Was this out of line?

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Foreignwoman

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2017, 02:53:22 PM »
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Freedom is never voluntary given by the oppressor, it is demanded by the oppressed.

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2017, 03:17:22 PM »
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I am sorry, I am not sure what that means.

Is that positive or negative?

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2017, 03:19:18 PM »
is it normal for me to feel hurt by her saying "that is what I do not like about you"

Straight up, yes -- but then I would want to hear more. I would be grateful for the feedback.

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would anyone else feel that it was insulting? 

No. She did the classic assertiveness thing of criticising the behaviour, not the person.

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Do I have reason to question her friendship given all that I explained?

The alternative would have been not to have the honest feedback, and have her simply go distant on you. Some good friends have disappeared out of my life without explanation. I would have preferred they tell me what was wrong, and remain friends. Your friend told you plainly: This is what I don't like about you: You drift into situations you don't like and then you hold other people responsible.

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Is it wrong for me to want to only spend time with certain people and not others?

No, of course not. However, if a friend implied disapproval of my other friends, and insisted on always being alone with me, I would consider that friend very demanding.

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I yearn for my friends / people in my life to want to "get on board" with me, and help share this journey. (Not that I would ask them to change their friends though.)

It is frustrating when they do not want to get on board
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I think that if she is a friend she will honor my request to hang out with them on her own time, and just plan to spend time with me when we are together.

Chiara -- and I mean this in the softest, gentlest way -- your friend is not your mother, not your therapist. All her time is "her own time"! just as all of yours is your own, to spend how and with whom you choose.

Hi Seichan,

Thank you for commenting! You have some interesting thoughts that are good to ponder.

I do not know how to do those little individual quote things in the way that you did (scattered throughout the post), so this may be hard to respond to as I would like.

I totally agree with you that I would rather someone tell me what is wrong. That is why I was questioning when so many people were telling me to just silently avoid telling her the truth and leave quietly when she is around those people.

I would think about the times that people just tried to fade out of my life without telling me, and I thought, "isn't that at the very least something like what I would be doing to her in a way?"

Our "hanging out" has always been very informal. She is not the type of person to generally call people. She expects if someone wants to see her, they will call or drop by or make plans in advance. (She does not work, so she is usually home.) So any given time that we hang out, we can be in her place and others might call or come by, etc.  We do go out, but she is also a type of friend in that she likes having people around, and our friendship would be odd if we tried to just hang out away from her place. It really does not work out that way.

I say this to explain that as a result, due to how she generally approaches friendships, it could get very awkward in the same way it did for her when her ex would have his friends come over to hang out, and she did not want to be around them and would hide from them.

If every time they come over and I leave, that could become one of those things where it is obvious what I am doing, but unspoken and so still a little confusing.

So yes, I totally appreciate the clarity much more than the passive approach the older that I get. As I thought about it, I was hoping that this was apart of what I had done by being clear so that at least she would understand and not have to wonder. (She would probably get the hint eventually, but again - the clarity.)

As far as criticizing the behavior, I am still at a loss. I get the points, but there is a second half to those points that I feel is being missed.

I do not want to hang out with people who are into a certain type of lifestyle. That is all.

If she finds that demanding, then ok. She finds it demanding. I find it doing what the proverbial "mom" always said when we were kids: "be careful who you spend time with. Good people will build you up, and you are at risk for negative influences to tear you down."

Do I need to stand on my own and take that into my own hands? Yes, I have been saying that over and over from the start.

Yet it is a truth known that no one on this planet is immune to negative influences, no matter how much "self-control" they have. Even the wisest of spiritual masters would advise choosing ones friends carefully. This is why people who are coming OOTF do not want dysfunctional relationships - they know that they are not perfect, and are human, and can always run the risk of being torn down and made to feel bad about themselves. I notice a number of people on here have spent time trying to end friendships that are dysfunctional for that very reason. It is not that they cannot be responsible, but they get that reality.

That is the second half that I think is being missed. No one is perfect. No matter how much we take responsibility for ourselves, we also have to realize that we are human and can fall. The people who we let close to us can play a big role in that, even if we are the best of people.

I guess if she does not see that and finds me demanding, then she finds me demanding. Yet if I just tiptoe around the situation and leave when they show up, every time, she may be just as displeased too in the long run.

It is a difficult situation.

Oh, absolutely, I agree she is not my mother. Her time is her time. If she does not like my choice, then she can hang out with them instead. :)

As far as feedback, were you asking more of what she said or of what I said?

