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friend issue -- reach out again, or wait patiently?


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#1 TheReader

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:03 PM

In the interest of brevity, I won't go into all the details about what actually happened; that part isn't super relevant, I don't think. 

 

Say you have a falling out with a friend. You email a lengthy email detailing your thoughts, feelings, etc. about what's going on, and taking responsibility for the parts that you feel are on you. 

 

Friend replies 5 days later with a brief "I got your note, I'm still processing..."

 

Six days later, still nothing. 

 

Do you write back? Do you probe or ask questions? Do you write a normal "pretend like nothing's wrong" email and leave that for it's own separate discussion, but going back to normal chit-chat otherwise? A short "just letting you know I miss you" note?

 

Or do you wait and let her signal when she's ready to hear from you again? 

 

I am hoping I didn't kill the friendship. I want to do whatever will help things not die. I don't have a clue what that is (write, or wait). 

 

Thoughts? Suggestions? 


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#2 hjffkj

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:06 PM

I'd wait. She acknowledged that she got your email, now the ball is in her court.
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#3 okbud

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:09 PM

Nope. You said whatever you were going to say. Let her be for a while.

Good luck I hope it shakes out well for both of you.
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#4 Annie G

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:10 PM

I'd wait, especially at this time of year. She might be dealing with holiday stress and just doesn't want to deal with your friendship right now. Sorry. I know it's hard. BTDT. 


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#5 nixpix5

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:22 PM

Definitely wait. You did your part and now the rest is on them. I hope it works out how you want it to.
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#6 Tap

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:23 PM

Wait. If it goes a month or beyond, maybe a quick "I miss you" but not before.  The person asked for time, so I would give it to her. 


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#7 Spryte

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:23 PM

I’ll be the lone voice saying that after a week, I’d send the short “I miss you,” note.
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#8 hjffkj

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:49 PM

I’ll be the lone voice saying that after a week, I’d send the short “I miss you,” note.


If a friend did this to me after a week I would feel like they were impatiently waiting for me to respond and prioritizing their need for a response over my need to process. That would not bode well for our friendship.
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#9 _______

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:52 PM

It would depend on how important the friendship was to me.  If very important, I might ask her something - no idea what - just because I'm not so great at waiting.  If not so important, I'd just forget about it and go on.



#10 Spryte

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:11 PM

If a friend did this to me after a week I would feel like they were impatiently waiting for me to respond and prioritizing their need for a response over my need to process. That would not bode well for our friendship.

 

That's a good point.  

 

I really have no idea what I'd do, anyway, and can't quite imagine anything so terrible that it would be friendship-ending that happened rather suddenly.  

 

Carry on waiting.  :)



#11 Laurie4b

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:27 PM

What were your reasons for not  discussing things in person?  

 

 



#12 Rosika

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:34 PM

I have written something like that ("I'm processing ...") so I'll try to give you insight into what's in my head with that:

 

1. I was ready to end the friendship, but you reached out to me. And I'm deep down glad because while ready to end the friendship, I didn't really want to OR while prepared to end the friendship I am having second thoughts about doing so. This basically means I'm processing two different things: one, your apology/explanation; and two, where I see this friendship ultimately headed. Because even if we restore the friendship, it may be at a more superficial level (at least to start) than before. And I'll need time to process how to best communicate this, especially if I think you're gunning for a full restoration back to "the way it was." 

 

2. My feelings are hurt. Maybe I want you to sweat it out a little bit. I mean, if you called to say your daughter was getting married or your father was in the hospital I'd drop everything, but so long as your world seems fine ... than I want or need to take some time to lick my wounds. This is especially true if I thought the fight was a relationship-breaker and your apology came out of the blue and surprised me. 

 

So I vote to give her time to process. But don't give her forever. Take advantage of the upcoming holidays to reach out again - in a no-pressure type of way, be it a Christmas card or "Hey, I saw this CD and thought of you. I know you need time, and you should know I still care and am here when you're ready." 

 

I'm actually very stubborn and "out of sight, out of mind" type of person. So sometimes I get caught up in (2). I'm always grateful when someone reaches out to me without any pressure to remind me they're there. It gives me an "in" to resume our friendship on a neutral note instead of thinking we're going to have to re-hash whatever caused the fall out. I can address the note or gift instead of the email IYKWIM. But I'm also a bury the hatchet, move on type of person (once I'm to that point.) I'm not a hash and re-hash it until we're blue in the face, trying to get to the bottom of what happened. 

