I've spent the better part of my life being ignored. One can get used to that after a while (albeit a long, long, long while in my case), but what's infuriating is when people can no longer settle for ignoring you and instead start to insult you every second chance they get, ripping out every thread of happiness you've ever had, slowly, methodically, steadily.
As if it couldn't get any worse they spend the other half of their time with you (notice I said 'every second chance' in the preceding paragraph) being quite decent friends. Not bosom buddies or anything of that sort, but fairly open and friendly-like. They probably wouldn't defend you if a robber were to get his hands on you, but they listen and they have no problem conversing with you.
Luckily, most of the worst offenders in my life are now going to college. Even better, all of the worst are going fairly far abroad -- far enough that they only return for Christmas break and then they're too caught up with family things and the few people they've somehow managed to retain as friends to bother looking for me and insulting me.
The problem is, in April they all come back for the summer and stay until September. There's three of them, although two of them seem to have really mellowed out as of late.
The third one, however -- let's call him RJ -- seems to grow more and more irritated with me every time he sees me.
This probably wouldn't bother me so much if I wasn't so close to his mother and younger brother.
I can tell when he's returned from college even before he says anything on Facebook. His mother's whole attitude toward me changes when his return is drawing near. She stops talking to me, gradually distances herself; giving only vague excuses for it that mostly place the blame on her chronic illness.
I realise he's her son and she loves him more than me and wants to spend time with him, but honestly, must our friendship go through this roller coaster based on her son's location? It's not that she and I spend that much time physically together anyway, most of our contact is through e-mail.
Something just occurred to me.
So many people who know both him and me -- and there's quite a few, seeing as we attend the same church -- have said that RJ and I are very, very alike (in personality that is, not appearance). I've seen it too. His mother comments on it almost every time she sees me -- how I remind her of RJ.
So is this it then? Am I just a replacement for RJ while he's gone off to college? When he's here, is that reason enough for her to ignore me because now she has the 'real thing' living in her house again?
Or has RJ 'brainwashed' her (for lack of a better word)? Does he exercise such subliminal power even over his own mother that she has nothing to do with me as per his (possibly unspoken) wishes?
Or am I just a conspiracy theorist?