friendship · mental health

I was Best Friends With A Sociopath.

The dictionary defines a sociopath as a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

Now, I am not a professional and my friend wasn’t diagnosed with having any personality disorder. I have based my opinion solely on being her friend for 11 years. I didn’t notice it right away. I would notice weird things she would do and by the end, I was sure of it. We met through a mutual friend that I went to college with. I’ll call her Sally. I will call my new friend Diana. It was 2002 and Diana and Sally each had a baby and I had a 3 year old. We also had another friend who had a 1 year old. Over the next couple of years we all had more children. We would all hang out and do things together with just us, with our kids, or with our husbands. My husband and Diana’s husband, we’ll call him Charles, became close friends. We all started spending more time with each other. Diana always seemed to be perfect. Her marriage was perfect, her house was perfect, her car was perfect, her kids were perfect, her hair was perfect, her clothes were perfect, even her diet was perfect. You name it, perfect. I always kind of felt inferior to her in some ways. Then Charles got a job in Florida and they moved. We stayed close. Phone calls, played Xbox online. It started getting weird when she called me to ask if it was okay if my husband flew to Florida for Charles birthday, they would pay for everything. Wow, I thought. That is really nice. So he went for the weekend. Now we were all close, I would talk to Charles on the phone and Diana would talk with my husband. I didn’t really think anything of it, until she mailed my husband a bunch of CD’s that she had burned. She said she was trying to “expand” our music collection. Every single one of those CD’s had love songs on it. I was floored. I asked my husband what that was all about and he had no idea. I called her and confronted her and she said that it didn’t mean anything, this just happened to be the songs she had. In July 2006, my husband and I were getting ready to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary and we decided to visit our besties in Florida. It was the weekend after I was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder. We had an amazing time. Now Charles loved his job in Florida and we thought that Diana loved Florida as well. Her dad and brother lived there and she always seemed to be doing something fun. But sometime in the fall (my timeline is a little foggy) she left. I came home one evening and she and my husband surprised me. She moved back with the kids. She told Charles that she wanted to move back and he could either come or not. This was strange to me.  She didn’t work. She had a beautiful home and her husband made good money and he was happy. Why would you do that to him? The plan was she would stay with us until her husband could come back and find a job. Then the first big thing happened. My ex husband and I fought a lot. One night we were in our bedroom fighting. There was a knock on the door, it was Diana. My husband opened the door and when I saw it was her, I said “He’s leaving me.” I was crying my eyes out. Remember, this is supposed to be my best friend. She said, “We are too. I am tired of this.” She turned around and left. Wait, what just happened? My husband says he’s leaving me, my friend comes, I thought to my rescue, and now she is leaving too? My husband didn’t leave me that night. We worked it out for the time being, but she left. She didn’t talk to me until I saw her at Walmart about a week later. She apologized and we made up. While she was staying at my house she had decided she wanted to be more than a stay-at-home mom. Sally worked at local theatre and got her a job in the box office, eventually she was promoted to box office manager. It was about this time that she started pulling away from me. She started buying my husband’s friends whom she only met a handful of times strange gifts. When Charles moved back, they bought a house. It, of course, was perfect. And she couldn’t have the brand new mini van she got in Florida anymore, so she got a sportier car. New things started showing up at her house like expensive electronics and draperies. She started wearing more expensive clothes and going to expensive restaurants with her theatre friends. One of my husband’s friends worked for a movie theatre in town and he got me some tickets to see the new Sex in the City movie. I was super excited but I really only had 2 friends that would even be interested in this movie, Diana and my husband’s friends wife. I had 5 tickets so I told her she could bring a couple of her friends. We all had a great time, and friendships were made between Diana and the other women. I will admit, I was a little jealous.  It was then that Charles and Diana’s marriage began to fall apart. He was a drinker and she told him that if he didn’t stop drinking, she was leaving. I thought that was a little strange because she encouraged his drinking every time we went out. He went to AA and he worked really hard to better himself. I would talk to him and I even went to AA meetings with him. But when I would talk to her it was a totally different story. She said he wasn’t trying and she would say things to me like, “if Charles and I make it” even though I saw a card for a divorce in her car. I knew she had no intention of staying married. Then she said she had enough. She kicked Charles out of the house and filed for divorce. He stayed on our couch until he found a place to live. A few weeks later, my husband and I decided to separate. So we had to ask Charles to trade off sleeping at our house and another friends. My husband and I lived together until we filed for divorce in February 2009. After I moved out, Diana & Charles disappeared from my life. Charles was trying to move on but I am not sure what I did for Diana to abandon me. I saw her a couple of times over the next year and a half and she totally ignored me. A lot happened in that year and a half. She was fired from her job because she was suspected of stealing $43,000 from the theatre she worked for. She denied it. She was kicked out of her house she lived in, the one she lived in with Charles. His parents had actually bought the house for them and when they found out about the accusations they threw her out. She moved right down the road from my apartment. There were rumors of her having affairs with people out of the theatre and her moving to Arkansas to run another theatre. According to my friend she moved there to be with a man she was having an affair with and the theatre job was a front. She came back after his wife was waiting for her. She told my friend that the theatre owner had died and they closed the theatre. None of these rumors were ever confirmed. I didn’t ask and she didn’t tell. In August or September 2010, Sally invited me on a picnic and Diana was there. She talked with me briefly. She knew the man I had been dating moved away. She must have seen this as an opportunity. She began talking to me on a regular basis and we hung out occasionally. I was very cautious. She already abandoned me twice in my time of need. She was dating someone and I began dating someone. We would share dating stories.  