Need feedback on how to proceed with friend

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Wish Camp

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Need feedback on how to proceed with friend
« on: September 23, 2017, 12:50:06 AM »
Honestly, I don't know where to go with a friend I will call Lola. We have been friends for 20+ years. We became friends when we were in our early 20s when we were both struggling to find out who we were. We came in and out of each others lives throughout this friendship.  We lost touch for almost a decade and about three years ago we made contact again. By this time we had moved away from my home town where we met.  She is several states away so we talk and text. She comes to visit the area about once a year for an extended period of 2-3 weeks.

The first year she came, she made plans to be in my hometown and various other locations in the state.  None of these plans included me.  I was pushed to the end of the trip for my visit and I had to travel to a nearby state to visit her. She and her children were exhausted by the time my son and I were able to visit.  The visit was extremely awkward and short. I felt rejected by her and created a little distance between us when she returned home.  I had less talk time with her but after a while the usual talking resumed.

Year two, she came with her husband (never met him).  They spent time with a mutual friend. I am certain this friend would have loved to have all of us together at once.  I felt it was a safe place to meet her husband for the first time as he is not a very kind person.  She proceeded on her usual trip around the state seeing people she truly wanted to see. Then, she went back to her relatives home where I was expected to go at the END of the trip.  My husband said he didn't feel good about our safety and didn't want us to go there alone.  I ended up having an appointment the day she scheduled me in so I didn't go. I put distance between us again. This meeting was just weeks after I went NC with my FOO.  So, I was especially sensitive to being treated poorly.  But, like a boomerang, I came back to the same place of talking and texting again.

This year, she came again. It was just her and the kids.  She had 3 weeks to spend. She said she was going to come to my house to visit my family. I was elated.  No friends from my hometown had ever visited me at my present home.  Soon after making this plan, she went silent.  I would text with no response and my text messages never had anything to do with the visit.  Finally, after 5 days, I called her and got no answer. She called an hour later complaining about her husband and her life. She finally blurted out that she was not going to make it to my house.  But, of course, I could come to her. I told her our family schedule was getting busy because school was starting and I was not going to be able to drop all of it and go to her.  After I hung up, I knew we would not see each other and messaged that it was not going to be possible.  Her response, "so be it". It cut like a knife to be cast off so easily. I felt it was time to put the boundary in place once and for all. 

It has been several weeks since we have had any conversation at length. In fact, the conversation above was the last one. She has reached out several times that she realizes what she did. I responded with short non-reactive answers.

What this whole situation did was cause me to have tremendous emotional flashbacks of my mom doing and saying the same thing to me time and again.  She would say she was going to visit and back out at the last minute, say she would going to do something with me and then make plans with others, or say she was going to spend time with my family and then go silent and never bring it up again. I melted down and realized the majority of my relationship issues I have had in my life resulted from my mother's treatment of me. Lack of trust and tons of abandonment. My mother created the abandonment which in turn created the lack of trust.

I feel I need to address this with Lola but I don't wish to JADE.  Any ideas about how to proceed?  I definitely feel the boundary needs to stay in place and our friendship has gone to a place of no return. 

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carrots

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Re: Need feedback on how to proceed with friend
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 02:49:24 AM »
I'm sorry a friend has been treating you this way.

I'm wondering, when you say the friendship has "gone to a place of no return", do you mean that's it for the friendship, over and done with? If that's what you mean, then I don't know how it would help to try and talk to the friend about it. Maybe I'm misunderstanding linguistically-speaking? (That would be my fault not yours BTW).

I still get quite a lot of emotional flashbacks, and find that when I do, it's helpful to look at these too. The fact that I was treated poorly in childhood does not mean that I'm merely projecting the situation onto somebody in my current life, but it can help me set a limit now and take a healthy step now in terms of self-care if I do some healing work on the past injury. Doing this work now helps me realize again and again that setting a limit is no longer a hazard, the way it was for me as a neglected, abused child.

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biggerfish

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Re: Need feedback on how to proceed with friend
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 06:06:32 AM »
Sounds like you do enjoy the long distance relationship with her. As a child you had no power but as an adult you do...you can call the shots on the box you place around this friendship. That is, you can choose to make it a long distance friendship only, with no visiting. That way, you get the enjoyment, but without the triggering and flashback when she screws up about making plans. There are no plans. It could very well be that this gal is one of those extremely disorganized people that is hard to let go of because she's so much fun. Ultimately, it's up to you where you draw your lines and whether you want any friendship at all with her. She might just be too triggering for you right  now.

