addiction. or codependence? Kathleen Hanna? care to weigh in?

April 5, 2014 ginginbonbon

Last night I went to see a show, some 90s riot-grrl that I listened to back when my brain was young and supple enough to remember lyrics. Rad to see familiar faces still kicking so much ass. I used to shop at the same health food store as the bassist when she was in the Casual Dots, and as 2 of the 8 people under 35 in the DC area at the time, in the same shop, we would smile and sometimes wave. So, I’m practically famous.

A friend was there that I used to be very close to and with whom I enjoyed this music in particular. But she was with another friend a few paces away and chose to completely ignore and avoid us (another very close friend and me) the entire show. It was kind of unbelievable, even for her. And seriously heartbreaking to hear these songs performed live like we had done, drunk in the streets in our 20s on so many occasions. I was literally just over at her apartment hanging out two weeks ago. Not that I’m all important or anything, but it’s kind of a big deal, for me at least, because I have a baby and don’t get out much.

I’m 100% sure she was, you know, “partying”. Like I give a shit what she puts in her nose at this point (we’re 33, not 16. And yes, we have been tight since that age.) Like it’s us, her friends, who make things weird and awkward.

I don’t know much about addiction. This friend in particular has been just as shitty plenty of times when sober. It’s hard to believe that the addict in her can take up that much space and be so active even when there are no drugs around, but there it is. There was the time this summer when it was our friend’s birthday and she just didn’t show up, didn’t text, the usual. On her birthday, I was heading out to tam tams and gave her a call to see if she wanted to meet up. She said she couldn’t–later I saw pictures of her and a bunch of her friends that day, her sister and family too, having a nice picnic. And of course there was the shiatsu mattress I loaned her when she had a houseguest. I asked for it back during the holidays because I wanted to use it in our baby’s play room (and told her as much), but at this point I don’t even know how I can get it back. Or if I want to. When I went over there two weeks ago she had turned the small room with the mattress in it into a closed-door, no-air-circulation smoking boudoir.

It’s been so WEIRD to be extremely casual acquaintances with someone who used to be your best friend, for no reason that I can figure out other than they can’t quite seem to manage to not treat you like total crap at every turn. I used to react badly when she would pull stuff like this. (A lot of that I regret actually. I think that apologizing, or forgiving myself, will be most of the closure I can get.) Now I don’t say or do anything, but it hasn’t stopped happening. I often feel like I need a clean break, but that seems impossible. We know all the same people. This girl is super popular, while I struggle socially. Avoiding her, even stealthily, would feel contrived and stupid, and I’m no good at those games. Besides, it’s not how we do here. We pretend everything is fine.


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