 

I'm sorry about your fall out. It takes a big person to write an email like you did. Hopefully she realizes how much you value the friendship, and she's able to come to terms with whatever happened so you all can move on. Relationships are sometimes hard, but the truly great ones are worth fighting for! Too many people give up instead :( I hope she's not one of them! Good luck. 



#13 TheReader

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:03 PM

What were your reasons for not  discussing things in person?  

 

A few things. 

 

She lives out of state, so while we were actually present together at the same event, we had very conflicting schedules during it and had only about 25 mins together the day the fall out happened (I ended up leaving the event early). She requested that I not come back by her/our hotel room when I left my class/before I headed home, and the only other time we had to talk in person was in a cafeteria at lunch with another friend present as well. Not a good time/place to discuss it all. And I was chicken to bring it up in that time frame (25 mins)/setting....and that's one of the things I apologized for in the email. 

 

And, since she lives out of state, I'd say 80% of our communication is via email anyway, and about 20% via phone. I know she prefers "deep" or serious communication in writing, so that she can process it, re-read it (she has a condition that causes memory loss at times, so often re-reads things to be sure she isn't missing anything), etc. I did, though, email while she was still with our other friend so that she'd have someone there in person to kind of process/bounce it off of/be a support to her if needed. 



#14 TheReader

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:09 PM

I have written something like that ("I'm processing ...") so I'll try to give you insight into what's in my head with that:

 

1. I was ready to end the friendship, but you reached out to me. And I'm deep down glad because while ready to end the friendship, I didn't really want to OR while prepared to end the friendship I am having second thoughts about doing so. This basically means I'm processing two different things: one, your apology/explanation; and two, where I see this friendship ultimately headed. Because even if we restore the friendship, it may be at a more superficial level (at least to start) than before. And I'll need time to process how to best communicate this, especially if I think you're gunning for a full restoration back to "the way it was." 

 

2. My feelings are hurt. Maybe I want you to sweat it out a little bit. I mean, if you called to say your daughter was getting married or your father was in the hospital I'd drop everything, but so long as your world seems fine ... than I want or need to take some time to lick my wounds. This is especially true if I thought the fight was a relationship-breaker and your apology came out of the blue and surprised me. 

 

So I vote to give her time to process. But don't give her forever. Take advantage of the upcoming holidays to reach out again - in a no-pressure type of way, be it a Christmas card or "Hey, I saw this CD and thought of you. I know you need time, and you should know I still care and am here when you're ready." 

 

I'm actually very stubborn and "out of sight, out of mind" type of person. So sometimes I get caught up in (2). I'm always grateful when someone reaches out to me without any pressure to remind me they're there. It gives me an "in" to resume our friendship on a neutral note instead of thinking we're going to have to re-hash whatever caused the fall out. I can address the note or gift instead of the email IYKWIM. But I'm also a bury the hatchet, move on type of person (once I'm to that point.) I'm not a hash and re-hash it until we're blue in the face, trying to get to the bottom of what happened. 

 

I'm sorry about your fall out. It takes a big person to write an email like you did. Hopefully she realizes how much you value the friendship, and she's able to come to terms with whatever happened so you all can move on. Relationships are sometimes hard, but the truly great ones are worth fighting for! Too many people give up instead :( I hope she's not one of them! Good luck. 

 

 

thank you! Lots of good info here. I am sure it's all of the above. 

 

I like the idea to send her a Christmas card when the time comes, whether things are back or not, so she can jump back in or not if she wants. 

 

I don't feel like a big person at all, but I am willing to fight for our friendship and hope she will be too. 



#15 Catwoman

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:13 PM

How big a deal was this that she needs a lot of time to "process" it? :confused:
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#16 happysmileylady

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:17 PM

I might not be inclined to send an "I miss you" type of message and for sure wouldn't send a message pretending nothing happened.

 

BUT, I don't think it would be terrible to send a short message that says something along the lines of 'with the holidays coming up, I wanted to let you know I am thinking about you and that any time you need to talk, I will be here.  I completely understand that you are still processing and will give you space to do so, I just want to tell you that I am here for you whenever you are ready.

 

Or something similar.  You get the idea.  Basically, it's an acknowledgement that you are aware that she's still working on it, and that you DO miss her....but that you are absolutely throwing the ball in her court.

 

And then....I would totally let it drop.  The truth is that with the holidays, some things might get pushed to a back burner, for all of us.  So I wouldn't be surprised if she waits till after the first of the year. 


Edited by happysmileylady, 14 November 2017 - 10:19 PM.

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#17 TheReader

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:23 PM

That's a good point.  

