What sort of friendship is this?

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Chiara

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What sort of friendship is this?
« on: March 26, 2017, 01:17:57 AM »
First, a big thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this and offer me some much needed advice. Thank you!

Here is the situation:

I have a friend whom I have known for over two decades. Supposedly my "best friend."

On the one hand, she is one of the most wonderful people to be around... when she is around you. She makes you feel as though she sees nothing but good in you, she is a great listener, she always comes across as massively empathetic and understanding, interested in everything that others have to say, warm, and so on. She always tries to excuse the faults of others, do polite little things for people when she is around them. She is just so uniquely warm, inviting, likable, and seemingly caring, and makes you feel great about who you are in such an unusually strong way. I have never known anyone else like her in that way.

But despite her gift for making others feel good when she does make the time to be around them, her actions the rest of the time can really leave a person feeling absolutely terrible.

I could recount numerous examples of how, when it comes down to it and someone needs her to be there for them in regards to something serious, she just disappears and will not be there. Not just with me, but with others too. People will be there for her in difficult times, but if it requires her having to go out of her way to do something for someone, all of a sudden it is too much on her. She even seems to realize this, and has apologized to me over the years for being such a "lousy friend."

Things like that aside, here is how "being her friend" usually goes:

Every now and then I get an e-mail from her, which is glowing, loving, and warm - but short - and basically apologizes for not being in touch, explaining how busy she is, but that she loves me so much (I have been told she loves me unconditionally even) and hopes I am well and that even if we never see each other, she just wants me to know that she loves me and thinks of me and is so glad to have me in her life.

I will send her something back, trying to draw out a little more of a conversation. Sometimes she will respond quickly, even if rather briefly. Yet often she will let long periods of time go by before responding, if at all. Then, after maybe two months goes by, I get another round of "I am so sorry I have not written. I do read your emails and I love you and miss you...etc."

I almost never really see her, and she almost never shares personal things about herself. I cannot bond with her in that way, even though I have tried over the years to get her to open up.

I am friends with her mother, and some years back it got to the point where she seemed to mostly invite me to hang out when the two of them went grocery shopping together. I got tired of feeling like taking me shopping was an easy way for her to "get some time in" with me, and asked her to only invite me to hang out if she actually wanted to hang out.

I think the last time I saw her for the sake of just spending time together was over a year ago, and she picked me and her mom up, and seemed aggravated to be with us the whole time. (Partly because she has a dysfunctional relationship with her mom, so I understand that part.) Yet I really hated the feeling that being around her was a chore for her, and I noticed when I tried to talk about certain things, she would cut me off and say "lets change the topic."

After that day, I have not wanted to spend time with her. I let her mom convince me to go over to her house one day maybe 5 months back, and after we had been there maybe two hours she said, "ok I have to kick you two out now." She said it politely and like a joke, but the message was there.

About 12 years ago I wrote her a long letter, explaining how I feel and how a friendship should be a two way street. I mailed it to her, and the only reply I got was sometime later, via a text I think, wherein she said "I do not know what to tell you. That is just the way I am."

About 7 years ago I actually tried to end the friendship. It was kind of lousy how I did it I suppose - a group of us went in to her work and asked her to hang out with us when she got off. She refused, as she usually does, and I was so fed up with the constant refusals to hang out - mixed with the spiels about how much she loves us all and misses us - that I told her right then and there that I no longer wanted to be her friend.

She called me hours later, crying about how much I had hurt her, and how no one had ever hurt her like that, and why did I do something so terrible?

I felt like a jerk, and apologized, and ever since then I have been subject to these endless rounds of hearing how she loves me, misses me, hopes we can hang out some day.... but there is no real friendship at all.

Yet she is so loving towards me in her (short) emails, so positive, and claims she has so much unconditional love for me, that I feel terrible for feeling negative towards her. She always sounds so loving in her emails that I feel terrible not responding kindly.