You have some good thoughts to think over. I appreciate it. :)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 03:30:57 PM by Chiara »

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2017, 03:47:09 PM »
Just for context - the PD person in my life is my mother. I hit an ugly wall in that relationship several years back and saw a counselor for a while as a result, trying to find some firm footing again. During one session she asked me, "How would you respond if anyone else treated you this way?" I wouldn't put up with it, I'd be gone and I wouldn't miss them at all! "Then tell me - why does your mother get a free pass to abuse you? " It stopped me dead in my tracks. I had no answer. I put up with and excused it because I always had. I had no other point of reference.


With that, I'll ask you the same - why is this so called friend allowed to abuse your friendship? My friends don't yell at me, ever. They don't demean, disrespect or and insult me, either to my face or behind my back (to my knowledge). We don't always agree by any means and I'm sure I ping on their last nerve at times, but I don't doubt them and I don't disrespect them. If it comes to that, the friendship is over. I deserve better and so do they.  *You* deserve better.

Hi Moglow,

Wow. That is difficult to deal with when it is family. It is very good that you were able to at least have someone who could help you, and help you to see clearly the dysfunction. ((((HUGS))))

Thanks for the thoughts that you shared! It is really good that you have such friends! I hope to one day have friends like that too. :-)

I suppose it is just very confusing trying to figure out what is dysfunctional and what is not in this situation, especially when there are so many different opinions. Even in my personal life, there are opinions. Her one relative said he supports me. This seems to have been a complicated topic. I am getting many points, but I am seeing many other points too, and it is confusing.

I really appreciate you taking your time to share.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 03:48:42 PM by Chiara »

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2017, 04:19:07 PM »
Just an update:

I would like to make a clarification.

I think this post has been so confusing because for some reason, it came across as though I was blaming the individual in question for my drinking, and am thus not taking responsibility for my actions. Instead, I am letting myself make bad choices and then blaming others.

I think that is what has caused this situation to be so confusing from the start, so I want to clarify.

I am not blaming him - or anyone other than myself - for my drinking.

From the beginning, I made it clear to my friend that I know I cannot blame anyone, and I am not.

I said to her at least once, if not numerous times, "I am not blaming ____ for my drinking. I know I cannot blame anyone."

It was my choice. I know that and I have known it from the start.

I just really wanted to clarify this as it has been really challenging to get to the original intent of my post, as it seems many people keep getting stuck on "you are not taking responsibility" or "you are blaming others for your mistakes."

So to clarify: I do not blame anyone for my mistakes.

I am not an alcoholic, but if I was, I think my post would be equivalent to an alcoholic admitting they are taking responsibility for their actions, but also realizing they are just human, and so they need to avoid circles of friends who might tempt them into drinking again.

From all I have ever heard of AA, those are the basics that they always encourage, and avoiding people and places where others are drinking or leading a lifestyle that could tempt them astray is one of them.

Not that the drinker can sit around and blame others if he drinks...but he has to be smart and know he is human, and thus avoid situations of temptation. If he wants to play the "hero" and go hang out with the drinkers to "prove" how in control he is of his own choices, he will just fall.

I have seen it happen with real alcoholics.

This is because there is a valid distinction between a temptation (or influence) and a choice.

This is the distinction that I am trying to make, and I think it is a valid, solid distinction, and I am very perplexed that others cannot see this.

But I wish we could take the alcohol out of the situation, because at the heart of it is this: I just do not want to hang out with people who lead a certain type of lifestyle. Not their fault what decisions I make, just not something I feel is a positive influence for me.

I hope that helps clarify something that I think keeps being lost. :)

Thanks. :)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 05:19:24 PM by Chiara »

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2017, 08:43:23 PM »
WoW, just WoW

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Hi again,

I am not sure if your comment was positive or a passive form of negativity. If it was the former, that is great. Thanks.

If it is the later, then all I can say is that I feel just as shocked.

I said clearly from the beginning that I am not blaming anyone for my mistakes.

I just feel that the individual(s) in question are not the sort of people I want to hang out with. Drinking aside, I cannot have deep conversations with them. I do not feel we have similar goals. I do not feel we can grow together. I do not feel they contribute to the sort of friendships that I would like to have. What I want to offer is different than what they want to offer. I do not enjoy hanging out around them, alcohol or no alcohol.

So, I made a decision that I do not want to hang out with them in the future. My choice.

How is that bad?

Also, how is wanting to grow and be a better person and wanting to be around people who contribute to that bad?

None of this makes any sense to me. I feel a little..... :stars:

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Seichan

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2017, 06:25:31 AM »
I was questioning when so many people were telling me to just silently avoid telling her the truth and leave quietly when she is around those people.

I think what we're looking for is a strategy for next time. Honesty is (nearly always) the best policy. So you're at her place and she gets a phone call that invites you both to a drinking session. Honesty would be: "I came here hoping just to have a catch-up with you. If we go to Friend's house we'll be drinking. I don't want to do that, so I'll be on my way and I'll see you another time."

