How a friendship left me bruised

It was about three years ago when it happened. My friendship of sixteen years had ended through a text message. You read that right. A text message. I was dumbfounded.

For the following few months I had an array of emotions: anger, sadness, disgust, but the one emotion that overruled them all, was disappointment. I couldn’t understand why, my best friend who I talked to nearly every day on the phone couldn’t just tell me how she was feeling.

To then find out that she had allegedly felt this way for a long time, left me absolutely stunned. In fact, if I remember correctly she told me to go “write about it in my inane blog.” I thought this line was funny at the time, considering that before the incident she had praised me for putting myself out there.

Why am I writing about this now? Well honestly, it’s a bit cathartic. I feel like I need to get rid of this story and address it before I can move on with my blog.

Before I continue I think it’s important to know that both parties involved have apologized in some capacity, years later. I am only writing this so that you have something to read with your coffee this morning and to explain my whereabouts the last three years. It seems so stupid to even write about now that I’m sitting here trying to type it out.

IMG_9605The gist: I went to a wedding shower, I slipped in mud and landed on my ankle. Laid up on my friend’s couch for the remainder of the weekend, I could tell she was angry with me but when asked she would just say she was “fine.” Final day of the trip, went to the airport with our mutual friend who had flown in with me. It wasn’t easy because I was on crutches and was essentially useless so she was awesome and helped me through the airport in a wheelchair. After my boyfriend Matthew had picked us up and then dropped the mutual friend off at home I received a very long-winded text message explaining that our friendship was effectively over, I was no longer invited to the wedding and that I was denounced as godmother to my godson.

Again, this is just the gist. It was believed that I was milking my injury because in some skewed version of events I was jealous of what this person had, or that I had Munchhausen Syndrome. Two pretty outlandish claims. So essentially, I was told that I was a laughing stock at her party, that I did this to myself and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. A camel for which I had no clue was in the equation.

The story leading up to the event: I had been working my ass off up until the day before I was set to leave on vacation. A few weeks before this I had been running on my treadmill when I tweaked something in my ankle. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I probably have the weakest ankles on the planet and that I have done more than my share of time in the dreaded boot.

I went to the doctor and he said that I had outstretched some ligaments from my previous injury and that I would have to go back in the damn boot. So, I had been wearing my boot at work but my doctor wanted me to take it off while I was home so that I can try to strengthen and tighten those ligaments back.

Full disclosure: I did not wear my boot when I went on vacation. I knew that we were just going to be at her house for the weekend and my thought was that if I wasn’t wearing it at my house then I should be OK with not wearing it there.

The incident: When I got there, I noticed my ankle was sore from carrying the extra weight of my bag. I don’t have one of those nifty roller suitcases. I walked it off for the night and the next day (the day of the party) it was definitely achy. I asked my friend if she had an ace bandage and I think her mom was the one that had one. We had been back and forth that morning running errands for the party and getting the house cleaned up etc.

I had wrapped my ankle once I got ready and when the party started I went to go take some pictures. I walked out into the yard where my godson was playing on the slip and slide with his new step brother and sister and some other kids.

Earlier they had filled up water balloons to pelt each other with later on. Knowing that my ankle was sore and with the dress I had on, I took small steps as I made my way over to them especially because I was wearing my flip flops and the ground was wet. Yeah, I know, not a great combination.

Well, Grace being my middle name, no precaution I took was big enough apparently and my left foot hit the mud and slipped out in front of me. I landed in a modified split if you will and on top of my right foot, hearing (and feeling) a loud pop. I was immediately in pain and my ankle started to swell pretty quickly. My friend’s neighbors rushed to my aid and helped me into a chair.IMG_9567

After about twenty minutes or so maybe, my friend’s brother offered to take me to get it looked at, at the nearest urgent care. Now, because I felt a pop and with how quickly it was swelling, I of course said yes. Why would I wait until the next day to see if my foot may have been broken? I was a server at the time, I am constantly on my feet. Not to mention I was in college and my campus was the second largest in the nation. No, I think I’ll go now. So yeah, I took what I thought was a generous offer from a friend to go get it looked at.

