I have experienced a couple of toxic friendships, but the worst ended a little less than two years ago. We met in kindergarten and had been like sisters ever since. Both are parents were divorced and that’s part of the reason we became friends in the first place. Mine had already been separated for about a year when hers decided too. My teacher wanted me to talk to her about it, but we just ended up goofing around. She has always lived about 5 minutes from me. I would go to her place when things got too tense at my house and same for her. Her mom helped my mom raise me since my dad wasn’t very helpful. We always told each other everything. In 8th grade when my dad moved out of my dad’s place she was there for me. She was my rock. Sophomore year was when things started to change. Things that aren’t my place to tell happened in her life and I tried to be there for her. I was also diagnosed with depression and was self-harming. She also struggled with depression.
Now the beginning of Junior year was when things turned to shit. She would stop talking to me for weeks at a time and when I would ask her if we were okay she would dodge it. She stopped telling me things. I later found out that it was because she thought I was copying her. By having depression among other things. I thought that was really fucked up and I got pretty pissed. She was talking about me behind my back and wouldn’t even acknowledge me at school. I was putting so much effort into trying to rekindle the friendship while she was doing nothing. Relationships are two-way streets and both parties have to put in effort. By the end I realized that she was done with the friendship, but was too much of a coward to tell me. So I told her I couldn’t be friends with her anymore because it was exhausting.
So a couple weeks ago I took a trip to Montana for a friend’s wedding. This was the first time I’d ever flown by myself and I was a little nervous, but I knew I’d be okay. Flying home was a different story. It had been arranged that I would be traveling with friends of the family I was visiting. I had never met them before, but they seemed fine. I was to be flying from Kalispell, Montana to Seattle and then connect to a flight going to San Jose. The flight to Seattle was delayed 15 minutes and I only had a couple minutes in Seattle to get to my next gate and it was in a completely different part of the airport then where I landed. So naturally the people I was traveling with and I missed it. By this point my anxiety level was pretty high. To make things worse there were no open seats on any flight going to the Bay Area and the airport was going to put us up in hotel nearby. Now I did not want to stay in a city I had not been in before. I just wanted to get home ASAP. We were put on standby for a flight, but we didn’t get seats. I knew I was about to have a panic attack so I excused myself and went to the bathroom. I found a stall in the back and just started bawling. My mom tried to make me feel better by saying that the airport would take care of everything, but it really wasn’t helping. I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I was going to puke. I’d had panic attacks before, but this was by far the worst one. Eventually I calmed down and luckily some seats opened up on a flight home that night. When I saw my dad a couple days later he told me that I should’ve been better prepared and should’ve expected it. Now my dad is a very difficult person who doesn’t believe in therapy or sympathy. I tried telling him that I have anxiety and I get panicky when plans suddenly change. And since this had been a pretty big plan that was suddenly changed and I didn’t know when I was going to get home, I got scared and panicked as a person with anxiety would.
So yesterday was my brother’s birthday so we went to have a nice dinner Saturday night since we didn’t have time yesterday. We went to this nice Brazilian place that we have been going to for birthdays the past couple years. And during this dinner my brother and I started discussing all the fights we had gotten into and the horrible things we did to piss each other off (in a fun, reminiscing kind of way). For example, he once took all the things out of my bookcase and threw them on the floor. And we also talked a bit about how I had to share a room with him and also a bathroom with him and my dad. My brother then talked about someone breaking the handle of his roller backpack in half. Thinking I had done it and just couldn’t remember doing it, I started laughing. My mom looked horrified and told me it wasn’t funny. Turns out, my dad had done it and then had started beating my brother up. That was one of the first times my mom considered removing my brother and I from my dad’s custody.
I had been going to a therapy group for a while when I got my license. One day after group, my friend asked if I could drive her home. She didn’t live too far, but we still managed to take an hour to get to her house. That’s because she has no sense of direction. Not like my dyslexic friend. I would go one way, and she say it’s the wrong direction. I did about 3 u-turns before we finally started going in the right direction.
That was not the only fun adventure we had together. A couple weeks later I was going to drive her home again. We weren’t going to have a problem with directions this time, but actually getting out of the parking lot was the problem. The first thing that went wrong was ending up in a bus only lane. Took a hot minute to get out of that and we then ended up on Stanford campus. Now traffic was really bad so it was a tad stressful. We finally make the decision to use a map on our phone.