 

I really have no idea what I'd do, anyway, and can't quite imagine anything so terrible that it would be friendship-ending that happened rather suddenly.  

 

Carry on waiting.   :)

 

this seems to be the overwhelming consensus; I'll carry on waiting. Thank you!

 

re: happening rather suddenly...that part is on me, and I honestly don't *feel* that it's friendship ending, but I don't know if she will feel that the way I've handled things will be too much (or if she will admit to there being an underlying issue or not), but it's more that over the past 4 yrs things have shifted dramatically....but in that slow-growing way that a parent never notices their kid is growing, but the person who sees them once/year sees it and is astounded. 

 

This has been like that, but negative vs. positive, and because we only see each other in person once/year, the decline was only super noticeable at our annual in-person visit, and this year I had to speak up...and now I wait to see if we can survive the shift or not. I really hope so, but we'll see. 


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#18 Catwoman

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:25 PM

I hope everything works out for you. Whatever happens, please don't blame yourself. It sounds like you were being honest with her, and there's nothing wrong with that. :grouphug:
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#19 TheReader

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:31 PM

How big a deal was this that she needs a lot of time to "process" it? :confused:

 

see my reply elsewhere; basically, this was.....we just had our annual get-together (we live out of state from each other and see each other once/year at an event), and it was clear to me that things this year were even more different than they were last year, which were far different a feel than the 1st year we did this (this is year four). Things moved from her coming to visit me, and as one thing we did, we attended this event.....to her coming to this event, and while here, seeing me and several other people, not even prioritizing our friendship over other friendships even though the responsibility/expectations were on me not on others (though I did take steps this year to shift that some as well to match the priority thing). 

 

So this year, towards the end of the event, I spoke up (and left early) and then emailed laying it all out, taking responsibility for not having spoken up along the way, but still letting her know how the shift (on her part) has made me feel.

 

So...I totally get that hearing, "out of the blue," that I've been noticing this change in things IS a lot to process. And might be a friendship killer, if she's unhappy with how I did and didn't speak up. And might/probably seriously hurt her, hearing all of that "out of the blue." 

 

But I also hope that somewhere along the way she'll be able to say "yes, I noticed the same thing, I realize I did that, and this is why..." Which might be too much to ask, I don't know. 

 

Anyway, it is a lot, and I don't at all begrudge her the time to sort it out and think about things, I just don't want my silence right now to communicate that I don't care. I want to be sure that all of my actions show her that I do care, I do love her, I do value our friendship, and I am willing to fight to keep it. And if waiting for her to speak up is how to do that....that is what I'll do. 


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#20 happysmileylady

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:46 PM

see my reply elsewhere; basically, this was.....we just had our annual get-together (we live out of state from each other and see each other once/year at an event), and it was clear to me that things this year were even more different than they were last year, which were far different a feel than the 1st year we did this (this is year four). Things moved from her coming to visit me, and as one thing we did, we attended this event.....to her coming to this event, and while here, seeing me and several other people, not even prioritizing our friendship over other friendships even though the responsibility/expectations were on me not on others (though I did take steps this year to shift that some as well to match the priority thing).

So this year, towards the end of the event, I spoke up (and left early) and then emailed laying it all out, taking responsibility for not having spoken up along the way, but still letting her know how the shift (on her part) has made me feel.

So...I totally get that hearing, "out of the blue," that I've been noticing this change in things IS a lot to process. And might be a friendship killer, if she's unhappy with how I did and didn't speak up. And might/probably seriously hurt her, hearing all of that "out of the blue."

But I also hope that somewhere along the way she'll be able to say "yes, I noticed the same thing, I realize I did that, and this is why..." Which might be too much to ask, I don't know.

Anyway, it is a lot, and I don't at all begrudge her the time to sort it out and think about things, I just don't want my silence right now to communicate that I don't care. I want to be sure that all of my actions show her that I do care, I do love her, I do value our friendship, and I am willing to fight to keep it. And if waiting for her to speak up is how to do that....that is what I'll do.

oh



Um

Unless I am miss reading or you have left some things out.....I am going to change my answer.

I say email another apology.

#21 Spryte

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:46 PM

OP, I hope it works out, however you handle it.   :grouphug:



#22 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:48 PM

And then she got mad at you for having your feelings hurt because you felt brushed aside??  I would definitely not send another apology. 


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#23 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:21 AM

Am I remembering the backstory correctly? Crafting weekend?  She sells, you don't?


