Updated: May 26, 2022
What is a frenemy? Is that even a real word? According to google, "it is a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry"., but what exactly does that mean?
When I first moved to my second duty station, I was so excited to be working with the team that was there. I knew it was going to be completely different than what I was used too, but I was excited none the less. I cut my hair shorter, changed most of my appearance, because I wanted this to be a fresh start. At first, I thought it was. I was happy, I felt included, I was being taken seriously, then, I noticed things started to change. Everything, and I mean everything, became a competition between me and my one coworker. What confused me, was that I never thought about competing with them. I know I am difficult to work with, I am not perfect, and I do not pretend to be, nor do I want to be, only God is perfect. Regardless, my coworker felt the need to turn everything into a competition, and honestly, I was getting rather irritated at it. At first, I just didn't care, like at all, I just ignored it, but it kept getting thrown in my face. If I couldn't go on a day mission, I would get a text "I was chosen today!", it was constant and non-stop and it started to really affect me. I was becoming bitter the more that this was getting thrown in my face, and the worst part, for me, was that when I first transferred, I shared an experience with this person that was extremely personal to try and bond and form a friendship with them. I thought it worked, until one day, I covered for this person who needed to take time for themselves, and because I did not go behind a grown adult to check something, it was thrown back in my face and the "I owe you lunch for this" turned into "well, you didn't verify so you didn't actually complete it, so no lunch". I was barely there 6 months and I felt like such an outcast. A few months later I needed to have surgery to remove a tumor from my breast, I was absolutely terrified, but I told our supervisor because I needed to miss work for the procedure. My supervisor was the only person I told. When I got back to work, and we had our weekend training, a couple of individuals from my coworker's section teased me and tried to get me to show them my scar, because, and they said, "we all think you faked it, so you didn't have to be here, so show us the proof." I was devastated, embarrassed and royally p*ssed off. I went straight to my supervisor and said how betrayed I felt, and my supervisor said they never told anyone, but as it turned out, my paperwork was left on the desk, face up, and my coworker saw it and told them. Talk about a "what in the f*ck" moment that was, I was livid.
Fast forward a few years, we get a new supervisor. Our new supervisor was absolutely amazing, and actually made the effort to make us be a cohesive team, and it worked, or so I thought it did. My supervisor saved my life (not really, but close). I had gained weight as a result of hip issues (I'll get into that later on), mental health issues, being assaulted and harassed at my previous workplace and that caused me to gain weight, a lot of weight; in my mind, gaining weight made me less attractive, which would make me less likely to suffer through another assault or harassment. If it wasn't for my supervisor, I would not be at the current job I have, I wouldn't be where I am today without them. This supervisor brought us all closer and we all became an actual team. There was no competing, no "bad blood" between us, we were a team. With the help of my coworker and supervisor, I turned my life around. I dieted and exercised and lost 68 pounds total and I was so grateful for them. Then, our supervisor left for a promotion and everything from that point forward went downhill.
You see, this coworker kept working with me to help me on my path to losing weight, and I will forever be grateful for all they did, but they changed. Suddenly, this coworker owned me, everything I did had to be cleared first through them, the amount of pressure that was put on me was pushing me towards my breaking point. I started making mistakes with payroll, I never made mistakes like that. The longer this micromanaging and ownership went on, the worse I became; but I continued to support my coworker and be a friend, because that is what I wanted, to be friends and be a team. Then, Vanessa Guillen happened, and everything came rushing back, full force. My nightmares were back, and that alone brought back the almost debilitating anxiety, my self-esteem dropped. I leaned on the few friends that I had and was starting to bring myself back up, then, I lost a battle, a fellow veteran. That was so horrible. We were all brought into the conference room and simply told "he killed himself this morning", exactly like that. I immediately locked eyes with another coworker (who I consider a great mentor), and it took all we had not to break down right there. Our battle, we knew something was wrong, we talked about how this just wasn't him, yet, neither of us said or did anything. We blamed ourselves.
Because of those 2 incidents that happened I was accused of changing and the "old me" was back and my coworker, now supervisor, didn't want to work with that person because of the bad attitude. I was being blamed for everything, I was forced to report for a butt chewing while I was sick and trying not to puke, because how dare I smear their good name. Regardless of that, that day made me feel so betrayed. Then I find out, this person is telling all my business, that I entrusted them with, to another person who I pushed out of my life (for reasons I will get into later), and this person was throwing them back in my face. My coworker, now supervisor, was making my life h3ll and to the point that I no longer wanted to show up to work. I had considered them a friend, I thought we were friends, I wanted us to be friends. This person, in my opinion, was so mad at me because I had grown so much, and I wouldn't let them own me anymore, that they decided to turn me into the bad guy and make me out to be this horrible person (now, there is a lot more details, but this summery gives you the gist). Even now, to this very day, this person still puts my name in their mouth and makes me out to be this awful person. I have moved on, left that place and everything behind to start over, for me and my children. Yet, this person can't seem to let go and they are once again competing with me to prove they are better.
This may or may not fall in line exactly with the definition of a frenemy, but to me, that is exactly what this person is. The only thing that truly works for me, when this person starts their crap, is going to my Army brother who calms me down and helps me see beyond my frustration and anger. If it wasn't for him, I probably would be getting yelled at for the disrespectful emails I would be sending in response. Don't get me wrong, I am the queen of petty and have no problem dishing it out, and lately, to be honest, I have found myself to be in a super petty mood. But, thanks to my Army brother bringing me back down to earth, my pettiness is on hold as he mentors and guides me down the right path. To say that I love this man would be an understatement. Thank you J.R. for being so incredibly amazing and one of the best mentors I have ever had.