Wondering why my friend does this?

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LindaLoo

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Wondering why my friend does this?
« on: June 19, 2020, 07:53:10 AM »
My lifelong friend has been really upsetting me. We talk every few weeks on the phone. She knows about my BPD mother and has reported to me several times about my mother saying bad things about me in the community they both live in. I noticed that when I say anything about my mother now, she just says "well" or goes immediately into her mother topic or goes silent.....


This is a typical conversation and things she is saying to me.

My friend when I say my mother is mean.."Oh I'd love to move my mother into the house next door to me"  "I call her or go see her every Sunday"  " I took her my Ice Tea, she just loves my Ice Tea"  "I'm making my macaroni salad that she loves to take to her"  On and on each and every time we talk, All of this after I've just poured my heart out in pain because of the treatment my mother does towards me.

I even told my friend weeks ago that it's upsetting. It makes me feel like a pig of a daughter, a very bad daughter when shes relating all of this lovey  mushy stuff about her kind and caring towards her mom. I told her it upsets me, yet yesterday she did it all again!

I realize I do have guilt,  not nearly as bad as I used to, but I just don't understand why she needs to tell me this stuff??  After all she has told me things my mom says about me.  I have no idea what is going on, but I'm about ready to call this friendship off! I cut the conversation short yesterday. Is she just ignorant of my pain or what is she trying to prove?

I know my issus run deep and I am sensitive but is this appropriate for her to keep doing?   :( :unsure:
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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Starboard Song

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2020, 10:38:47 AM »
We who deal with PD issues understand interactions that others sometimes just cannot grasp. The actions we are forced to -- the boundaries and sometimes NC -- can seem incredible and hard to believe. Even when they hear of what a PD person has done, they know that on their side of the looking glass those issues could be talked about and resolved. The idea that that isn't possible is possible to believe, but very hard for them to understand.

When you discuss your mother with this friend, she generally goes quiet. That is the universal sign that she is uncomfortable and doesn't want to proceed in that conversation. I have a friend who won't discuss politics, another who is uncomfortable talking about career challenges. But they remain great sources of companionship and support.

From only what you've told us, your friend seems to be trying to gracefully escape conversation about your mom: she probably has no idea what to say, and yes, it may baffle her despite the behavior she's observed. I encourage you to invest in this friendship: you deserve friendship. And that means not engaging with her, or engaging differently, regarding your mother. Lord knows there are plenty other things more fun to talk about.

My own friends got an earful about my in-laws for months on end, and they ran out of capacity to listen before I ran out of things to say. They all still cared for me. Your friend may be more willing to have conversations along the lines of "I am struggling with something and could really use your advice....."

Good luck. We had some collateral damage after going NC with my in-laws, but we battled to minimize it. It is a brutal shame when those who cannot reliably love us cause us to lose the society of those who do.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 10:42:02 AM by Starboard Song »
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
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PeanutButter

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2020, 11:33:51 AM »
Im sorry you are experiencing this. You do deserve a friend. But not just any friend. You deserve a good and caring friend.

Is she talking all the mushy stuff about her mother after telling you bad stuff your mother says or are these seperate instances?

ime I would try to notice what emotions are coming up when she talkes about her mother. Is it just triggers for you or are you sensing intuitively something not sincere on her part is happening?

Most people would show at least a little empathy or sympathy imo when hearing about your relationship with your Mother. I dont think its too much to expect a reaction other than ignoring you, changing the subject, or comparing you and your mom to her mom and herself?

It is possible that she is competing with you in this area because she knows she will win. She may be propping herself up emotionally this way because everything is not really so hunky dory with her mom either but she wants to remain in denial. Thats easier.

Regardless if you asked her not to hurt you in this manner and she did it again, that is a red flag imo.

 Im glad you created that boundary and enforced it by ending the call when she crossed it. I would definately hold onto that protection in the future too. If she says "oh lindaloo guess what your mom said" you can say "i have no interest in hearing about Mom. Please do not bring her up any more."
If she brings up her mom just change the subject and do that every time. If you do you will soon see if she is sincere in her intentions towards you ime.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 11:38:34 AM by PeanutButter »
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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BeanerJane

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2020, 02:39:30 PM »
I think your friend doesn't know what to say. She's had a different life experience with her parents and is trying (poorly) to engage with you about a topic she's uncomfortable discussing.  She may also feel that you're using her as a therapist or sounding board for an issue she's unequipped to help you with. 

Regardless, if you aren't getting the support and understanding from your friend that you need, maybe stop bringing this particular topic up and stop listening to gossip about your mom.  I think that to have an authentic conversation about the abuse you've experienced you'd be better served talking to a therapist, this community, or a friend who had similar experiences with their parents.

Sending you warm healing vibes.  You deserve an outlet!

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Danden

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2020, 02:49:03 PM »
It sounds like she has been on your side in the past regarding your mother, but now she is not.  Have you talked to her directly about this?  Perhaps there is something going on with her that you are unaware of. 

