Friend question ...

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Leonor

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Friend question ...
« on: April 01, 2021, 11:55:19 PM »
Hi gang,

So today I am feeling horribly lousy.

Once I started healing, and talking about my abuse and bpd mom, I lost a lot of friends.

I had already ended one "close"  friendship with a girl I grew up with (our parents were childhood friends). Even though I knew she wasn't actually a good person, I was practically related to her. The end was very dramatic; she invited me to be a co-maid of honor at her wedding, which I thought was weird, but ok, and then proceeded to cheat on her fiance with an ex of mine who had really broken my heart. I just didn't think I could stand there knowing who she was, so I declined to attend the wedding. Big TO DO, you can imagine. Now looking back she absolutely fits the hpd profile, too, which explains my attachment to her and my difficulty with my m.

Anyway, even friends I thought of as solid were really judgemental, pressuring me to reconnect with my m, not believing what I was saying about her was really true, and accusing me of abandoning her when in fact she walked out on me, literally.

In order to heal, I cut them loose. I didn't explain much, because how much more could I explain?  I just wanted to get away from the ick of everything. I know too that in the darkest days of my healing it felt like abuse was all I could talk about. I wasn't "good" at doing things like going out to lunch. I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown, which today I honor as a nervous breakthrough, but I wasn't a whole lot of fun back then.

(Can you believe when people realized I was serious and not dealing with them anymore I got a call from my former best friend saying that SHE was no longer talking to HER mom, either and would I talk about our childhood sometime with her to help her "fill in some blanks"? Yeah, um ... NO!)

After that I did make and keep some friends, but I started to notice this pattern in which I was over giving. I was either a late-night phone counsellor, daylong career mentor or simply someone to help move furniture or offer a place to stay for free. I wanted to have friends, but I kept feeling exhausted by them. The thought of going out made me irritated. I just wanted to be able to breathe without having to console, advise or pay for something.

So I've been looking to make a career shift, and I posted something to that effect on social media, because O want to start to raise my profile a bit. And bam! All of a sudden I get a series of messages from one of my old friends who is asking me if I want help with this new project because she knows the field and would even move to my city blah blah blah. And then she messages again, and again, because I'm not answering and she can see I'm online via the social media notifications and if I don't want to hear from her anymore I should just say so.

So I take a breath and write back on a different media platform that's more friend-friendly that I have fond memories of our time together and always enjoy seeing how well her family is doing and wish them all the best, but that also I have felt like she contacts me when she wants something, and if I can help I'm glad to respond and when I can't, I don't, because I am busy with work and my kids and also dh and I run a nonprofit; that I'm not saying this to be mean or upset, just to give her some context.

Then I hit send and a few minutes later she texts back and I haven't read it because I do not want to deal. I told dh and he says he agrees that these are friends who aren't afraid to ask things of us but are also super social and so maybe there is some genuine interest there too. Do low I feel guilty

Guilty for being a lousy friend from friend and trapped because I feel like my intuition is being dismissed by dh.

Thank you for reading; I just feel like such a loser and freak sometimes.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Friend question ...
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 04:09:02 AM »
Your: " I just wanted to be able to breathe without having to console, advise or pay for something." made me smile. Sounds like you have reached a place in your life where you expect friends to be able to give as well as take.  A mutually beneficial relationship. Which is what friends should be.
Your message to your friend was like a present. You gave her some honest feedback and if she is clever she will value it. I suspect you are hesitant to read the reply because you expect it to be hurtful.
I have recently done something similar with a friend from school, I gave her some honest feedback. I feared an outraged response but hoped for some insight from her.  And I got the outraged response, full of DARVO. I was sad but also a little bit proud of myself that my intuition had been right.  After some cooling down period I decided that I did want her in my life - on a very outer circle, not the circle of trust. I will continue to have superficial contact with her. And that is what I do.
Read that reply when you feel strong. It is either a confirmation of what you already know or it might surprise you. You win in both cases. You will know how to continue from here on. Sounds like your garden of friends can do with some weeding to make space for new experiences.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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WinterStar

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Re: Friend question ...
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 10:03:21 PM »
Leonor,

So how did the friend msg. go?

I also fear the reactions to my truth bombs. Even when I'm careful, kind and considerate. I mean, the truth has so often been taboo in my family. I'm afraid to say what I think and feel. Even when I do manage to express myself, it's so hard.

A couple of years ago  my uncle posted some really hateful stuff about religious people. Like they're all stupid bigots. As a person of faith, it was incredibly painful to see him demonize an entire group of which I am a member. I replied to his post as kindly as possible. He never reached out to me personally about it, and I never checked to see if he replied on the post. I've never wanted to handle an angry response or no response, and it's clear to me that he's not somebody I can feel safe around again.
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me. -Elizabeth Bennet