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#24 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:32 AM

If I remember the background, she’s already been pulling away. From her perspective, she may have felt put on the spot or “scolded” for having what is often a natural ebbing in a relationship. I have been on the other side of this. I have had what I thought were really close relationships with “sisters” which after more than 20 years still came to a close. It hurts. But I felt like I had to accept my (former) friends feelings. I realized that I want relationships that are mutual and not one sided or at least too lopsided.


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#25 Catwoman

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:37 AM

Am I remembering the backstory correctly? Crafting weekend? She sells, you don't?

I was trying to remember the details, as well, because I seemed to remember thinking the friend was the one who was making things difficult for the OP and not the other way around, so I went back and found the old thread -- at least I'm pretty sure this is it.

Note to TheReader -- I hope it's okay that I'm posting this here, but I think it would be helpful for people to be reminded of the backstory, particularly because I personally believe your friend is out of line if she's upset or angry with you. I don't think you owe her any apology at all!

http://forums.welltr...eling-how-i-do/

If you're uncomfortable with the link being posted here, please let me know and I'll remove it immediately.

Edited by Catwoman, 15 November 2017 - 12:42 AM.

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#26 Catwoman

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:41 AM

And then she got mad at you for having your feelings hurt because you felt brushed aside?? I would definitely not send another apology.


:iagree:

That's my impression of the situation, as well.

I suspect the friend doesn't really want to be close friends any more. I just wish she would have handled things differently because I hate to see TheReader's feelings being hurt. :(
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#27 TheReader

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 09:54 AM

Am I remembering the backstory correctly? Crafting weekend?  She sells, you don't?

 

Basically, yes. Huge quilting convention; she doesn't sell, but her business is quilting, and so the trip is a business write off for her. 

 

If I remember the background, she’s already been pulling away. From her perspective, she may have felt put on the spot or “scolded” for having what is often a natural ebbing in a relationship. I have been on the other side of this. I have had what I thought were really close relationships with “sisters” which after more than 20 years still came to a close. It hurts. But I felt like I had to accept my (former) friends feelings. I realized that I want relationships that are mutual and not one sided or at least too lopsided.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Yes, that's about it. Part of things, further complicating it, is that she also has depression. Four years ago, when we first did our in-person get together, she was really really really bad. I was her only safe person, and it just amplified the feelings of closeness, I guess. Now, she's much better than she was, and is able to be more social with more people again. Which is good. Which I'm happy about.

 

But that's part of why her circle is widening, and I am glad for the healing taking place.....but in the widening of the circle, I feel like I'm finding myself on the outside of it, instead of on the inside of it, if that makes sense. Which is, again, part of why I never said anything (and I only really feel it at this once/year event; I told her, and meant it, that I'd be pretty content maintaining our friendship via email, as normal, so long as next year when this event rolls around I am allowed to stay at my house and attend during the day, maybe staying one night with her in the hotel if she insists to stay there vs my house. Because really the thing is, I just can't afford to spend $500+ on a local event, ya know? 

But I also asked her if there's anything that has happened beyond just her getting better that is behind this pulling away that I feel from her. So....we'll see. I'd be thrilled to just continue as normal, and just be sort of "released" from having to spend the whole 4 days at the hotel with her during this event.

 

I was trying to remember the details, as well, because I seemed to remember thinking the friend was the one who was making things difficult for the OP and not the other way around, so I went back and found the old thread -- at least I'm pretty sure this is it.

Note to TheReader -- I hope it's okay that I'm posting this here, but I think it would be helpful for people to be reminded of the backstory, particularly because I personally believe your friend is out of line if she's upset or angry with you. I don't think you owe her any apology at all!

http://forums.welltr...eling-how-i-do/

If you're uncomfortable with the link being posted here, please let me know and I'll remove it immediately.

 

No, that is totally fine. I almost mentioned it in the first post, but then thought maybe it wasn't relevant and maybe I was talking too much. DH always says I give too many details, so I try to whittle them down.....but yes, that's the back story. Same friend, same issues.

 

Also, holy cow, re-reading that post makes me realize/remember how bad it had been....I had forgotten some of those details. Wowsa. Yes, things were very much the same this go-round. Sheesh. 

 

:iagree:

That's my impression of the situation, as well.

I suspect the friend doesn't really want to be close friends any more. I just wish she would have handled things differently because I hate to see TheReader's feelings being hurt. :(

 

Awww, thank you. You are so sweet! I'm at a place where I'm honestly okay with it....this last event just left me feeling like a bit of an idiot and rather guilty for not listening to my husband earlier on. He tried to remind me of last year and talk me out of staying in the hotel with her; I felt like things had been getting better, and she'd be upset if I didn't, so I pushed it, got the job so I could pay that part (which turned out really fun and I'd do that again), and in the end, cost us money we didn't need to spend and still possibly cost myself the friendship by the way I walked out. 