For once I actually had a pretty decent Thanksgiving. There was no question as to whose house I would be at, my brother and I were getting along, and I made pumpkin pie. Also, my brother told me something that made my week. He ran into our dad when he was getting off the train. They shook hands and had a short conversation. It’s not much, but it’s the only contact they’ve had in 6 years. In those 6 years they were never even in the same building together. Not once. My brother does call him by his first name and is still not ready to try and have a relationship with our dad, but for me this was a big step in that direction. And my dad really is trying to get better. He still hasn’t admitted that he is probably an alcoholic who needs therapy, but he has majorly cut down on his drinking. And even though I still can’t stand to be with him for more than a couple hours, mainly because he constantly puts his foot in his mouth, he is still my only dad.
I still haven’t forgiven him for much of the things he did when I was a kid, such as physically abusing my brother and emotionally abusing me, and I may never forgive him. But I don’t want to regret anything when it’s too late.
This was probably the scariest Sidney adventure. It was a Saturday night in October and my friend suggested that we go the haunt at Great America. Now my friend is dyslexic so she gets her lefts and rights confused. And multiple times she would tell me one and then say, “shit, I meant the other one.”
The first thing that went majorly wrong was when we could not figure out how to get to the Great America parking lot so we end up parking in some random parking garage across the street. To get to Great America we had to walk through a dark alley and then cross a very busy street. We ended up seeing this really cute cat which was a plus. The actual haunt wasn’t very scary. We went on a couple rides, had an overpriced hot dog, and walked around. When we finally decided to head home that is when the real scary part happened. We couldn’t figure out which parking garage we parked in and we couldn’t seem to locate the sketch alley. I tried looking for the cat thinking that maybe it would help us find my car. We went into a garage that we thought was the right one and started looking for Sidney. And keep in mind that my car doesn’t have one of those alarms that you can trigger from the keys, so finding Sid was going to be a challenge. After about 3o minutes of walking around a nearly empty parking garage we realize that it looked nothing like the parking garage we had parked in. So we search for the alley. When we finally find it we fast walk through trying to not get kidnapped or raped. And I see the fucking cat!!!!! So we finally get to Sid and I am so happy and I’m “hugging” him and kissing him. We are safe. Now getting back home was an adventure in itself. With my dyslexic friend giving me directions I had to make 3 u-turns and we almost got lost at least 5 times. We decided that if we really got lost we would just go to i-hop and just eat pancakes all night. Of course we miss the turn for that so we had to go home.
We did end up getting home safely and I have decided to never go to the Halloween Haunt at Great America ever again.
I should probably start out by explaining who Sidney is. Sidney was my first car. A red 1999 Mazda. We were such a good team for about 2 years and then I rear-ended an SUV. I thought Sid was still safe to drive; he was only a little beaten up, but my mom didn’t want to take any risks. My neighbor’s son is very good at fixing up cars and also happened to need a car to drive his daughters. So we sold it to him. This way, I still got to see Sid, I just couldn’t drive him anymore. Now I have Maxxie, but I want to talk about Sidney. More specifically the adventures we had together. So here they are (in no particular order)
Santa Cruz almost break down:
This day was one of my favorites. It was my friend’s parent’s anniversary so her, her brother, and I went to get dinner. At about 8:30 my friend said she wanted to go to the beach. Now we were in Los Altos. There is no beach within a reasonable late night driving distance, but I didn’t really think of that at the time. Her brother suggested Santa Cruz and that was the final decision/only decision made in the matter. Now Sidney was kind of an old car and couldn’t really handle much; speed bumps, driveways, and kind of bump, etc. And the drive to Santa Cruz is mainly uphill and I had yet to test Sid on an uphill road, but I thought it would fine. It most definitely wasn’t. Also my friend’s brother is kind of an ass and enjoys messing with people. So while we were going 20mph in a 60mph zone, with people honking at us, he thinks it’s funny to ask if anyone else smelt smoke. My mind immediately thinks that Sid was smoking so I pull over. Now keep in mind, there was no smoke, Sidney was simply getting overwhelmed. I also have anxiety so I am about to have a panic attack when I remember that one of my friends is in Monterey. I have no clue exactly how far Monterey is from Santa Cruz, even though we were still probably like 40 minutes away from Santa Cruz. So I call him and he just laughs and tells me that it would take him 4 hours to pick us up, take us home, and drive back to Monterey. So that idea was a bust. So I did the next best thing I could think of that wouldn’t potentially get me grounded for going to Santa Cruz at night when I was supposed to be in Los Altos. I called my mom’s boyfriend. I explain the situation to him, meanwhile my mom is already freaking out in the background, and he simply tells me to turn around and go back. So when I was done calming down from nearly having a full blown panic attack, I turned around and went to Los Altos, dropped my friends off, and went home. I was prepared to either get yelled at or laughed at for how stupid of an idea it was. I got the latter. To this day it’s a story my mom always tells other people. I’m never going to live it down.
p.s. my friend’s parents still have no idea what happened that night