I agree that perhaps there are issues with  her own mother that she doesn't talk about with  you.  It is possible that she was sympathetic toward you before, and maybe during that time she was thinking her own mom is not as bad as  yours.  Maybe by listening to you about your mother, she came to appreciate her mother more and is now saying what she says now.  Or maybe it is her way of saying she doesn't want to listen to you talk about your mother anymore because she is trying to have a good relationship with her own mother and listening to you makes that harder for her.

I also agree that you should keep the friendship.  Just stay off this topic from now on.  That is, if  you can't come to a better understanding by talking about this issue openly. 

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2020, 03:08:44 PM »
What I’ve had to accept is that not everyone in my life is capable of being who I need. There are some people I simply can’t discuss things with. One being my family.

It sounds like your friend isn’t listening. A generous assessment is that she just can’t fathom not having a relationship with one’s mother.

You have told her this bothers you but she continues. She’s not oblivious. I don’t think most people are malicious, but there are many who make themselves feel better by pointing out how different their life it. I think it’s done subconsciously.

Her telling you the mean things your mother says when you’ve already made it clear you find this upsetting puts a different spin on the above for me. I’m sure there’s a more clinical term for it, but some people simply love drama. They love to be in the middle of things. I used to be this person. I didn’t know any different or any better.

In my view it is totally inappropriate for her to do this. She knows it’s hurtful and upsetting but she continues.

I know that for me I was so used to being treated badly that I thought others treated me well, but it was only in comparison to the worst of them. I shed a lot of relationships as i came OOTF. Some I held on to for a lot longer as I doubled myself.

All of us have issues that run deep, that doesn’t mean that we can’t recognize when we aren’t being treated well.

You are free to walk away from any relationship for any reason. You don’t need permission or a justification.

This is the kind of friendship I have walked away from in the past.

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PeanutButter

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2020, 05:01:48 PM »
In my view it is totally inappropriate for her to do this. She knows itís hurtful and upsetting but she continues.

I know that for me I was so used to being treated badly that I thought others treated me well, but it was only in comparison to the worst of them. I shed a lot of relationships as i came OOTF. Some I held on to for a lot longer as I doubted myself.

All of us have issues that run deep, that doesnít mean that we canít recognize when we arenít being treated well.

You are free to walk away from any relationship for any reason. You donít need permission or a justification.

This is the kind of friendship I have walked away from in the past.

 :yeahthat:
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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LindaLoo

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2020, 05:56:30 PM »
Thank you everyone so much! Great advice all the way around :) I'm just confused by all of her behavior. Maybe she just want's me to shut up. I will.......

 A few weeks back she  said her dad when he died made her promise to take care of her mom. That's fine and good but I don't think anyone even on their death bed should ask that of a person.

I'm sensitive, my friend is not, We are as different as night from day. She makes light of everything. Everything is a joke!  I take things serious. She loves to tell intimate details of her love life with husband. Yuck!  I don't want to hear it,. That's when I go silent!  She is let's say real 'out there' in saying anything and I mean anything!!  I'm so quiet and reserved. Maybe age has made me just tired and drained from it. I have also told her our private personal lives are just that., private!!  She still tells me laughing like it's a cool about her personal life. I swear I'm going to actually say 'yuke' next time to her....


Maybe I'm an old stick in the mud. I admit to being an 'old soul'  I grew up real fast when at age 14 my dad died and mom put the responsibility of 3 brothers on me. They were young. They needed someone :(  So I became adult quickly. It's why I am who I am today. She did that to me by making me become the parent. 

I admit my faults, issues, talk freely about hurts, sadness, pain. Not my friend! I'm thinking deep down there's something there she doesn't talk about.

But, anyway I think it's time to go very low contact. Once a month chats maybe?  I can't deal with the brash  behavior or details I don't need to hear. Life changes, we grow while others don't and often that means things can't always stay the same.

Thank you all so much. This forum is amazing :hug: :yourock:
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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LindaLoo

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2020, 05:59:17 PM »
I probably should have put this on another board, but it is about BPD narc mom also.
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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moglow

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2020, 09:48:26 PM »
LindaLoo, I think some are just so uncomfortable at the thought that those/our mothers exist, they have to try and replace it with their own. Or maybe on some level they see and know more than we think, possibly have even experienced some of the same. No way to know really but it still doesn't help anyone.

We've been told all our lives we should think/feel/do things differently, and nothing has helped. People who haven't experienced it first hand - they really have no clue how painful it is, whether the mother's we have or that they persist in trying to overwrite it with fluffy advice and stories.

One of my sisters in law did that, for some 15 years. Finally she was there when mother pulled the rug from under me and followed it up about a year or so later with another of mother's "performance" that couldn't be brushed off, minimized, justified on any level. Sis is now my champion, actually gives me what-for any time I try with mother. But she had to be there, see it first hand where there was no mistaking what mother was doing or the affect on us.