So my question is: what on earth is going on in this situation, and am I abnormal in feeling hurt by her and agitated by her?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 01:58:31 AM by Chiara »

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notrightinthehead

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 03:16:02 AM »
Sounds like your friend is a complicated person who has a drama of her own. Since she keeps on reaching out to you you and telling you how much she loves you, she might be longing for friendship but be too broken to actually dare live it.
It must be frustrating to now and again get these flashes, or promises of warmth with nothing to follow. I would just take them for what they are: little inconsequential notes, to which I do not have to respond, like the passing smile of a stranger. You would not want to run after a stranger, who smiles at you in the street, and demand friendship.
Your friend probably has a problem, but not one that you can fix, since she does not let you in. So I guess your choice is, take her exactly as she is and respect that these little notes are all she can give you at this time.
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Inurdreams

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 12:11:08 PM »
Your friend sounds like a true introvert.  As an introvert, myself, maybe I can give you some insight.

I prefer to correspond with friends through emails and texts.  It's not that I don't like them.  I just don't want to hang out with them.  It's overwhelming.  When I tell them I love them I really mean every word of it, but I love them from the comfort and safety of my own home.

I don't like being out and about with someone and feeling like I can't just go home when I get ready without looking inconsiderate.  So the alternative is, to just not go.

You said: a group of us went in to her work and asked her to hang out with us when she got off. She refused, as she usually does, and I was so fed up with the constant refusals to hang out


This is a nightmare for an introvert.  It feels like being ambushed.  My own brother called me on my birthday and said he was on his way to my house to pick me up for dinner.  I panicked!  I made up some lame excuse not to go.  Not because I didn't want to spend time with him and not because I didn't want to go out to eat, but I have to have time to get my nerve up to go somewhere with someone, even my own DB, who I love very much.  If he had asked me earlier in the week, I would have had to time to psych myself into going.  It really is agonizing to talk myself into going somewhere with anyone.  But when someone drops a bomb on me, spur of the moment and expects me go do something, I freeze and retreat.

You mentioned that she invites you to go shopping with her and her mother.  In her mind she may figure that she is going out anyway, something she has already planned on doing, and inviting you is a way to spend time with you, for a limited amount of time.

You said:  and after we had been there maybe two hours she said, "ok I have to kick you two out now." She said it politely and like a joke, but the message was there.

I can relate.  I hate other people taking up space in my home for long periods of time.  (BTW, 2 hours is about my limit, as well) Not because I hate the people, I just get exhausted feeling like I have the entertain them or I have to be "on" the whole time they are there.

If she is a true introvert, rest assured it is not you or anything you have done.  It's just she cannot handle being around other people, constantly.

Many people do not understand this. Yes, I have had people who will no longer invite me to go and do things with them because they know I will refuse, anyway.  I like to be invited.  I just have a hard time making myself actually following through with it.  And of course, I feel awful knowing I have hurt their feelings by refusing to go.

It's very hard to explain to people who are not introverts that we really do like and even love them, we just do not want to be in their presence.  Not because of who they are but because of who we are.  It's nothing personal against them, really, it's not .

Think of the scariest thing you might have to go and do; something you really don't want to do but something you feel you need to do to keep someone else happy, something extreme and way out of your comfort zone like bungee jumping or skydiving the first time.  Think about how much you would dread it and how nervous you would be.  I know it sounds crazy, but this is how an introvert feels having to deal with people.  It can be paralyzing and overwhelming.

I don't know what make us introverts. Maybe it comes from our DNA, maybe it's something that develops from some trauma.  But we cannot simply wake up one day and just be different.

I am sorry you feel hurt.  But I promise, if she is a true introvert, she means it when she says she has unconditional love for you. And she means it when she apologizes for hurting you.

All I can suggest, if you want to keep this person in your life is to do so through texts and emails and realize that this is as close as she will likely allow you into her life.  She doesn't need to see you in person to have a relationship or friendship with you.  I know it may leave you feeling lacking but it may be all she can do.




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clara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 12:42:18 PM »
She could also have a type of agoraphobia.  She  may be able to function in situations where she has some level of control and comfort, something she's familiar with, but going outside of those boundaries may be too triggering for her so she's learned to avoid them.  Just a possibility. 

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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 04:19:21 PM »
Your friend sounds like a true introvert.  .....

All I can suggest, if you want to keep this person in your life is to do so through texts and emails and realize that this is as close as she will likely allow you into her life.  She doesn't need to see you in person to have a relationship or friendship with you.  I know it may leave you feeling lacking but it may be all she can do.

Thanks for the thoughts. :-) I appreciate them.

I actually understand what you are saying, as I can be quite the introvert myself.

I do know that she does appreciate time to herself, as I do, but I wonder if it goes deeper than that.

