Fool me once…

Shame on you and you alone.  I think I may just rewrite the old adage Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.  I’m thinking I will change it to Fool me once, the shame is all your’s.  There will not be a second fooling.  Why should I be so benevolent as to give anyone a second opportunity.  When you have fooled me once, you’ve already shamed us both.  Should there even be a second fooling?  Mmmm Nope!  Not anymore!

I have tried my entire life not to be judgmental.  I always accepted everyone on their terms. If I liked you, I looked past your faults, your idiosyncrasies, your peculiarities.  I knew very little about treacherous and menacing personality disorders and that I should steer clear of them.  I now understand that I can be discerning without being judgmental.  People who are vexations to the spirit, whose moral compass is off should not have admittance into anyone’s life, not mine for sure.

I always thought I was being a good person.  A genuine, loving person who accepted everyone as they were.  Hence, a root cause of my mess-and-a-half! As I look forward (not backwards), I now realize there are even sister friends who I should have revoked their friendship pass long ago.

I had a sister friend who I now believe may possess some type of sociopathic personality disorder.  We were sister friends well over 20 years.  Great friends, close friends.  I loved this girl as though she was a family member. My favorite thing about her — she could make me laugh, a lot, heartily. Over the years, however, I began to notice things but dismissed them.

You’ve probably figured out by now I have a penchant for laughter and fun.  I want to laugh all day, everyday. I have no problem being a laughing fool.  When I am laughing, I feel … better than good.  I feel wonderful, alive, happy.  Those who know me well, know they have to proceed with caution when making me laugh. I become hysterical easily. You want the key to my kingdom, make me laugh!

Several years ago, I had stepped outside my comfort zone and went on my greatest adventure moving to another state.  I lived without the family and friends I loved so much.  To say that I was lonely is an understatement.  My ex-sister friend and I talked by phone daily.  During one of those chat sessions, I remarked on how wonderful were her accomplishments.  Her resume is awesome!  Her accomplishments are off-the-charts.

She is extremely smart and works hard in the community, at school and at work.  Her response to my compliment made me take one-half step backwards.  The only woman badder than me was herself, she remarked.  I thought it was odd to say such to a friend, a close friend.  It sounded kind of competitive but perhaps I am reading too much into it.  (Why would I compete with my friend or she with me!)

I realize now this was Fool me once!  Shame on her!

My ex-sister friend knows me, she knows me very well.  I have shared some of my most intimate secrets with her.  She knows I am not a woman who asks men for money.  Nor do I expect it. Never have, never will.  My finances are my personal business, and I do not discuss them openly.  The topic of my finances is sacred.

Why in a conversation would she dare degrade me and say something so appalling as to suggest I should ask any man for money.  And, the delivery, the words were so outrageous I cannot even bring myself to repeat them here.  At that moment I decided it was best I not talk to her for a minute, give the relationship a rest.  I did just that.

I could not understand or appreciate the suggestion.  I am not a lady of the evening, streetwalker, tart, moll, fille de joie, escort, courtesan, hustler, scarlet woman, cocotte, strumpet, harlot or trollop.  I do not ask men for money.  If others do, that’s fine — it is just not me.  And, there’s a very good reason I feel this way — another blog, another day!

She notices I am not returning her calls.  That I am always busy.  When she asks why, I politely remind her what had been said and how degrading, disgraceful and scandalous, it was.  She has clearly crossed a line even for me who failed to understand the importance of boundaries.

Fool me twice, shame on me!

I missed her tho’.  I missed her making me laugh.  I missed our most intimate conversations.  After several months, I call her.  I had something to tell her and knew it would leave us both in stitches.  We chatted and our daily chat sessions resumed.

I return home from my time away.  You just know when it’s time.  I missed my children; my other sister friends, two of whom I’ll see on the other side and one who was gravely ill.  I need to go home! I was leaving a great job with a great income.  Nevertheless, I still needed to return home (another blog for another day).

I am home, no job but that’s okay. I am highly marketable.  My children are in desperate need of mothering, nurturing and guidance.  I am needed at home!  I soon find a low-paying position.  It’ll do for now but I know that I cannot do this long, and not just because of the money.  This work I can do with one hand tied behind my back, standing on one leg (and possibly blindfolded)!  This girl needs a challenge at work.

While away, I am discovering I can do anything I set my mind to.  I am getting a better sense of who should and should not be a part of my life.  A better sense of me!  Definitely, getting there!

Purely by happenstance, I learn of a challenging, good-paying position in my field but it is the last day for resumes to be received.  My ex-sister friend had to have known about this position given her community involvement.  Mmmmm wonder why she failed to mention it.  How odd.  Even more odd was her response when I asks her about the position.  Her response was a clear indication of her feelings towards me — you will not have a better life than me.  Tho’ these are not her actual words, the message she was conveying was clearly embedded in her response!

This shocking response set off the alarms in my head.  The sirens are blaring, the lights are flashing.  OMG, my friend does not even want me to have decent employment.

Now understand — this was not a position where I would compete with her on any level.  We are in two total different spheres in the world of employment.

You guessed it, I am fooled a third time.  This would be shame on me twice!  

I continue to chat with her — but not so regularly.

I had dismissed a lot over the 20 year friendship.  Who am I to judge.  I dismissed her interest in men who were interested in me.  I wasn’t interested anyway so it did not matter if she went in hot pursuit.  I definitely missed her even considering a relationship with a man she knew was and had been involved with a mutual friend for years.

I dismissed how she oftentimes conveniently navigated the truth.  I even dismissed it when she remarked to me once — there is no absolute right and wrong. It is all subjective! Unh???  But I did not miss it when she did something totally unscrupulous with someone else’s money she had been charged with safekeeping!

It is time to dissolve this friendship. Time to let it go. And, let it go is what I did. It would not be until my recent mess-and-a-half that I realize it was the right thing to do. That blasted self-doubt.

Whatever the relationship — man, woman, child or even animal. If it does not bring you cheer and goodwill, you must let it go.  Without my mess-and-a-half, I would have continued in harmful, malignant relationships with men and so-called sister friends.

Today, I set my clocks forward.  I also set my heart, mind and soul forward.  I will not judge but I will be more discerning with who shares my world.

If you fool me once, the shame is all on you!  We’re done and you are FIRED!

Treat yourselves well, treat yourselves wonderfully. I am!

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5 thoughts on “Fool me once…

  1. Love your opening thought. Fool me once… I beat myself up with this for years. Why should it be my fault that I trusted someone? Anyhow, it was all his fault and I may have been naive, but I don’t feel “shamed” because of it.

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