She worked for a car insurance company. Then a bomb dropped. She got arrested and charged for embezzling the $43,000 from the theatre she previously worked for. It was plastered all over the papers. We never talked about it. I didn’t ask and she didn’t volunteer. She lost her job at the insurance company. She said it was because she didn’t make her quotas. I say it was because they didn’t want to chance it with her having a company credit card. She started getting unemployment. This entire time, she still acted as if everything was great.Everything was perfect. I noticed that she really didn’t have any friends except me, Sally, and her boyfriend.  The friends she had before, the ones I was jealous of? They were gone. No explanation. Then her boyfriend broke up with her. According to her, in his divorce decree he couldn’t date anyone who was convicted of a felony. So he was just being cautious. My boyfriend also broke up with me but we remained close friends. Then another weird thing happened. She had only met my boyfriend one time and suddenly after we broke up, they were best friends. They kept this a secret from me for a while, until he finally told me. I don’t know why you would keep a secret like that from your best friend. Her dad started helping her out financially. She attempted to start her own photography studio and he bought her an expensive camera. Because she filed for a business license, she should have stopped receiving unemployment, but she lied to them and kept getting it.  She moved to a small town right outside ours because Charles was getting remarried and she wanted to be close to the kids school. They have joint custody but used Charles address for school purposes. We would hang out all the time. We did everything together. I made a joke once about if she went to jail I would bake a wrench in a pie for her. She laughed and said she wasn’t going to jail. They were trying to make a deal with the prosecutor. Then guess what? January 2012, she went to jail. She changed her plea from not guilty to guilty. She was sentenced to 120 days in jail (90 suspended) and 5 years in the DOC plus she has to pay it all back. So the best friend I had spent all my time went to jail for 30 days. I heard nothing from her. She spoke to no one. I talked with Sally who had actually gone with her to court. She really believed that she wasn’t going to jail. She made no plans for her dog, her apartment, nothing. Her family didn’t even know that she was charged with a crime. Her dad was so upset he stopped talking to her and cut her off financially. My ex boyfriend that she befriended? She told him that she didn’t take the money and after she plead guilty and went to jail, he stopped talking to her. When she got out of jail, she talked as if she was queen of the ball. She told me she actually sang a drug addict to sleep during her detox. She said they called her Lady Diana because she didn’t belong there with the rest of them. She also said that she made peace with God. That was someone who she hadn’t talked about since she got divorced. After she was released from jail, everything went back to normal except now she was going to start her own business. She had to do something, her dad cut her off. and she was going to have a hard time finding a conventional job with a felony. She found some guy online that helped people set up email newsletters for small businesses. She befriended him and they began to work together. She never actually met him, she only talked with him on the phone and did webinars with him. Over the course of a year, she took a lot of his clients. Toward the end of our relationship I remember her fighting a lot with him over the phone. I don’t even know what she did exactly but it apparently didn’t make very much money. One day she called me crying, “They took my car!” I was confused, I thought her car was paid off. Obviously not, she had taken out another title loan (she did this before when she worked for the insurance company and Charles paid it off to get his name off the title.) She owed $2500 on it and she didn’t have it. So, the nice friend that I am, let her borrow my car when I didn’t need it.  Sally found her a free car. It was a 1994 Ford Tempo and the man was going to donate it to their church. He gave it to Diana. She did not license or register this car.  It broke down a couple of times and I had to have it towed on my auto plan back to her apartment. She was also pulled over for not having a license plate. She called me very upset because the officer was nice to her at first and then when he took her drivers license back and looked her up he came back and was short and hateful with her. I remember thinking, what did you expect? You are a felon and you didn’t register your car? He gave her a ticket, which she didn’t pay.  