As someone who can be very introverted myself, I completely understand feeling uncomfortable about being around people, and having to turn people down. The odd thing is, me and her have always agreed that one nice thing about knowing each other is that we always feel we can be more of ourselves around each other, which is a relief. She said she never really feels that with others.

Also, she used to work as a bar tender in a very popular night spot, and after work she would at times go out with the people who she worked with to party or just to go to dinner.

The thing that I have noticed over the years is that she tends to hang out with whoever is most convenient. In other words, when I lived right next door to her, we hung almost all of the time. But the moment she moved a few blocks away, suddenly it was too much of an effort.

Hence the people at work were also convenient - they were all there together, they get off work, and they just go out. Same as when I lived next door to her in many ways.

She also tends to be like her father, who basically wrote her out of his life. He would send her presents from time to time, but he was involved with a new woman, and that woman was the center of his life. The strange thing is, after many years went by and this woman passed on, he suddenly moved out of the state he was living in, all the way down to her town, where he bought a house and suddenly was around!

Until...he found a new woman! Then, off he went out of state, the house went up for sale, and he was gone again.

She has always been like this. The second she has a guy, she is gone, but when she no longer has one, all of a sudden she wants people to be around her and hang out.

I can remember hanging out watching TV with her and another person, and we would try to encourage her to go out for the evening. "No, I work in a bar, the last thing I want to do is go to another bar....."

Yet.... the moment she met a new guy, whose favorite thing was to go to a bar, she was there all the time with him... in the bar.

I am older now, and bars are not my forte, but I think I would even be ok with it if she was willing to have some sort of meaningful relationship via email. I too am shy, and prefer emails a lot, but nonetheless, I still like to bond with others.

Yet, despite my attempts to get her to bond, all her emails are reduced to are basically telling me that she loves me. If I try to encourage more depth to the relationship, she seems to tune out.

I do not doubt that she may appreciate time to just be "off," but I wonder if there is something deeper than just introversion going on, because even introverts can long for meaning and depth in relationships.

Her response to my long letter some 12 years ago or so, when I tried to encourage her to bring more meaning to the relationship was not met with any interest in developing or working on the friendship, but just a "that is who I am," which makes me question if something more serious is going on.

Thank you again for the thoughts. :-) It is a perplexing puzzle and I appreciate the feedback.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 04:37:28 PM by Chiara »

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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 04:20:34 PM »
She could also have a type of agoraphobia.  She  may be able to function in situations where she has some level of control and comfort, something she's familiar with, but going outside of those boundaries may be too triggering for her so she's learned to avoid them.  Just a possibility.

Thanks for the thoughts. :-)

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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 04:30:51 PM »
Sounds like your friend is a complicated person who has a drama of her own. Since she keeps on reaching out to you you and telling you how much she loves you, she might be longing for friendship but be too broken to actually dare live it.
It must be frustrating to now and again get these flashes, or promises of warmth with nothing to follow. I would just take them for what they are: little inconsequential notes, to which I do not have to respond, like the passing smile of a stranger. You would not want to run after a stranger, who smiles at you in the street, and demand friendship.
Your friend probably has a problem, but not one that you can fix, since she does not let you in. So I guess your choice is, take her exactly as she is and respect that these little notes are all she can give you at this time.

Thank you for sharing. :-)

I suppose my biggest concern is that this is sort of the tip of a much bigger iceberg, so to speak, and a very painful iceberg at that.

For example, over the years she has done some of the most outright lousy things to me.

For example, on my birthday one year, some of us were together and we could not decide what to do. She then said she was going home because she wanted to do her exercises, and to call her when we had it figured out.

I said to her that she did not have to go, that even though we had not decided where to go, it was nice to be all together and spend time, but no - she insisted she had to do her exercises.

So she left, and when we called her later, here is what she said: "I do not feel like going anywhere right now. Can we do something another day?"

I do not want to bore you all with examples, but here are a few more:

A number of years back, she invited me to go out with her and a few other people. I did not have a car at the time, so I asked if she could pick me up. I lived about a seven minute drive from her place.

She refused, and said that it was "too much out of the way." I reminded her that she was picking up someone else, and she said, "but that is on the way."

I did not have a way to get there, and I could not understand why it was so hard for her to stop by my place, which is partially on the way, you just make a drive a few minutes north at one point. I would have easily picked her up if it had been reversed.

