Hello again, so today's topic is something that has basically been eating away at me for about a year and a half now. It's something I don't think on a daily basis anymore, but it's a recurring thought because of the lack of closure that I received from the experience. Today's subject isn't such a "fire-starter" like my previous post about politics, today I'm going to share an experience with you about the destruction of friendship I had with someone since I was quite young. This particular experience is as I said something that lacked closure and has generally left a bad taste in my mouth figuratively speaking, it is something that has caused me deep emotional conflict, anger, hatred, regret, and of course sorrow. Despite the fact that there was almost no way for me to change the outcome of what would happen in retrospect, I can't help but feel I could have tried different methods to resolve the problem without causing such social and emotional conflict. I guess I should get right to the story, it is quite a long one so grab some popcorn. The friend which I'm referring to will not be named due to obvious reasons of anonymity and such, however I will refer to him by his first initial "S" to avoid confusion throughout the process of writing this.
A quick background info, S and I had been friends since around the 5th grade, he was a kid who lived in the neighborhood but went to a private Christian school partially due to the community being extremely conservative and the fact that his mother, who was single, was a fairly fundamental Christian woman. Because of this, amongst other things such as his personality in general, he was picked on by kids our age when we were younger. I was in the same vote so to speak but with a different group of kids since I went to public school, but I related to his interests and his disdain for those who would cause us harm, so we became friends very quickly. Over the years we spent lots of time playing video games at his house and my house with other friends, usually mine because he didn't have too many. Jumping all the way up to around 2010, the year I graduated high school, he's already in college because he's 2 years older than I am yet he really doesn't have a lot of friends, so I'm mostly still hanging out with him on the weekends while I go out with my other friends on the weekdays. After meeting some friends at BC, he decides to introduce them to me, which sets of a chain reaction of meeting like-minded individuals thus creating a new circle of friends which consisted mainly of myself, S, a guy named Hans and another guy named Robert, there were/are still others but they are not a part of this story. After forming this group, we would frequently gather on the weekends to play games such as Super Smash Bros., engulf pizzas, chug sodas, and talk about the most ridiculous and insane topics we could think of. That was our weekly routine, it never really changed much, however that doesn't mean that "we" changed, and by we I mean our personalities. As I've grown, I've seem to become a bit more mature and responsible for myself in most aspects of my life, while S was still stuck in the fantasy world of the youthful-minded. Hans was closer to the mentality of S while Robert was more closer to my own, so we had a sort of "split" psychosocial spectrum, but that doesn't mean we didn't act like complete idiots and have fun. However it seemed that he did not pick up that around his age was when he should be looking to clean himself up, obtain more responsibility for himself so he can support himself and those he cares about like myself. This isn't where the problems began, but it is certainly a moment of revelation that something was seriously wrong with my friend, his personality and lifestyle choices.
Staying around 2010, this is where I start to observe a negative change in behavior from my friend. At the time I thought nothing of it, so all of these observations are in retrospect prior to a particular event which will be discussed later. From this point on, I noticed a slowly but surely increase in aggressive behavior, alpha-male complex, an extremely bloated ego which would deflate rather quickly given by most forms of egotistical opposition or the introduction of anyone new he had not met before. This behavior would affect my daily life, our friend Hans' and Robert's at times as well. His aggressiveness would not only belittle Hans regardless whether we were in public or private, it would become not only annoying but almost worry-some at times because his character reflected upon us as well given the fact that we were with him in public, and this was not only embarrassing at times but really just generally disrespectful to those around us. He wasn't directly disrespectful to those around us in public, but his demeanor and his attitude would often have some sort of contextual carry-over to the people around us in some indirect manner. It's kind of hard to explain considering it's been a while since I've actually been around him so I can't give a much better explanation than that, so bear with me. His alpha-male complex was probably one of the most unbearable things I could endure whilst being friends with this man, because he ALWAYS had to win, if he didn't win at Super Smash Bros almost every round he would get super pissed and pick characters we ruled as off-limits, be a cheap asshole and generally have poor sportsmanship or be a sore loser over any single loss. Granted, we all had the same frustration but only if we would just constantly lose at whatever we were playing, which is an understandable and acceptable attitude to have when you're trying to accomplish a goal, however to S beating everyone all the time was more than just a goal, it was a ego reinforcement tool which he used to make himself feel better about himself, a sort of sense of self-accomplishment and self-validation if you will. In retrospect, it's actually quite sad, but at the time it was still insanely frustrating and unnerving to deal with because he basically took the fun out of the room for many of the nights we would all hang out together. I think my explanation about his complex doesn't merit an explanation for why he has such a bloated ego, however why it's so easy to dissipate is actually quite intriguing. He grew up without a father in his life, so his mother has had to assume the role of both mother and father in his household. At this point, this is all pure speculation and theoretical understanding as to why he acts the way he acts, but I believe that this whole sort of self-validation through this alpha-male complex is a form of re-masculating himself because he may feel that his mother has and still emasculates him at home, and perhaps that or something worse has actually happened in his home, I don't know this, but what I get from his behaviors is precisely what I just stated.
