The Year of The Jamie

April 19, 2010 at 4:40 am (Thoughts on Life)

In my last post I mentioned that I’ve been overweight most of my life. Well “overweight” is an understatement. I was fat. Clinically obese actually.

Being larger than life, I grew up having a special social trick. I amped up my sense of humor and learned to laugh at myself before others did. I also learned pretty quick that getting people to like me was easy if I go totally out of my way to do nice things for them. This may sound like a good thing…like the “kill ’em with kindness” theory. Nope. This goes far beyond that.

I spent the better part of 2009 living with a girl who I thought was my best friend. Let’s call her Jamie. I met Jamie at a small group function with a church I had started attending that January. We made small talk with each other while people were arriving at the Pastor’s home. After the Bible study and group discussion, it was mingle time again. Jamie told me there was a massage chair upstairs that was to die for. So we headed up to try it out. Her husband and all the other guys went up to another room to watch a football game. After no less than 3 minutes in the room with Jamie, I got a very quick, “I’m having an affair. I’ve filed for a divorce and my husband doesn’t know yet.” Now, considering the fact that I had only known her for a total of one hour, this is not normal conversation. You’d think I would’ve caught on…hahaha yeah notsomuch.

Her husband was served a week later and was of course blindsided. Long story short, she moved into the apartment complex where her boyfriend had been living since he left his wife one month prior. The rent was more than she could afford and she knew I wasn’t totally thrilled with my living arrangements so she casually asked if I wanted to move in. No hesitation from me, I thought it would be like living with the big sister I never had. Mistake #2.

I risked a lot by moving out of my step-dad’s house so I knew I had to make sure she liked me enough not to kick me out the first time we had a fight. So I went out of my way to make sure that never happened. Every week, I cleaned the apartment before she had a chance to lift a finger. I offered to watch her kids for free so she could go be with her boyfriend. I brought her lunch at work because she would text me with a simple “OMG I’m so hungry”. I started bringing her a coffee from Starbucks almost daily because she would comment on my drink when I came home with one. My own life seemed to slowly fall away and it became all about her. In all fairness, I allowed this to happen by not setting proper boundaries. I sank deeper and deeper into debt and even stopped going to church because she didn’t want to go but I didn’t want to go alone. I was paying bills that weren’t mine while I was continuing to pay the minimum on my own credit cards. Ridiculous right? Well, hindsight is 20/20.

So her boyfriend left his wife and child and Jamie left her husband and two kids–all for this passionate relationship. I see this going well, don’t you? They broke up after just 3 months and she went into a severe depression. Thirty days of non-stop crying. She kept saying how much she wished she could be with her family and that a trip home would “fix her” and get her head back in order. She turned her life upside down and tore her family apart for the third time (did I mention that this was her third affair?) and this wasn’t my problem to solve. Instead of realizing that and continuing with my own crumbling life, I got sucked in even further. I called her sister and suggested we go in on a plane ticket together. Yeah, I know I’m an idiot and yep, you guessed it. Her sister never paid me.

Over the next 8 months, I started realizing that no matter how much I did for her, she was never once there for me when I needed a friend. Tensions were rising and I was getting extremely bitter towards her. It’s not worth it, nor do I have the time to go into all the things that happened in that 8 months but I will say that I have never in my life felt so hurt, trampled on, and thrown away than I did 2 weeks after I moved out. I found out from many sources that the entire time I was living with her and doing everything I could to help her and her kids–she was telling everyone around her was a bitch of a roommate she had to deal with. There were no words.

I drove myself into a few thousand dollars of debt helping her and for absolutely nothing. I learned a very valuable lesson last year; not just about who she is but who I really am.

I learned that giving up my self-respect, my good judgment and bits and pieces of myself for someone else is never worth it. True friends realize that friendship is give and take. Hell, any relationship is a give and take. I have a big heart and would do anything for a friend in need but those 11 months taught me some very real life lessons and I will remember them always.

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