Monday, November 19, 2007

Have you ever had a friend...

That hurt you so much that you didn't want to talk to them ever again?

I had a friend (who lives 2000 miles away, and that I have been friends with for over 10 years) that had been having marital problems for over 6 years. There have been many, many times that we talked on the phone for hours before and after she started having problems. We have been such good friends that we at times have called each other best friend, and there have been times when we fought and didn't speak for 11 months.

Our relationship was very honest and we could talk about anything. We laughed and cried, we fought, we complained and bitched about our lives and all of that was OK. It was better than OK, she has been as close of a friend as my husband at times.

Over the last year, when her marriage was really in crisis, I had spent hours- willingly because I loved her- on the phone talking about her problems, supporting her decisions, giving advice when she asked. I had spent hours talking and consoling, and at times forgotten to make dinner for my kids (until Anna said she was starving). I spent hours telling my kids "not now I'm on the phone" because my friend lived so far away and was so busy working extra ours to save money for her impending separation, so I talked to her whenever she needed. She was so busy that the only time she ever seemed to call me was when she was driving somewhere.

Then one day, she told me that they had worked things out. Though I still worried about her, I was happy that she was happy and supported her decision because it's her life. Suddenly I was told that she was trying to cut out all the negative people in her life, and I noticed that she usually told me this shortly after I did our usual complaining that we do about things that are annoying us at the time... then she would tell me she was lost and had to get directions, or had another call, and that she would call me back.

And she never did.

This happened once, and though I was hurt, I thought"she is really busy, she'll call me back when she has a chance."

It happened a second time and I said to myself, "That is a weird coincidence. Hmmm, not sure what to think about that."

It happened a third time... so I stopped taking her calls when she finally called me back 3 weeks later.

That was almost 4 months ago, and she stopped calling after I decided not to send her daughter anything for her birthday. I figured she had realized that I was hurt and upset, then got mad that I didn't send her daughter anything. I figured our friendship was pretty much over since she thought I was all of a sudden to negative and she was cutting all of US out of her life.

I told my husband that I had a feeling that she would be calling the next time she needed something. Sure enough, she started calling again.

My problem besides the obvious is that I felt like we have been friends for so many years and the fact that now our friendship arrangement was no longer suitable to her, it was almost like my husband had suddenly told me that he couldn't stand the way I breathe. It hurt me deeply that we have been such close friends over the years that we accepted each others flaws, mourned with each other and even fought like sisters.

And then one day she tells me in so many words that I can't be in her life anymore because what I have offered her over the years (and she had offered back exactly) isn't good enough anymore. I'm too negative suddenly , when I haven't changed the way I have interacted with her as a friend. I'm not good enough.

The problem is that I don't even know if she understands what she has done. Over the years I have overlooked her shortcomings (and I wont list them since I don't know if she reads this blog anymore), and she has over looked mine. Now that her life was back in order and her husband wanted her again, I was no longer needed. It hurt me so much that I couldn't even talk to her about it.

But why talk to someone who obviously doesn't like or even love you anymore? Why waste my energy on someone who obviously feels like I'm inadequate, why put myself through that anymore?

Now, she is calling me again, just like I thought she would. Her husband has changed his mind and is wanting a divorce again, and now since I don't answer her calls- she sending me emails. She is telling people finally that they are separating, when before I was only one of 3 people that knew that her marriage was on the rocks. It's final now and she is sending out emails saying she is going to focus on herself and travel to see friends out of state.

Though I feel bad for her on a basic level, I have been so hurt that anger isn't even an issue anymore,I just don't care.

I feel like she dumped me and now that her dance card is empty, she wants me back to fill the void for her. On some level, I still love her as a friend and though we worked hard to over come our past arguments, I feel as though she attacked my character and told me I wasn't good enough.

If you know me even a little, I am a bit of a dork in so many ways, including social situations. I tend to lash out at people I don't very well if they anger me. The people that I know well and love... if they hurt me I tend to recede and become a hermit. I duck and cover. I know this has a lot to do with my childhood and not being able to have friends, to go out and socialize like a normal teen because I was pretty much locked up at home.

That's why I love blogging. I can socialize and met people, and in a way it's safer that way, but very sad.