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I would think about the times that people just tried to fade out of my life without telling me, and I thought, "isn't that at the very least something like what I would be doing to her in a way?"

You might find it didn't bother her as it would bother you (and me). Those of us with CPTSD from childhood always look for ways to blame ourselves. A friend slips away, we automatically search our every word and action for what we did wrong. Healthier people are more likely to decide it's about the person who left, just a matter of choice and preference, or constraints of time. Nothing to do with us.

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If every time they come over and I leave, that could become one of those things where it is obvious what I am doing, but unspoken and so still a little confusing.

So yes, I totally appreciate the clarity much more than the passive approach the older that I get.

If you have the self-discipline, when they show up you could tell yourself: "I'll have one drink and then leave" -- and stick to it. You mentioned that when they get stuck into the booze it soon devolves into "meaningless meaninglessness", and I get that. I've unwillingly sat through many such sessions because I don't have my own transport. What troubled me about your first post was that you passively went into a situation you knew you wouldn't like, and that you continued drinking after your friend left. It bothered me for two reasons.

1) You were apparently so far gone that you didn't notice your friend leaving
2) She didn't tell you she was leaving

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I was hoping that this was apart of what I had done by being clear so that at least she would understand and not have to wonder. (She would probably get the hint eventually, but again - the clarity.)

Trouble was, your words and intent didn't match your actions. You went along, you drank, and you continued drinking until you were unable to drive home and had to sleep it off in her spare room.  TBH I think she set you up for it by not saying: "Come on, we're going now." She led you to a situation your sober self didn't want to be in, and left you there.

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I do not want to hang out with people who are into a certain type of lifestyle. That is all.

You've made that very clear, but again, it's only what you say. It isn't what you did. You hung out, and continued hanging out after she left.

Quote from: Seichan
I would want to hear more. I would be grateful for the feedback.

Quote from: Chiara
As far as feedback, were you asking more of what she said or of what I said?

If a friend said to me "This is what I don't like about you" I would want to hear from her what the problem was, just so I was clear on it.

I think the word I'm looking for is congruence. If you keep proclaiming you don't want to hang out and don't want to drink, don't hang out and drink.

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2017, 04:20:46 PM »
I was questioning when so many people were telling me to just silently avoid telling her the truth and leave quietly when she is around those people.

I think what we're looking for is a strategy for next time. Honesty is (nearly always) the best policy. So you're at her place and she gets a phone call that invites you both to a drinking session. Honesty would be: "I came here hoping just to have a catch-up with you. If we go to Friend's house we'll be drinking. I don't want to do that, so I'll be on my way and I'll see you another time."

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I would think about the times that people just tried to fade out of my life without telling me, and I thought, "isn't that at the very least something like what I would be doing to her in a way?"

You might find it didn't bother her as it would bother you (and me). Those of us with CPTSD from childhood always look for ways to blame ourselves. A friend slips away, we automatically search our every word and action for what we did wrong. Healthier people are more likely to decide it's about the person who left, just a matter of choice and preference, or constraints of time. Nothing to do with us.

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If every time they come over and I leave, that could become one of those things where it is obvious what I am doing, but unspoken and so still a little confusing.

So yes, I totally appreciate the clarity much more than the passive approach the older that I get.

If you have the self-discipline, when they show up you could tell yourself: "I'll have one drink and then leave" -- and stick to it. You mentioned that when they get stuck into the booze it soon devolves into "meaningless meaninglessness", and I get that. I've unwillingly sat through many such sessions because I don't have my own transport. What troubled me about your first post was that you passively went into a situation you knew you wouldn't like, and that you continued drinking after your friend left. It bothered me for two reasons.

1) You were apparently so far gone that you didn't notice your friend leaving
2) She didn't tell you she was leaving

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I was hoping that this was apart of what I had done by being clear so that at least she would understand and not have to wonder. (She would probably get the hint eventually, but again - the clarity.)

Trouble was, your words and intent didn't match your actions. You went along, you drank, and you continued drinking until you were unable to drive home and had to sleep it off in her spare room.  TBH I think she set you up for it by not saying: "Come on, we're going now." She led you to a situation your sober self didn't want to be in, and left you there.

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I do not want to hang out with people who are into a certain type of lifestyle. That is all.

You've made that very clear, but again, it's only what you say. It isn't what you did. You hung out, and continued hanging out after she left.

Quote from: Seichan
I would want to hear more. I would be grateful for the feedback.

Quote from: Chiara
As far as feedback, were you asking more of what she said or of what I said?

If a friend said to me "This is what I don't like about you" I would want to hear from her what the problem was, just so I was clear on it.

I think the word I'm looking for is congruence. If you keep proclaiming you don't want to hang out and don't want to drink, don't hang out and drink.

Hi Seichan,

Thanks again for commenting.

