Invited new friend over, she ignored my pleas for help

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by baanders, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. baanders

    baanders New Member

    Hello everyone,
    I hope you are enjoying your summer in any way you can. ;)

    It's hard to have friends, isn't it? So yesterday I invited a new friend over (she goes into very old people's homes to be a "companion"). She was nice, in general. I'm 35. She seems somewhat unhappy only b/c her husband won't travel anywhere with her and she's able-bodied.

    I gave 120% of myself in smiling, making her feel comfortable and good about herself. I forced myself to act bubbly and extra energetic and happy. I complemented her and greeted her with a hug and smile. But after 2 hours of entertaining, I told her I had "sensory overload". I kindly said that if I don't lie down and relax, I would become very exhausted and painful.

    Problem is whenever I mentioned what a difficult time I'm having in getting pain management, she kept ignoring me or changing the subject.

    Am I a bad person? What's up?

    Thanks kindly.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/30/2008]
  2. CKater

    CKater New Member

    That's an odd response from someone used to dealing with elderly people who are sick. Maybe she's just uncomfortable because she doesn't know you too well yet, or isn't informed about this dd. Give her another chance I guess. In the meantime, take care of yourself.
  3. baanders

    baanders New Member

    Thank you for your concern, first of all!! I admire all of my friends here.

    She is about 50 years old. I'm 35. That's fine with me. She is very able-bodied. But I'm able-bodied in the head. I felt like I couldn't be myself around her b/c she only looked happy when I was smiling and forcing smiling.

    I asked her if she had ever seen anyone with this and she said no, only people with arthritis and MS. (I'm not saying arthritis and MS aren't horrible, they are).

    She wouldn't ask me any questions about myself, in general, at all (my education, hobbies, you know, small stuff). No questions about FMS.

    Her hubby does suffer from severe depression. I don't know if this plays a part.

  4. baanders

    baanders New Member

    I tried that yesterday. I was just a tad too entertaining. I was just tryig to make a friend. My husband, mother, and sister let me be me. They let me be quiet, TOTALLY, if I need to.

    It's like I just can't have friends because I get panic attacks afterwards. I must relax. I think you know what I mean. I want to be kind, but the new friend wants to force this overly-light heart attitude and I can't relax.

    Plus, I have been almost a recluse because of fms/CFS. I'm not used to socializing.

    I hope you understand.
  5. CKater

    CKater New Member

    It is hard to "be yourself" around new people isn't it? We are having a hard enough time trying to understand what the heck is going on with our bodies ourselves much less trying to communicate it to another person.
    Your new friend sounds afraid. Maybe she's gotten close to someone that was ill and lost that person, or her husband's illness makes her someone afraid to get close to other people too? Just a thought.
    This DD is very isolating, but I really congratulate you for putting yourself out there, don't give up! Just try to plan social engagements with her that have time limits. Maybe invite her out for coffee so that there is a time limit on the activity..that will give you and she time to get to know each other without abrupt "I have to lay down right now" sort of moments. Does that make sense?
  6. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 New Member

    As much as you want friendships and the love and laughter it brings, it's very difficult for a healthy person to understand how we feel. I too feel the pressure to act more energetic around people because else they may think that I'm just not that interested in them. I work part-time and I try to act as healthy as I am able to there but come home exhausted.

    It's good you have a few people in your life that just let you be you. I have a fear of having a friend over to the house for a few hours becuase I'm worried that they won't leave when I need to rest (or get offended if I ask).

    I think one of the most difficult issues for me about this dx is that most people (including doctors!) just don't understand how sick we are. I do have some supportive friends but I know they still don't get what I am really struggling with on a day to day basis. But how could they really? If I was healthy I guess I wouldn't understand this either. (sigh)

    It's nice having this board - we can all relate and don't need to explain ourselves.

    Hugs to you, Kristina
  7. baanders

    baanders New Member

    Great point!
    If we only go on outings then it is so much easier to put a time limit and say "I have to go, so sorry."

    Thanks for the great suggestion
  8. baanders

    baanders New Member

    You are so right. It's almost like we must conserve our energies and we are in survival mode. If they don't get it then we cannot waste our precious health making other people happy. I've read many times that people on this board have lost a lot of friends. I personally have lost the relationship of all of my extended cousins, Aunts, etc (not mother or sister) because they have NO IDEA how to relate to me. They say negativities. They are not patient. That takes a special person to understand, doesn't it? Including doctors.

  9. CKater

    CKater New Member

    Jeerie makes a good point. Wanting to make a new friend is one thing, but you doing all the "investing" is quite another thing altogether. If you enjoy her company and it's a two way street wonderful. But if after giving her a chance, and you're the one coming up empty then I'd say the relationship will probably be pretty empty too with you having to "act" all the time in order to maintain it. And that's not what friendship is about either. In any case, stick it out for a while, and see if it's something YOU want to pursue kiddo. I hope it does work out for you, it's always great to find a new friend.
  10. lrning2cope

    lrning2cope New Member

    You are not a bad person ! Although I agree with others here that you give her a second chance , I think that should be it. She could have had a bad day and needed to vent . On the other hand , she could be the type that is only good at listening if she gets paid for it.

    I have had friendships with people who vent all the time and never want to hear what I have to say at all. It is so hard and unhealthy to have a one-sided friendship like that. Friendships are about give and take. If the relationship is all give or all take then it is not balanced and those of us who are struggling with illness don't need an unbalanced friendship . It just is too much energy to put out when you don't feel well.

