This is something that I’ve been meaning to write for a while. My dilemma on this was whether to start off positive, or to end positive. Ultimately, I’ve decided to start off positive, since those are people deserving of my praise.
As for the ending, let it serve as a warning.
1 of 3: THE PEOPLE WHO STUCK WITH YOU DURING HARD TIMES
I’ve had some rather difficult times in recent years. I won’t rehash any of it. Rather, I’d like to use this space to THANK the handful of friends who stuck with me during the worst of times.
Hard times that last more than a few months can be exhausting for the person experiencing it, but it can also be draining for those friends who are sticking around to help.
Not only did I know that my rough times were exhausting for me, but I also assumed [and rightfully so] that it might take a toll on some friends who were there as sounding boards, or those who gave advice. This fact was not lost on me, and at times it would cause me to hate myself, as I felt like I was dragging them through the dirt.
To those friends, not only have I let them know that I am doing better, but I’ve shown them and myself that this is true. I consider this my reward for not giving up and hanging in there.
Now that I’m in a better position, I can be a better friend and lend my own shoulder and/or ear for a while. I recently listened to a friend talk for an hour, as he had some rather difficult situations to deal with. After that call, we talked again for close to another hour.
Yet more evidence to help me see the fruits of my labor.
2 of 3: THE PEOPLE WHO ABANDONED YOU DURING HARD TIMES
When the hard times first hit, I maybe lost close to 100 “friends,” or people who said that they were my friends. More about them in the next section.
That was immediate, and it was followed by a slightly slower loss. One friend who was once dedicated and supportive ended up taking things the wrong way in an email and ghosted me immediately, about a year ago. I sent an email asking if things were good, and then sent another about six weeks later.
This situation in particular, with this one person leaving, admittedly hurt more than the large groups who left. This is because I had sincerely believed that this person was a good friend. We’d been friends since 2009.
I suppose that if someone leaves based on a misunderstanding, and they are not interested in working it out, then maybe they ended up not being a friend after all.
3 of 3: THE PEOPLE WHO PUT YOU IN HARD TIMES
In stark contrast to the friends who remain, those who put me in hard times is the largest group of all. Sadly, I think this is the case for most people.
The 100 or so “friends” who dumped me instantly were the kind of “friends” who had me around because I was useful to them. I acquired these friends when I worked at MySpace. I was always ready to do the MySpace favor.
Once I was no longer working at MySpace, most of them put some distance between us, but claimed to still be friends. All they needed was an excuse.
That excuse came from two people who used me and scammed me out of my time and money. One of them LIED to all of these friends, so that he could take all of my music gear that was in a recording studio we were building, as well as keep my investment in the studio.
In a very Trump-style move of pure Narcissism, he told all of these “friends” a big lie about me. His motive was that this made it easy for him to RIP ME OFF IN PLAIN SIGHT, and he’d NOT get any judgment for it, because he’d already turned my friends against me.
And before he changed the locks, he looked me in the eye and told me that I never contributed anything to the studio, when I’d been working on it with him for over three years, and had invested over $5,000 cash, $8,000 worth of gear, and over three years of my life.
Pro-Tip: If you have a new friend who starts adding all of your friends on Facebook to their friends list, it’s a BIG red flag. HIDE your friends list if you use Facebook. It’s happened to me twice. I no longer use Facebook.
While a REAL friend would write and ask me if there was any truth to it, they instead chose to believe this person [whom they do not know]. Based on what he said, they began attacking me.
These worst-of-the-worst involve some ex-girlfriends, one ex-wife, and a series of people over the decades who would tell me they were my friends, and I would believe them.
These days, a person can tell me they’re my friend, and a woman can say that she loves me, but in this post-truth era of alternative facts and bullshit, I need to SEE that a person is my friend.
There are ways to figure it out, and I am looking through those online. If you are Autistic, like me, then I would highly recommend learning about these avatars of evidence and using it to your advantage, for your protection. I will write about this soon.
IN THE END
People change. Times change. Attitudes change. Whether it’s a friendship or a romantic situation, there’s a cruel trick at work. Relationships require that each person involved be able and willing to fulfill certain needs of the other person.
People change over time. Situations change over time. This is why I’ve usually had a problem with marriage, although I’ve let that philosophy slide three times in my life, resulting in one divorce and two almost-mistakes.
Not only does the ability and willingness to fulfill these needs change over time, but the needs of both people involved also change over time.
Within the context of marriage, there is so much change that it is utterly ridiculous to offer up a promise of a specific emotion [love] for a specific amount of time [eternity].
That whole mess seems dishonest, to say the least.
While things are less complicated with friendships, the same thing still applies. The people who are still my friends after all of these years, or even decades, have gone through their own changes. However, they had some elements of themselves that remained true throughout time, and will probably remain true until their final breath.
Most of these friends are either musicians, or they have some kind of musical ability but don’t play anymore. If they ever have to dish out any cruelty, then they save it for people who have earned it.
They’ve witnessed my Autistic weirdness first-hand, and are accepting of me as I am. This observation leads me to suspect that my Autism can serve as a filter to weed out all of the no-good people. This will be a vast change from it attracting these people. But that happened because I had yet to know that I was Autistic.
Beware of those “friends” and “loves” who put you into hard times.
Forget those “friends” and “loves” who left you during hard times.
And thank those friends and loves who stuck with you through it all. They are by far more valuable than anything that can be purchased with money.
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