Put on the Big-Girl Panties Already.
When I was in fourth grade, I went to Hillside Elementary School. It was a nice enough school as far as schools go, but it was not within quick walking distance of my home. In terms of now, it would be a fairly easy walk for me. But at 10, it was a hike and along some busy streets with fast-moving traffic.
One day, my friend Naomi and her friend Robin decided to walk home from school. They each called their mom (or at least said they did; I wonder now) and got the okay. I called my mom and she was very adamant that I was not, under any circumstances, to join them. Today, I completely understand her position and frankly cannot believe Naomi's and Robin's moms let them do it either.
Anyway, as I was coming out of the office all upset and angry because my mom said no, I said "I can't, my mom won't let me." Within five seconds they were halfway down the hall tossing a "see ya" over their shoulder. I think I actually said "but what about me?!" and one of them callously said something to the effect of "get on the bus."
I vividly remember standing in the middle of the hallway, watching them getting as far away from me as quickly as they could. I was shocked, I was hurt, and I can't remember feeling more abandoned or more wounded than I did at that moment. These were supposed to be my friends. They didn't even bother to say "that's too bad"; "that sucks"; or even "I'll see you later". All I saw was their backs as they left me hanging.
This horrible feeling of having my friends abandon me has stayed with me to this day. One of the reasons I'm so incredibly anal about setting exact times and places to meet people for social events is because I've had too many occasions growing up where people would just change their minds and "forget" to tell me. I don't trust anyone to show up or do anything that they say they will.
These days, I can see the reality for what it is. My friends don't/wouldn't abandon me or callously leave me behind. I know that. My friends are real friends (unlike Naomi and Robin, who obviously weren't) and they would never do anything to intentionally hurt me.
But sometimes that inner 10 year old still feels horribly abandoned.