Moving on, after observing this for quite some time up until late 2012 to early 2013, my friends and I got fed up with his attitude and his ego, we started to chat about it online and eventually all came to the same consensus. However, we had no way of dealing with it really other than to not hang out with him, which probably would have ultimately been the wiser decision in the long run, but we didn't want to just abandon our friend so we decided to put up with him for a while longer. A little while before deciding this, a particular event that was suggested by myself which was meant to help S would end up triggering the events that led up to our current situation to this day. At the time, S had quit our local community college for numerous reasons, all which were valid because it's a shitty school that is riddled with corruption and politics(just like our government! ) so I had no reason to object to such an idea. However, the school which he decided to study at just left me dreading: Devry University, the world's most useless paper-mill school(I'm referring to the fact that you literally just show up for class and they print you a piece of paper saying you completed it without learning anything whatsoever). He wanted to study game design and art just like myself, however he was going there to study graphic design to get a hold on working digitally like myself, we didn't have the luxury of having a decent digital art community back home because it's mostly an agriculture and oil gold-mine. At this time, I was going to our community college because I was smart enough to do everything for myself there, get all of my finances from federal grant money and not have to deal with anyone but the professors there, so I recommended that he quit Devry and go back to our community college so that he could actually learn how to do some half-decent work there. I even offered to help him pick out his classes, work with him on projects since I knew what the professors would be looking for, etc. etc. So he agreed and dropped Devry, however that's literally all he did, he just dropped out of school and didn't bother applying to the other school. After learning about this, it really pissed me off because I was trying to help him get on track and he just decides to quit and stay at home all day. That's not where the problems end though, that's only the beginning! He stayed at home for months, all he would do is sit around and play on one of his many game consoles he owned or played Aion, a game which we both played at the time. And after these months of just sitting at home, apparently he had been telling his mother that he was in fact going to school, feeding her lies and bypassing any suspicion with quick-witted remarks or generally playing stupid. At one point, she had asked me straight to my face whether or not he was actually going to school, I lied to her and said yes and I have no idea why I did, perhaps I just didn't want my friend to be kicked to the curb. Whatever the case, it was a decision I sorely regret, because from then on he expected me to cover for him whenever his mom would ask him these questions. As time passed, I began to question his lifestyle choices, particularly how he was able to afford such things as going to a gun range frequently and even bring myself, Hans and Robert along with him and have us all shoot an entire box of ammo for each person. We didn't think about it too much in the past because it was just something fun for us to go do to let off some steam, however when things started to get seriously bad between all of us and S, we eventually started pondering to ourselves how we could afford this, video games, eating out constantly, etc. So one day I'm hanging out with him, and out of the blue he gets all excited over some email he got. I questioned what he had read, and he said "Oh yeah, I got my college money from grandma, time to go shooting!". This immediately triggered the light bulb in my head, putting 2 and 2 together it all finally made sense now. During his time at Devry, his tuition was rather expensive and he wasn't receiving much financial aid so his grandmother paid him about $1,000 a month to cover tuition, food, gas, etc. while he was going to school. Regardless of how much money she may have had, it was not right that he was taking this money and squandering it on things that he wasn't supposed to be doing, and not only doing that but also lying about his schooling situation to his mother and grandmother technically because I'm sure she wouldn't just let him keep taking that money if he's not doing anything with his life. It was at this moment that I realized my friend had a serious problem.