I often think and wonder what is wrong with me that I cannot seem to make decent friends in real life, and ask my husband, "Isn't the common denominator me? Either I am attracting the wrong kind of friend because I put out a vibe that people can treat me like crap, or I am socially inept." I often ask my husband, "Am I over reacting?" and he will answer me honestly, and most of the time he will tell me no, that I am not overreacting.

Sometimes he does. And I get pissed. LOL! But I know he is right. Never once during all of this has he told me that I am overreacting.

Anyway, I sound like my friend. We are separating and I am boohooing to you guys. The only difference is that I am neglecting you guys because of NaNoWriMo. :)

BTW, please don't take it personally, I assure you that once I finish this stupid first draft that I will be back laughing with you, heckling you, and just generally being "all up in your business". I haven't visited but a few blogs because writers block is so depressing that even writing comments is mentally crippling. Sad? YES! Self inflicted? Absolutely. Lame? Probably.

Forgive me? Please?

Thanks for listening to me whine about the person who I used to consider my best friend... I feel bad for her , I really do. I just don't know if I am willing to let her kick me in the


Bennett Kankuzi said...

I think you are not alone in having such kind of a friend. It can really be disheartening. But then they say to forgive is divine...

By the way I dropped on your blog from blogrush!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
So sorry to hear about how hurt you are.
People know how far they can stab at anothers heart and back off before they break that heart.
But if you stab at an apple often enough it will break open.
She is also taking time from your family, and your energy, your family will come to resent that.
You have done all you can to make her know that you care about her, but she makes you feel like it's never enough, and sucking up your life to the point you can't do what you like (blogging, being there for the girls and John) because you are so mentially used up.
Time to let go honey and concentrate on those that do consider you a great friend.
Like me.
Love you lots,
Aunt Yvonne

Jenny Ryan said...

I'm so sorry that this is happening.

But I'm glad for you that you are clear on wanting to be treated well, which is totally reasonable, and are being so brave to take action to support that decision.

Good luck with the rest of the month's writing! :)

kailani said...

It's hard when someone we love and trust hurts us. It basically comes down to how much you want the friendship. How much it's worth to you. You'll know in your heart what the right thing for you is.

Hope you're feeling better soon!

maggie said...

I know how you feel. I've been hurt many times by what I thought was a good friend. Sometimes you can forgive and sometimes it goes to deep.

Hold you head up sister. and I'm anxiously awaiting your return.

Dorky Dad said...

It sounds like you're definitely doing the right thing. And you don't suck. You of all people definitely do not suck.

Marci said...

Hey sis,
So many times in our lives we allow people to step on us because we don't want to loose their friendship, but when you look at it from another view, you see that they are not as great as a friend as you once thought. I'm sure that at one time in your friendship, you were both sharing and giving advise to eachother. To me it sounds like she wanted a shoulder to cry on and now that she has used us, she's done with you.
YOU ARE A WONDERFUL FRIEND!!! You are caring, sweet, honest and yes sis, a dork and I love you for all of that.
I'm so sorry that she hurt you. You deserve better than that. It's her loss that she has walked out of your life. Stand firm and realize that there are others out in the world that love you so much and we are always here for you.
Love you sis,

Pamela said...

awww "negative influences."

sounds like typical therapist/counseling yada yada yada.

I've seen that before with some other people I know.

The blame game. She's incapable of working out her marriage and so she has to blame it on someone else,

Right now she can blame her husband again.

Lover her from afar.

Holly Schwendiman said...

Remember when you used to think that doctors were perfect, etc. Then you grew up and realized they were just people like you or others you knew? Well, this is much the same to me when I realize that we never just grow out of some things. I think all of us have friends and experiences that help us relate to what you've shared. It's so hard when someone hurts us. It never gets easier, it's never something you grow out of. Just know I'm sending hugs your way!!


Ash said...

I know........I just know.

~Virginia~ said...

I have been derelict in my blogging duties! I'm sorry to hear about this friend, but I hope you don't take her actions to heart. You are a wonderfully caring person.

Who doesn't deserve to get used.

I've been in this position before and there comes a time when you have to call the other person on their BS. Fair-weather friends are not worth your time. You can't constantly be the one putting yourself out there--and getting nothing in return.

If she truly valued your friendship, she'd make time for your even when things were going well with her husband.

Hope things have worked themselves out! Have a fabulous Turkey Day!

Take care!

Donetta said...