I appreciate the strategy for next time. It sounds good!

I think the thing that is throwing everyone off is the drinking situation though. I wish I would have taken it out of the equation, because the heart of the matter is that I just do not like the overall vibe that they bring to the table, and I have not for years.

I have never felt that they are the sort of people that I want to hang out with. Not because I drank with them, because this was probably the first time I ever sat around drinking with this certain group of people in many, many years of knowing them.

I do not feel that I want to hang out with them because I just do not feel that we have anything in common. Our goals and interests are in very different places in many ways, and I do not enjoy what they "bring to the table" in terms of friendship. I feel uncomfortable opening up around them, I feel like I am out of place because I want to have deep conversations that they would not be interested in, etc.

I never feel "good" being around them in the way that I think friendship requires. I have done it to be polite to my friend, because she likes them, but I have never really enjoyed it in any way that would lead me to want to be around them if she was not in the equation.

These are all the sorts of influences that I am referring to. The alcohol is just one more influence that they bring to the table. It is not something that they force on me, and if I choose to drink then it is my responsibility and my choice and I cannot blame them, but reality shows it is an influence that they bring to the table if I choose to associate with them - in the same way that all the other things I mentioned are the influences they are going to continue to bring to the table.

I cannot force them to stop bringing these influences to the table. That is not my responsibility.

I cannot control the influences that people bring to the table whenever we get together to hang out. Some people bring good influences, some people bring bad ones.

Some people bring positive attitudes, some negative ones. Some bring an interest in talking about more deep things, some do not.

This is how we choose our friends - based on the influences that they bring to the table, and our decision of if we like those influences and feel they are something that we want to be around or not.

If we do not like the influences, we are not lacking in personal responsibility. We just do not like the influences.

My only responsibility is how I respond to those influences, which is what I have been saying over and over again. Everyone keeps getting caught up in, "you drank."

Yes, I drank. And I admitted it was my fault. I do not know what more I can do to take responsibility for my mistake? I cannot go back and change it. It was a mistake, and it was no ones fault but mine.

But that one mistake is besides the point.

The point is that I do not like the influences these people bring. Personality influences, cultural influences, conversational influences - influences of all sorts.

It is up to me how I respond to those influences, and if I go back around them and drink again, that is my choice and my responsibility. I cannot blame them for my choice.

But there is nothing wrong with stating the obvious: if I do not like certain influences that other people bring to the table, there is nothing lacking in my personal responsibility about not wanting to be their friend.

If that were the case, then every negative person that we do not like, and choose not to be around, would be a failure of personal responsibility, because we should say, "I do not like what this person brings to the table, but I should grin and bear it anyways, because if I refuse to hang out with them, I am lacking in personal responsibility."

That makes no sense.

I honestly think what is throwing everyone off is the drinking, because otherwise I cannot see why I keep being told I am lacking in personal responsibility because I do not like certain influences that other people bring to the table.

I hear what you are saying when you said: "You've made that very clear, but again, it's only what you say. It isn't what you did. You hung out, and continued hanging out after she left."

I do not know how many more times I can agree that I made a mistake. I cannot go back and change it. It was my fault. I have admitted my error since the beginning.

My friend even said at one point that she wanted to call the guy and yell at him, and it was ME who told her: "no, it is not his fault."

The fact that I made an error and take responsibility for it is all I can do at this point, and it is all I have continued to do.

I agree, in the future it is up to me to not hang out, and if I go and drink again, it is my fault.

But I do not feel I am lacking in personal responsibility because I do not like certain things that are brought to the table if I choose to go and hang out, and as a result prefer not to hang out.

I hope this makes sense. I think the core of what I was trying to say has been skewed by the alcohol. At the core, I just do not enjoy their company, and do not feel that what they bring to the table as friends is something that I like.

I apologize if I seem really "debating" and I appreciate that you have taken on the "challenge" where others did not. :-)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 04:40:41 PM by Chiara »

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xredshoesx

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2017, 11:08:41 PM »
i wouldn't invest a ton of emotional energy or head space into someone that was my friend but talked to me like that.  i don;'t think you're wrong to be upset or offended by the comment.  it also sounds like you are trying to take on 100% of the responsibility to maintain the relationship, to the point where she is friends with you when it is convenient for her.

it seems like this friendship is becoming more of a high maintenance type relationship.  from reading, it seems like you do the calling, she has been rude or unkind to you before, and she has friends that do things that not only do you not approve of, that are possibly dangerous and/or illegal too.

i felt kinship with you for this post because it is exactly the same kind of friendship that brought me to the interwebz looking for support almost 10 years ago.  now that i am more OOTF, i think you are 100% correct that you should expect better from the people who you allow to share your life, even if they are just friends.  i hope you find some ideas here that can point you in the direction that you want to take this friendship-

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Seichan

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2017, 07:44:33 AM »
I do not feel that I want to hang out with them because I just do not feel that we have anything in common. Our goals and interests are in very different places in many ways, and I do not enjoy what they "bring to the table" in terms of friendship. I feel uncomfortable opening up around them, I feel like I am out of place because I want to have deep conversations that they would not be interested in, etc.

