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broken friendship
November 7, 2001
8:47 pm
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ms. T
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I have written before about how I'm a codependent to a martyr who can't break free from a psychopath (yeah, doc, fix that one!) Anyway, my martyr friend, despite the fact that her man is probably hiding his homosexuality, is dishonest with her, has taken her for tens of thousands of dollars, and so on, has decided that he is "a likeable person." What a joke! But really it's quite sad that she could feel the need to punish herself by reentering a relationship with him. I digress. I just want to share that I've made the decision not to spend time with her outside our work setting because I am so emotionally drained by her. One minute she hates him, then she forgives him, but she still doesn't understand him, but she understands what he must be going through. She's crazy, and it has affected me with anxiety attacks and depression, for which I am now receiving counseling. I had my first session and feel great about the decision to move forward and learn how not to attach myself to emotionally unhealthy and unavailable people, but I still have to work with her every day. Any suggestions for how to handle that? Right now I'm being the big girl and pretending things are normal, if there is such a thing! I would appreciate any advice from someone who has maybe been through this on either side.

November 7, 2001
10:34 pm
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ms. T
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Thanks, Blondie. Your advice is very practical. Isn't amazing how caring can get us into such messes? I hope that at some point my friend and I might be able to resume our relationship, but I'm not sure she's working on the real issues in her therapy, and I decided that my life couldn't wait on her to fix herself. I need a healthy friend, a confidant, who can reciprocate my loving and giving. Do you think most females crave that kind of kindred connection with another female? My husband thinks it's just a woman thing; he says he's never felt the need to attach to just one male friend. The differences between sexes are sure interesting, aren't they? I do have to admit, also, that I have discovered through a number of sexual experiences with this friend, that I am probably bisexual. The way I explain it is that if I lost my husband (God forbid), I would be devastated, but when it came time to move on, a person of either gender could satisfy my physical and emotional needs. This makes it hard for me to understand a woman who so strongly needs a man to complete her life. Oh, what tangled webs we weave.

November 8, 2001
1:13 pm
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Molly
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One of the best lines I heard and it was from my sister many many years ago, You take your sack of crap, dump it on my lap, and I am not going to carry it for you any more, I have enough of my own. Take your crap somewhere else to dump it. Its all about boundry lines, and holding firm. Sometimes we get on these bitch rants, whinning, and aren't even aware, its all we talk about, and not even realizing the concearn, pressure, yada yada we put on the other people. Again, why these threads are so good, you can vent, dump all your crap, and a) not pay a hundred dollars to some one, and b) not ruin your friendships. Every thing has its place. Its possible that since your cutting off the relationship with your friend, she will now be left to deal with the crap, loosing her shelter in the storm that has enabeled her to continue to tolorate it. For many people just talking about it, gives them enough relief to go back and live with it until the next bucket of cold water.
I do believe women do need that special connection, I think men need it too, but both sexes have become so isolated. Heck even a hundred years ago, the men went to the smoking room and the ladies went to the ladies room, what happened? Like cats and dogs get along, but both prefer their own kind, and relate better.

November 8, 2001
8:41 pm
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Both of you have great things to say. I will update you on where things have gone and you can tell me whether or not you think it's positive and I will also of course talk to my therapist about it. Things came to an ugly head because I have been rather down about the dissolution of our friendship and she, not knowing how to change my sadness and feeling guilty about it, lashed out in anger. It was as good as shaking me! I told my husband immediately, "I did not want that to happen! I need to talk to her right now." I called, she answered, and we agreed to meet and talk it out. We did meet, we did talk, and we established some boundaries in our friendship because both of us are unhealthy right now. She is codependent herself, and our friendship began in the midst of one of her tragedies. I helped a little, gleaned some self-worth, and it snowballed from there. Anyway, we talked about that, I explained that she should not feel guilty about talking to me about problems (that's what friends are for), but that I have to learn to deal with others' problems in a healthy way, which I am incapable of doing right now. Therefore, we decided that instead of cutting off all contact, which neither of us wanted, we will establish a "date" or two each month when we will spend time together, just the two of us, and we're not allowed to talk about anybody except us. She can't tell me about her boyfriend and I won't talk about my husband, and we won't talk about our work. Hopefully, we can talk about our therapy and find that we are both working toward a point when we can resume a healthy relationship. We parted on this note, which was very positive, and I felt like I could do cartwheels. My anxiety and sadness was greatly diminished by her validation of the importance of my friendship and her beginning to understand that I am a codependent who needs time to heal myself and change my negative patterns. What do you think? Can it work? Does it sound like a positive move?

November 9, 2001
11:30 am
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Molly
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I was talking to a friend the other day about surviving the holidays, and what to converse about. I don't know when we took the turn and started to discuss all the family gossip, or friend gossip, or just got so distracted in gossip period. I remember my mother in law, a saint, never discussed more than hem lines, heel heights, and the latest colors of fashion, as well as the difficulty with her pie crusts, and just how do you make home made marshmellow's any how? Perhaps, that is why I still think she is a saint. She is going on 89, and still goes to her gym on a daily basis. She is truly a woman, who learned some how some way to be a woman, despite the fact that she never learned to drive until she was 40. I think even talking about the therapy, could be treading over thin ice, just cautious I guess. But I think discussing those topics where the modern woman, what ever that is supposed to mean, would be considered, trivial, just might be a simple way to survive ? No judgement , no opinions, no confrontations.

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