How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?

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countrygirl

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How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« on: June 25, 2019, 02:32:23 PM »
Hello,

Well, it's not enough that I'm trying to deal with the PDs who are in my life now, but recently I have been disturbed by notes and e-mails from someone I haven't seen in many years.  I would really appreciate your read on this.

Last year, out of the blue, she e-mailed my husband and told him to have me write her at her work address.  I had always thought she was a highly competitive person, and I just didn't want someone else like this in my life, so I didn't reply.  Then, six months ago, she sent me a personal note, and in a moment of weakness, I replied, writing to her e-mail address.

She immediately wanted to get together, telling me that we would meet here, not asking if I would prefer to meet in her city.  I replied that I was not up to meeting in person, because of my mobility issues.  She really seemed displeased by this, as in ticked off, not as in sorry to hear about my problem. 

Also, she wrote a lot about going to our high school reunions and all about who had been "successful."  Successful to her is all about "fame and fortune," not at all about who you are as a person.  She was like this when she was young, which is the main reason I had resisted contacting her.  When she wrote about the reunion, she mentioned how she would like to see a good friend of mine and a cousin of mine.  This really surprised me, because she had never had anything to do with either when we were young.  Nor are they successful by her lights, but perhaps she wants to check this out for herself.

She mentioned these people one other time, and I didn't take the bait.  Then, today, she sent me what I can only call a disturbing e-mail.  First, she mentioned another "successful" person, talking about where she lived, and managing to get in that she wasn't married and had never married.  Something I couldn't care less about, and which is none of her business!   I was really turned off.

Then, yet again, she talked about wanting to have contact with my good friend and with my cousin. (She underlined that she'd known I'd been close with my friend when we were young.)  Then she said that she knew my good friend didn't "do reunions."  (She attended one, and was appalled when a very sweet woman--formerly thin and now overweight--had been voted  "Most Changed."  Is that disgusting, or what?  She said the poor woman was mortified!  I guess that group had retained all of the cruelty of high school.)

Then, she posted a one sentence paragraph, saying, "Are you still in contact with X?"  The good friend.   I find this obsessiveness really off-putting.  This is just how she was when she contacted me.  It was as if I didn't have the right to refuse her.  Just as I was supposed to fall right into line with meeting her where SHE wanted.  Now she is obviously ticked off that I am not giving her the info she wants about my friend.  Well, she found me, and my friend is even easier to find, because she has never moved--AND this woman knows her married name!  She does NOT need me to get in contact with her, but clearly she wants to use me for that. 

The whole tone of this e-mail was cold and what I would call predatory.  That is how intent she is upon getting her way.  I should have listened to my gut and not replied when she looked me up.  Would love to hear your observations about this, and whether any of you have encountered something like this with friends from the past.


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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 03:33:48 PM »
Yikes. I would give your friend a heads up and then ghost.  :ninja: This sounds really strange and creepy. I mean she’s attempted to get to your friend through you, through your husband, four times over several months. That’s not normal.

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countrygirl

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 04:10:44 PM »
HI Call Me Cordelia,

Thanks for your reply!   I agree that it is really creepy.  And when I thought about how she'd contacted me, I wondered why she didn't contact my friend in a similar manner.  Why does she have to go through me? 

If only I'd listened to my gut and hadn't replied to her in the first place.  I sometimes second guess myself, and think my perceptions probably aren't correct, but they often are. 

I am going to ghost. 

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TriedTooHard

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2019, 09:36:10 AM »
You are correct in ghosting her. 

I have encountered something similar from someone who was literally trying to sell me something and recruit me into a pyramid scheme.

But I have also encountered some poor souls, like me, who were very lost and felt invisible in high school.  We came from a large high school so there was not enough time to get to know everyone.  After several decades, a lot of us invisible, silent sufferers feel regrets about all of the instant friends we could have had, if only we knew then what we know now.  I've seen on social media and at reunions a lot of us types trying to make new friendships.  Unfortunately, if we don't live a short drive from one another, it rarely works.  I even had a candid discussion with one woman about this.  We met for lunch a few months ago, had a laugh about it, and went back to our current lives and haven't been in touch since.  I do feel better about my past and hope she does too.  I was glad we could help each other in that regards, and you never know, we may meet again some day.