Sometimes we can agree to disagree on certain subjects, just refuse to go there on any level. I have a few friends like that, where i just have to limit certain conversations. And there are a few I just had to walk away from, where the lack of compassion for my situation was just too much. I felt like they enjoyed it on some sick level and I got enough of that from mother.
ďNothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.Ē  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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LindaLoo

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2020, 08:29:32 AM »
moglow, Thank You!  You are right, we have been told how to act/think/do things. I know now that no matter what we try it does not work with these mothers. It drains me and I can't try anymore. If friends, family don't get it then nothing more to be done. I'm so glad your SIL sees the light now. How great to have support. Its the best thing ever!  I can't be sure why my friend is behaving this way. I need a break from it. I will do that, take a break. Some family are not replying to my messages. That stays in my head but I'm trying to tell myself 'does it really matter' and honestly it doesn't.   :bighug:
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2020, 10:47:13 AM »
Hi Lindaloo,

Glad to see you here again.

Under-sensitive people can make us feel bad for being "sensitive".

Let this person find someone else to talk to about her own stuff and all the things she likes to talk about that you don't want to hear about.

Odds are she would try to find someone more sensitive than she is because we are the ones who listen more thoughtfully and think about how people feel. My guess is that when she tells other women these things and they are women more similar to her (ie not as sensitive as you are) , they actually say the things you don't especially when she over shares about her personal details.

If you told her that certain topics she talks about make you feel crummy inside and she keeps going back to those topics, even when you were talking about your mother (which isn't her mother and therefore is not even on topic), then it really is up to you to decide if you want to keep seeing her and just move her away from the topics you know she reacts poorly with like this.

I can remember doing this and realizing this person had these four topics basically and that was it. Once I decided i didn't want to hear about those parts of her life I found I felt the way you feel.

Sometimes we outgrow needing to make a joke out of everything.

Trees

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LindaLoo

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2020, 06:07:47 PM »
Thank you treesgrowslowly ,Im happy to be back here.  I'm going to limit my phone conversations to once a month. She has been calling every week and I started dreading it. I knew it would lead to things I didn't want to hear. You are right, it's up to me to decide what I will listen to. I agree we reach a time in life that not everything  is a joke.    :bighug:
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~

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lotusblume

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2020, 10:08:32 PM »
Hi LindaLoo,

It sounds like your friend is being competitive with you. I disagree with others here who said maybe it makes her uncomfortable... i think that is whitewashing her bad behaviour.

She is dismissing your feelings, crossing your boundaries, telling you things to make you feel bad, and by doing so she is trying to one up you as a better daughter. Itís not that she is uncomfortable with the topic, it seems like she gravitates to the topic specifically because it bothers you and it makes her feel superior.

I often surrounded myself with girlfriends who mimicked certain behaviours and dynamics that I found in the relationship with my mother, or other dysfunctional members of my FOO, but mainly my mother.

I realized something after losing my two ďbestĒ friends due to the family scapegoating incident that woke me up... I always thought they were amazing friends because they were ďthere for meĒ and I was ďthere for themĒ. But they both turned on me when I got Happy. When I put distance between my parents and I. It wasnít that they didnít understand, itís that before I was more of a doormat. I was not successful romantically, I was deeply unhappy, and had a lot of bad habits, and that was okay because they could feel superior or at least on the same level. When I started to push back against things and people that were unhealthy for me, the dynamics shifted in our relationships as well. I was showing up as a person trying to grow and fighting to change. I didnít want to engage in petty gossip or topics that made me feel uncomfortable. I didnít want to treat my friends as therapists anymore or, what I realized more so, have them treat me as a therapist. And because I was changing in those ways, they rejected me (and also blame me for the demise of the friendship).

Your friend does not respect you, that is clear from what you wrote. Donít second guess yourself, look at things objectively, and you will find the right things to do. Sometimes itís a dramatic exodus, sometimes itís just a slow fade. Life is always moving, people are going through their stuff at different places and paces.

Good luck and take care!

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LindaLoo

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Re: Wondering why my friend does this?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2020, 08:38:44 AM »
lotusblume, I think you're onto something. In high school she was very competitive with me. She would flirt with any boyfriends I had. It made me very angry then.  Like I said I told her before that it upsets me, esp right after I'm saying something about my mother and she goes into the "oh I'd love to move my mother next door" She just continued on as if I'd not ask her to stop. That is disrespectful.

I'm sick of her 'men' talk .  I'm always told how she goes in the VFW and sits on men's laps. Her husband is there. Is that just really weird!! She's to out there for me anymore. You're right she is not respecting my boundaries. She really never has.  It's time to step back from this. I don't need it!!

You said "I don't want to engage in petty gossip or topics that made me feel uncomfortable"  Thank you for that. It's exactly how I feel!! 

Thank you!  :bighug:
~Your heart knows things that your mind can't explain~