    It sounds like ( as I read your post again) that she is almost overloaded herself with listening from work and she thinks that it is her turn to vent now. Does she seem an open type that you could just come out and confront her and say what you are looking for in a friendship ? If she seems nice , maybe that would work.

    Wow ,am I foggy today . Did any of that make sense ?

    I hope it works out. I would love to be your friend . It is not your fault.

  11. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    She sounds like she's all into herself and that type never works well for us to be around once we're ill with something like this.

    I go by the feelings I am left with after being with people. If I feel good then I'll see them again. If I don't feel good (and I mean emotionally) then I know they are not good for me at this time at least and probably not unless I get well.

    I think most normals aren't good for us. That's a hard fact but it does take a special kind of person to really give us what we need, permission to be ill and in pain. I used to be very social but not anymore. I've also heard it said by so many with our DDs that the only people they can be around are others with similar illnesses and even then it's only some....

    It's sad, it cuts us off from so many people but I think we're worse for the wear when we have to deal with the chronic norms. It's not that they're bad people, they're just not so good for us.

    I know others here say to give it another go but my advice is to try with someone else and let this one go. I don't like the way she treated you as well, it bothers me that she didn't care to ask about you or listen to you and continually changed the subject. Sorry but yuck! lol

    Is there a support group near you where you can meet people you have more in common with?

    [This Message was Edited on 07/30/2008]
  12. bellydonna

    bellydonna New Member

    I don't keep in touch with many friends/longtime friends because I feel unlikeable and am ashamed of being an underachiever.
  13. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    Can you say exactly what you really want from this friendship? You said in your post that she (works?) as a companion, and that her husband won't travel with her.

    What would you have wanted her to do when you talked about your difficulties with pain management? Did you just want to have her acknowledge them? Or did you want to discuss it in depth thinking she might have some insight from what she's seen in her work?

    How is it that you met this person and decided that you were friendship material?

    It is probably best if, in the future, you just act like yourself, rather than feel the need to provide the entertainment. And perhaps if you invite her over, your invitation could include something like -- would you like to come over this afternoon at about 3 for maybe an hour? I'll have tea and cookies, and we can chat and catch up. That way, you'd both have the agenda and the time schedule out in the open.

    On the other hand, it may be that she is so surrounded in the rest of her life by people who can't (clients) or won't (husband) do anything really 'active' that she needs to find some friends on her own that feed that need in herself. It's such a downer for you that she seems unhappy -- but it also isn't your job to fix that for her.
  14. baanders

    baanders New Member

    I think I'm a people pleaser. I think when we feel rejected, we try harder. And we can feel rejected because no one really understands fibromyalgia like ourselves.

    She put down a person with MS who is 83 and in bad shape. She called her a "complainer." Well, if she was in that old lady's shoes, she would have taken her life years ago(all she can do is feed herself).

    When I first met her, someone pushed me in a wheelchair by her house. We met at her mailbox. She thought I was well enough to go out, but I couldn't. Her first comment about me was "Look at your looks so good." Otherwise, "You look so normal, you can't be hurting"

    Thanks friends,
  15. spmom

    spmom New Member

    Some people are very trusting and compassionate people and can tune into you with the right thing to say and the right way to say it. Most people are not I've discovered. I used to think people were very rude and unconcerned, but I really believe that most people do not know what to do so they either do nothing or say things that are usually offensive to make them selves feel better (better than feeling awkward). The only thing that helps by knowing this is that it is not personal. Their way of handling things is their issue.
  16. monicaz49

    monicaz49 New Member

    my gut feeling is she took what you were saying how any normal healthy person might say it not realizing how sick you might be.

    I can see how if two healthy people were conversing and one said "oh i have sensory overload...etc" that it wouldnt strike me as something really significant or severe. I would take it as some petty irritation that you are experiencing.
    Does that make any sense cause I am not too good at explaining myself these days. :)

    Not only that but if you are acting bubbly and extra energetic (which gives her the impression you ARE in fact those things and fairly healthy) it would seem again that your comment of having sensory overload is comparable to someone saying they simply have a head ache. Its there but not the end of the world kind of thing.

    Its hard because we want to come across as healthy and energetic but its a struggle to sometimes appear so. Then, unfortunately, people believe us.

    Although your friend couldnt relate to you, I can. Sorry you ended up not feeling too well and then didnt get any support from your friend. :(
  17. CKater

    CKater New Member

    Gee Becca this gal doesn't sound like someone you'd want as a friend...a little short on the compassion scale don't you think? I think you need to find another friend she sounds a bit toxic. Sorry, don't mean to offend your choices here, but to have so little compassion for an 83 year old with MS? That's harsh. And ignoring, changing the subject when your first visit was basically get to know you/get to know me?....yikes...I dunno. I think you're way nicer than she is. I think someone like you can find nicer friends too. You don't need the approval of someone like that for sure.

    LISALOO New Member

    My two cents worth, some people are toxic, they just get tired of hearing about things, or they just don't know what to say and are uncomfortable. I would bring this up before you write the person off. Ask why she won't listen.
  19. baanders

    baanders New Member

    How very precious are my friends on this board and your comments. You all cheered me up and made my day :)

    I think I have good friends here. I only wish I could meet you all.

  20. Honora88

    Honora88 Member

    I would wish her well and go your own way.

    She probably needed attention. Oftentimes helpers are the people who need help themselves.