I have always been a bit of an extrovert and I have never been bothered to dwell on gossip that is centered around me, which I must add is easier said than done. A few months back now I moved back to my hometown after travelling and experiencing the world for 4 years and, as would be expected, friends have made new friends and things are ever changing. I guess the story begins when my closest friend who I have never lost contact with introduced me to their new circle of friends which formed within the last year. After a few weeks I felt I had made particularly good friendships which these people, yet not so much to be naive as to think that they will be friendships like the one with my best friend, but as I trusted her judgement I opened up to these people, one in particular, Laura, who my friend had become extremely close and trusting of. Not that it matters on any level, but Laura is a wheelchair user, the relevance of this will become apparent later on in this "story".
After a few weeks of getting closer to Laura, opening up about the past and the journeys we have both been on, things started to become a little iffy. I found myself becoming an integral member of her network of supporters, staying round her house often to ensure that she was cared for and to help save her money, as she has to fund for carers to sleep round her house in case she needed support throughout the night. The money and the care factor never was a particularly large issue for me, it was really that I was enjoying the blossoming friendship. Since a young age I have been surrounded by family and family friends with a spectrum of impairments, so her impairment had never been something which I was fussed about giving attention. Most individuals with impairments I have met and scholars I have researched in the past have highlighted the fact that the worse thing to possibly do to an individual is to erase their independence, this must be highlighted now that in no way at all am I insinuating that care and affection are linked to the taking away of independence.
Back to the "story" things began to become a little static between Laura and myself, where I found myself being pelted with negative comments and attitude that some would remark to as bitchy, over slight things as to me staying round hers for 4 days (as invited by Laura as it would help her out greatly, her words not my own) prevented her from doing college work she had to complete because I didn't want to spend 99% of my time in solitude and silence. Most of the comments aimed at myself given to anyone and everyone that came into contact with her over the course of the next few weeks. Knowing that she was under a fair amount of stress I did not bring up the comments or the fact that I felt used to her and tried to forget them. Like before me and Laura continued to get closer and closer til I counted her as one of my closest companions.
Laura asked if I could stay round hers again for a few days to save her funded sleep in's until she needed to use them, which I agreed to do. Everything was good for the first day or two we had drinks, made good food and had a laugh. Round Laura's house she has a rigid routine in place and I have never been one for routines, but I tried to stick to her way of living. I found myself washing up, cleaning and pretty much all of her chores, which I had no issue with at all, but felt I was beginning to turn into one of those people who do everything for people with impairments, taking away her independence. One night we used her baking trays and the things were incredibly hard to wash up, so I suggested leaving them to soak over night, which Laura agreed would be the best option. In the morning prior to my departure, I cleaned the flat again and asked Laura if she wanted to wash the baking trays, which she began to do, and ended with the baking trays being damaged due to intense scrubbing, which resulted in myself getting the blame directly from Laura. Immediately I asked why she was in such a foul mood as to which she replied "I don't know what kind of slums you are used to living in, but I can't live in this kind of mess." Shocked I left her apartment and tried again to forget the matter. I did not know whether the slums she was talking about was in reference to my home, where my mother has a label called 'hoarder' as much as my mother keeps the majority of things that comes into her home, the home is always kept clean and with as much structure as a hoarder can have. Or was the slums in relation to my recent travels around the world? Both in my mind were pretty poor statements which would result in some hurt feelings. As I walked home I received an apology and an excuse that she is under stress with her parents on their way to visit. So again I let go of any hostile feelings I was beginning to feel towards Laura.