 

But...if it's not mutual any longer, it's not mutual any longer. And it was pretty clear...it's not mutual, not on the same level as it was. So...okay. Like you mentioned elsewhere....I was honest with her, and it was way past time for that. How she responds is up to her, and whichever way it goes....I think I'm okay with that. I would love to keep the friendship, but if she can't....okay. 


Edited by TheReader, 15 November 2017 - 10:01 AM.

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#28 brehon

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:15 AM

Um...this part jumped out at me - “...so long...as I’m allowed to stay at my house...”

Why wouldn’t you be able to do whatever you wished to do, especially with regard to staying at home v. staying at a hotel? Honestly, I remember thinking while reading your original thread that your relationship with this person was very unhealthy. Perhaps you’re now fully realizing it, too?

I *am* sorry for your pain.
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#29 Word Nerd

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:24 AM

No, I would not reach out again, as it sounds like this friendship may have run its course and it's time to let it go if she is not really interested in pursuing the friendship. I'm sorry that you're hurting.  :grouphug:


Edited by Word Nerd, 15 November 2017 - 10:24 AM.

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#30 TheReader

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:26 AM

Um...this part jumped out at me - “...so long...as I’m allowed to stay at my house...”

Why wouldn’t you be able to do whatever you wished to do, especially with regard to staying at home v. staying at a hotel? Honestly, I remember thinking while reading your original thread that your relationship with this person was very unhealthy. Perhaps you’re now fully realizing it, too?

I *am* sorry for your pain.

 

Yes, I am. I know. 

 

For many years I've been the one friend who stuck by her throughout the worst of her depression, and perhaps that's made me a bit codependent. She's needed me, and I've not wanted to hurt her. When I've been the one person hearing all the stories of all the other friends who have bailed on her, that I'm the only one she can talk to, that I'm her only safe person....and she *has* been there for me during things in my life, too, it hasn't been strictly one-way until more recently. 

 

So when this time she booked the hotel and said "I got a room for us, and am going to invite J & Y to come if they want, too" it was presented as just an understood thing, that I'd stay at the hotel with her, that I'd be her pick-up/drop-off person from the airport, that I would just go along with her plans......and I was too chicken to speak up because she's important to me, and I didn't want to rock the boat. 

 

Which, yes, bad idea, obviously. I get that now. But it just kind of came about that way, and......yea. The email I sent her deals with this a great deal, that I should have spoken up sooner, that I should not have just gone along with the plans when they were too much for me, that I am the one in the wrong for letting this go on as long as I did. 

 

So...yep. I know, now, that things had become unhealthy. That's what I'm trying to fix. 


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#31 Catwoman

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:45 AM

You weren't the one in the wrong. You keep blaming yourself for being nice. The friendship was important to you, so you kept giving her a second chance... and another second chance... and another second chance -- and your friend took advantage of your kindness, and she made assumptions she shouldn't have made, and she used you.

I know it's hard to face it, but she used you. She used the friendship to manipulate you into doing a lot of things for her, but she didn't return those favors or even appreciate it that you went WAY out of your way to make her happy.

She hasn't been your friend for quite a while now. She uses you when she needs you. That's not a friend.

You are the kind of friend most of us would love to have. I'm sorry that woman doesn't realize how lucky she was to have you as her friend. And don't be surprised if she calls and acts sweet and wonderful the next time she's having a big problem and needs your help and advice... but try not to fall for it. :grouphug:
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#32 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:51 AM

I have been in situations where I was needed intensely like that and then dropped to more “acquaintance status” later or dropped totally. It hurts because I feel like I have been used. I don’t think that these people meant to use me but that’s how it has worked out. They were pretty self centered during the crisis (as most of us are to some degree in a crisis ) and then afterwards I have discovered that they still are self centered . Or they’ve moved on and I somehow remind them of the crisis that they are trying to put behind them. Just some musings from having btdt.


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#33 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:51 AM

I'm with Catwoman. The friendship ended quite a while ago, you are just a convenience to her.

And, I was in a similar position this summer, at that moment when I realized I was just a convenience to my "friend". It really sucks on one hand, and is really freeing on the other.  I'd let it go, and not try to pick it back up.