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countrygirl

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 10:58:14 AM »
Hi TriedTooHard,

I can relate to your high school experience, and I understand people reaching out.  It is good that you and that woman shared your experience. 

In this case, the woman who contacted me was one of the "stars" in high school.  She always had friends, a boyfriend and made stellar grads--a appropriately enough for a star!   Then she did achieve fame and fortune, has a great home, made a good marriage, has two successful children.  The hits just keep on happening!  So why she now wants to connect with people she didn't even know in high school is puzzling.  I realize it is none of my business, but I don't like it that she's trying to use me as a gatekeeper to my friend and to my cousin.  There is something very odd about it, something sort of stalker-like.  I think it's possible that she wants to make sure everyone who had any connection with her past is suitably impressed with all that she's achieved. 

She is someone who really bulldozes her way to getting what she wants.  Obviously, that must have worked well for her in some ways, but I don't like being on the receiving end of it.  I'm glad you agree that ghosting her is the best option.  As usual, I feel guilty about withdrawing, but I can't deal with her.  She was extremely intrusive in her e-mails, just very demanding.  I didn't care for her bulldozing in the past and drifted away from her, so that's what I will do now. 

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clara

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 11:50:00 AM »
I, too, think you're absolutely right in ghosting her, because obviously her contacting you wasn't in good faith.  But I don't blame you for responding to her.  Sometimes our curiosity gets the best of us, and since we're aware of the tools needed when dealing with toxic or potentially toxic people, you can go into the encounter armed and aware.  I did this recently with a NPD I'd ghosted several years ago.  I was super curious about why all of a sudden he was trying to get back into my life.  And since I was now aware of who he really was and how he functioned, it didn't worry me too much to respond.  I know how to protect myself, to keep a safe distance while working with him, in a very limited way, on a mutual project (one started years ago before I realized he was NPD).  There haven't been any problems, and you've managed to do the same--shutting down her behavior before she has a chance to get too enmeshed in your life.

Why she contact you is pretty strange.  My gut feeling is she wants something that her "wonderful" life isn't providing, and I'd almost say a lot of what she's presenting is a false front.  You never really know what's going on in someone's life if you're not there.  I agree that she seems to want to enhance herself further by surrounding herself with successful people--which is how she sees herself.  But this need has a reason.  Unless she's becoming mentally unhinged, no one does something like this--makes this kind of effort--without some motive.  She's up to something, and that something likely isn't good.  I suspect that, since you pretty effectively shut her down, she'll disappear once again.  You weren't the easy target she mistook you for!

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countrygirl

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 12:23:55 PM »
Hi Clara,

I'm pleased to hear that you're working effectively on the project with your NPD friend.  I liked the idea of being armed with tools to deal with these people. 

Speaking of which, just this morning I heard from the grown daughter of a friend, who was contacting me to get some information.  Before I knew it, she was bombarding me with photos, bragging about accomplishments and travels, etc., etc.  I complimented and complimented.  Then I sent a single photo, telling her about the subject and she said not one word!  Instead, I got more photos of HER.   I have seen her posts, which are full of photos of herself.  She is a beautiful girl, but what really comes across is how beautiful she thinks she is!  I could go on and on here, but suffice it to say I am sure she is a narcissist.  She loves my city and says she watts to get together here in the fall.  I will not be doing that.  I know from talking to her mom that none of this girl's relationships have worked out, and I've always wondered why, because she is smart, in addition to being beautiful.  But I would wager that she doesn't know or want to give of herself in a relationship, that it is all about her. 

She reminds me of the friend about whom I posted yesterday, who is also just full of herself.  I agree with you that something is going on with her, that she has some motive.  I suspect she wants to make sure that everyone with whom she went to high school knows of her fame and fortune, and she is frustrated because not everyone attends reunions. 

