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I’ll try to make this brief… especially because I’d rather not disclose certain details in an effort to protect the privacy of all involved.

Patrick was one of my bffs, is homeless after running away from an abusive family situation as a teenager, and has a gambling addiction. I got a txt one day last week that he’d blown what little money he did have on scratch-off tickets. He wanted me to feel sorry for him, but I can’t. He does these “runs” every night, that he claims are necessary for his survival, whereabouts he searches trash around town looking for discarded tickets and finds the ones that were actually winners and cashes them in. In the process he tends to find cash also. And I understand it must be a thrill to cash in on other people’s stupidity. But, this is catering too much to his gambling addiction, which I’ve gently warned him about over the years but he doesn’t listen. So he blew all his money… yet again. I simply cannot feel sorry for him, though. He doesn’t actively seek help for his gambling addiction, even his Facebook games cater to it.

Side note: over the last year or so, it seems like every time he’s unhappy with the amount of time he and I get to spend talking either online or on the phone, he says something about our friendship being over, or had been over for a while, or something about our friendship and its relative nonexistence. I got so sick of constantly hearing his lack of faith in our friendship. I know I couldn’t alwyas be there for him when he needed a friend, but he couldn’t always be there for me either. Sometimes life gets in the way and there’s nothing we can do to change that. All we can do is be there the best we can.

So, what usually works with Patrick to get him straightened back out is a “tough love” approach. So, I dished it out HARD. I told him I refused to feel sorry for him, and told him so again when he later asked for pity on FB as well, that nobody should feel sorry for him. I pulled out all the stops this time. But, it didn’t work. He assumed it was all how I really felt about him, and not just me dishing out the tough love to get him to snap back to reality. The only thing that has ever worked before to help him, and it didn’t work. Instead, he decided our friendship was over. Then posted on FB that I was the one who decided it was over. That pissed me off even more, the audacity to lie about whose responsibility it was publicly after devastating me by ending it to begin with.

Since I was so fed up with constantly hearing about our friendship being over, I decided it would be the last time I had to hear it. I hoped by warning it was the last time it would deter him, and he’d end up taking back what he’d said. But, no… he kept at me. And he was downright cruel. And, by the end of it, I had told him never to contact me again, and that any method in which he tried to contact me would result in him being blocked. And that I wouldn’t hesitate to change my email address if need be. Ok, so those were lies… if his contact to me is amicable, then no I won’t honestly block him. And nothing he can say would cause me to change my email address. If he has any regret for what he’s done, he’s welcome to say so… and possibly save this friendship.

I’m extremely devastated over this. Patrick was the one person in the last 13 years I’ve been able to talk to about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I gotta say he knew me inside and out. I never expected that he’d be a friend for only a season, I truly thought it would be for a lifetime. - True friends are the ones always fighting to be near you, not the ones always fighting to get away.

This got me to thinking, after I put my quote on the e-card. Patrick has been fighting to get away from me. So, not a true friend… at least, not anymore. Easy enough. But… there is someone who’s been fighting to be near me… someone I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, even before this drama with Patrick started back up. But, despite the fact that Mandie has been always fighting to be near me, I’ve been fighting like hell to get away… and mostly for reasons that are based on total bullshit. Or, how about, now that they’re in the past, why not leave sleeping dogs lie? There are a few things that bug me, but that’s to be expected in any kind of relationship between two people, whether friends, family, or lovers. Everyone has their quirks. I can get around those things… if that opportunity were to present itself again.

I have friends besides these two people. Michelle was my bff growing up in Wisconsin, and though we’re not as close as I’d like to be I do still consider her one of my bffs. And Celia was my bff once we moved to Georgia, and even though we had a falling out in 11th grade I still considered her one of my bffs as well. And we are back in touch, thank God! We aren’t all as close as I’d like to be, and I don’t get to talk to either of them nearly as much as I want to, but they are still like my sisters and always will be! And Diane and I have been friends for several years also, and have never even disagreed on anything! Sometimes it’s like we were two peas from the same pod, just living separate lives.

I have lots of other friends I’ve accumulated over the years, some I consider good friends even, but various things keep us from always getting to hang out or talk either. Some friends separated by too far a distance, some separated by too many responsibilities in their lives or mine. Things happen! But, they’re all still friends, just not as close as I’d like them to be.

For the foreseeable future, we live in the Quad Cities. And I have no bffs now in the Quad Cities. And, as much as I love my two bffs, they live far away and I need someone close by. Unless Michelle or Celia want to move here, I’ve got to figure out how to make that bff connection.

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