Tanning Bed Blues

I’m frustrated.

I’m annoyed.

I am drained.

My frustrations with Steph can be summed up by one incident involving a tanning bed.  I cannot tell you how much I loathe tanning beds.  For the record, I have never been to one and there is no way that I would ever go.  But Steph goes.

Frequently.

And it makes me nuts.  She’s an RN for Heaven’s sake!  You would think she would already understand the dangers, and she probably does, but chooses to ignore them.  That’s the worst.  When intelligent people behave stupidly.  I’ve taken to calling it the “cancer bed” when I’m around her because I sound like a broken record every time I get on my soapbox about the dangers.

So, the incident…

There was a time when our friend, B, Steph and I would get together on Wednesday evenings to scrapbook and chat.  We would meet every week without fail.  Rain, cold, sleet, hail- whatever- we would get together.  Then we took a break because life got busy and we had gotten a little burned out on scrapbook, quite frankly.  Our break lasted about a year but lately B and I have started missing our weekly visits.  So, in January the three of us convened at B’s house just like old times.  It was great!

This week I decided that we needed another scrapbook session (at my house) since two months had gone by since our last meeting.  Steph immediately made the excuse that she would not be able to come because Big Red would probably work late.  I told her that I would ask him to come home to watch the kids so she could come over.  “Uh, ok…” was her response.  As if, my request to Big Red was completely absurd.  I agreed that it was a long shot but I figured why not ask and see what happens.

So, I texted Big Red and, much to my surprise, he agreed to come home.  When he arrived home he informed me that Steph was already in bed.  At 8:15 PM…

I sighed but figured that it was typical of her behavior these days.  She’s depressed and I totally understand that given the stress of the impending divorce.  So, I thought no big deal.  She had blown me off many other times when I’ve invited her to do something so this came as no surprise.

Not 10 minutes later, G texted again with the message that Steph was up and was heading to Starbucks for a latte then going to the tanning bed.

Um…

So, I asked her if she was coming over and, of course, the answer was no.  She was heading to Starbucks and the tanning bed.

I had specifically arranged for her husband to come home to watch the children (which is pretty much impossible these days) so she could have some free time with her friends.  Instead, she took advantage of the free time and blew me off.

Again.

Now, I know there are many, many ways to look at this incident.  The fun activities she used to engage in are less than appealing when her life is in turmoil.  Hanging out with two happily married friends is not her preference.  Scrapbooking happy times when everything in her world is torn apart is not something she can face.

I get it.  I do.  But B and I are the support system that she’s chosen for herself.  She’s involved us.  She has asked for us to be there for her. But when we try to do just that we’re pushed away.

When you deal with almost daily drama from someone, you watch them engage in self-destructive behavior, you are at their beck-and-call for babysitting without so much as a thank you,  and they ask for help but won’t take it, the situation gets extremely old.  Steph does not realize what an emotional roller coaster her divorce has been for me and B.  I care about Steph so much.  I want her to make the best decisions for herself and her children.  But she’s not.  She’s floundering.

She’s being rebellious and self-centered as well.  There are so many other examples I could give but I’m not here to spread her dirty laundry out for the world.  I’m just trying to express my feelings on a situation that is suffocating me.

I need a break from the circus.  I’m tired of trying to reach out to her only to be shot down.  I’m tired of just being the babysitter and dumping ground for drama.  My psyche can’t take much more.

Perhaps I need to revisit my resolution for 2010…

Sorry to unload all of this here but writing about it helps me deal.  *sigh*  I hope to get back to regularly scheduled fun posts soon.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gaffer
    Mar 11, 2010 @ 18:09:07

    Why does someone in Florida need a tanning bed ….? Sometimes I think you can only help someone who wants to be helped and you have to take care when it starts to drain you…

    My new mantra – the days are long but the years are short.

    Reply

  2. angela
    Mar 11, 2010 @ 18:29:12

    Unfortunately I don’t have anything to offer here. I’m with you on the “cancer bed” thing though. I did use them when I was much younger and refused to believe the truth about them, but now that I am an adult (and a little smarter) I wouldn’t dare.

    Oh, and what is up with nurses? They are obviously smart, but I can’t tell you how many of them smoke and/or drink regularly. Don’t you think they should know better? My sister is an RN, and she works in pediatric oncology…and she freakin’ smokes!!! I just wanna slap her!

    Good luck with Steph. I’d play the patience card awhile longer, then I’d give her a gentle wake up call.

    Reply

  3. bethany actually
    Mar 12, 2010 @ 00:17:53

    *sigh*

    I am so sorry. I understand what you’re going through a little. One of my oldest friends had an affair and got divorced and remarried, all within the past two years, and our friendship has basically ended. I tried to stand by her while she self-destructed and made awful choices and neglected her kids, her parents, her siblings, her friends, and seemed to change personalities overnight, but she made it so hard that eventually I had to just walk away. It was simultaneously a huge relief and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m still in her life, in a facebook kind of way, but I don’t think our friendship will ever be the same.

    I hope Steph comes to realize what great friends she has in you and B before it’s too late!

    Reply

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