QUESTION FROM A GREEK TRAGEDY READER [Let’s call her Natalie]: I’ve been a long time reader (since you first were featured in The New York Times) and really could use your advice.
Several years ago I introduced a work colleague [Let’s call her Tory] to an acquaintance of my then boyfriend, now husband. We all started dating at approximately the same time and eventually married at roughly the same time.
Tory and I were both sales professionals that worked from our homes. I lived near her boyfriend [Let’s call him Sam] and covered a territory close by. She lived 100 miles away and covered a territory near her home. As her relationship developed, Tory began to spend more time near Sam and managed her territory remotely.
Throughout the time that we were all still dating we were close friends. She and I spoke several times a day both personally and professionally. When Tory got engaged she asked me to be in her wedding, and I was honored!
Shortly after her engagement, she accused me of sabotaging her at work by telling our boss that she was living 100 miles away. It turned into a terrible situation — so much so that I lost more than 2 friends over it. In every group outing (that our friends host), one of the couples is generally left out, and I just learned that I am not being invited to a mutual friend’s baby shower because Tory will be there.
At the time that Tory accused me, I adamantly denied it and our friendship deteriorated. There were lots of hurtful accusations made by her, and I did my best to ignore them. They eventually erupted into 2 distinct very public screaming matches (her fiance Sam to my fiance Billy and her to me at a wedding.)
I lost sleep and continue to lose sleep over this. I’m depressed and sad. I learned after the fact that she’s not a nice person, and this is pretty typical behavior for her. Tory’s been arrested for screaming at police officers, etc. Unfortunately she puts on a good show – she’s articulate, driven, and beautiful.
I did learn that she has a really storied past – not worth repeating here, but it’s enough stuff that I could write a small book on. Worth repeating is the fact that I was recently told that someone else in the company really did turn her in for her poor work habits. They were doing all of her work for her and were tired of being used. I guess our boss had pressed her for details of her behavior, and Tory just assumed it was me.
Tory no longer works for the company (she had a baby right away and now stays at home). I continue to work for the company.
We live in a very small community – amongst a pretty "horsey" crowd. Word travels fast here, and memories are long. Because of this, I’m hesitant to come clean with what I know, because it could totally backfire on me as being a gossip, or continuing to lead this fight. It could also really hurt her, and embarrass her husband Sam, who is an incredibly nice guy. But I’m tired of taking the blame for this. I am tired of friends on the periphery wondering what’s going on, and I know questions will come up about my not being at this upcoming shower.
What do I do? I’d really appreciate your advice. XO, Natalie
Before I take a smack + crack at answering this (and I will), I’ll let others weigh in with their own words of wisdom. Floor’s all yours…
Actually, I’m putting my smack + crack in a new post because it’s that long… and it’s also a personal story beyond advice. See the post, "wrecking balls + other psychos."
GOT QUESTIONS? NEED ADVICE? If you have questions or need advice on anything from where to eat to how to get over the bastard, just email your question to my advice email address. Nope, I’m not a shrink, but since people keep asking for my opinion, I might as well share it and air it, so everyone else can weigh in too.