Many things have happened in between these stories and I am just highlighting the ones that stand out to myself. Mine and Laura's mutual friend is pregnant and after knowing my best friend for over a decade me and her mother agreed we should arrange a surprise baby shower for her. Now Megan's (Who is mine and Laura's mutual best friend) family have been a second family to me over the past decade, so me and her mother started baby shower plans. When the invites went out, all guests replied straight away, apart from Laura's. Immediately I was swamped with message after message from Laura, saying that she was going to throw Megan a baby shower and she is annoyed that I am, and me and Megan's mother have no invited the correct people. After message after message I told Laura to invited who she thought Megan would want to be there who I haven't invited, to which I was greeted with the response of "I don't want to get involved in your thing" Which I found particularly odd as it was our friends baby shower not my own. After and exchange of messages trying to convince her to invited who she believed would be missed by Megan she did, turns out they didn't want to come anyway. The day of the shower arrived and as would be expected there was still loads of sort out. and it was half an hour before everyone was meant to arrive. Megan was on the phone me saying she was going to have to make it an hour or two later, which was not good, so a lot of energy was spent making sure the guest of honor actually turned up! When I received a text from Laura asking me to sort out her transport home, to which I replied could we sort it out when she arrived as I had a lot to sort out at the time and I wouldn't leave her stuck on how to get home. To which I got another message basically saying that I need to do it now, following that I received another message from another person telling me to sort out Laura's transport and then I received another phone call off another person saying that I again needed to sort out Laura's transport, which very bad of me I ignored as I had just told Laura that I will be sorting out her lift home when she arrives, and chose to spend my time ensuring that the shower was perfect for my friend. When Laura arrived she remarked that she had sorted her own way home "Thanks to none of my help" and sat at the party like a grey cloud.
Since then we haven't really spoken, but Megan has come to me saying that Laura has a few issues with me, as I am selfish and inconsiderate as Megan is her best friend. In reply I asked Megan if Laura was a 12 year old girl who could only be close to one person and resented the fact that Megan had a "best friend" which wasn't her. After deciding not to tell Megan anything about the argument and the disagreements as she is in her last trimester of pregnancy and needed drama as much as she needs rabies, it turns out that Laura was quick to be the one who got her story in, missing out many vital parts of the story and making weak excuses for my selfishness and rudeness. Megan then asked me what was going on and I just said that its between me and Laura so don't worry yourself or stress yourself out.
Everything I have just discussed starts getting quite dark now and will show you the reason why I am asking advice
Throughout these months I had been dating one of Laura's old carers, who only really worked with Laura once and never bothered with her when she left the care home she was living in. Things got off to a great start and basically ended a couple of month later when I found out he had been seeing other people and just wasn't really interested in me which never bothered me, it was purely the way he treated me that upset me. Laura immediately took my side and gave me an ear to talk to and was a good friend, until they started hanging out more frequently and became better friends (Only friends and I know they do not have any feelings like that for each other). To cut a long story short Laura has had her fingers in both pies and played each of us against the other.
Recently Megan has told me that Laura and the Guy have been bitching about me with one of their other friends and the guy basically saying the reason he was put off with me is because....wait for it, he thinks I have Aids...Not even HIV, but full blown Aids. Which Laura has been agreeing with. My first reaction was to laugh, and please do not take offence if anyone reads this who has contracted HIV, but because its fabricated completely I find it pretty insulting and some what pathetic. The reason for my contracting Aids is because I have had one night stands in foreign countries (not that its their business but it was safe and why not its my life) This to me is degrading of individuals with HIV and also pretty racist. I could not care about mine and Laura's friendship being over because of a few pretty squabbles, but to start taking part in poisonous gossip such as a life threatening illness such as Aids, is pretty messed up if you ask me. Normally I would confront the three of them and ask them what they are doing with their lives, but because Megan (who I must add has stuck up for me) was told this in confidence by Laura she doesn't want me to confront her and the two boys. Which I have to respect. Megan is loosing the will with Laura, but feels she can't say anything because she is one of Laura's carers. Is there any advice anyone can give me in how I should be feeling about this whole situation?
a long letter it was.if megan is a good friend keep her.if you thank she,s two faced dump her and the rest of your so called friends.for one i would not hang around were i,m not wanted.hint keep your illnese no your self.meaning don,t tell anyone,except a sex partner.kick laura to the curb,she,s a user
With best wishes,
Sometimes people who are dependent upon others get resentful of the help and can take out their frustrations upon their caretakers. Your mistake was being too much of a caretaker and less of just a friend to her. So things like cleaning the pans get blown up into big things. She speaks to you like hired help. You have also gotten into a role of even being responsible for her transportation issues.
Also - it is not uncommon for showers to be helf for family members and the another one for just social friends or co-workers. So you and the mother were well within your rights to plan a shower with a different set of people.
Dis-entangle yourself from Laura, move into your own place and begin to live your own life.
PS - the AIDS rumors are cruel and show that there is jealousy in your so-called "friends." All the better that you get away from the entire bunch.
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