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Sat Night Crew
November 13, 2005
2:37 am
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This is very bizarre, but I almost feel like maybe her friends didn't like me so I don't "fit in" now? Isn't that very high school? I could be paranoid, I don't know.

It's just strange that she stopped calling, email and we haven't hung out in a while. I asked her how she's been doing at the meeting, she says she hasn't been in touch because she's "been depressed." But, I know she broke up with her b/f and has before in the past and we always talk about it.

I just don't want to be the clueless person that grovels an smothers someone because I've had that done to me and it's unnerving.

November 13, 2005
2:40 am
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I don't see why the friends couldn't eat with me just b/c she was gone, I don't buy the schedule thing. The whole thing reeks of high school crap. I just don't know what I did "wrong." They are young (twenties) and I am thirty six so I don't understand a lot of this shit anymore. It's so baby-ish.

She gets involved in stuff like that, so I should have seen this coming.

November 13, 2005
2:45 am
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Neshema
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Ella- Maybe it is a good time to detach a bit. Why is this person so important to you? I have had girlfriends in the past who didn't follow through, and I just had to let it go. The harder you push, the more you will drive someone away. And, do you really want this person to be your friend if she is not reliable? You need loyal friends who reciprocate your friendship. I felt a similar thing recently when a friend of mine didn't respond to me, who claimed to be very supportive of my situation with this abusive guy...will I hear from her again? Maybe or maybe she doesn't want to be involved. IT would have been nice to count on her...but if she has issues about something that is a big deal for me right now, then is she really my friend? Real friends are hard to find. I realized this when I had the stalker. So many people are only my friend for fun. I would rather have 1 or 2 true friends, or even no friends, than people who aren't real friends. The other way to see it is that you have people in your life to do stuff with, but you don't share too much deep stuff with them. Sad, but true. Don't give your friend more power than she has earned. You only deserve the best, and my dear Ella, you have that...you have you!

November 13, 2005
2:46 am
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cpt1212
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Mzrella,

I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it sounds like you have a pretty strong gut feeling about this. It sucks, I know firsthand, and you always believe that this stuff stops with high school, but sadly it does not. I don't think that there is anything wrong with you, but your "friend" sounds very insecure.

November 13, 2005
2:51 am
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Well, I just am going on instinct here. I haven't "pushed" at all. Actually, she is the one that has always been more social- which is why I noticed. I always reciprocate, but she just stopped and I kind of just figured she was busy, etc. It all seemed normal until that weird day. Quite frankly, I think she is behaving immaturely as she has done with others in the past. I guess I never saw their side of it, so here I am.

November 13, 2005
2:52 am
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cpt1212
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alright all, i have to go to bed. tonight was my first night back at work in almost two weeks and I have a temp of 101 again this evening, so off to bed for me. love you all

November 13, 2005
2:54 am
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Cpt- I agree- she is very insecure, but who isn't? I guess I wouldn't care except that I am sensitive and at the moment there aren't that many people I hang out with. Not to mention that she seemed at first to be more healthy than my past friends. But I guess I was wrong about that. She is a little bit of a passive agressive type if I'm right about what she is doing.

November 13, 2005
2:54 am
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Neshema
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Ella-

There is something you should know about me, even though I wrote my response to you. When I was in college, my best friend was riding her bike home from seeing me and was hit by a drunk driver and killed. She did not show up the next day for an event. I was angry. I called her and her roommates wondered why the policed had not gotten in touch with me. I will never forget that day, because I called from a pay phone and I remember the phone hanging from the cord. I dropped in such shock. I regretted being angry and for a long time, I gave people the benefit of the doubt. However, I was younger then and had not had a stalker and had not been let down by many people, like I have now. I give people the benefit of the doubt, but I am not a kid anymore either. Our relationships with other adults are not as intense as they were in high school and college. We should have learned to respect boundaries and behave appropriately. If a friend of mine is not responding after I have given her or him the benefit of the doubt, then I move on...IT sounds to me you already have given your friend the benefit of the doubt, but you are also giving her too much intense power over your feelings. She doesn't matter that much. You matter!

November 13, 2005
3:00 am
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Um, Nesh. I HAVE behaved appropriately. What don't you understand about my post? I didn't act in anyway differen't than I have in the past. She was the one that was acting strange. In fact, I didn't talk to her through the meeting, just said hello at the end- a casual "How are things, it's been a while..." and she started "...well, I've been depressed..." uh.

