Abusive tendencies don’t just happen in intimate or romantic relationships. They can happen in friendships also. I would like to share a story with you. Jill met Anna when Anna began dating a longtime friend of hers. Anna and Jill soon became fast friends. They did lots of things together and had tons in common. Jill had lived in the same state as Anna, moved away, and came back. Both of them said they were looking to hang out together more often, now that she was home. Alas, once Anna was in the same state as Jill, their visits and even their communications, phone calls, and texts dropped off. Jill tried multiple times to reach out to Anna but was unsuccessful. Anna was having some health issues that prevented her from having face-to-face visits but it didn’t affect her ability to talk with Jill, if she chose. Jill wanted to give up after not hearing from Anna for over a year. She couldn’t understand why she would hear from Anna more when she was in another state than not.
Here’s the trouble, when Anna and Jill were together, the relationship was great. It was fun, silly, sweet, and the best relationship that a set of girlfriends could ever want. When Anna and Jill weren’t together the relationship was non-existent. Jill began to realize that the only time that she would hear from Anna, after she moved closer, was when she needed something. That something could be money, advice, or time. Anna never called Jill unless she wanted something from her.
Jill was sitting with me when she said, “When it is good, it is great,” and “When it is bad, it is awful.” The relationship between Jill and Anna continued for over 3 years. Jill never heard from Anna unless there was trouble for Jill to fix. I have heard that phrase many times before, “When it is good, it is great,” and “When it is bad, it is awful.” It is something Domestic Violence Victims say to me often. While Jill was never battered physically by Anna, she was emotionally used by her. All Jill wanted was to spend time with her friend and have a good time. Anna only needed Jill when something was wrong. When we consider all of the relationships in our lives, we deserve to have them all be healthy and balanced. Think about your own relationships. Are they balanced, healthy, and mutually beneficial? If not, do you need to make some changes? If they are, consider being a good example and mentor for someone in need of a healthy relationship.