I never feel "good" being around them in the way that I think friendship requires. I have done it to be polite to my friend, because she likes them, but I have never really enjoyed it in any way that would lead me to want to be around them if she was not in the equation.

I understand this, I really do. If I felt this way about a person or group of people I would stay away. I wouldn't have a 'rider' in there that says: "If he ever needs help of course I'll go over." You tolerate him/them in order to placate your friend, and I'm wondering if this is a self-abandoning pattern from childhood.

You want to have "deep" conversation. You've obviously had that on at least one occasion with your friend, so you know she's capable of it but I suspect it isn't something she wants too much of.  In your first post you said she didn't pick up when you called, and didn't respond to the message you left, something that seemed odd to you at the time.

When you and she had an arrangement for some one-on-one time, she took a call from her alcoholic friend and agreed you both would go to his place. I wonder what you were discussing at the time, because you told us you were trying to re-establish the friendship. I don't know what this would involve but it sounds like you wanted to go "deep" and thrash out a few things. "Deep" very often means "intense", and it may well be she was in her party-girl mode. Essentially she abandoned you, first emotionally (because she knew you wouldn't open up with someone else present) and then physically, when she went home without you.

I can imagine the sinking feeling, and in your shoes I probably would have gone and got blotto, too. Or gone home and cried in frustration. It's like you were in a therapist's office when she took a phone call and said you were both going to see someone else.

Like you, I yearn for connection with at least one but preferably two or three people who know my 'stuff' and can handle it. It's super-normal to crave understanding and validation from people we like and trust. If we have to hide where we've been and who we've become as a result, what's the friendship worth? It becomes an acting job. I have very few friends as a result of this. The only people who actually want to know our 'stuff' are good therapists, and sadly all too many of them can't actually understand it.

In your situation now I would definitely wait for her to contact you. You say that isn't the way she operates, well, fine. Let it hang for a while. If/when you do see her again, just be clear that it's you and her, not her and the party people.

Last time I set this boundary, the 'friend' vanished. No, that isn't what I wanted, but the friendship as it stood wasn't what I wanted, either. That rings a bell for me, about having to choose NC with my mother. Unfortunately, our relationship with mother sets the template for the rest of our lives ... unless and until we find that special therapist who can handle our "deep" and re-mother us.

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2017, 05:37:29 PM »
i wouldn't invest a ton of emotional energy or head space into someone that was my friend but talked to me like that.  i don;'t think you're wrong to be upset or offended by the comment.  it also sounds like you are trying to take on 100% of the responsibility to maintain the relationship, to the point where she is friends with you when it is convenient for her.

it seems like this friendship is becoming more of a high maintenance type relationship.  from reading, it seems like you do the calling, she has been rude or unkind to you before, and she has friends that do things that not only do you not approve of, that are possibly dangerous and/or illegal too.

i felt kinship with you for this post because it is exactly the same kind of friendship that brought me to the interwebz looking for support almost 10 years ago.  now that i am more OOTF, i think you are 100% correct that you should expect better from the people who you allow to share your life, even if they are just friends.  i hope you find some ideas here that can point you in the direction that you want to take this friendship-

Thank you so much for taking the time to say what you did. I really appreciate it, and I apologize for taking so long to reply.

I actually stepped away from checking this site since my last contribution to this thread, which was days and days ago, because I felt that I came on here hoping that others understood the difference between taking responsibility for ones actions and preferring to keep certain influences out of ones life. It was what I hoped of my friend, but instead of understanding, she just found fault - which was much of what I felt was happening here. I even had one lady leave a passive-aggressive comment, and when I asked her to clarify what she meant, she would not have the courtesy to do so, which was quite tiresome (and far from positive or even remotely helpful) to deal with.

I felt as though I was banging my head into a wall with my friend, trying to help her to see the difference between personal responsibility and influences, and the legitimacy of choosing to avoid certain influences. I had hoped to find support here, to deal with her lack of support / seemingly unkind words, and thought that surely others would understand the difference, and be able to help me process how she reacted, but instead I felt like I was just banging my head even more.... ouch. :)

It was a letdown that more people here did not understand this difference and could not be supportive in that regard. There was a lot of good advice in regards to many things, but a number of people seemed to get stuck on that one thing that it ruined the entire experience of trying to figure out what to do next.

