Need advice on a friendship thing-need other opinions

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tanyasue, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. tanyasue

    tanyasue New Member

    Hi all,

    I haven't been posting that much, I haven't had much to say and my medicine has been making me sick.

    Anyway, I have this friend. She has never been able to really acknowledge my illness. More about her being uncomfortable than anything-I think.

    Anyway, when I was really sick last year she tried to hook up with this guy I liked when I was too sick to even leave my apartment. There have been several other things too. Another time, I needed some help to get to an MRI. She told me she couldn't because she was getting her hair done.I haven't talked to her since.

    My birthday was last month, and I didn't talk to her (no biggie). Yesterday, I got a pacakage in the mail from her. It was a birthday present that was nice and a card. The card apolgized for the present being late, and then said she hoped my pain wasn't too bad.

    I am so weirded out by this. She has done some not cool things to me this last year, and it has been hard on me.

    Now, I am so not sure what to do. I am confused and not sure what I want to do with this. I mean, I feel guilty about the gift but am unsure what I am supposed to do. Her birthday is around now (my brain is fried so I don't know when), but I am broke and cannot do anything. And the reality is that I don't know if I want to do anything for her at all.

    Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Help!

    Tanya Sue
  2. dakotasweett

    dakotasweett New Member

    I have had some friends in the past who have acted in a similar manner. My take on the issue of friends is that I would rather have a few close friends whom I can trust and depend on rahter than have many "friends" who are flaky and act in an uncaring manner.

    When I have received gifts from people that I was having difficulty with, I have simply returned the gift (or offered to- as some people have insisted that I keep the gift) and explained that it was not necessary for them to purchase anything for me but I appreciated the thought. I always followed this up with a discussion of the problems in our friendship so as to not encounter a similar bad situation. While this has been my tactic, I don't believe it is necessary to return the gift if you don't feel comfortable with that. Giving a gift, by nature, is supposed to be a selfless act- you are giving something to someone you care about because you think they will enjoy it...not because you want to gain something from giving the gift. So, if you don't feel comfortable giving a gift to your friend...don't. You could explain that you are financially strained right now and wish her a happy birthday verbally or with a card.

    Also ask yourself if this friend is worth having. If she causes more harm than good, maybe the friendship is not worth saving.

    I truly hope you are able to find some true friends who care deeply about you.

    Best of luck with this terrible situation,
  3. LollieBoo

    LollieBoo New Member

    of losing her friendship. Does that outweigh the hurt from her behavior? If so, it is best to let her have some time and a wide berth to figure out how she thinks she can fit into your life.

    My best friend for the last 14 years and I have had different things happen that put us on different planes at different times. There have been things she has done that offended me, hurt me, frustrated or even angered me. i'm sure she's felt the same about me several times!

    In particular, our first rift was when I had a child and she did not. My behavior had matured and mellowed out somewhat, while hers had gone all out wild- she was in her early twenties, free as a bird and loving life! It irritated me to be around her at times. She was self-involved and overindulgent. She thought I was BORING! We had some ill feelings between us until we discussed the difference of life experiences that were separating us. It allowed us to rediscover the things that we held in common and to have empathy for each other's joys and struggles within our own lives... Once again we could be there for each other.

    When I experienced a deep depression following a molar pregnancy and subsequent surgery, she was at a loss for what to do or say. Where we had gotten back on track with our friendship, we had once again derailed temporarily. (We live in separate states, so it's not like she could come over!) When she fell into depression, she glimpsed where I'd been and we were once again 100% on.

    In these last 14 years, we have both had children, lost pregnancies (babies) that were deeply wanted, married, grown up, gained weight, lost weight, breastfed, experienced life-shattering traumas, relocated (several times over!), and we have been there for each other. In my case, even if Angie didn't know what to do or say at the time, she was there and knew my life. She knows much of what makes me me. That is not a friendship that comes from immediate comfort and no discomfort. It comes from a love and a dedication to the friendship. There has been forgiveness and humility, encouragement and comfort- kindness and strength. We have grown up together as adult women.

    I remember a time when I looked at Angie and thought: I don't even like her anymore. I assume she felt the same about me at the time, because I could see she was impatient, trying to escape my presence. Three months later, I reached out- I sent her an e-mail apologizing for being judgemental of her choices and for being less-than-nice. She e-mailed back that "It's okay," acknowledging that we all have a tendency to want our friends to always be on the same page as we are in life. That doesn't happen, though. If all you want is friends who are 'right there with you', understanding everything as you go through it, and willing to listen even if they don't, you may find that you end up changing friends quite often.... perhaps with every couple of major changes in your life.