The doctors there only had an x-ray machine and with that they were able to tell that nothing was broken, (thankfully) I was told it was a severe sprain and to follow up with my doctor when I got home. They sent me home with a pain prescription and a brace.

Full disclosure: because I made sure that all my bills were paid before I went on vacation, I was short on money and was expecting to get my student loans any day. My friend’s brother offered to pay the $50 and I told him I would pay him back once my student loans hit.

We returned to the party, I took a pain pill and my friend gave me a beer. Of course, that combination left me feeling much better. I have always been a lightweight. My godson had made me a little card that said get well soon and was genuinely concerned. All the kids were, which for me just means that they were all raised by awesome people.

So, for the remainder of the night I hopped in and out of the house to join the party. The kids (being kids) would come up on either side of me saying “here you can use me as a crutch” I thought it was cute. They’re kids. They’re just trying to be helpful.

I could tell there was tension, I’m not oblivious to people rolling their eyes. So at one point in the night I just went into the room and hung out with the kids. We may at one point have made some prank calls to the local Pizza Hut. Something about their refrigerator running. At the end of the night I shared the couch with the friend I had flown in with, my ankle propped up on some pillows.

IMG_9588The next morning, I was for sure feeling the pain. You know how when you slam your finger in the door or get hit really hard in the head you can feel your pulse radiating from that spot? That’s sort of what this felt like. The girls went that morning and took what money I had left to buy the prescription of pain pills and to get me some crutches.

The rest of the weekend was just awkward, it sucked because I was immobile, well aside from the hopping, so they would leave me behind and go hang out at someone else’s house. Me not wanting to be a burden I didn’t mind staying behind.

So, I was left on the couch in an empty house watching reruns of Once Upon a Time on Netflix while doing my homework. It just sucked. I was bummed out that I wasn’t able to hang out with my friends, I was embarrassed that I had busted ass on my friend’s big day which I’m sure was embarrassing for her too. Like “here’s my super graceful friend Meghan.”

The last day there I really tried asking her if she was upset. She said no she was fine. They would be out on the front porch, so I would go out there too. They would move back inside. It was so childish. Now, this next part is what broke my heart.

My godson. He wanted to go with us to the airport and she wouldn’t let him. I had him sitting up on my lap and told him “don’t worry bud I’ll see you in a few months for the wedding, and I’ll be able to give you your birthday present, don’t worry I’ll see you soon.” I told him I loved him, gave him a big hug and then we left. I didn’t think that would be the last time I got to see him.

The car ride to the airport was silent. At this point I think I even asked again if everything was alright and she said yeah. I remember shaking my head like yeah OK.IMG_1382

The airport was equal parts a pain in the ass and hilarious. I was struggling with my crutches and this damn bag, so we got a wheelchair and I think the mutual friend I had flown with carried the bag and I pushed her suitcase in front of me, or the bag hung on the wheelchair, I can’t remember now but we made that shit work and she pushed me through the airport. I to this day am super thankful she was there with me. However, I didn’t know this at the time but apparently that was going to be the last time I saw either one of these women again.

My boyfriend Matthew picked us up at the airport and drove our friend home. It was shortly after that, that I received the text. Granted this was three years ago and I didn’t save any of this on my phone because after a while it’s just a black cloud you keep looking at wondering if the sun will ever peak through it again.

From what I remember and in no specific order she told me that I caused a scene at her party. That I was the joke, that this slip and fall was used as an ice breaker and everyone laughed. That her brother only took me to the doctor to get me out of the party. (I decided not to pay him back the $50, truth be told I needed it to pay for my medical expenses). That it was pathetic that I was “using” the kids as crutches. That I should have just popped a pain pill and drank a beer and waited to go to the doctor the next day. (Even though it was offered for me to go).

IMG_1381 (1)Let’s see, I was no longer invited to her wedding, I was no longer my godson’s godmother, that I would never see him again. She didn’t want him around people like me. That I did this to myself. That the doctor’s note for my prescription said “mild sprain” and I was exaggerating. That I hurled myself into the mud to gain attention. This was just the text, it doesn’t include the digs at me on social media as well. This went on for a few days.