I appreciate your kind words. :)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 06:02:19 PM by Chiara »

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2017, 05:59:09 PM »
I do not feel that I want to hang out with them because I just do not feel that we have anything in common. Our goals and interests are in very different places in many ways, and I do not enjoy what they "bring to the table" in terms of friendship. I feel uncomfortable opening up around them, I feel like I am out of place because I want to have deep conversations that they would not be interested in, etc.

I never feel "good" being around them in the way that I think friendship requires. I have done it to be polite to my friend, because she likes them, but I have never really enjoyed it in any way that would lead me to want to be around them if she was not in the equation.

I understand this, I really do. If I felt this way about a person or group of people I would stay away. I wouldn't have a 'rider' in there that says: "If he ever needs help of course I'll go over." You tolerate him/them in order to placate your friend, and I'm wondering if this is a self-abandoning pattern from childhood.

You want to have "deep" conversation. You've obviously had that on at least one occasion with your friend, so you know she's capable of it but I suspect it isn't something she wants too much of.  In your first post you said she didn't pick up when you called, and didn't respond to the message you left, something that seemed odd to you at the time.

When you and she had an arrangement for some one-on-one time, she took a call from her alcoholic friend and agreed you both would go to his place. I wonder what you were discussing at the time, because you told us you were trying to re-establish the friendship. I don't know what this would involve but it sounds like you wanted to go "deep" and thrash out a few things. "Deep" very often means "intense", and it may well be she was in her party-girl mode. Essentially she abandoned you, first emotionally (because she knew you wouldn't open up with someone else present) and then physically, when she went home without you.

I can imagine the sinking feeling, and in your shoes I probably would have gone and got blotto, too. Or gone home and cried in frustration. It's like you were in a therapist's office when she took a phone call and said you were both going to see someone else.

Like you, I yearn for connection with at least one but preferably two or three people who know my 'stuff' and can handle it. It's super-normal to crave understanding and validation from people we like and trust. If we have to hide where we've been and who we've become as a result, what's the friendship worth? It becomes an acting job. I have very few friends as a result of this. The only people who actually want to know our 'stuff' are good therapists, and sadly all too many of them can't actually understand it.

In your situation now I would definitely wait for her to contact you. You say that isn't the way she operates, well, fine. Let it hang for a while. If/when you do see her again, just be clear that it's you and her, not her and the party people.

Last time I set this boundary, the 'friend' vanished. No, that isn't what I wanted, but the friendship as it stood wasn't what I wanted, either. That rings a bell for me, about having to choose NC with my mother. Unfortunately, our relationship with mother sets the template for the rest of our lives ... unless and until we find that special therapist who can handle our "deep" and re-mother us.

Thank you for taking the time to share. I do appreciate it, and am grateful for your effort to pass on some - what seems to me to be - much hard-earned advice.

I apologize that it took so long to reply. I have not been on this site since my last contribution to this thread.

You have some good thoughts to consider. I will try to go over them and figure out what to do next.

She does enjoy more thoughtful conversation, and has often said that is one of the reasons why she likes me - because she cannot have those sorts of conversations with most other people that she knows. When I am with her, she expands in that direction, and tells me how easy and natural it is to hang out with me (she says it is easier than with most others that she knows), and how much she enjoys it. And it is easy and natural in many ways, and I enjoy it too in those regards. She is a smart lady who once won an almost full-paid scholarship to a very prestigious institution, but gave it up to have a family and self-educated herself instead. Along the way, she had some very abusive situations that I think dragged her down, and was introduced to a lifestyle of drinking and partying (which she no longer frequents, as she has admitted what she saw come out of it was too much) and she admitted herself that the life she ended up leading as she got older made her very tough, but when she is around me at times I can see that smart lady coming through, and I can almost see who she could have been if life had not given her so many hard experiences.

Yet when she is with her other friends, she sort of changes and goes into their mindset to a certain degree, and that is not really the person that I love to spend time with.

Ah well, it is quite complicated and I will not drag this out anymore. I appreciate so much that you have tried to help with the sort of advice that I really came here seeking, but sort of got lost along the way amidst the myriad of other things. I will think about what you said.

Thank you again!

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moglow

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2017, 08:25:59 PM »
Quote
I felt as though I was banging my head into a wall with my friend, trying to help her to see the difference between personal responsibility and influences, and the legitimacy of choosing to avoid certain influences. I had hoped to find support here, to deal with her lack of support / seemingly unkind words, and thought that surely others would understand the difference, and be able to help me process how she reacted, but instead I felt like I was just banging my head even more.... ouch.

Chiara, I'm sorry this was the impression you got! I don't think that's what anyone intended at all.

If I may, none of us can reach your friend, and odds are you can't either unless/until she decides she wants help - and honestly it doesn't sound like she's ready or willing to hear it. Her choices are and will remain hers. Your fellow members were indeed focused on helping *you*, rather than helping you help her. 