Big hug! This is a common challenge. I hope to encourage you.

dandelion dust said...

((Hugs)) I am really sorry

Lucy said...

This entry broke my heart. All I can say is that you can't have this in your life. Either she is your friend--without judgment--or she is not. I do the duck and cover thing too, and I am always, always the peace-maker. However, since turning 40 and developing chronic health problems, I find that I'm far less tolerant of this kind of abusive (and it is abusive) friendship. I don't know you in RT, but in this space, you seem like an incredibly loving person. She is NOT worthy.

Ben G. said...


Well, as someone who has gone through a LOT of that, from people not hanging out with you because you can't (don't want to) go on vacation with them and their family, who are f'in crazy (Gipsy and Dean) to friends that won't talk to me because they never liked Amy, I mean, we've been divorced HOW long- well, it always comes to that most people are takers, not givers, and if you keep giving and giving, then you really don't leave a whole lot for your self- remember her age and how long you have known her- is she really going to change? Or do you really care about that, and still love her anyways? Are you going to kick yourself in the butt for the next 5 years because you didn't talk to her, or can you be ok with the knowledge that you did your best, above and beyond, and that she lost a great friend? Mary, not even saying this as your little brother, but as a friend, life is too short to give too much to ungrateful people- you did good- you are a great friend- it's just her lost, and until she can apologize, and know what the heck she is apologizing for, and mean it, I'd just keep on with day to day life- she'll either figure it out, or not- if she does, great, but be careful- if she doesn't, can anyone say, cheaper phone bill?

Oh, and if she is reading this, stop HURTNG MY SISTER- I'd hate to have to break out the pimp hand!!!

Love you,

Mert said...

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it... especially my family! Thanks Anti Yvonne, Sis and Little Bro :D

BTW, you had me at pimp hand ;)

dark said...

Hi Mert.. Just a stranger passing through your blog. I googled the question, have you ever had a friend you didn't like? Your blog page was on top of the google list. Your question wasn't the same as mine exactly. Noones was, but your blog is the closest to a problem that i just spent all last night wrestling with.

It was the idea of tolerance vs. acceptance in the arena of who is and who isn't a friend. It's January 31st now.. and i had just decided to wipe everypone slate clean as my new years resolution. I decided this the night before when i proceeded to get into a major blowout with a supposed friend who hadn't been treating me right for a month or two. They had shown me this with their lack of ability or interest in listening to me when i attempt to share in our group my feelings, so it was probably a good thing that they personally attacked me verbally for stating my feelings last night because it verified what they have not been saying for some time and it also verified what i had been feeling emanating from them as well.

I didnt take it lying down. I counterattacked with a similar name-calling tactic. My opinion about a certain subject apparently was last night so ghastly they said they couldn't help their reaction.

I thought that the debate that followed between us ended on a positive note but 5 minutes after it was over their posturing returned to the former lackluster, "i dont care about what you are saying".

I won't lie to myself about them or their lousy attitude that is directed at me any more. I am worth more than that! My conclusion: if you have to tolerate me because you cannot accept me. It means that you do not like me. therefore...

I may not understand the "therefore" to be able to finish that sentence but i'm not going to waste my time with this person waiting to find out. I found out enough and their insincere behavior attempts to breed my contempt

Mert - I want to say thank you to you for sharing your feelings about your own personal situation and for providing this forum. It is a situation that is all to common and all to undiscussed.

God bless you

Mert said...

Hi Dark,

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It's so hard when someone we have come to admire, love and respect decides to trash our very being. It hurts like hell.

On some level I can understand why people do this, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.

It may sound cliche' but I really do believe that the people that tend to brag about themselves and/or tear other people down for their own amusement are really insecure people. People who love themselves and are confident don't need to brag about themselves... Their "greatness" is usually pretty evident by just looking at them.

People who consistently tear other people down are also insecure because they make themselves feel better or superior by pointing out someone else's flaws.

Without sounding self-righteous... which is totally not my intent- you should feel good that you see other people acting this way and you don't want to be like them. I kind of cling to that and make myself feel better as a person. And in those moments when I catch myself acting like them I am quick to make amends and apologize because I want to do everything I can to NOT be like them. ;)

Hang in there, you are not alone. I haven't found another best friend yet, but I know she is out there.

God bless you too.

Hugs, mert