Monday, 25 July 2016

A Friendship Ended


As usual, it is the comments on Going Gently that have proved to be much more interesting and poingnt than the post itself. Such is the power of blogging and bloggers.
There is always someone out there with a more interesting story than yours.
If you get a chance read my previous blog's comments.
The story " Doc" left was, I thought a terribly sad one.
Two sets of best friends sit down at a boardgame evening. Over a minor disagreement over the rules one guy blows up, says some unforgivable things and storms out with his wife.
A long term relationship broken over sudden and unaccountable anger.
Now I understand why family members sometimes fall out, (The ties between relatives are not chosen links as they are between friends) but the break down of a friendship seems somehow much more sad to me .
Years ago, when I lived in York. I had a close friend I was very fond of. We played badminton together, sank pints in our local The Hole In The Wall together  and shared a love of cinema like geeky men do in their twenties .
He was a friend I felt I knew very well , so much so , that I was often welcomed into his parents home for meals and family parties.
Now, I know York looks rather scenic and quaint but like any city, it had it's darker side and I remember one night leaving the psychiatric hospital I worked at at the same time the nearby football team kicked out at Bootham Terrace.
I cannot remember what team was playing York, but I do remember the electric energy in the air as running skirmishes erupted between rival supporters in the terraced streets.
On the corner of one road, I could see three men scuffling with two others who were  in the doorway of a shop and I was flabbergasted to see my friend as one of the protagonists .
Our friendship ended there and then.
It was ended by my shock of the excitement and obvious enjoyment my friend showed in the violence  he was involved for it was like watching the face of a fox hound homing in on a running fox.
I was looking at someone I didn't know and didn't like .

He never saw me that evening, and I never explained why I dropped him as a friend soon after, which is something I still regret.
I just disappeared from his radar .
A friendship destroyed by a moment of madness.



53 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. When being told, it is customary for storytellers to slightly embellish their tales but stating that you used to play badminton with this thug is like stepping into a world of pure fantasy. J. Gray - badminton player? Next you'll be telling us that you used to be York City's reserve goalkeeper...or that you were a member of Great Britain's Olympic wrestling team.

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    1. I can imagine John with the wrestling team.

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  3. I was a fair badders player YP ...and my friend wasnt a thug....or i thought he wasnt that was the point of the tale

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    1. I apologise for any offence caused.

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    2. No offence taken......x

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  4. It's very unsettling when you discover an unexpected and rather nasty side to someone. I can see exactly why you dropped him on the spot. A bit like when someone who seems friendly and easy-going turns out to be a violent racist or gay-hater.

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    1. I think it was his excitement over the entire thing that put me off

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  5. Sometimes, it takes a moment of madness (drunkenness, hysteria) to bring out someone's true character.

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  6. Wow -- THAT's scary. To think that someone you count as a friend has such a dark, hidden side. I mean, we all have our secrets, but surely not to that extent!

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  7. Do any of us really truly know another person. We may think we do but more often than not can be ashamed/surprised/disgusted at something they say or do. I have quite easily turned my back on family members and so called friends do to their actions and yet I have had some make contact because they need help or a shoulder to cry on. My answer tough what goes around comes around get on with it.

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    1. You must be a tough person to be able to distance yourself

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  8. I read the comments to your previous blog and was stunned by the abuse inflicted by ex partners, but more shocked at the horrific behaviour of the parents mentioned. I come from a period when it was ok to hit your kids, and I did get a good hiding every now and then, but my parents never verbally abused me. As for the friend you saw behaving violently, I would have dropped him like a hot potato too!

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    1. It has always surprised me just how difficult some people's lives have been...it often surfaces here in blogland

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  9. I ended one friendship when I realized that I was the one who always made contact. I had called her one day to set up a lunch date and she was on another line and said she'd call right back. she never did and I never called her again and that was the last time I spoke to her. right now I'm avoiding any political conversations with friends I don't know very well because if I find out they support Trump, that's going to be a deal breaker.

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    1. Yes, one sided relationships blow.
      Isn't the US political atmosphere the worst? I feel like if you support Trump and his VP, just because they are "republican", it tells me you don't do your homework and just vote party. If you are voting for them because you think they have "balls" I worry that your own sanity should be questioned. What I fear most is knowing people who will be voting for these two douchebags because deep down they hate gays, blacks, immigrants, anyone who is not white and their pulpit has made it okay to be a vocal bigot. What a convoluted world we live in.

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    2. Some friendships are one sided and thats fine if both parties agree to the rules.......like you i have distanced myself from friends who show their true colours

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    3. ? So all republicans are bad and all democrats are good ?

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    4. not what I said angryparsnips so I would appreciate it if you didn't put words in my mouth. if you re-read what I wrote you will see I said Trump supporters are a deal breaker. anyone, R or D, who supports this particular man. period.