No one found fault with you. It seemed everyone wanted to reassure you that you had to do what's best for yourself, regardless of her choices.

Again, my apologies if that's how it came across.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:27:50 PM by moglow »
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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2017, 03:23:23 AM »
Quote
I felt as though I was banging my head into a wall with my friend, trying to help her to see the difference between personal responsibility and influences, and the legitimacy of choosing to avoid certain influences. I had hoped to find support here, to deal with her lack of support / seemingly unkind words, and thought that surely others would understand the difference, and be able to help me process how she reacted, but instead I felt like I was just banging my head even more.... ouch.

Chiara, I'm sorry this was the impression you got! I don't think that's what anyone intended at all.

If I may, none of us can reach your friend, and odds are you can't either unless/until she decides she wants help - and honestly it doesn't sound like she's ready or willing to hear it. Her choices are and will remain hers. Your fellow members were indeed focused on helping *you*, rather than helping you help her. 

No one found fault with you. It seemed everyone wanted to reassure you that you had to do what's best for yourself, regardless of her choices.

Again, my apologies if that's how it came across.

Thanks Moglow. I appreciate it. Sometimes in written communication, or in words of any form, original intents can become lost, so I am grateful for the clarification.

I agree with what you said about my friend. I was not referring to me trying to change her actions - I just meant that she did not seem to understand my viewpoint that day, and I was let down in that regard.

I do know that you tried to help, and I am grateful for that. You gave me some good advice that did give me some helpful food for thought, and I am really thankful for your time and efforts. There were numerous people who also did the same, and that was kind of them too. I know that overall most people meant well, and it was very generous of them all to take their time with me. I just felt that there was one issue that kept popping up and getting in the way of me processing all the good advice thoroughly.

It is kind of you to say what you did, so thank you again.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2017, 10:45:47 AM »
So much of what you shared in your post are things I struggled with as well while I was dealing with codependency and Boundary issues. It takes a while once you're Out of the FOG to really get a handle on those two things. It's all the more difficult if there's still a bit of fog in this left, if you are somehow influenced by others words and deeds into feeling any bit of fear obligation guilt (FOG)

Here are the three questions you asked in your first post and one of your follow-up posts.

Quote
At this point, I suppose my question is this: is it normal for me to feel hurt by her saying "that is what I do not like about you" - would anyone else feel that it was insulting?
this question was addressed by several members and in several different ways throughout the post, some saying they'd be insulted others saying they would not. My personal thought is that feelings are a very individual thing and you get to feel whatever you wish to feel. You obviously found it insulting and you're very entitled to that feeling. There's nothing wrong about feeling, personally I don't subscribe to the idea of positive versus negative feelings, each feeling is there to give us a message as to how to act. It might be good to dig a little deeper into your feeling and what message is behind that feeling for you.

Quote
Do I have reason to question her friendship given all that I explained?
this is a good question and the fact that you are asking it indicates you may wish to reevaluate the value of friendship and what it brings to you.

Quote
Is it wrong for me to want to only spend time with certain people and not others?
no not at all, you get to decide who you spend time with and who you do not. If you wish to spend time with this friend and only her and you express that to her, as others have said if she chooses to change your plans midstream then at that point in time you need to decide do you accompany her or do you go home? Keeping in mind the three C's rule and the concept of boundaries and my stuff your stuff from the toolbox we cannot control who others choose to spend time with and she gets to choose whether or not to stay with you and spend time with you or go spend time with others.

Knowing where we end and others begin is the first step in establishing boundaries. Several of the post talk about boundaries and maybe a concrete example might help. In the example you use with your friend a boundary might be "when we make plans together I'd like to keep those plans to just you and I and stick with what we planned to do and if while we're together you change those plans I may choose not to join you not as a judgement but just as I may not be in the mood to be with the other friends you wish to be with and include". So if she receives a phone call while you are with her and she decides she wants you and her to go spend time with others at that point you decide to invoke your boundary and not join her. Yes it was a waste of time and gas but she made her choice to violate your stated wishes so you get to invoke your boundary and leave.

There's a ton of resources available in the working on you board boundaries sticky if you want to know more about healthy boundaries.

Some really good thoughts in this article helped me work through the idea of individuation and establishing a strong sense of self. Maybe there's something in here you might find useful. Some of what you wrote brought to mind several points from this article.
http://narcissismschild.com/2015/03/16/the-consequences-of-enmeshment/

I hope you're able to find peace and healing and make healthy decisions regarding your friendship with this person. Hopefully overall you find Out of the FOG supportive even if sometimes some of the feedback is things we don't necessarily wish to hear. The journey Out of the FOG is difficult but the reward in the end is priceless.
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Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2017, 05:46:24 PM »
So much of what you shared in your post are things I struggled with as well while I was dealing with codependency and Boundary issues. It takes a while once you're Out of the FOG to really get a handle on those two things. It's all the more difficult if there's still a bit of fog in this left, if you are somehow influenced by others words and deeds into feeling any bit of fear obligation guilt (FOG)

Here are the three questions you asked in your first post and one of your follow-up posts.