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Wish Camp

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Re: Need feedback on how to proceed with friend
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 10:40:15 AM »
Carrots, I guess what I mean by point of no return is that I am just at a place where trying to delve into the issues seems pointless. I don't feel anything will be accomplished by talking about it. She has extreme abuse in her background and has FOG in a number of places in her life. And, as we all know when you are still in the FOG it isn't possible to take responsibility for the stuff you create.

Biggerfish, I think your last statement sums it up. She is too triggering. I actually spend most of my time counseling her.  Continuing to step back is the safest place for me right now.

Thanks to you both. This is pulling some things out for me to look at more closely.

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clara

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Re: Need feedback on how to proceed with friend
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 12:50:52 PM »
Wish--this behavior seems to be common in NPDs.  They claim you're a good, or even best, friend but never have much time for you.  When it comes to scheduling, they put almost everyone else before you, even though you seem to be the main one they depend on when the chips are down.  Your friend seems to need you and wants you to be there for her even if she never (or seldom) reciprocates.  NPDs seem to view relationships differently from nons.  From what I've observed, they rank them according to their needs (as would be natural for most people) but never go much beyond that.  Mutuality isn't in their vocabulary.  They take but don't like to give unless they see some end benefit for themselves.  Your friend likely doesn't even see that what she does as rude, or that it bothers you.  She may act like she's listening, but probably isn't because it's beyond her why you would be upset at her behavior.  NPDs don't think anyone has any right to be upset about anything they do since they are masters of justifications.  Her "so be it" response put the issue back on you--you were the one having the problem.  There's no awareness on her part of being the cause.  And again, from what I've experienced, they really don't care.  It's hard for us to understand because we're not like them, but they really don't.  They can move on, go back to being friends with you, whatever.  The focus is always and entirely on them.  You're just a satellite in their orbit.  If you want to continue the friendship because it provides you some benefit (and there's nothing wrong in being a little selfish in a relationship) then I agree with the other responders to keep the relationship long-distance and arms-length.  This has been going on for 20 years.  She's not going to change.

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Wish Camp

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Re: Need feedback on how to proceed with friend
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 05:20:39 PM »
Clara, you make some really great points. The NPD thing has crossed my mind many times over the last few years. She has told me I am her dearest friend, her best friend and she couldn't bear to lose me. I understand now that she needed supply and I spoon fed it to her.

I realize the other people had some "thing" she wanted and all I had was myself to offer and that was not enough.

More revelation! Wow! Knew coming here would help sort the pieces out for clearer understanding.

Thank you Clara.




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eternallystuck

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Re: Need feedback on how to proceed with friend
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 10:08:21 PM »
Wish--this behavior seems to be common in NPDs.  They claim you're a good, or even best, friend but never have much time for you. 
 NPDs seem to view relationships differently from nons.  From what I've observed, they rank them according to their needs (as would be natural for most people) but never go much beyond that.  Mutuality isn't in their vocabulary.  They take but don't like to give unless they see some end benefit for themselves. 
Clara this is SO bang on. I recently realised this about a long term friend. I was very in denial. I really noticed it one time after we had a argument, I'd gone to meet up after the air had cleared. No shes busy. 2 months of NC later out of the blue she wants to go some random expensive concert that's in a foreign language. I tell her I couldn't afford it but we should meet up& have a movie night soon... what do I get "BUT I really WANT to go, though". Yep, so its not about us meeting up, its about HER which is why we had fallen out in the 1st instance.Well, she could of offered to pay, since I'd taken her on holiday for free before today. I knew I was her last choice in the rank, she just wanted to drag me along so she could go. She was always constantly late & had a huge disrespect for my time. Deffo thought she was "above" me.

To NPD's I am always their 'most genuine' friend, yet they treat me like ****. Or they get insulted that I hint were acquaintances rather than friends, despite they only meet up with me once every few months on their terms lmao. They really do have delusions of grandeur

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living on pause

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Re: Need feedback on how to proceed with friend
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2017, 01:37:24 PM »
This post is so helpful to me, especially what you've said, Clara.

The triggering situations...I get it. Just went NC with an online friend I've known for years. A couple of months ago she said she couldn't deal with me 'shoving in her face' the facts about my uNPD mom. She thought I was mean to talk about my mom, who she doesn't even know, and show my mom in a bad light.

My husband says to move on. Not waste my time on a friendship that's so one-sided. The advice to keep your relationship with your girlfriend a long-distance one is perfect. Stop setting yourself up for disappointment.  There's a track record with your friend. If you feel in control and not controlled...well, that's pretty powerful.

Take care.  ;)