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  10. Wow, I'm glad I've never seen someone's dark side come out like that.
    One guy was my closest mate for about twenty years - he was my best man when I got married and everything - and then one day I was round his house when the realisation struck that he simply didn't give a shit any more.
    That day I walked away and haven't heard a thing from him since.

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    1. What happened for you to realize?

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    2. Conversation had been drying up and I was feeling a bit ignored and unwanted but he wouldn't speak up.
      He had a new group of friends and there was no longer any room for me.
      The fact he never contacted me again even when he got divorced, moved house and remarried just confirmed my belief.

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  11. i've had that happen when i've seen a side of someone i care about that i did not know existed. the worst is when you have a good friend that pairs up with someone you can't stand. you can't tell them but you can't be around them an longer.

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    1. Yes gkeeping your mouth shut is difficult in thesecases me thinks

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  12. I lost/dropped a friend when she discovered I had a gay nephew.

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  13. I will tolerate a lot, giving people the benefit of the doubt. Then, comes a moment when I've had enough and will tolerate no more. I had an ex once, haven't we all? We were together almost 10 years. I loved him very much to the point that I trusted my son with him. He worked at a factory nearby. One day he announced he was taking a training position which would require travel. I watched someone who literally had nothing when we met, turn into someone who looked down on servers in restaurants, became demanding about food, became impatient with my son etc. One day the company changed hands and the system he was training others to use was discontinued. He took a job within the company 2,000 miles away. I had bought a house that he said he loved although he spent little time living in it. I was in shock. I said I'd look for a job there but had no luck. I think I was too old, relatively. I was making too much money and I would not quit my job until I knew I had another one. Thank God I hadn't completely lost my mind, although this brought me very close to it. I begged him not to go. I reminded him that we got along fine before he worked for this company and we'd get along fine without it now. He told me he had to go or he'd lose his car. So, he left, taking a moving fan full of furniture, dishes, beds, bedding, everything he'd need to start his life out there. You may remember that he had nothing when he came to live with me. I had nothing when he left.
    The car he was so worried about losing was sold within 30 days of his moving. That was a "wake up you fool" moment. I flew back and forth as best I could for about a year, racking up airfare bills. I flew out one day for another interview. Maybe it's because my heart wasn't in it, maybe it's because I wasn't what they were looking for, but after dozens of interviews I received no offers. As I was leaving at the airport I told him that if this interview didn't result in an offer, that I was done with trying to find a job there. I told him this would be the last time. Telling the story now, it seems like one situation led to another, but there were awful, lonely times of self doubt in between that break our hearts and spirits. It took a couple years but I recouped. I don't understand people who say that they're friends with their exes. How can you be a friend with someone who rejects you? How can you be friends with someone who stomps on your heart and destroys your life? No thanks, not me. Fast forward years later. I've packed up my apartment and am ready to move to a new place with a man I was and am and will remain deeply in love with. He is now my husbear. The day before the move a box arrived. There was a message on it that there were some "personal" things in it that he was returning to me. I never opened that box. I wrote "addressee has moved on" on it and I sent it back. I felt it was a Pandora's box and if I opened it all the sorrow from that time would come flooding back. With me, once you're out, you're out forever. Would you have opened that box? I don't regret not opening it.
    Oh, I did hear from him one more time. He must have been desperate. He said I owed him 1/2 the money from the sale of the house to which he contributed nothing. I told him I lost $40,000 selling that house less than two years after buying it. I told him he owed me about $19,000. I never heard from him, again.
    I'm glad I never opened that box.

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    1. A story of self worth me thinks.....i have been through a similar experience with an abusive ex.....once you imerge on the other side...you realize just how foolish you were and how blind you were re not reading the signs. Thank you for that comment

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    2. This one would cost you if you had to go private.

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    3. Unless he stole your jewelry, you were wise not to open it!

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  14. The second to last friendship I 'lost' I am still somewhat in shock about after discovering that one of my closest friends had not gone AWOL due to being 'snowed under' but had started to serve a year's sentence in Prison after propositioning two 11 year olds in a swimming pool... It took me over six month's to even begin to believe it was even possible... As he pleaded guilty it was... I still cannot reconcile the person I thought I knew with what happened. Evidently he too had been abused at that age and was full of demons that he never, ever referred to and though I have great compassion for him right up until the moment of his 'cry for help' (the only way I can think about the whole thing) I go blank at the point it involved destroying the innocence of two more humans... And who even knows it this was the first offence as claimed.

    It has taken so long to begin to process this that I haven't dealt with it at all with him and now it's probably too late.

    I am mostly fairly 'eagle eyed' and yet, even in retrospect, there were/are no alarm bells.