She never did come get me, and even cancelled picking up the other person, so that she could excuse herself from the whole thing together.

I was in an accident one time, and called her from the ER. Her words to me: "can't you call someone else?"

Things like this..... at this point, her little emails feel like tiny pricks and reminders of how she has treated me over the years.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 04:32:28 PM by Chiara »

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Inurdreams

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 10:47:18 AM »
Chiara,

Based on the further information you have provided, I can see I was completely wrong.

She sounds a lot more self-centered than just an introvert.  A bartender?  As an introvert, I can't even imagine!

It's possible that she just likes the idea of keeping people in reserve, if that makes sense.  As a matter of convenience, to her, like you said. And I agree, that is not a way to treat a friend.


Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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Foreignwoman

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2017, 12:39:57 PM »
Chiara, reading your post there comes something else to mind. I could be completely wrong with this and hope I am, you say you are friends with her mother, is there any chance she resents that and isn't tell you about her true feelings?

Inurdreams: you describe introverts (me too) so brilliant. Thought I was the only one who feels loving friends from a distance  :bigwink: is just as good most of the time.

FW
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 12:43:51 PM by Foreignwoman »
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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 01:10:36 AM »
Chiara,

Based on the further information you have provided, I can see I was completely wrong.

She sounds a lot more self-centered than just an introvert.  A bartender?  As an introvert, I can't even imagine!

It's possible that she just likes the idea of keeping people in reserve, if that makes sense.  As a matter of convenience, to her, like you said. And I agree, that is not a way to treat a friend.

Thanks for the thoughts. :)

Actually, she has told me, on different occasions over the years, that she loves me, and even if she never sees me, she just likes "knowing that I am there."

Hearing that did sort of make me question if, like you said, she just likes to keep me around for "reserves."

She has also made odd comments on different occasions when we were together. One time she was on the phone with someone, and I heard her say she was hanging out with me and a few others, and I heard her say, "sometimes you have to hang out with the animals."

Another time we were out, and I asked someone to take our photo, and she was apologizing to them by saying, "sorry, we try not to take her out too much."

She said all these things as a joke, with a laugh in her voice, but I feel like she thinks poorly of me or something underneath it all. 

Thanks again. :-)


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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 01:23:50 AM »
Chiara, reading your post there comes something else to mind. I could be completely wrong with this and hope I am, you say you are friends with her mother, is there any chance she resents that and isn't tell you about her true feelings?

Inurdreams: you describe introverts (me too) so brilliant. Thought I was the only one who feels loving friends from a distance  :bigwink: is just as good most of the time.

FW

That is a good insight. I do not think so though, only because I know she has been this way with others, and she really does not want anything to do with her mom.

For example: a young woman some years back asked her to be the godmother to her child, and to be there at the birth. The day of the birth, she just did not want to go because....she did not feel like it. 

I had to actually convince her that as a friend, if she did not have any serious reason holding her up, she should go. She finally went because I really encouraged her, but then as the years went by, she basically drifted away from the woman (they no longer worked together) even though I think the woman tried to keep her friendship.

And this was a woman who helped save her from a serious drug addiction some years before that.

Another friend went with her to many doctors appointments when she was sick, time and time again, and sat with her for hours. Yet when that friend needed my friend to go to a funeral with her for support, my friend said that she could not because she had to study.... ??? And she was quite upset that her studies were not considered a serious enough reason to not be there for this other woman. Plus, she said she did not know the person whose funeral it was, and seemed frustrated that she would be asked to go when she did not even know the person.

Plus, her mother has told me that her daughter (my friend) has mentioned to her about how she really has no friends. Besides her husband, she does not really have girl friends. Her mother told me that she (my friend) can see how people eventually withdraw from her, because she stays distant from them, and yet it hurts her. (When people first meet her, they love her, but she tends to keep people at a distance.)

She has blocked most of her family out of her life, and it hurts her mother very much. To be fair, her family IS totally dysfunctional, and her mom is like a different person around her than around me, but she has told me that she has purposely kept her mom at a distance.

If there is any envy, I do not know, but I have never thought there is.

Thanks again for the feedback. :)





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Inurdreams

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2017, 12:09:35 PM »
Chiara,

This reminds me of that old saying:  With friends like that, who needs enemies?