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#34 8circles

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:31 AM

You've been more than kind. You've apologized more than necessary. Stand firm in knowing that you are a good friend, your feelings were/are valid, you were right to express them to her. What she does with your feelings is not up to you & it's only yours to wait... or not wait & move on, assuming the friendship is over. If it isn't, and it can be healthy, then bonus!


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#35 ILiveInFlipFlops

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:01 PM

I remember your original thread as well, and I also agree that you should stop apologizing. You spoke up for yourself, you didn't make a scene, you were honest with her, and you took responsibility for your potential share of the problem. That's plenty, and I agree that if your friend is angry with you, then she's out of line and not such a great friend anymore. 

 

I'm sorry that you're hurting  :grouphug:


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#36 Okra

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:27 PM

Hugs.  I think in your gut you might already know the answer to your problem.

 

I read the previous thread, and it does seem there is a bit of an unhealthy relationship vibe.  

 

 But, reading these two threads it doesn't sound like this person is actually going to be a REAL true close friend of yours.  I'm really sorry.

 

Hugs.

 

 


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#37 _______

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:34 PM

Yeah, based on the previous thread, I'd let her go, unless there are some drastic changes, mostly on her part.  

 

:grouphug:


Edited by _______, 15 November 2017 - 12:40 PM.


#38 8circles

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:38 PM

oh



Um

Unless I am miss reading or you have left some things out.....I am going to change my answer.

I say email another apology.

 

You seem to be reading it differently than me. Can you explain what she should apologize for again?



#39 TheReader

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:18 PM

thanks, everyone. Really. 

 

I appreciate you guys a whole heck of a lot. I hope you each know that. 

 

-Heather (The Reader)


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#40 wintermom

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:44 PM

It sounds like this "1 time a year" friendship results in far too much negative feelings and energy-suck for you (and possibly overflowing onto your family).  

 

Time to direct your energy on family relationships and/or friendships that are more important to you   I'd just let the relationship fade, unless you really want that kind drama in your life. Some people enjoy having some drama in their lives. 



#41 lavender's green

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 02:43 PM

Yes, I am. I know. 

 

For many years I've been the one friend who stuck by her throughout the worst of her depression, and perhaps that's made me a bit codependent. She's needed me, and I've not wanted to hurt her. When I've been the one person hearing all the stories of all the other friends who have bailed on her, that I'm the only one she can talk to, that I'm her only safe person....and she *has* been there for me during things in my life, too, it hasn't been strictly one-way until more recently. 

 

So when this time she booked the hotel and said "I got a room for us, and am going to invite J & Y to come if they want, too" it was presented as just an understood thing, that I'd stay at the hotel with her, that I'd be her pick-up/drop-off person from the airport, that I would just go along with her plans......and I was too chicken to speak up because she's important to me, and I didn't want to rock the boat. 

 

Which, yes, bad idea, obviously. I get that now. But it just kind of came about that way, and......yea. The email I sent her deals with this a great deal, that I should have spoken up sooner, that I should not have just gone along with the plans when they were too much for me, that I am the one in the wrong for letting this go on as long as I did. 

 

So...yep. I know, now, that things had become unhealthy. That's what I'm trying to fix. 

 

The bolded stands out to me. I vaguely remember the older thread, too.

 

See, sometimes (sometimes! It's not always a hard and fast rule!) when a person keeps having interpersonal difficulties, you eventually come to see that the common factor in all those difficulties is...that person. As in, for whatever reason, they just always manage to cause strife in their interactions with others. They may not even mean to, and it may be that they're unwell in some way (depression comes to mind).

 

It may even be the case that all those friends who bailed were very nice people just like you, and she's misrepresenting how the friendships ended. Maybe she drove them off, but from her perspective it looks like they bailed on her.


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#42 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 03:39 PM

She requested that I not come back by her/our hotel room when I left my class/before I headed home,

 

 

 

This is the part that has jumped out to me on several readings.

It seems like your falling out was fairly serious if she asked you not to come to the hotel room that you helped pay for.  That's pretty OTT. It would put me off a lot.

 

I have to say, though, I don't usually have 'relationship talks' with my friends.  I have one acquaintance who kept trying to have them, and I felt it as pressure, as weirdness, and as much more weighty than the friendship really called for.  It made me avoid her, honestly, because I didn't enjoy her company very much knowing that this was in the offing, randomly.  Like if I called to wish her a happy birthday, we might have a nice talk, or she might say that she worked hard to forgive me for not sending a card but was successful in that endeavor.  (What DO you say to that?  Geez.)  FWIW, your friend might feel that way, too, especially now that she is beyond her depression.