Quote
At this point, I suppose my question is this: is it normal for me to feel hurt by her saying "that is what I do not like about you" - would anyone else feel that it was insulting?
this question was addressed by several members and in several different ways throughout the post, some saying they'd be insulted others saying they would not. My personal thought is that feelings are a very individual thing and you get to feel whatever you wish to feel. You obviously found it insulting and you're very entitled to that feeling. There's nothing wrong about feeling, personally I don't subscribe to the idea of positive versus negative feelings, each feeling is there to give us a message as to how to act. It might be good to dig a little deeper into your feeling and what message is behind that feeling for you.

Quote
Do I have reason to question her friendship given all that I explained?
this is a good question and the fact that you are asking it indicates you may wish to reevaluate the value of friendship and what it brings to you.

Quote
Is it wrong for me to want to only spend time with certain people and not others?
no not at all, you get to decide who you spend time with and who you do not. If you wish to spend time with this friend and only her and you express that to her, as others have said if she chooses to change your plans midstream then at that point in time you need to decide do you accompany her or do you go home? Keeping in mind the three C's rule and the concept of boundaries and my stuff your stuff from the toolbox we cannot control who others choose to spend time with and she gets to choose whether or not to stay with you and spend time with you or go spend time with others.

Knowing where we end and others begin is the first step in establishing boundaries. Several of the post talk about boundaries and maybe a concrete example might help. In the example you use with your friend a boundary might be "when we make plans together I'd like to keep those plans to just you and I and stick with what we planned to do and if while we're together you change those plans I may choose not to join you not as a judgement but just as I may not be in the mood to be with the other friends you wish to be with and include". So if she receives a phone call while you are with her and she decides she wants you and her to go spend time with others at that point you decide to invoke your boundary and not join her. Yes it was a waste of time and gas but she made her choice to violate your stated wishes so you get to invoke your boundary and leave.

There's a ton of resources available in the working on you board boundaries sticky if you want to know more about healthy boundaries.

Some really good thoughts in this article helped me work through the idea of individuation and establishing a strong sense of self. Maybe there's something in here you might find useful. Some of what you wrote brought to mind several points from this article.
http://narcissismschild.com/2015/03/16/the-consequences-of-enmeshment/

I hope you're able to find peace and healing and make healthy decisions regarding your friendship with this person. Hopefully overall you find Out of the FOG supportive even if sometimes some of the feedback is things we don't necessarily wish to hear. The journey Out of the FOG is difficult but the reward in the end is priceless.

Thank you for your well thought out reply. It was kind of you to take the time to do so, and you did give me some good advice. I checked the link that you gave me, and will come back to this again to rethink.

It is good to hear that you have been able to deal with these things yourself, and come out of them. That is really positive to hear.

If I may, it was not so much that there were things that I did not like to hear (I do not mind helpful advice, and even if I sometimes do not like to hear it, if it is truthful I hope to see the truth and benefit from it), as that there was one thing that was inaccurate.

What I struggled with in my friend was her belief that by saying I do not like the influences of her friends, I was somehow blaming them for my actions and not taking responsibility.

This kept coming up here again and again, as though to prefer to avoid certain influences indicates a lack of responsibility.

I think it is important to not give the impression that individuals should feel penalized for not preferring certain influences, and to accuse them of lacking personal responsibility simply because they do not want to be around certain influences that they feel are negative. This was how my friend made me feel.

There is a big difference between saying, "I do not like the influences that (name here) brings into my life. Any mistakes I make around (name here) are my fault, but I prefer to not be around those influences because I do not think they are positive and human nature being what it is, it is better to be around positive influences" .....and....."I do not like the influences (name) brings into my life, and any mistakes I make around (name) are his or hers fault, and he or she is to blame for the things I do that I do not like."

It was hard that no matter how many times I claimed responsibility for my actions, I kept being told I was not taking responsibility simply because I felt certain things were a negative influence in my life, from my friend and numerous occasions on here. That was what I was referring to.

Thank you again very, very much for your help. :) I appreciate it and like I said, I will review these things you have written and shared.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 05:56:26 PM by Chiara »

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2017, 06:23:32 PM »
Oh I see, well hopefully that doesn't keep you away and you're able to find some support here. Wishing you peace and healing!
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog

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Chiara

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Re: Was this out of line?
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2017, 04:47:16 PM »
Oh I see, well hopefully that doesn't keep you away and you're able to find some support here. Wishing you peace and healing!

Thank you!