You are a good friend because you are worried about her and your reaction to her.  But, she doesn't seem to care how what she is  saying or doing affects you.  That, by my definition, is not someone I would call a friend.  But that's just me.



Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2017, 11:19:05 PM »
Chiara,

This reminds me of that old saying:  With friends like that, who needs enemies?

You are a good friend because you are worried about her and your reaction to her.  But, she doesn't seem to care how what she is  saying or doing affects you.  That, by my definition, is not someone I would call a friend.  But that's just me.

Thank you, I appreciate it.

It is a friendship that has affected how I feel about myself for years now, and I am just so tired of it. I just really want her out of my life, because she has told me for years how much she loves me - but then turns around and through her actions seems to say that she wants nothing to do with me. It has been so hurtful.

I appreciate your kind words. :)

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JusticeBeaver

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2017, 03:53:24 PM »
Plus, her mother has told me that her daughter (my friend) has mentioned to her about how she really has no friends. Besides her husband, she does not really have girl friends. Her mother told me that she (my friend) can see how people eventually withdraw from her, because she stays distant from them, and yet it hurts her. (When people first meet her, they love her, but she tends to keep people at a distance.)

She has blocked most of her family out of her life, and it hurts her mother very much. To be fair, her family IS totally dysfunctional, and her mom is like a different person around her than around me, but she has told me that she has purposely kept her mom at a distance.

If there is any envy, I do not know, but I have never thought there is.

Thanks again for the feedback. :)

Hi Chiara,

I want to provide somewhat of a new perspective for you, as the child of an NPD mother who has CPTSD. I have cut off contact with much of my family because they are riddled with PD and my mother is an abusive person who pretends to be one way in front of others but is manipulative, critical and menacing to close family. I too withdraw from people and give excuses when the real excuse is I am so damaged from the trauma I have experienced that I simply can't connect to most people. I am NC with my mother for over a year and she is still going around spreading lies about me to old friends because it gives her supply. Based on what you've said, it seems like her mother is doing that with you. Obviously I don't know these people, but I have like a spidey sense for PD red flags at this point, and your friend sounds like a victim who is just trying to protect herself from future hurt.

Based on what you've said about your friend, her family situation, past addictions, withdrawal from friends - I think she may be struggling with similar issues to myself. It hurts me to see you villainizing her, calling her abusive, because you want her to be a better friend to you. My advice to you is to stop gossiping about her with her mother, because she is more likely the pwPD in question and the root cause of your friends issues. Again, this is how the situation looks to me, so I could be off base.
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SunnyandBright

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2017, 07:03:40 PM »
I, too, think that her relationship with her mother has something to do with how she is.   She may feel worn out, in having to deal with her mother.  Her mother may feel like a huge obligation to her, so she just can't take anything else - even friendships - on.   

That being said, she's been awful to you.  I don't think you should let her get away with trying to keep you, in case she ever needs you -- but not putting in any kind of time, what-so-ever.   She sounds very damaged and she sounds very shallow.   

My advice -- let her go, without a lot of drama and fanfare.   That shouldn't be so tough, since she doesn't seem to want to talk, hangout, write, anything.  Just let it go. 

Find some friends who are fun and uplifting.   

I know this is all easier said than done.   Once done, it may take you a long time to get over it.  I dropped a friend who was acting a lot like this in 2009.  I dwelled on her and the loss of the friendship a lot.   I talked to my husband and a few others about it until they were bored with it, and sick of hearing it.   I kept on though - until I was bored of it, and tired of hearing it.   LOL.    But now -- 8 years later, I can tell you that I rarely think about her, and the pain is pretty much gone, when I do.  I'm over it! 
I have better people in my life now.   Maybe not as close as I once thought she and I were --- but no-drama friendships, and just far more healthy. 

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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2017, 12:45:26 AM »
Plus, her mother has told me that her daughter (my friend) has mentioned to her about how she really has no friends. Besides her husband, she does not really have girl friends. Her mother told me that she (my friend) can see how people eventually withdraw from her, because she stays distant from them, and yet it hurts her. (When people first meet her, they love her, but she tends to keep people at a distance.)

She has blocked most of her family out of her life, and it hurts her mother very much. To be fair, her family IS totally dysfunctional, and her mom is like a different person around her than around me, but she has told me that she has purposely kept her mom at a distance.

If there is any envy, I do not know, but I have never thought there is.