 

She sounds very self-centered, also, and people like that sometimes don't take criticism well at all.  Also, people who have fought their way out of depression sometimes avoid 'bad feelings' like the plague because they are afraid of slipping back into depression again.
 



#43 GoodGrief

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 03:59 PM

I'd let it all go at this point. It seems to me that she is wanting a more casual relationship now, which happens sometimes. That development can be hurtful, especially if you are the sort of person who enjoys a circle of close friends who go out of their way for each other.

 

I think my friendship style is more casual. There are times when I will strike up a friendship with a person who wants to go all out for me. Honestly it's uncomfortable, because I don't know how to turn down the efforts without being unappreciative, but I know I don't want to get into a cycle of a high (to me, high) level of back and forth gifting of time/material goods/gestures. I may like the person and enjoy talking to them, even confiding to them or having them confide to me, but I'd like us to remain independent in other ways.

 

Maybe she is completely selfish too. It's hard for me to tell from what has been posted in the two threads.

 

One good lesson to take from this is that it is okay to speak up about your preferences and needs, and to ask clarifying questions about plans for similar events. Prepare to back out if the situation doesn't work for you.

 

 


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#44 happysmileylady

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:04 PM

You seem to be reading it differently than me. Can you explain what she should apologize for again?

 

Really, reading the explanation just came across like a little kid who doesn't want their friends to play with other kids.  Now, I could certainly be misreading it, and said as much.  It could certainly be that I misunderstood something, missed something in my reading, or that something was left out that could change my thinking.   But, that was how I read it.  That the OP got jealous that her friend wanted to do more than spend time with her and.....for lack of a better phrase "took her ball and went home."

 

That was how I read it.  Probably it was different than others read it. 

 

 

ETA: reading some further....if's obvious I was missing some details. 


Edited by happysmileylady, 15 November 2017 - 04:08 PM.

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#45 LarlaB

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:50 PM

OP, I haven't been exactly where you are (obviously) but have had similar relationship dynamics in a friendship- where the other person was going thru a particularly difficult time and found me to be the 'safe one' and I in turn, was too protective and attuned to that persons issues.   Meaning I knowingly gave up a 50/50 relationship and allowed it to be 80/20.  I listened to stories of her previous friendship failures, issues with DH, her personal issues and so on.  Of course, I shared my stuff too- but it was about her struggle.  And her struggle absolutely shaped our relationship. And THAT is the key point.

Soon it was more codependency, and I would further reason that the person never asked that of me, but she did happily accept it and seemed to expect it.  Of course she did. She was hurting and compromised and simply desperate.  But I was blind to the bigger picture that informed that this was indeed a pattern for her- due to her underlying and untreated mental health issues. 

I thought it was the right thing to do for that season, and in hindsight I would still rather overspend in kindness and compassion than treat people with callousness. But I have learned a LOT.  However, it was an unequal relationship, and could never be more than that.  When she started to be more restored, I expected things to shift back to a normal give & take and equal footing of other relationships I have had.  But she was unable to make that transition, and instead I was slowly dropped.  When I tried to discuss it and speak up, she then turned on me and I was accused of being the toxic, unhealthy one.  It wasn't pretty, but I calmly disengaged and walked away.

 

It was painful, but was the best thing I could have done- because it showed me where I had fallen short.  I didn't allow boundaries to keep me safe. I allowed myself to believe that this was just a season for her and while I wasn't trying to rescue, I did allow friendship boundaries (as in, I have just as many rights as you) to fall by the wayside, thinking it was temporary.  What I've learned is that very very rarely do friendships make it the entire way thru that kind of caretaking/compromised cycle.  Either you know too much about 'the struggle' and are a reminder to the person of their hard times, or they ultimately resent you for being the strong one.  Or, the relationship was never meant to be a long term thing.  I have had to grow and recognize my innate caretaking abilities and ultimately how unhealthy that is for me.  That's been a long road. 

You strike me as very thoughtful and kind- and very attuned to the needs of others. And very gentle yet astute in your observations. I think you have tried to do right by your friend, but also fell into a little codependency.  And, that's a tough one to get out of. Your feelings are valid- just as valid as her feelings. You should have a 50 percent stake in this relationship, but I suspect by what you've shared that you do not, nor is your friend able to see that dynamic.  I would try to come to a place of accepting this friendship as it is- and realizing that it very well may be over and unsustainable for you- now that you've noticed the dynamics.    My bossy advice would be to let the friendship go- its not a healthy one, the way it is. Regardless of when (or if) she replies, you need to resolve this for yourself.  It can't always depend on what she wants or how she feels- you have a right to say "I want more than this".....


