I like routines. On Sunday nights, I take a shower, wash my hair, take down my ostomy, organize my pills for the week, pack my stuff for work, organize my dressing change supplies, put clean sheets on my bed and hook up my IV fluids. I do it even if I know I won’t sleep because it relaxes me.
Last night, I was lying in bed infusing and cruising around the internet because I couldn’t sleep. I needed to pay some bills so I pulled them up on my phone and started making payments. When I got to my credit card, I was confused because the card was over the limit and there was no reason it should have been.
I pulled up recent transactions and there were several in the last few months. I immediately got a sinking feeling in my stomach. This spring when I started having a really rough go of life, one of my best friends offered to do my food shopping for me. I gave her my credit card to pay for the groceries and haven’t seen the card since.
I sent her a text asking if she had used my card to buy things and waited to hear that she had lost the card or something. Nope, she admitted to using my card on multiple occasions without my permission. She told me that she had sent in payments, none of which have been credited to my account. So in the last four months, she has, on multiple occasions, used my credit card without my permission and tried to send in payments without my knowledge so that I wouldn’t find out.
This is a person who has taken me to the hospital for appointments and taken care of me after surgery. This is a person I chose to help me at a time when I was feeling unbelievably fragile and vulnerable. I have known this person for almost twenty years. And she stole from me.
If she had some type of emergency and used my card, and had let me know about it, I wouldn’t have cared. If she had asked me to borrow money, I would have given it to her, no questions asked. Instead she has been stealing from me for months. It’s really making me wonder about a lot of other things.
I can only assume that she was counting on my illness to not get caught. She knew I was exhausted and distracted because of how sick I have been recently. She knew that I trusted her and would keep sending in my regular payment without paying attention to my statement because I believed she was trustworthy. She was right. That’s exactly what I did. If not for the fact that I couldn’t sleep last night, this might have gone on indefinitely.
I was planning to go to Asia with her this fall, and felt very secure in that plan because of how much I trusted her. I was really looking forward to going. Now instead of booking our tickets for that trip (which I was planning to do on Wednesday!), I have spent the day on the phone with my credit card company and in a really uncomfortable state of stage 2 anaphylaxis. I have needed a whole mess of extra meds today and it is just barely containing the reaction caused by all of this. I’m accepting bets on the over/under for how much extra medication it takes in the next few days to get me stable.
I have been very open about needing a lot of help to get through my days. The people I have asked to help me are my very closest friends and family. These are people I am not embarrassed to puke in front of. These are people who I trust to help me into the shower. These are people who have seen my stoma. These are people who will rub my back when I am screaming in pain from a bowel obstruction. These are people who make jokes with me about my illness and generally make me feel less alone.
Finding out your friend is screwing you is bad enough, but sick people are especially at risk because we often have no choice but to trust people to help us. And since I’d rather not need someone to help me do basic things, it is really humiliating and horrifying to discover that my trust was misplaced. I have stood by this person through seriously hard times and supported them when no one else did. I just really can’t believe it.
I generally try to wrap up my posts elegantly, but I just can’t right now because seriously what the ever loving fuck.