I don't understand you post. Please help me to understand what that means.

November 13, 2005
3:04 am
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Neshema
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I meant that she has not been appropriate. I meant We as in all adults. It sounds like you have done all you could. Does that make more sense now?

November 13, 2005
3:04 am
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What I am trying to say here, which I can't say to her- is that I DON"T want to mention anything because it might be nothing. But then again I feel kind of shitty because it's an awkward position to be in. I'm not used to people who don't communicate directly and in this situation I feel as if I cannot. So what do I do when I see her at work? Ignore her? Please, it's stupid stuff. But I have to say, childish or not- it hurts my feelings.

November 13, 2005
3:07 am
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Yes, Nesh. I guess I'm feeling rejected as a friend and this happened all of a sudden! So it's weird. I just feel like her other friends are kind of on the smug side, but I found them interesting enough so I enjoyed lunches with them. I guess I wasn't up to their standards. Whatever those might be.

I'm just sensitive about being marginal b/c of my illness (they don't know about my past) but things like this touch upon that pain for me. I will always feel like an outcast.

November 13, 2005
3:07 am
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Neshema
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okay, so you are saying you want to fix it or have closure....do I understand?

November 13, 2005
3:10 am
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I don't know what to do. Attempting to fix it will just make me feel degraded. And if this is really what she is doing, I don't want her as a friend. Remember, we are not just friends, we may cross paths professionally.

November 13, 2005
3:13 am
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Neshema
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so you want to know what to do when you see her? You dont want to ignore her? Do you want to be friends or not? You sound like you are unsure. Do you want to know why she is behaving this way? Or do you just want to know what to do next?

November 13, 2005
3:17 am
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Neshema
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Ella are you still here?

November 13, 2005
3:18 am
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Nesh, I am very confused. It's been a while since I've had do deal with this level of immaturity. When it's people outside of work I would just let it go, since in many cases it's not worth the effort to even try and sort it out. Honestly, at this point, I'm more worried what OTHER people would think if she talked about me. Keep in mind, it's a mystery to me what I have done.

November 13, 2005
3:21 am
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Neshema
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okay, who initiated contact last. Did you email or call her last and she didn't respond?

Also, are you concerned that you disclosed too much personal info to her?

November 13, 2005
3:25 am
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Uh, my last email to her was just "I hope you feel better!" That is how I know it is something weird. She writes very long emails and would have normally responded.

We both talk about personal stuff, I have never told her about my illness. She knows I had a problematic boyfriend, but I have left that very vague. Whatever she knows is too much if she is turning on me.

November 13, 2005
3:28 am
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This is just the last thing I needed. It saddens me, makes me feel I am right in my negative beliefs about people in general. Hanging out with the occasional friend makes me feel different, it cheers me up. I was making friends, but this is a set back. We used to hang out with another woman who acted even more atrociously in the end. That's a whole different nightmare.

What work it is to be an adult and make friends. As a child I thought you just kept the ones you had until you got old! How funny. It was so effortless then.

November 13, 2005
3:46 am
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Neshema
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well, ella, if you see her at work, just try saying "Hi, how are you? What have you been up to?" or something casual like that. Don't show that it bothered you. If she really isn't a good friend, why give her the power to know you are hurt? She will feel like she controlled you. On the other hand, if there was something going on that you didn't understand, it will be an opportunity for her to open up.

Until then, you have to wrestle with the loss of trust and faith in people in general. I felt this too after my stalker when many of my friends disappointed me. People often treat friends as if they are disposable. I think it is a byproduct of the "me generation" of the 70s. It is sad and disappointing and it really turned my world upside down to find out my friends weren't who I thought they were, and that people didn't treasure friendship the way I did. People have their own lives and that is abundantly clear when you need a friend and that friend is not there.

Since my stalker, I proceed with caution in terms of how much I let people in or what I expect from them. I see "friends" as just people to do fun stuff with until they earn their way into more of my heart. It also helps protect my boundaries. Good friendships take a lot of time to develop. Sometimes I meet someone and think we just click, only later to realize, that we really can't be as close as I initially thought. Sounds like that might have happened to you. Sometimes those people really violate your trust and faith the most.

