This went on for a year or so, but the over the course of about three or four months, I realized I was being edged out of it. At first I thought I really must be just imagining things, but eventually asked someone else involved if they had any idea as to what was going on. She had no insight at the time and the edging out continued until I finally gave up on all of them. I'm pretty proud, and have zero desire to beg anyone for anything, especially friendship, so I just "walked". And honestly, I think the part that hurt the most was that they all just let me go without a fight or even a whimper, which I took to mean that no one cared, or had ever really cared at all.
Eventually it came to light that the perpetrator was involved in a Christain sect/borderline cult, and that God had told her that I wasn't one of the right people to be involved with. She then managed to manipulate and weasel her way in between existing relationships, as well as started letting her real colors show. By the time I was told about any of this, she had made her own bed, because nobody wanted to hang out with her anymore anyway. I felt so relieved on some level, because even though it was crazy, it actually made sense - it was something I could understand. The hurt with those who did not even care remained though, and I have not seen or spoken to any of those women in quite some time, not out of anger, but resignation.
A lot of good came out of this, believe it or not. The women in this group are wonderful people, but I think they were never really my people. I'm brash, irreverent, loud and direct. I also tend to use bad words sometimes, and most of these chicks are penultimate small town southern belles, in every sense of the word. Plus, red lipstick is the name of the game, and I just really cannot stand the stuff. The point is that while I was friends with and extremely fond of them, the bond just obviously wasn't there.
However, I emerged from this extremely painful experience with some truly valuable insight. The whole time the extraction process was happening, I beat myself up. What was wrong with me? What had I done? Why did no one care? and such. This became slightly obsessive, to be honest. I like to know WHY things go the way they do, and not having any answers just made me crazy. I cried, I lost weight, I lost sleep, and I moped. A lot.
But. One morning, I woke up feeling like myself again. The first thing that came into my head was, "I don't care." Not in a flip way, but in a way that I knew I was free of the whole thing emotionally. It occurred to me that I don't care what they think. This has nothing to do with me. The change in my thinking was like being let out of prison. I felt so free. And so, that chapter in my life closed.
I actually consider this to be my best day ever. It opened my eyes to how false an image I had constructed for myself to try to be accepted. Ever since then, my confidence has grown, my self esteem has grown and well, my "give-a-damn" is busted. While I am far from perfect, I know that I'm pretty darn okay. I'm kind, generous, funny, honest, loyal and am an excellent friend. In hindsight, being pushed out of that group was one of the very best things to ever happen to me.
What about you? What good has come out of your tough times? Or have you had a similar friendship experience?