Hanging On To Worthless Feelings
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
I am an artist in a competitive field. I started late in life (50 years old) and have a great reputation. I reunited with a friend's husband ten years after her death as he was well established in the business I was entering. He remarried immediately after my friend died and she was his former wife's close friend.
A lot of people in our circle had opinions about this but I didn't. We just lost contact, which is common after someone dies. We started working together professionally and there was nothing unhealthy or threatening about our newfound comradery, but the wife started hanging around when we were working.
I must admit that she is homely, overweight and insecure, but I welcomed her in, asking if she was interested in doing what I do for a living. She repeated many times that there was no way, but that she liked to hang out. I must make the point that I have trained many juniors in this industry and continue to mentor them along the way.
Cut to the chase, she is now doing my job and is on a coveted list of artists who all work for the same client. She is now my competition and this bugs me to no end as I feel she was lying to me. Moving forward, I pulled back from being friends with both of them. I unfriended them on FB but that was all. I guess it was obvious as time passed, because she and I bumped into each other in a back hallway and I was less than thrilled to see her, saying I was in a rush.
That night I got an email from her husband, my old friend, asking what was wrong. I ignored it, thinking that no good would come from telling the truth. After the fourth attempt to contact me, I replied. I carefully said that I was disappointed, felt like I had been used as the wife would ask me questions about my tools, my clients, my technique. I said that friends don't do this to each other.
This was all done by email. I got a reply from the wife informing me that she always read her husband's emails (poor guy) and that she was sorry that I was threatened by her talent. What? I really feel that I am correct in feeling used. I would love to hear that she is not good at what she does but I don't want to initiate that conversation.
All I hear is that she makes snacks for everyone in the studio, so I know she is becoming popular. I feel like a silly schoolgirl and hate the feelings of revenge that cloud over me every time I hear her name but honestly, I wish she would get hit by a bus. How do I get over this, as it’s been two years of carrying this garbage around?