    If you want a friend for a lifetime, prepare to forgive and to have the humility to ask for forgiveness a LOT! You will go through many different phases at different times in your lives. Overall, however, you may come to notice a sort of synchronicity with your friends. Eventually, after catching up to each other a few times and finally being able to relate, you will find that even if you have never encountered the situation she's in, you understand her quandary as if it were yours. She will develop the same empathy for you. If she can't give you a ride to your MRI, she will make sure you have one and are comfortable... ideally!

    If you don't think she is that kind of friend- one who would reciprocate the effort it would take to keep a long-term friendship alive, then you have another decision to make. The ball is in your court. She reached out her hand. Do you want a friendship that may pass, or do want to bypass her involvement in your life? If she is an acquaintance from church, it may be good to have her as a friend you call only for upbeat, happy activities/ conversations. If you feel she is a bad influence in your life, and have felt better without her around, perhaps it would be better to return her gift with a kind explanation. That can be very difficult, but in the end very liberating.

    In no way should you feel obligated to get her a b-day gift. I'm sure she didn't send you one to try to elicit a gift for herself. If you do keep the gift, acknowledge it kindly, with a brief explanation of your inability to reciprocate this year. She will understand, I'm sure. Perhaps inviting her over for tea or something that is focused on reclaiming your closeness for her b-day?

    I'm close to your age, and I feel like I can feel where you are coming from. If I am way off, I'm sorry and I hope hope hope hope hope that your situation turns out in a way that takes away all past hurts from that relationship, and adds in a bright new future either way!


    p.s- what DID she get you for your belated b-day present?!
    [This Message was Edited on 11/20/2005]
  4. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    Friendship is about giving and taking. That means good as well as bad. If she can't deal with your being ill, then something is not right there.

    Let me ask you this, if the tables were turned, and SHE were ill, bedridden at times, like we are, would YOU hit on a man that she was interested in? I doubt it!

    If she were hurting and needed to get to a doctor's, would you diss her and go to a hair appointment? I think not.

    She sounds toxic to me, and I would just slowly but surely move on. There are people out there who will care about you through thick and thin. Not just when it's convenient for them. BTW, nice trick for her to send a b-day present when it's close to HER birthday, right??? Get my point??

    She sounds like a selfish, immature B***h to me. Sorry, but I've been there, and wasted a lot of time and effort. And I wasn't even ill at the time. We don't have that kind of energy anymore. My opinion?? Move on. And do whatever you want with the gift. It's yours to keep, right? Right! Good luck!! Hugs! PG
  5. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    My first impression is - she is missing you as a friend. She is well aware of the things she did to you - and now out of the clear blue, she comes back hoping you will pretend nothing happened. She is not acknowledging or apologizing for her past behavior.

    If you go along with it, I am sure you will continue to have the same experiences with her. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, even though we need friends, do you need someone like this?

    She does not seem to have a very good character and is not trustworthy. As I have said before, with friends like her, who needs enemies?

    I would either return the gift and tell her thanks but no thanks. She is not a friend. Or keep the gift and say nothing to her.

    The issue here is, do you want to re-establish a relationship with her - based on her past behavior, I hope not.

    You are certainly not obligated to buy her a present - and lastly you don't need someone like this in your life. This is an example of a toxic person who makes us sick.

  6. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    sending a present to you Tanya. She is obviously unsure of the friendship herself or she would surely have brought the present round in person.

    Maybe you both need to discuss where your friendship goes and it might be better to do this on the telephone.

    Dont feel guilty about the gift, dont feel guilty at all. Decide whether or not you want this person in your life and if you do then talk to her about it, if you dont then send her a thankyou note.

  7. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Tanya Sue,
    This person sounds very much like the person who used to be my "best" friend.

    I have come to the conclustion that a person who is not loyal or kind to us, and then gives us presents is one basic abusive pesonality. They do things that hurt us and then turn around snd do nice things, to keep us around, so that they can do things that hurt us. This motivation may not even be conscious on their part. But, it can be a pattern.

    I think you were right to separate yourself from her. What kind of a person would take another's boyfriend? That is breaking a big taboo!

    Don't feel guilty about the gift. Chances are she gave it to you for her, not for you. I think that if you respond by giving her a gift, you are oening the door to more abuse.I think it's best to send her blessings (mentally) and then let go.

    Good luck. I hope you solve this hurtful problem.
  8. catsmeow369mi

    catsmeow369mi New Member

    I had a friend. We both went into business at the same time. I even worked at her house the first year for a while, but felt guilty because I had so many more clients then her. I have noticed over the last 5 years that the only time she calls me is if she has questions about income tax ( which is what we both do). My thereapist asked me if I consider that friendship. I had to say no. When I would call her with personal problems all I heard was her problems. I realized she is a spoiled, self-centered person. Las time I saw her was at the mall & she said she had tried to call me to tell me a customer was looking for me - but since I didn't return her call .... I was rather rude to her when she said talk to you later...I said yeah whatever. Oh well, she wasnt a friend just a user. I don't need that in my life.

    Thinking of you -

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