Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cindy

Disclaimer: I realized after I wrote this post it sounds whiney, and I know I got a little long-winded. The subject matter for this post was on my mind today, and it was bursting to come out. It seems I was using my blog as my journal today. Disregard my whinyness.

Once upon a time, my best friend was named Cindy.

Cindy pretty much ruled my world from the time I was a sophomore in high school to my second year in college. She was the first person that I could talk about girly-business with. I was amazed at her blatantly requesting a tampon from me one day from inside the stall of the girls bathroom at school. A WHAT? I didn’t even want to admit to myself that I needed those things, let alone a new-best-friend in the making. She was witty, she seemed confident, boys paid attention to her; in fact, she had even kissed a few (I was a late bloomer in many ways!), and subsequently had earned a reputation that wasn’t completely undeserved.

We did everything together. We shared a locker our junior year. We got jobs at the same telemarketing business. We bought clothes, flirted with boys, slept at each other’s houses. We even lived together for a year; a year that changed both our lives and our friendship forever.

As I write this, I remember how glad I was to have a “friend” like Cindy, and that there was a lot about her that I admired, but I realize now I shouldn’t have. I wasn’t very confident in myself, and so I was always eager to go along with others (to a point!). If Cindy (or any of my other friends) was doing it, I didn’t want to be left behind or not “in the know”, and so eventually I would follow her path. This fortunately never got me in quite the trouble that it got her in. I was VERY lucky in that I kept most of my youthful misdeeds hush-hush to my family; I always held back just enough when the time was right, and this kept me out of most trouble. In fact, I was even able to keep most things Cindy and other friends did from my parents, like the time she got arrested for smoking in the parking lot of a local dance club (I was sneaking into a local apartment complex’s pool at the time; not a good place to be, but at least I wasn’t with her, and I didn't get caught!). I’m not saying this was good, I just luckily never to caught doing anything that resulted in the loss of my parent’s trust.

Having said that, I’ll go back to our friendship. As I said before, Cindy and I lived together for a year. We shared everything, even slept in bunk beds in the same room. She was with me the night I met the first person I ever fell in love with, Eric. She watched first-hand the troubled, up-and-down, together-and-apart relationship that Eric and I had for the 6 loooong months we were together. She watched when we broke up, and how I tried to put my life back together post-Eric. She watched another traumatic event that I won’t blog about. She was there for everything, and, likewise, I was there for her. It was like we were married to our friendship, and it seemed like we would stay that way forever.

And then, 3 months after I broke up with Eric, she made friends with him, moved into his storage unit (another day, another story), and married him 6 months later.

She chose him over me. She chose a messed-up drug-addict with severe mental and emotional issues over me, the friend who had stuck with her through thick and thin, who would have stayed friends forever. I didn’t know who to feel more angry at: him (who claimed that she was “ugly” back when we were dating) or her, the one who was supposed to be my friend. I didn’t want him back; six months of him was more than enough torment, thank you very much, but she was supposed to be my friend, and friends just aren’t supposed to marry the guys that break our hearts, right? Who could I trust if she, who had known me so thoroughly, was willing to do that to me?

Needless to say, we stopped being friends.

But: do you know what? It was the best thing that Cindy ever did for me.

Without Cindy, I realized I had a backbone. I realized that I didn’t have to rely on her or any other friends to give me worth. I realized that just because my friends lived a party lifestyle, I didn’t have to; I could build a relationship with God and try to be true to the things that brought me close to Him, and that the friends that mattered would still love me. I realized that there were better friendships out there, and that Cindy wasn’t really that good of a friend to begin with. Ask Shane about Cindy and he will tell you how much he disliked her and how she treated me. Ask my mom about her and she’ll give you an earful of things she saw & knew, but I didn't. But I never saw it until it was over. I had clung to the idea of that friendship for so long, but once the image was broken, I couldn’t put it back together in any way that made it appear to be a healthy friendship

About two years after her wedding, Cindy and I repaired a little of our friendship. I could finally be with her and her husband without being overwhelmed by a feeling of betrayal. It was at this point that I realized that I really didn’t give up very much by “losing” her. Apart, Cindy and Eric were both a little odd; together, they were down right kooky. I felt sorry that she had tethered her life to such a strange and tormented person as Eric. In fact, I still have dreams about them, and oftentimes she is divorced from him, and I feel a sense of relief for her.

Today is Cindy’s birthday. I haven’t spoken or had any contact with her nearly 6 years. Sometimes I try and google her, but the results always end up empty. I don’t really care where she is. But I remembered today that it’s her birthday, and it sparked in me a relief that I am living THIS life, that I have THIS husband, and THESE sons and THIS friend and THIS sister and THESE nieces, and all the other wonderful people who make my life good.

Happy Birthday, Cindy, wherever you are. And thanks for the favor.

7 comments:

Kasandra said...

Loved this post Becky, must have been hard to share. Amazing what we deal with without realizing how bad it is til we get out of it! Living with someone really brings out the best and worst, I roomed with my best friend in college and it wrecked our friendship for awhile, just didn't realize how different we were. We're much better now......
Happy for you, its that opposition in all things, making you so doubly grateful for the life you have now!! It's always sad to see what women will put up with in the way of relationships....even our girlfriends! There's so much to be said for people who help you want to be better, who praise instead of criticize, who read, read, read!! and so are always ready to learn.....thanks for taking the time to write........Kasandra

Kayci Bitton said...

WOW I am crying! Why?? I don't really know:) Maybe I am just so happy that Cindy did do you a wonderful favor. I love you so much Becky. I am glad to have you as my aunt, what a good example you are!! Thanks for sharing this experience with us. Hope you have a good day!

Amy Sorensen said...

You know...I think that even though we don't usually recognize it, the Lord pays extra attention to us during those crucial post-adolescent years, and things happen that just POOF change everything, and even though it hurts during the poof...one day you can look back and realize "OK, I get it." This ability to look back and see that helps me to hold on longer during a crisis. I'd never heard all of these details about Cindy and I am SO glad you wrote this post!

Melanie said...

I'm glad you wrote this post, too. I like to learn more about you, and I don't think you've told me about Cindy before. I'm so glad you're living THIS life, too, because we're so lucky to be a part of it!

Isabel said...

What a great post. And you know what? I can't even remember what Cindy looked like, but I do associate her name with a "reputation". Interesting.

Glad that things works out for the best for YOU!

Lucy said...

I often think about how different my life could have been had the Lord not given me certain trials as well. How great that you recognize it, and even better enjoy all the beauty that has come as a result.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you told me to read this. I do have to say I'm sorry I wasn't more supportive to you during this time. I was wrapped up in the Cindy drama also. She hurt my best friend and she never felt bad about it. I can't believe I stayed her friend after she did that. And it was so easy for her to disgregard her friends. Say la vie. You are a better person and always have been. You forgave her when you didn't have to. That shows that your heart and spirit is amazing. That's why I will always love you and be your friend no matter where life takes us. Rebecca