Thanks again for the feedback. :)

Hi Chiara,

I want to provide somewhat of a new perspective for you, as the child of an NPD mother who has CPTSD. I have cut off contact with much of my family because they are riddled with PD and my mother is an abusive person who pretends to be one way in front of others but is manipulative, critical and menacing to close family. I too withdraw from people and give excuses when the real excuse is I am so damaged from the trauma I have experienced that I simply can't connect to most people. I am NC with my mother for over a year and she is still going around spreading lies about me to old friends because it gives her supply. Based on what you've said, it seems like her mother is doing that with you. Obviously I don't know these people, but I have like a spidey sense for PD red flags at this point, and your friend sounds like a victim who is just trying to protect herself from future hurt.

Based on what you've said about your friend, her family situation, past addictions, withdrawal from friends - I think she may be struggling with similar issues to myself. It hurts me to see you villainizing her, calling her abusive, because you want her to be a better friend to you. My advice to you is to stop gossiping about her with her mother, because she is more likely the pwPD in question and the root cause of your friends issues. Again, this is how the situation looks to me, so I could be off base.

Hi JusticeBeaver. Thank you for trying to share a different viewpoint, and I am sorry for all that you have had to go through with your family. I do believe that such experiences can make a person very self-protective, and I hope that you are able to heal from everything that you have been through. You do not deserve to be treated poorly. Stay strong.

Given all that you said, I do think that my friend's mom is a little different. I do not think that she is lying. Given the way my friend has treated me, and some of the things I have seen her do to others, I can see where it would make sense that other people would also want to pull away. Maybe not everyone, but once they finally realize what is going on (even if it takes a long time) I can see where that could happen.

I do not think I mean to intentionally villainize my friend, but she has caused me a lot of hurt over the years, both directly and indirectly.

I understand that she has her faults and struggles, and I think I have given her a chance to work on the relationship. Like the long letter I wrote, for example, or encouraging her on many numerous occasions to feel free to open up with me. I have told her that I sense she is afraid to open up with others because she fears they will not want to hear her hurts and pains, and that she should never think that, that I am always there for her, that that is what friends are for, etc.

In the end, I was willing to work on the friendship. If she had concerns or things she wanted me to work on, and if she wanted to talk about them, we could have. I am not perfect and I am willing to try to change things if needed.

But she will not open up, she will not connect, she will not bond, and no matter that I have told her that her behavior hurts me, she will not try. I get that she has had a lot of things going on in her life...but she has had excuses for 23 years.

I do wish her well, but I just cannot take any more years of feeling hurt by her. I am sorry if it comes across as if she is a villain. I just think that she may not not understand what she does, and is not at the level of awareness yet to really comprehend and work on it.

But I cannot keep suffering. When I look back over the years and see all the hurt that I absorbed, I just do not think I can absorb anymore.

I hope that makes sense.

I am sorry for all that you have gone through though. If it is any consolation, I can understand why my friend may behave as she does as far as the distancing herself part. and I do hope that she can heal because she is worth it. As are you. :-)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 01:47:28 AM by Chiara »

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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2017, 01:03:22 AM »
I, too, think that her relationship with her mother has something to do with how she is.   She may feel worn out, in having to deal with her mother.  Her mother may feel like a huge obligation to her, so she just can't take anything else - even friendships - on.   

That being said, she's been awful to you.  I don't think you should let her get away with trying to keep you, in case she ever needs you -- but not putting in any kind of time, what-so-ever.   She sounds very damaged and she sounds very shallow.   

My advice -- let her go, without a lot of drama and fanfare.   That shouldn't be so tough, since she doesn't seem to want to talk, hangout, write, anything.  Just let it go. 

Find some friends who are fun and uplifting.   

I know this is all easier said than done.   Once done, it may take you a long time to get over it.  I dropped a friend who was acting a lot like this in 2009.  I dwelled on her and the loss of the friendship a lot.   I talked to my husband and a few others about it until they were bored with it, and sick of hearing it.   I kept on though - until I was bored of it, and tired of hearing it.   LOL.    But now -- 8 years later, I can tell you that I rarely think about her, and the pain is pretty much gone, when I do.  I'm over it! 
I have better people in my life now.   Maybe not as close as I once thought she and I were --- but no-drama friendships, and just far more healthy.