 

I don’t know why we couldn’t have talked about this while I was there. The day after the party…two days after. I mean seriously it was three days that I sat on her couch. Three days. Not a word. Sixteen years and I doubt that all of that stems from me slipping in some damn mud. It was ridiculous.

IMG_9608The next day I had a doctor’s appointment, for a follow up actually in regards to my stretched ligaments on the treadmill.

Imagine my doctor’s face when I came in on crutches with my now black and blue foot the size of Texas. I told him the story and he did another X-ray.

Again, it showed that nothing was broken but it was obvious that something more was going on. They set my ankle into a wet cast that I had to wear for a week and set me up for an appointment for an MRI later in the afternoon.

So, there I was with my foot in this big machine with nothing to do with myself but sit there and think about how absolutely screwed up this whole situation was. When the doctor told me my results I was just so damn angry.

When I fell, I landed in a way that my ligaments outstretched even more pulling the bones in my foot to one side and then popping them back into place. That was the pop I heard. I somehow managed to bruise every bone in my foot.

Fun fact: bruised bones apparently take longer to heal than broken ones.

IMG_1386Diagnosis: cast for a week, boot for at least 7 months, and therapy for a few months after that. Oh, and did I mention that I wasn’t allowed to work on it? Oh, and it was my right foot so I couldn’t drive. There’s also the fact that I didn’t have health insurance at the time so paying for all of this out of pocket was just lovely. Let’s just say that this one slip and fall set off a ripple effect and changed my way of life for a good year.

A part of me wanted to send her a copy of the results and say “damn I’m good, I hurled myself strategically into the mud and bruised every damn bone in my foot just so I could spite you and then fuck myself for the next year!”

One of the last things she said to me was to go write about it in my inane blog. Again, I found that funny considering that just the night before she was telling me how cool it was that I had started a blog.

I didn’t want to write about anything at that point. I knew that if I wrote about what happened that I would be angry, and I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction.

For the next 7 months, I had lost my job, I struggled with going to school and had to find rides to get to class. I wasn’t allowed to walk on it for a while at all, so I used one of those old office chairs with wheels to wheel myself around the house. I made it work but it sucked.IMG_9754

My boyfriend had to take on a lot of the expenses and then at one point all of the expenses. He had to help me shower for that week when I had the cast on because I couldn’t get it wet.  For the record bathing with one foot outside the bathtub, is no easy feat. Once I got the cast off he had to shower with me for months to keep me steady because I couldn’t put any weight on it.

It changed everything. This one slip and fall. This rift in my friendship caused a ripple effect in our lives.

Fast forward to a year after that and I had finally been cleared to go to work. I started serving at a new restaurant. Shortly after that I found out I was pregnant with our son. A year after that he was born and I graduated college. Now I am a stay at home mom raising this awesome little human. We agreed I would stay home to save money on childcare and put it toward his college education. Matt works his ass off to provide for his family and we are thankful for it.

There was a time where it felt like I couldn’t get away from this event. That for months and months when things would get hard and I was tired of lugging that boot around, I found myself saying, “if she had just told me sooner how she felt, maybe I wouldn’t have gone and this wouldn’t have happened.” I felt bruised. I was heartbroken to have lost my friend, and even more so that I wouldn’t get to see or hear about my godson anymore.

IMG_9785Now I realize that as cliché as it sounds, everything happens for a reason. The only communication I’ve had with her since, was the day after our son was born. She text me apologizing for how she handled things and congratulated me on the arrival of our son.

I wish neither one of these women any ill will, and I’m thankful for the time I had with them. They taught me a lot about the kind of people I should surround myself with. Truth be told there were times in our 16-year friendship where I second guessed the relationship as well. Perhaps I should have been more forthcoming with my feelings when they occurred. I apologized for what happened over and over, and to this day I’ll apologize for ever making her feel as though she couldn’t approach me as her friend and tell me how she was feeling.

Biggest lesson I learned from this: just be honest with how you feel. If you think that someone is unapproachable, chances are you didn’t try that hard. Just be honest. Hiding your feelings isn’t healthy and, in the end, you’ll just end up bruised and in the mud.

 

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