An old high school friend of mine I’d always chatted books with (we had a little two person book club in middle and high school) recently graduated university with a degree in English. She’s always been a bit full of herself, but I ignored it for the most part as friends do.
Today, we were Snapping about books and I showed her some of A Separate Peace, which I made clear I greatly enjoyed. She described it as ‘bad adult lit’ and 'melodramatic YA’ despite never having read it besides the bits I sent. I told her she’d always trusted me on books, and to trust me now, joking a bit. She replied 'I have a fancy lit degree now, I don’t trust anyone.'
Of course I know she meant it to be a joke, but this is just the tip of the iceberg with these comments. My time at community college was 'like high school’ and with my current school? ‘At least you’re trying still. :)’ My opinion on why her thoughts on Oscar Wilde were homophobic were completely ignored because she learned these awful things from one of her professors. I can’t help but feel hurt.
I’m studying literature too, and have always felt on equal footing with her. She used to read my dramatic French existentialists and John Lennon and I used to read her Scott Westerfeld and Victorians. We had different tastes but there was a mutual trust and openness there, and lots of talking. I’m in school to learn more and am starting to feel like her presence is getting in the way of that.
It constantly feels like neurotypical people are using my shitty life as a means to feel good about themselves instead of seeing me as an actual person with feelings. Other friends go to wonderful schools and still appreciate the effort I put in as I appreciate their efforts. We’re all students, and I’d like if more of us built each other up instead of making snide underhanded comments to boost our egos. My mental health is in bad enough shape without someone tearing away at me little by little.