After having this epiphany about my friend, my other friends Robert and Hans came to the same consensus about sitting him down, confronting him and holding an intervention for his destructive life choices. Yeah he wasn't doing drugs or alcohol, committing any felonies, etc. but his particular lifestyle was being self-destructive and damaging others around him, he used video games as a coping mechanism for whatever deep personal issues he had that he wouldn't tell us on top of the ones we could already establish as a factual problem in his life. So after having all of my friends come hang with us at his house one weekend while his mother was out, we sat down and held this "intervention" for him. This was poorly planned on my part, and I probably should have done better in hindsight, but we basically sat down and discussed our issues with him and let him know that we knew what he was up to with his grandmother's money. Here's where the part of the story gets interesting, because we all came to these conclusions based on speculation and not actual physical proof, yet he never once tried to defend himself or say that we were wrong. And if this were the case, and that he could provide proof and that we had misconceived the situation then the next dreadful events would not have happened, however this was not the case. He simply stood there, acknowledged the problems, tried to play it off cool and accepted our demands. We told him that he needed to seriously get signed up for school or look for a job within the next few months, plenty of time to do either one at the time since this was at the beginning of December, and registration didn't open until mid-January back home. Finding a job might have been a harder thing to do because employers back home had a reputation for not hiring unexperienced workers regardless of what level of entry, even McDonalds. Our community hiring standards were on a really ass-backwards standard where if you knew someone who was already hired at the establishment or knew someone who worked there previously they would hire you unless you were a complete disaster, but if you looked presentable and acted nice they'd hire you on the spot even if you were the world scummiest asshole afterwards. This is why we allowed him to sign up for classes at our local community college as a sign of trust and good faith because it doesn't take much effort to do so, making it an easy way out for him. About a month and a half goes by, registration is closed for schooling and he hadn't applied for a single course that semester OR the summer semester. I was absolutely furious, we wanted him to show us that he could do something for himself to turn his life around and he completely blew it. He wasn't actively seeking employment at stores around town either, this I knew for sure because I would spend a decent amount of time with him during the weeks following as well as my other friends to keep an eye on his progress. So myself, Hans and Robert met again to discuss his actions and decided to have a secondary intervention to tighten the grip on his situation. We all went for a drive and sat down in my friend Hans' car and had a heated discussion about his actions. He understood what he was doing, which I will get to later, so we knew we needed to be a lot more serious with him. We set down a rule to find a job in 2 weeks or less, he could not sign up for classes as an excuse because he already squandered that easy chance we gave him, and as the kicker if he didn't show us any results that we would tell his mother about his actions including lying about school and stealing his grandmother's money, our actions taken to try and help him, etc. The next day he texts me saying he signed up for 12 units at our community college, I was absolutely furious when he texted me this because we had specifically told him this was not a way out anymore, and he knew this but I had no idea why he did this at the time. After seeing this, I said a lot of things that while I don't think need to be apologized for given his next actions, were frankly pretty fucked up. After the two weeks were up, he had shown no signs of improvement, no determination, all he did was take a picture of the START of a McDonalds application and a door of a welding company that was "hiring" at the time, pretty lame ass "attempts" to actively seek employment right? And the whole point of this wasn't to actually see him get employed so he could do something with his life now, all we wanted to see was his desperate and determined attempt to try, we demanded proof of his applications because we wanted to see him actually try to fix his life and do something beneficial for once rather than leech off his family and perhaps society in the future. Regardless, he had failed to do this, so it was time to tell his mother about the situation. However, I never truly planned to tell his mother like a "tattle-tale", I wanted to approach his mother so that we could seek help for him because he really needed it. But before doing this, I decided to contact one of his only other friends outside of our circle(totaling to 2-ish lol), and what I received back from her was absolutely astonishing. Truly, have I never seen anyone so idiotic, blind and foolish as this girl. Apparently he had been telling not only her, but his other friend who was kind of the trio of that small circle they had, and perhaps his mother as well that we had been BULLYING him, TEASING him, RIDICULING him, she even had the balls to say that I was projecting my own personal problems and short-comings onto my own friend whom I tried so hard to help! Like she's some fucking all-knowing psychologist, and granted I do use a lot of psych terminology but I do not declare myself an expert in psychology in any way, I just tend to observe these things in that particular manner. She continued on her rant, exclaiming Biblical verses along the lines of "pulling the log out of your own eye before helping your brother" or some nonsense, I understood what the actual verse was trying to convey but her contextual implication could not be any more wrong. She hasn't been friends with him NEARLY as long as I had, she never saw him anymore than once a month whereas I would never see him less than once a week! How could she judge me and my shortcomings when she didn't know me OR him that well, yet I knew almost everything there is to know about my best friend? THE BETRAYAL!! He had gone behind our backs and spread nasty lies and made himself look like a victim when in truth we've been victims of his so called "friendship" for so many years! The AUDACITY he had to do such a thing, it is quite evil, slithering, snake-like! The irony of it all is the fact that I'm an atheist which I'm sure they disapprove of because they think I'm some "godless heathen" who has no morals, and he himself is raised in a very Christian household which is supposed to "uphold" a high moral and ethical standard for the community, and yet he preaches this sludgy, putrid slander about us, ALL TO PROTECT HIS PETTY MONEY AND COMFORTABLE WAY OF LIFE! Nearly 13 years of what used to be such a great friendship down the shitter over something so petty as that! After seeing this late at night, I felt sick to my stomach for some reason, I guess this came to such a shock to me that my body had a serious nervous reaction. I literally just sat on the toilet most of the night, called in sick from work the next morning and spent the day just figuring out what went wrong. I talked to my friends Robert and Hans about it, they were shocked too but didn't have much to say, I guess they didn't know what to say either. Considering they didn't know him as long as I did, I guess that's not too surprising, but for me it was completely devastating. Needless to say, to this day we haven't spoken to each other and it will stay that way until he sees what he's done. I don't know if I could ever forgive him for such treachery, but if he did sincerely apologize to me and tried to make amends I might consider it one day.