    The most recent loss of a friend seems to be about holding me responsible and punishing me for the shocking tone of the ENTIRE Brexit campaign! (I only slightly jest!) Which as she and I have seen the world very similarly for over twenty years seems a rather odd for a friend to believe.

    xx

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    1. How awful for you and for everyone involved .

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  15. Unfortunately all my friends are 'virtual' ones on line. In reality none of my real life friends lived up to expectations letting me down over and over again. I no longer have room in my life for such people. As the saying goes 'with friends like those who needs enemies?'

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  16. You are getting us all to tell tales that make for dismal and sad reading ... your next question has to be a happy one ... or we'll ask Winnie to take over the blog ;-)

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    1. I thought this sue......tomorrow will be lighter I promise........

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    2. Yes, Sue, let's campaign for Winnie !

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  17. Your discovery must have been a shock for you and very sad. One of my red flags is rudeness to anyone in the service industry or in a subordinate position. In my time I've hauled students into my office for the "we're all on the same team" (you little shit) chat for bad attitude to cleaning staff. Dread to think what kind of leaders they will become.

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    1. Politeness to any and all service staff is something i insist on...i hate people who treat others badly

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    2. My daughter, a bright, intelligent and beautiful girl (I am biased) once said that everyone should work at least a year in a service industry, just to see how bad it can be. It would be a wake up call to all the rude and arrogant people who abuse people in these positions.

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  18. Wow! Your readers have amazed me with their personal horror stories. You've generated mass confessions, John.

    I have some relatives who haven't spoken to each other in over FIFTY YEARS because of a misunderstanding about a telephone call that happened in the early 1960's!!!

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    1. Now THAT IS SAD.....wouldnt it be great for them to get back together

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  19. I had a friend tell me that I was "needy" once. I felt like saying "Pot - Kettle !" but didn't.
    I removed myself from her orbit. We are slightly friendly now & I know she wants more but I won't put myself back there.

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  20. Hi, let me introduce myself .. my name is Needy.
    I moved back to the US with my husband and a few months later, after buying a house in a totally unknown unfamiliar part of NY State, my husband died suddenly. He had not been ill.
    I did not even know the names of the neighbors. We had barely spoken to a couple of them.
    I was a 3 hr drive for relatives to come visit.
    That my dears is Needy.
    Every day some total stranger would come to my door and offer me food, drink, flowers, advice and sympathy.
    I am not ashamed to say I cried on a lot of totally unknown shoulders. I even had a policeman make it a point to come by each night and check on things ... he had heard that I was newly alone and clueless.
    Hearing that car slowly cruise by late at night, was a comfort.
    If a store person, shop keeper asked me how I was doing, I either cried or talked their ears off.
    Needy.
    And looking back, all my memories are not of how awful it was that I was so needy and pathetic but how wonderful those people were who stood there and listened. That was all I needed. Just so I would be sure that I really wasn't the only person left on the planet.
    so "Needy" means something to me but it also means that I will stand there and let someone else talk and talk or whatever, if they are feeling needy.

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    1. How I love that your need was met, and that you return the favour.

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    2. That was beautifully writtenx

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    3. Beautiful. *hugs*

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  21. Late to the party, as usual these days, but I did leave a comment on the last post.

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  22. Let me be the voice of disdain, it was after a football game, the adrenaline was and sometimes people get carried away. I mean it wasn't like he was wearing hobnailed boots and kicking some 80 year old lady into the curb. And no one said anything about loyalty, you know, through thick and thin. Me, I probably would have asked him why he was acting like an asshole, not shut him out, I mean, where's the loyalty in that?

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  23. I've been thinking about this awhile and came back to answer. I haven't dropped many friends (probably because I don't make many, so there are no extra ones to spare) but the couple of times I did, later I came to find out that things were not as they looked. That has been a lesson to me. There is often a story behind the behavior, if you take the time to find out. I am talking about people you've know awhile, not superficially. However, everyone has different criteria and different life experiences and maybe I've just been lucky.

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  24. In my life there is an alternate universe where all my disappeared friends live, they just go and I never see them again. The last was a husband and wife I'd known for 30 years but when they found out I was working for the lobby for marriage equality, the stunned husband just said 'you like gays?' in that tone of voice. We probably would be friends still if I'd announced I'd chopped up my husband and buried him in the compost. The neighbours were just as bad, I figured the husbands thought I would infect the wives with my glorious freedom and the wives thought I would be looking to run off with their husbands. Instead I married a blog and discovered long distance friendship.

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  25. It is usually what someone says that ends a friendship, but silence is just as deadly. We have all done it and more times than not, we don't regret it.

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  26. Maybe I'll get the last word on this.....probably not but worth a try:
    Will Rogers, American Humorist, said he never met a man he didn't like. I read it somewhere that he never met a man he didn't like because he didn't stick around long enough to get to know them.

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