A more recent “person is only for a season” post. I guess it’s becoming a commonplace thing around here.
I met this friend when we were both in university. Third year for me I think. We were in the same class, and it was a second year poli-sci class, both of us were doing a poli-sci major.
Anyway – so we had one class together and then I didn’t see her again for two years. Not really uncommon, I was at school to learn and I lived off campus so I didn’t really form close ties with a lot of people.
So in my fifth year (I only needed like one credit (aka two classes) so I was there for the fall term) she was in my class again. But she had gained a lot of weight! Like at least double what she was a few years prior. I learned later that her absence for those two years wasn’t just because I didn’t see her in any of my classes, but she was off dealing with some mental health issues.
We bonded in that one class we had together – we both hated our professor (a sexist, closed minded, 32-year veteran of the Canadian air-force), whom we nick-named Colonel Dickhead. He was actually a Colonel but his real name escapes me now that 10 years has passed. Patrick? Peterson? Paul? Something with a P.
After I graduated, we stayed in touch. Meeting up when we could as I was off doing my South Korea thing for the first time, then teacher’s college and then other things as ya do. She met a man while playing WOW online, an army guy from the US and he eventually moved to Canada and they got married in 2011.
Now my friend has always hated her weight. It is her one thing that really defines her. She was a sweet and kind person, and always had good advice when I was having a problem, she was supportive and understanding. She shared how well her marriage was going while I was sharing how my life was going. It was a solid friendship based on mutual respect and support for each other.
But about two years ago, she had gastric by-pass. She has tried so many different diets and ended up ruining her metabolism. She was on Dr. Berstien for a while and lost SO much weight she couldn’t even sit down because it hurt the bones in her butt since she didn’t have any padding there anymore. It was EXTREME.
So she went through the testing and the counselling and finally had her surgery a few years ago. And then her personality changed.
She is harsh and quick to judgement and very blunt. She criticizes where before she would offer advice or a guiding word. Never to the extreme that she is right now.
Two years ago, she was happy and hopeful for starting a family. Now all she can do is complain about her husband and how “if your spouse has lost 180lbs and counting, why can’t you put in a little bit of effort?!”
She has turned into a mean girl. The types of girls I stay away from. She sent me picture the other day of her transformation. I was SHOCKED. Like I knew it was the same person, but the body language and the facial expression showed me that she has indeed turned into an entirely different person. As a person who has, for as long as I have known her, placed her self-worth on how she looked on the outside, it feels like this new body of hers is giving her license to be as critical and judgey of other people as she is with herself.
I’m happy for her that she has lost all that weight and is now healthy. That was a huge concern for her. She wanted to be healthy and able to have children. She can now. It feels like she is imploding in her marriage, from what she is telling me things have been bad for a while (read as since her surgery) but now that she has confidence she is bringing it up. Part of me also sees that she is now happy with herself and how much she has changed and now it’s kind of like she wants her husband to feel the same guilt about his own body and get into shape as well. The last month or so our entire conversations have been about his lack of pride in himself. But he’s still the same guy she married 9 years ago. She is the one who has changed.
I’ve known a few people who have had this surgery and this is the first who has had such a drastic personality change afterwards. I tense up every time I get a text from her, knowing that as innocent as it may appear (a cute picture of her dogs for instance), within a few exchanges she will be right back to complaining about her husband, or being overly critical of my own life choices (like being friends with The Guy) “Oh you’re talking to him again?” “I honestly just don’t know what to say to you about this anymore. Like you do you I guess…”
She popped up after Valentine’s Day asking how my weekend was and I told her how unexpected and cute it was. And how I was pretty happy about how it turned out. And even in my happiness she just goes “I thought you weren’t talking anymore” as if grown-ups can’t find fix things between themselves. I didn’t explain but just said we were only to get a “well ok then”…
So if feels like this friendship has run its course…