismatched right now. But what I wonder is – can the mismatch change without the friendship ending?

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