To KJade or anyone having "friend" problems

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by desertlass, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. desertlass

    desertlass New Member

    Jade Lady! and others with "Confusing Friend Issues":

    Where did your post about fair-weather friends go? I wanted to let you know that I have had a lot of strong feelings in this area, too, lately.

    I don't what is going on with the lady who has recently been acting cooly toward you. I just thought I'd talk about my own stuff, in case you, or anyone else, could relate.

    My best friend in town has not contacted me since January. I just don't understand what happened-- I was even the one to suggest an outing for us last time,(the John Corbett concert I posted about) and I thought we had a nice time. So this isn't a case of her complaining "you can never go out!", and she's not like that anyway. She has brought dinner for us to share in my room, while I lie down and eat. She's true blue. But...

    I have been too sick to do anything for the last few months, but have heard back nothing since that last time-- no phone calls, no emails, nothing in response. We have been through thick and thin, together. I know she's really busy, compared to me, and perhaps she is overwhelmed.

    Anyway, I know how much this hurts-- almost as bad or worse when family hurts us. Friends are who we thought wanted to be with us because they like us, not because they are obligated to be with us. Not that family always feels obligated, either! :(

    I just wanted to pass on a thought that was prompted by a post on the FM board. Someone talked about when a person hurts us, to forgive them and then ourselves. They went on to talk about energy and metaphysics, etc., but just the idea of it made me think of you, because we are probably alike.

    I think that when someone hurts us, we feel it so deeply, because in a way, we are more angry at ourselves than at them. We feel stupid for having let someone hurt us, as if we should have been able to prevent it, somehow. So we blame ourselves for being foolish and make vows to never be foolish again.

    I think the idea that we need to forgive ourselves is important for people like you and I. Or maybe acceptance, too. We might need to remind ourselves of things like, I accept that I am a human being, and I can be hurt, just like anyone. Being hurt does not mean I'm a failure. Having a chronic illness does not make me a failure. Having friends that turn out to have issues does not make me a failure. I know all of that sounds kind of like psycho-cheezy "Stuart Smally affirmations", but they do help, as long as they're true.

    When it comes to friends, I find that the longer I live with this illness, the stronger I get, emotionally, and in turn, I want to be friends with people who are equally strong.

    I am getting better at not investing my energy into people who are just one big NEED, just so that I will feel like a good person. I already am a good person, and I deserve to be around people who treat me well. I don't have to prove anything by being ultra-compassionate to people who don't have my best interests at heart. If I'm not always able to spot, in the beginning, the people who turn out to self-centered, possessive and demanding, that is not a fault of mine, that is a trusting nature that likes to give people a chance.

    I think that as we get wiser about all this, we will become more attracted to the really good, kind people who don't need us to be any one thing for them, but who just want to spend some precious time on earth with another good, kind person. I can forgive the weaknesses of those who got angry at me for not being everything they wanted and right when they wanted it. Then I can move on and there are so many potential good friends waiting to be discovered.

    One test of friendship that my mother taught me is "Do I feel better or worse after having been around them?" This has helped me, because some of my friends have been jealous of me, (even in my current state!) and make subtle digs, as if they begrudge me the good parts of my life-- as if they deserved them more than I do. Or they are so competitive over every little thing, and I feel like I have to be their reassuring cheerleader every moment. There's no easy, relaxed joking. It's more like mothering them.

    I still love my best friend, and I consider her to be a good, kind and strong person. It could be that she has stayed away for a while, because there might be something brewing in her life, and maybe she doesn't want to burden me with it. Or who knows what... but I've decided that she and I will have the kind of friendship where we just "pick up where we left off" and I won't put more strain on it.

    One of my close friends, who lives in another state from me, told me that she figured out why she doesn't call. She said that sometimes her life is going really well, and she worries that if she shares all of this, then that will make me feel worse about my life.

    I told her not to worry, and that I think there are really great things about my own life, and I am happy to talk about them. It's just that so often, people feel that they aren't being sensitive if they don't focus on asking me about my illness, and we don't even get around to the positive stuff! Also, the more time that goes by that she doesn't call, the more she feels guilty, and so on.

    I hope I didn't embarass you with all this, but I have felt the way you described so many times, and so the thoughts I was having seemed like they might be good for general discussion, as well.