Thank you so much for sharing. I really appreciate it. :)

It is good that you did get over the situation with your friend. It can be hard when friendships end, but it is good that you were able to get on.

I did tell her that I want closure, and I think she is backing off. To be honest, right now I just feel so much relief. To know that I do not have to put up with another round of hearing how much she loves me, followed by longs periods of being shut out of her life or my conversations ignored, as well as so many other things that I could go into here, but I will not.

As the relationship closes officially, it almost seems like I am having this dawning realization of all of the pain that I put up with, and how much it has hurt me.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback. I really do appreciate it.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 01:51:47 AM by Chiara »

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Chiara

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Re: What sort of friendship is this?
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2017, 12:08:49 AM »
Hi Chiara,

I want to provide somewhat of a new perspective for you, as the child of an NPD mother who has CPTSD. I have cut off contact with much of my family because they are riddled with PD and my mother is an abusive person who pretends to be one way in front of others but is manipulative, critical and menacing to close family. I too withdraw from people and give excuses when the real excuse is I am so damaged from the trauma I have experienced that I simply can't connect to most people. I am NC with my mother for over a year and she is still going around spreading lies about me to old friends because it gives her supply. Based on what you've said, it seems like her mother is doing that with you. Obviously I don't know these people, but I have like a spidey sense for PD red flags at this point, and your friend sounds like a victim who is just trying to protect herself from future hurt.

Based on what you've said about your friend, her family situation, past addictions, withdrawal from friends - I think she may be struggling with similar issues to myself. It hurts me to see you villainizing her, calling her abusive, because you want her to be a better friend to you. My advice to you is to stop gossiping about her with her mother, because she is more likely the pwPD in question and the root cause of your friends issues. Again, this is how the situation looks to me, so I could be off base.

I have been thinking about what you said, and there are some things I wanted to add.

I do think that my friend is a victim, like you said, but at the same time, we are all victims.

Every human being is a victim of something at some point in their life. For some it is smaller negativities that life throws their way, for others it is as if they have been handed the heaviest of burdens.

Nonetheless, every human being is a victim of something.

My friend's mother - she too is a victim. She did not end up the way that she did because she had a perfect childhood. Her family situation had many toxic things within it, and I know because she has told me.

Your mom is also a victim - she is how she is because of the horrible things that were sent her way.

Yet at the end of the day, just because someone is a victim does not mean that they are exempted from trying to grow and heal, and become a better person - or even a better parent or friend.

Which brings me to my second point: wanting her to be a better friend.

I think that every human should want to grow and to become a better person. Every person should want to become a better spouse if they are married, a better parent if they are a parent, a better employee, a better friend...we should always want to be better.  I am sure that even my friend wished at some point in her life that her mother could have been a better mother, and may still grieve over the fact that she never will be...that she will never make the effort to change, and be a better mother.

Yet if my friend stays in the role of victim (I do not know if she is doing that, but if she is), and expects that because of her past she should not have to try to become a better person, then she is really doing harm to herself in the end, and just perpetuating the cycle. She would like her mother to be better, but she is not willing to do the work to become better herself...and so she ends up in a rut, where when everyone else abandons her it is cruelty and she is the victim, and removes them from her life, but if she does it to her friends or to other people, it is ok because she is a victim and everyone should accept her for who she is...which is actually something of a mentality I have seen from her on numerous occasions (sans the "victim" speak).

It is lousy if others do it to her, but if she does it to others...it is ok.

I am not saying that she will become perfect. No one is perfect. But people should always want to grow and try. If they really have some defect that no matter how much effort they put into it, it will not go away, then that is another story. Some people truly do have some struggles that may be insurmountable. That is understandable.

But my friend has never even shown the willingness to at least try, or explain to me in a legitimate way (besides the fact that she has been "busy" for 23 years) why close friendships are just not currently possible with her. She will be hurt by others, but if she hurts others...oh well. They just could not accept her for who she is, and that is a flaw in them...plus, many of the things she has done are not a matter of incapability.

We are all victims. That is why we all need to at least try to grow and become better. We all can be much more than what we are today. The thing we have to watch out for - all of us - is to define ourselves as strictly victims and insist that because of that, we do not have to work on ourselves and at least try what we can. Not what we cannot, but what we can.

Just some thoughts I wanted to add.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 12:51:42 AM by Chiara »