For not having any money, we went out a lot on the weekends. I will admit that we had a lot of fun. But this whole time I was suffering. I would have depressive episodes, anxiety attacks and was barely hanging on at work. My supposed best friend would take advantage while I was hypomanic. We would go out and spend a lot of money and would vanish when I was depressed. She said she was “giving me space.” In March 2013 she called me crying one day from her son’s ipod. “They turned off my phone. Can you please call them and make a payment and I’ll pay you in a few days. I can’t work without my phone.” Ugh, I never loan money to anyone. I don’t know why I did it, I didn’t really trust her. But I did. When the automatic voice asked me if I wanted to save this debit card for future payments, I said no. She did pay me back a few days later. Then came the great idea. She told people this was my idea, but it was hers. She thought we should move in together. In my apartment. I had a 3 bedroom apartment and she had 2 kids and I had 2 kids (that already had their own bedrooms.) Her visitation schedule was different than mine so it might work out okay. This is how she approached me. Her brother in law’s dad had money that he had to invest before May 30th or he would have to pay taxes on it. So he was going to buy a house for her sister and brother in law in our town so that when he comes down for army exercises he’ll have a place to stay and Diana can rent it from them. That’s a really cool plan. So she would move in from April until June. 2 months wasn’t bad and she was going to pay for 1/2 my rent and utilities and I needed the money. What really happened is she was evicted from her apartment. She told me she had to be moved by Friday, March 29th. I said, “Why? If you paid rent, you have until the end of the month.” She didn’t really give me a straight answer. I discovered this after May came and went and no there was no mention of a house. By June, I needed her to go. The overwhelming stress of her being there with her kids was too much for me. I had just quit my job because of my bipolar and she didn’t work so it was just us all the time. She did nothing to help out and her kids drove me insane. One day while I was trying to enjoy just me time with my kids, I got a frantic phone call saying that she was arrested. She wanted me to come bail her out. Remember that ticket she didn’t pay for? Her probation officer had to turn her in because their was a warrant out for her arrest. It took me 3 hours to bail her out. Then she was afraid that Charles would turn her in for not licensing her car so she started taking mine, without my permission. I woke up one morning and my car was gone. When she came back she told me what she did and why. In July, I started coming up with a plan to evict her. Then came the good news. Charles was relocating to another city and he wanted full custody of her kids. Her lawyer said she had to find a place to live where her children went to school to help her case. Thank God for Charles, he got her out of my house. She moved out August 1st. She failed to pay me $400 for rent for July and moved into a duplex that I know she couldn’t afford. She told me her mom was going to pay the rent. My other friend said her aunt (who doesn’t talk to her mom) was going to pay the rent. I imagine she is reaping the benefits of that. On moving day she called me frantic again. There was a new lock on her storage unit. Now, I know what that means. “Did you pay the rent?” I asked. “Of course.” She said the lady at the desk told her she would have to wait until the manager came back before she could open it. What does she do? She went and bought bolt cutters and broke the lock, moved her stuff out. I helped her move a few things. She mentioned to me that some of her things were missing. Like her Wii, most of her games and the keyboard to her computer. She said someone must have taken them off the truck when she wasn’t looking. I mentioned it to a friend and she said, “Are you serious? She sold them, no one took them. She needed the money.” I went to her duplex a few times, constantly reminding her that I needed that $400 she owed me for rent. She kept assuring me that she would pay it. Then the notice from my bank came. I had overdrafted my account with my cell phone payment. It was weird because my bill was only $100 and they took $146.It took several hours of research and phone calls but remember when I paid her bill back in March? They actually saved my debit card. She used it for 5 months to make her phone payments. She knew it too. The first few months it was just a 1/2 payment and then big payments. She owed me about $500 in phone payments. I told her about it before I knew for sure it was her. She said “Surely the company will pay you back.” Nope. They said I authorized it that first day I made that payment for her. I cancelled my debit card immediately. My bank paid me back the $146. I filed a police report and stopped all contact with her. She didn’t even try to contact me. She knew exactly what she did and she didn’t care. She never cared. Everything about her was a lie. It still is. If you go to her Facebook or Instagram, she posts pictures of food from Pinterest and says her kids made it. She posts stories that are too good to be true. I have only heard from her one time since I ended our friendship. About 2 months after I stopped talking to her, Charles approached me to write a letter on his behalf regarding his kids living with him. I truly feel that they are better off with him so I wrote a letter. I was very honest. I am assuming that she read it because her lawyer would have access to that. I got a call on 11/14/13. I didn’t answer it. The voicemail was cold. “How could I write a letter to Charles? After all I’ve done for you. You owe me an explanation. I know that you and Sally sit around and talk about me. How would you feel if I called your ex and told him that you was seeking disability and what medications you take.” I didn’t call her back. But I did write her an email:

Diana,

Just to make things clear, I have not spoken to Sally about you or your situation. I only told Charles that I was no longer friends with you and why. He asked me to write a letter, so I did. My ex, by the way, knows about all the meds I take, that I’m seeking disability and that my parents are supporting me. You stiffed me $400 rent and used my debit card for 5 months to pay for your cell phone bill, I don’t think I am the one that needs to call you with any questions. I think you are the one that is responsible for the explanations. I’m tired of the lies and the stress you cause me. So I have chosen to let you go from my life. You have always said you give people space, but that is a cop out. You don’t want to deal with it. You don’t deal with it when I’m depressed, you don’t want to deal with owing me money. If you were really remorseful I would have heard from you. Your chapter in my life has been closed.

Anne

I haven’t heard from her since.

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