    If you took the message off the board for your own reasons, then I apologize for bringing it back up. I noticed that you had mentioned that you thought some of your posts were being deleted, so I wanted to address this, just in case.

    Take care,
    your cyberbud,
  2. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    Thanks for your posting. It is beautiful, thoughtful and helpful
    Anyone would be lucky to have you as a friend.

    I have got where I do not relate as well to "plastic" people. I love to laugh and relax and I also enjoy serious subjects. Discussing problems is fine, and I want to be able to do so also....but no whinny-whinny.

    I guess I look at life differently, always did, but more so now. Hard to explain right now........

    Blessings to you............Susan
  3. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Oh, what a beautiful and inspirational post!! You had me in tears!! How kind of you to share your story. My original post is still there – and so is the problem I was having. I have e-mailed this friend again several times – and nothing…..I sent her something about American Idol since we are both huge fans, and I was sure she would respond to that, and I still haven’t heard.

    I have decided I need to let it go… hurts, yes. But there could be all sorts of things going on. I am just such an expert at immediately blaming myself, that I never stopped to consider other reasons she may have for acting like she is. They may have nothing at all to do with me. If she wants to remain friends, then she will need to make an effort too….I have done all I can, and I know I can’t sit here blaming myself.

    What you have said in your post really opened my eyes a lot (and again – much better explanation than I ever get from my shrink who gets paid!). I never looked at things that way. When someone upsets me or hurts me, I do tend to turn my feelings about it inward, which is just wrong (usually). I have been hurt so much in my life….so it makes sense that whenever it happens, I beat myself up over it for allowing myeslf to be trampled on yet again. I don’t know if I am making sense with what I am trying to say or not, but I do completely get what you were saying. Thank you so much for enlightening me on that issue…..that is a true gift.

    This reminds me of something that happened this weekend with another friend. There are 6 of us who have been close since 10th grade. We don’t see eachother much now – one lives out of state, some of us are married & have kids and others don’t, ect…..but we still keep in touch. One of them is currently single, just lost her job, has no children, and suffers from extreme depression. She called our other friend Saturday (who called me because she didn’t know what to do) after she had been drinking and was in a very bad place. My friend offered to come see her – she didn’t want her to. She told my friend that her life is not all perfect like hers & mine (she meant me and the friend she called) because we have husbands & children & nice homes. That made me sad, because I don’t think my life is perfect (by far) and she knows that.

    I have been a little upset with her for awhile because she also stopped calling or responding to any of my attempts to contact her. It wasn’t until I rec’d that call that I was able to understand. All this time, she never wanted to burden me with her problems because she feels like things are so great for me and she didn’t want to bring me down. My friend begged me to do something, but I didn’t know what to do……I agonized over it the entire day. I got very scared for her but still didn’t know what to do. I knew if we called her mother, she would hate us….but I also knew she needed help.

    Long story short, my friend did end up going to see her (bless her)…..everything was ok, and they were able to talk about things I had no idea about. I really wish she would confide in me more, and not feel like she is being a pest because my life is so busy... So all this time, I thought she just didn’t want to see me (again assumed I did something wrong) and that was not the case at all……..things just always aren’t what they seem, that is for sure.

    Thank you Desertlass for writing this and sharing with myself and the entire board. I swear, sometimes I really believe I was given FM for a reason……..
  4. desertlass

    desertlass New Member

    I'm glad my post was helpful.

    I have had the benefit of a really wonderful therpist off and on over the years. I haven't seen her this past year, because her office is far.

    She is really great. I got to the point where I could more or less anticipate what she would say to me, so I don't need her as much.

    I don't mean that she would no longer be helpful now, or that she became predictable, it's just that I finally internalized her loving perspective, that helps to drown out all of the critical ones.

    I should start a persona after her name, Cindy-- she is in her mid-sixties, and has been through a lot of chronic pain herself.

    She is a Buddhist, and I am a Christian, but that never caused a problem. We just accepted each other, and she never tried to make me change my mind, but rather, to learn how to love myself, which is, after all, a commandment.

    I don't always find it an easy one to follow. The Ten Commandments are easier for someone who is timid by nature.

    So, from now on, I will let you know "What Would Cindy Say" on some of your posts, and all for free! :)