She also wanted to get together with me, and I successfully head that off at the pass.  Now, when I see issues with someone, I steer clear.  At least I've learned that much!  I am still dealing with a couple of difficult friendships I formed before I knew better, so certainly don't want to take on any more!   Thank you for saying I wasn't the easy target my former friend mistook me for!  I very nearly was, though and in the not too distant past I would have been. "Baby steps," I guess, as Bill Murray's character was always saying in What About Dave?  (Think that's the name of that film.)

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TriedTooHard

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 07:56:53 AM »
Countrygirl, despite your mobility issues and all of the questionable relationships from your past, you're a beacon of hope in moving on and having healthier friendships.  I understand your desire to not meet up with the daughter of a past friend.  She's not that close and not your responsibility.  There is a young woman like that in my husband's family for whom I feel very sorry.  She had a difficult life and has overcome a lot.  I've read that some younger people naturally have more narcissistic traits than older people, and shed them as they age.  I am hoping this is the case with that young woman in my husband's family. 

As for your friend's daughter and the former high school stars, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" and it sounds like there was no trauma or difficulty involved in the way they turned out.  That is a big red flag that in between all of their posts and pictures about themselves, they can't even make one polite comment about your one offer of information about yourself.  Its like, "enough about you, lets get back to me."

PS - I loved that Bill Murray movie!   

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countrygirl

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 10:00:57 AM »
Hi TriedTooHard,

Thank you for your generous words.  I try hard, but still have a long way to go.  Sometimes I am embarrassed by my bouts of posting here, especially those in regard to my remaining PD friend.  We are close, which means there are many difficulties.  And even as I write that we are close, I wonder whether that is even true.  Actually, I guess that it is, but being close to someone with a major PD is not a happy place to be!  At  least I had sense enough not to continue with "the successful woman."  As I write that, I am reminded of Lily Tomlin's great character, "The Tasteful Lady."  I am now going to think of my former friend as "The Successful Lady."

I knew I'd get the name of the Bill Murray film wrong; it's "What About Bob?"  (Not Dave!)   Yes, I love that film!  Bill Murray is always so lovable, as he drives his therapist bonkers.  Just an all around feel good film, which still has a lot of truth to it.

It sounds as if the young woman in your husband's family may well have adopted certain narcissistic traits for protection after going through difficult times.  And I am sure that what you read about some younger people in general naturally having more narcissistic traits than older people is true.  It makes good sense:  Young people are in the process of figuring out who they are and sometimes need to assert that in a seemingly narcissistic way, when all they're really doing is trying to establish their own identity.  It also makes sense that once they do that they no longer need to assert themselves so much, because they become confident in who they are.   

Maybe this is also the case in my friend's daughter, although she is heading into her thirties and had, if anything, an unusually easy time of it.  At any rate, I agree with you that her not making a single comment about my photo (which was a beautiful photo in of itself, one that was sent to me) while bombarding me with her photos and information about what she was doing was a red flag.  It was kind of funny: I sent my photo with a one sentence message, and seemingly before she had time to read that message, she sent a barrage of photos, more and more and more!  And then paragraphs about what she was doing and her accomplishments.  I want to like her, for my friend's sake, but I am hesitant.  She is visiting my city in the fall and wants to get together, as did "The Successful Lady," but I don't think that will happen.  Perhaps the only good thing about my condition is that when I say I'm not up to getting together, I'm telling the truth!  (But on some days I will do so anyway, if I really want to see someone!)

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TurkeyGirl

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Re: How Should I Handle this Blast from the Past?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2019, 03:57:13 AM »
Hi Countrygirl,

Curious to hear how things are now. It sounds to me like this woman can't handle the rejection you gave her, and will go out of her way to still influence your life.

You're doing the right thing in not responding. She'll realise there's nothing left to get, and stop eventually. I know from personal experience this is a lot harder than it sounds.

You're strong!