So, as to what to do? Well, naturally you are confused. Just embraced being confused. It sounds a bit irrational and unstable on her part. So, how can you know what to do? Cut yourself some slack, and when you see her just say hi. If you really feel the need send her one more email, but be prepared not to get the response you want. In the meantime, get more comfortable with being alone...single adults have it hard these days. Maybe there is some group you can join. I used to have good luck meeting people in the gym. Work friends are accessible, but as you see, it can be uncomfortable when things don't go right. I am going through this myself with the guy from work. It is pure hell to have some kind of relationship, even friendship gone bad, with a colleague...yet that doesn't rule out all colleagues as potential friends..we just have to take our time and be careful when it comes to work friends.

Does this help at all? I really hope so. I know I am not giving you a simple answer, but remember, it is not a simple problem. People have a way of taking simple things like a nice friendship, and making it so difficult and then ruining it, and we are left feeling like we have just been through a dust storm, asking "what just happened?" Maybe nothing...it probably is her issue, not yours, even though it became your issue.

November 13, 2005
3:58 am
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Nesh, I must thank you for your reply. Wow, you are so thoughtful and insightful... I really appreciate the time you put into it.

I think you are right. She WAS a good friend for a while, and your idea for how to approach it is what makes sense to me. I will be cool and nuetral and open minded. Yet I do not want to be a doormat either.

How awful to hear that people weren't there for you when you were going through that trauma, yet not surprising. It is a rude awakening when it comes to our judge of character, these events in our lives. I had similar experiences very early on in high school when I was hospitalized. Basically, I lost all my friends, not because of anything that happened between us- or even in front of them. They just couldn't handle that I was going through something they couldn't understand. Is that like what happened to you?

November 13, 2005
4:12 am
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Neshema
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yes, that is what happened, and also in 5th grade when I was hospitalized for 6 weeks straight for juvenile arthritis. THe stalker has been a gift in a strange way, forcing me to revisit my past and do some psychodynamic-type therapy about what led me to be immune to abusive, hurtful people as an adult. I am working on it, and it is helping me a lot. Maybe you can tell I am a bit better than a few weeks ago. I am going from victim to survivor. Yet, the stalker event and worse, the aftermath, I think forever changed me. I have really lost a lot of trust and faith in people, yet as we now know, I already was vulnerable because of events from the past. Then, to make matters worse, I was dealing with an abusive guy, the one man I trusted and he is determined to bring me down. So, I hid, but I am out of hiding now...yet it means sharing only so much of my heart with others and letting people know (including learning myself) what is acceptable treatment of me. I deserve the best, and so do you. So, I will hold out until those people emerge.

Surely, if we lived closer and this were not anonymous, I would love to meet you for dinner or coffee, because you have such a big, loving heart. I hope you will find some people there who have the opportunity to see that and have you as a friend.

I am glad you found something useful in what I said. You know one thing, if nothing else, there ARE some people on this planet who are willing to stop and pay attention to someone else in need. I hope I proved that to you tonight and that gives you some slight hope and faith that there are other good people like you out there. You just have to be patient enough and love yourself enough to hold out to find them... Love, Nesh

November 13, 2005
4:20 am
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Thank you Neshie. You made me feel better tonight. You do sound a lot stronger lately, I might have mentioned it a while ago. If not, I definitely took notice. You have a lot of wisdom about how to handle delicate work situations. I pay attention to what you write about and respect your opinions. It is fortunate that you were here tonight when I posted.

hugs,
ella

November 13, 2005
4:32 am
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Neshema
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just remember, it is not easy, because it is unstable, and it is okay to be confused. You trusted her in good faith. You are a gem. You cannot have all the answers. You do your best. I respect you for caring and trying. This time, you care about yourself. You will do this for me, okay? because I care about you.

And, here is what my brilliant doc student told me, "being good to him is not being good to yourself." She saw my coworker mistreat me just once. She was playing mathmaker before that...hoping to fix us up. My wise, young, student who cared so much about her advisor. I never forgot that, and I say it here often. Be good to yourself, Ella.

Sweet dreams, my friend. Not everyone will abandon you. I hope you know this now. Those who have empathy are the ones you want to keep.

Talk to you tomorrow. Now, I hope you can let it go for a bit and get some rest.

Boy, would I be lucky to have a friend like you who cared so much. You deserve better. Now, sleep and think about how wonderful and kind you are...too bad not everyone knows what we know! Most people don't stop to notice. I stop and notice much more, myself, because I made that promise when I was in such despair over suffering from the stalker aftermath. But, I know most people do not stop and notice. That is why I might volunteer for the women's shelter. I want to do something, and meet others who want to do something. There are some people who want to help other people. You just have to find them. You have to stop looking in the old familiar places.

Love, Neshie

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