Today the Daily Prompt asks to tell about a time when someone had you completely fooled, where the wool was pulled right over your eyes and you got hoodwinked, but good.
It seems like that has happened so often in my life. Sadly I feel like I am often easily fooled because I try so hard to see the best in people. Over the years I feel that has changed a bit. I’m becoming tougher, smarter, less trusting. I still try to see the good, but in that I’m not so blinded to reality.
I guess the time I was most fooled, I was fooled by me. No, I don’t mean I was the one who turned out different from what I thought, but the person was someone I didn’t know well and yet I did.
You see, Joanne and I went to high school together (by the way I’ve changed her name to protect myself). She and I were friends back then, not great friends but friends. We both come from a small town and a small school so everyone really did know everyone at our school.
Fast forward to many years later, both in our late 30s. She finds me on, of course, Facebook and we start talking again. I learn she is living in a different state and she learns that I am too. Knowing that soon I will be on the road again traveling across the country we make plans to stop and visit with her. She and I are both super excited.
More than a month passes and finally the day comes that we can travel to her house. We’ve spent nearly every day on the phone for the past 6 weeks. I’m so anxious to see my old friend, who’ve I managed to convince myself was far more of a friend than we actually were. Somehow I have managed to fool myself into believing that we were the closest of friends and that there are many more shared memories than there really were. In reality I didn’t know her very well then and I surely don’t know her well now.
We arrive at her home and we are like a couple of kids being reunited after a long absence. We hug and giggle and want to show each other everything. For the next two days we are pretty much inseparable.
She even helps my husband and I with a huge project that we really need to get done. For that one thing I am eternally grateful. I didn’t know what Craigslist was and wouldn’t have known how to find what we needed the way she did. I learned a lot from her that week and even more than I bargained for in the days that followed our departure.
Time passed and we eventually had to travel down the road. I can’t believe now that I literally cried when we left. I was so sad to be going what felt like so soon. She and I talked on the phone a bit as we traveled along.
Finally we arrived at our next destination. I was exhausted. Still I wanted to share my adventures with my friends. Excitedly I posted a few pictures on my Facebook timeline from our time at Joanne’s. After posting I promptly fell into a deep sleep and slept for longer than I had intended.
It had been very late when I fell asleep and so I slept late into the afternoon. By the time I awoke Joanne was in a rage. She was not pleased about a picture of she and I that I had posted because apparently she didn’t look good in it. She had left me numerous voice-mails as well as many angry emails and had now begun posting viciously on my Facebook wall. I called her immediately upon waking and told her I was sorry. I took the picture down as I dialed. None of this mattered, she was already on the warpath.
And on the warpath she remained. For the next 12 days of my life I would learn what crazy looked like. She made threats against our pet, sent nasty emails to a co-worker of mine, and continued to send me things that were just awful. There was nothing more I could do. The picture was down, I’d already apologized and now all I could do was watch her unravel as I would sit and cry. I was heartbroken. Finally I had to block her on all mediums.
I tore myself up over this whole thing. What had I done wrong? Was I really such a terrible person as she proclaimed? Were any of her nasty comments something I needed to consider? How could I have been so wrong?
Looking back I realize that I had fooled myself. She was never the person I thought she was because that person existed only in my mind. We hadn’t been close in high school, merely knew each other. I let her construct a friendship from the past where there really hadn’t been one. I hadn’t known her well then and I didn’t now.
Six weeks later my cell phone rings. It was a number I didn’t recognize, but I answered. “Hi doll” the voice rang out. It was Joanne. “How are you sweetie?” she said. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say. I just said “Um hi. I’m ok” very slowly, you don’t want to spook crazy people.
She started chatting away at me, filling me in on her life, as if nothing had happened. I just sat there, eyes wide, afraid to breath. Then she tells me she is in the state we are in and she was just wondering where we live so she could drop by and visit. WHAT?!? I said “Joanne,” again very quietly and slowly “you do remember the photo thing we went through right?”. She says “Oh that’s in the past” as if she did nothing wrong in any of it. As if to say I was forgiven and we were moving on. I just said “Um…” and she says “Why do you sound so strange?”
That was it, I lost it. I told her I sounded strange because there was a crazy person on my phone who tortured me for weeks and threatened to kill my dog. I told her that I cried for almost 12 whole days while I let her put me through the ringer over one picture that was removed the moment I realized how upset she was. I told her that I could never ever trust her again and that even talking to her scared me a little. Then I said please don’t ever call me again and I hung up.
Looking back I know this wasn’t her fault. She didn’t understand. Crazy people seldom do. I let crazy into my life and I got what people get when they let crazy in. She just acted like she probably always does and people let her get away with it out of fear or pity. I was an easy target for it all because up until that point I allowed people to treat me however and just tolerated it.
Since then I have learned. I am far more careful now who I let get so close they can hurt me this way. I am far more aware of reality and less likely to allow someone to pull me into their fantasy or to construct my own.
Other Daily Prompters:
- Ilya Fostiy. The Enlightened One | Crazy Art
- Quark chase | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- Superiority complex | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- Sky Geometry | The Bliss of Reality
- Bus Route & The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
- Daily Prompt: Brilliant Disguise | The Road Less Travelled By
- Disguise | The Land Slide Photography
- Boundaries and Abuse | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!