 


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#46 TheReader

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 05:29 PM

Really, reading the explanation just came across like a little kid who doesn't want their friends to play with other kids.  Now, I could certainly be misreading it, and said as much.  It could certainly be that I misunderstood something, missed something in my reading, or that something was left out that could change my thinking.   But, that was how I read it.  That the OP got jealous that her friend wanted to do more than spend time with her and.....for lack of a better phrase "took her ball and went home."

 

That was how I read it.  Probably it was different than others read it. 

 

 

ETA: reading some further....if's obvious I was missing some details. 

 

Happy.... honestly, that's how I *felt* typing it all out, too. Even with all of the background, all of the everything that had happened, all of the details I've added since the original post you were replying to the first time and everything I have still left out or brushed over for space. I don't think I've misrepresented things here at all, for you and others to arrive at a different conclusion after reading through it all......but I did definitely feel just like what you wrote here. Like a little kid, jealous of my friend's attentions being spent elsewhere too, who took my stuff and went home. 

 

I just felt compelled to say to you, I totally understand how you could have read it that way, even with the extra details, and I'm glad you also spoke up in this thread. 

 

OP, I haven't been exactly where you are (obviously) but have had similar relationship dynamics in a friendship- where the other person was going thru a particularly difficult time and found me to be the 'safe one' and I in turn, was too protective and attuned to that persons issues.   Meaning I knowingly gave up a 50/50 relationship and allowed it to be 80/20.  I listened to stories of her previous friendship failures, issues with DH, her personal issues and so on.  Of course, I shared my stuff too- but it was about her struggle.  And her struggle absolutely shaped our relationship. And THAT is the key point.

Soon it was more codependency, and I would further reason that the person never asked that of me, but she did happily accept it and seemed to expect it.  Of course she did. She was hurting and compromised and simply desperate.  But I was blind to the bigger picture that informed that this was indeed a pattern for her- due to her underlying and untreated mental health issues. 

I thought it was the right thing to do for that season, and in hindsight I would still rather overspend in kindness and compassion than treat people with callousness. But I have learned a LOT.  However, it was an unequal relationship, and could never be more than that.  When she started to be more restored, I expected things to shift back to a normal give & take and equal footing of other relationships I have had.  But she was unable to make that transition, and instead I was slowly dropped.  When I tried to discuss it and speak up, she then turned on me and I was accused of being the toxic, unhealthy one.  It wasn't pretty, but I calmly disengaged and walked away.

 

It was painful, but was the best thing I could have done- because it showed me where I had fallen short.  I didn't allow boundaries to keep me safe. I allowed myself to believe that this was just a season for her and while I wasn't trying to rescue, I did allow friendship boundaries (as in, I have just as many rights as you) to fall by the wayside, thinking it was temporary.  What I've learned is that very very rarely do friendships make it the entire way thru that kind of caretaking/compromised cycle.  Either you know too much about 'the struggle' and are a reminder to the person of their hard times, or they ultimately resent you for being the strong one.  Or, the relationship was never meant to be a long term thing.  I have had to grow and recognize my innate caretaking abilities and ultimately how unhealthy that is for me.  That's been a long road. 

You strike me as very thoughtful and kind- and very attuned to the needs of others. And very gentle yet astute in your observations. I think you have tried to do right by your friend, but also fell into a little codependency.  And, that's a tough one to get out of. Your feelings are valid- just as valid as her feelings. You should have a 50 percent stake in this relationship, but I suspect by what you've shared that you do not, nor is your friend able to see that dynamic.  I would try to come to a place of accepting this friendship as it is- and realizing that it very well may be over and unsustainable for you- now that you've noticed the dynamics.    My bossy advice would be to let the friendship go- its not a healthy one, the way it is. Regardless of when (or if) she replies, you need to resolve this for yourself.  It can't always depend on what she wants or how she feels- you have a right to say "I want more than this".....


 

....and Larla, this is pretty much the best explanation anyone could have typed for what happened/is happening. I'm sorry you went through something similar, but I thank you for sharing all of this. It does help me a great deal to just.move.forward. Thank you. 


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#47 Margaret in CO

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 07:49 PM

I've been on the other end, with the friend pestering me to "talk about it." Frankly, I didn't want to talk--I was over being used. So, when I was stalked and hounded, I let the friend have it. Boom. Much happier place now. Friendships sometimes end, and that's okay.


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