I think I’ve been played for a sucker.

One of my old friends (who has behaved more like a frenemy in the past in some big ways and never apologized for any of it) has an annual gathering of many of my online mom friends. I’ve never been invited, even when I lived much closer to her.

She made a point to invite me to this year’s gathering and I’ve been on the fence about whether or not to go. There are going to be some people there that I really like, many of whom I’ve met in person before and others of whom I’d really like to meet. We’ve known each other online for more than 20 years and many of these women are more like family to me.

But there are also going to be some people there who don’t particularly like me and that sounds hella awkward. Honestly, something about this whole event just hasn’t set well with me from the beginning. I don’t feel like I’d be completely safe there for some reason but I can’t put my finger on why.

Well, actually I know why: it’s because I still don’t trust her. She told me to ask for help with my plane ticket and assured me that she would be one of many people to contribute.

But I posted in a private group for people attending the gathering asking if anyone was willing to help me and…crickets. One of my other friends (whom I have met and do like) asked what I wanted in posting that. I said that I was just wondering if anyone could help with the costs but I was uncomfortable asking for money. In the end, no one contributed anything.

And that’s more than fine; I wouldn’t expect for people to pay for my travel. But it’s more of the same type of behavior that I’ve grown to expect from the person hosting the gathering. She makes me look and feel stupid for doing precisely what she asked of me. This is a long-standing habit for her.

I don’t know what it is about me and her or what she gets out of making me look stupid. But she hasn’t really changed and I am way too vulnerable for that.

So I decided that I’m not going to go. She said that the gathering is a “big lovefest” and full of women supporting each other. I could certainly use that but the potential cost is way too great.

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