Another aspect that I think really got to me was the fact that people who I actually cared for and respected such as his mother and grandmother, whom had done quite a bit for me in the past would never speak to me again because they thought I was some sort of fucking petty bully trying to hurt their son and grandson over who knows what the hell he may have used as a cover for saying these things. I guess it's also deriving from that fact that he had essentially bullied our friend Hans pretty aggressively at times is basically overlooked and that as soon as we're accused of "bullying" him all of a sudden we're these monsters that have issues. I even left out a lot about him bullying Hans earlier because I thought I might get a bit emotional writing it, but I think I'm okay to write this now so I will go ahead. When I first met Hans, he was kind of the punching bag of the group for jokes and stuff. We weren't harsh or intentionally mean enough to make him cry or anything because we're not cruel despite what some people may think about men. However, as the years went on, his aggressiveness towards Hans seemed to exponentially increase, eventually it just got to the point to where he would have this sort of disdain for Hans as if he was his mortal enemy at times. He even directed this attitude towards myself and Robert at times, but we're not quite as meek as Hans so we would shut him down rather quickly. However, he did have a get-around with myself because we shared an account on a game as I mentioned previously called Aion. When he first introduced it to me, I made a character on his account and I absolutely fell in love with it, so I made a few characters, 2 being max level with great gear and some lower leveled ones. Whenever he wouldn't get his way or he wanted to be right, or even just make me seem inferior he would essentially blackmail me by threatening to lock out the Aion account and all of my characters. I spent way too much time on that game to let that happen(likely in the thousands of hours!) so I would just play along so he wouldn't be an asshole. And you may ask "well what about now?" and the answer is that I put my friend's psychological, physiological and social well-being over some stupid game and artificial materialistic ownership. He did not return the same gesture sadly and locked me out of my account(but not before I took all my shit and put it on a free account!), but it's okay because I wasn't even worried about that when all of this happened, it was about helping my "friend" and any risk, especially something as low-key as that was definitely worth it. What wasn't worth it was all of the bullshit that happened towards the end, because effectively it tarnished my reputation with a group of people I actually liked and respected, people who have helped me in my life, people who I do owe a debt to unmeasurable in any sort of currency. It even affected me at my job because they were connected to my previous job's particular field of work. I used to work as a field surveyor/scout for a local PCA(pest control advisor) whom happened to know my friend's grandmother because he used to check her fields which she owned. I even drove by that house almost every day after our incident with S and it pained me to see it because we had a lot of good memories hanging out on her little farm. Anyways, getting back on track because of this incident I was seriously worried that they would say something to my boss who had known his grandmother for many years prior(it's also partially the reason why I got the job so that's part of why I'm greatly indebted to them). Thankfully I don't think they did, however it still affected my job performance because it was a catastrophic experience for me socially, and it just generally left me constantly dwelling on the incident until I eventually quit my job to pursue other ambitions. These days I'm much better off without all of this drama in my life, but I cannot help but come back, think and dwell on it because it was something that just emotionally affected me so much that it just won't ever go away. I didn't have a sexual affinity for my friend if you're thinking that after my last sentence, but we had a strong bond as friends because we did a lot of things together(like Jay and Silent Bob! ), which is why I found it so hard to believe he could just burn the bridge, and flip me off with both middle fingers so easily.
Thanks for reading this incredibly long journal entry, I hope that people can learn from my mistakes and I also hope that maybe one day things could change, however for the time being they're all still pretty fucked so I won't be worrying about them too much! I feel a lot better being able to publish this, even if no one reads it it's a good therapeutic tool to vent my frustration, anger and hatred towards S. I don't have much to say after this...so I guess that's all for now lol, thanks again for reading.