Wednesday, December 16, 2009

guest post....

all too often as bloggers, we find that too many people we care about know about our blogs. and read them. so while we love and adore our blogs for the outlets they provide, there are times when we can't write what we truly want too. because what we want to say might be read by the person we're talking about..... that's when we go to someone else's blog to vent.. express.. ask for help or opinions.

and that's where this post comes from. she just needed to get it all out. obviously, since her original draft was written over 2 years ago... she is truly wanting everyone's opinions. she will be reading the comments... so thank you in advance for talking to her.



I need to get something off my chest.

I drafted a post a long time ago. I was scared to hit the publish button. Worried about how I might make someone feel. These feelings are still here, and I just need to put them out there in hopes that it will help me with the situation and the anxiety that it is causing me over a friendship that is no more.

In May of 2007, I wrote this:

“Her and I had a falling out once I became pregnant with my first child. And once my first child was born, I became nonexistent to her. But, of course, there was always the odd chance we would see each other, maybe 5 times over the last 2 1/2 years.

At those times, she showered my daughter(s) with gifts. She would tell me how great her career was going (how much money she was making, constantly getting promoted, etc.). She would constantly play up how great her career was going and her life was going. Why did this make me feel so incredibly small? Like being a mother (even though I also work outside of the home) meant so much less than making a ton of money. She made me feel like I wasn’t as smart.

I was told by others that this wasn't about me. It was about her. I was then reminded that she decided the day she was going to get married was the same exact day of the year I was married (my wedding was four years earlier), and that she used the same flowers I did, that her bachelorette party was in the same location as mine, and the copying goes on and on. The mere fact that I mentioned that we were going to start looking at buying a house led her to make an offer on a house the next week - when they hadn't even thought about doing it before. I have been told many times that she is a follower, not a leader, but why must someone copy me like this or treat our friendship so competitively.

She would never call me. Never email me. I had to make all the effort. And I was told by others that it isn't about me. Everything always has to be about her all the time.

I tried to let her know how I felt and that I didn’t like the competition it seemed we had between us. The response I got was nothing like the one I wanted. She mentioned how mad at me she was for missing her birthday party (granted there were many other people there). I told her I could not find a sitter. She didn't understand. How could she? She was the important one.

I don't even know where I am going with this anymore. It's just one thing after another. I mean, I really do truly believe that you don't know what it is like after having kids until you have them yourself. This friend is planning to get pregnant soon, and have her first child at 31, because she once told me when I was pregnant with my first that "31 is a good year to have your first child." And you probably already guessed it. I was having my first child at 31.

I'm stumped. I'm tired of thinking about this and getting mad every time I think about her. I just want it to end. Be over. Good riddance.”

That’s the end of what I wrote and I never really finished it, but it really and truly wasn’t the end until now, two and a half years later. We hadn’t written or spoken to each other since this last June, when she had very not discreetly placed my husband and I on her 2nd tier list of friends. When you are invited somewhere to be with a group, you kind of expect to be around that group and hang out with them. Instead, it was like we were a joke, and we were told there wasn’t enough accommodations, and you’ll have to stay away from the group somewhere else. I think that was the last straw. We stopped talking after this, but our husbands still remain the best of friends and do things together.

About a month ago, she was planning her baby’s first birthday party. She invited us, and I didn’t want to go and hadn’t responded to the invitation. I received an email on my birthday (of all days) from her after not speaking with her since June, asking if we would be attending and oh, she missed me, and happy birthday. She also mentioned that it had been weird that we hadn’t spoken in so long and if there was something that she did that upset me that she was sorry (did she already know what she did?). I was mad she sent this to me on my birthday because it ate at me all day, so I responded to her the next day. I thought that was a selfish thing to do, but what do I know? I reiterated the situation that hurt me, and that it wasn’t the first time (because there has been a lot of these situations over the years), and how it really upset me. I also told her that I hoped we could get past it and start over. So, what happened? I received no response. The fact that I actually held out hope that we could work it out makes me feel even worse, so now I am left wondering why I cared so much? Because I look back at some of this older stuff, and I had almost forgotten how long I’ve been going through this. Now it’s all very clear to me. What makes things even harder is that I can pretty much get along with anyone, so was that friendship just not meant to be? And because my husband and her husband are close friends, how can I make it easier for them? Because of their friendship, this makes for a sticky situation that I will always be attached to, and I think that is why I am having a hard time letting it go.

I don’t plan to ever see her again and will not do anything with them as a couple and that is the way I want it.

Writing about this makes me feel a lot better. Thanks for listening. If anyone else has been through this situation, it would be so helpful to me to find out how you’ve handled it and hear some advice.



19 comments:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like she is really selfish and if she isn't adding anything to your friendship, it might be best for you to let her go. Sorry.

Lulu said...

I'm so sorry that you had to go through all that, it really sucks when someone you think is your friend turns out to be a bit psycho. I have had similar experiences with over possessive friends. I had to cut all ties with her, it was making us both crazy and she just wouldn't stop. We worked at the same place together and she would leave notes on my car and beg my boss to relay messages to me from her. She never went as far as buying a house like your friend did but she used to wear all the same clothes as me (identical, not just the same style), had her hair cut the same way and generally mimicked my every move.
It started to get ridiculous when another co worker just happened to move into the same apartment building as me and she accused us of "Ganging up" on her and plotting to leave her "Out of the loop" (whatever THAT means!).
I cut ties with her after I had to leave work due to major surgery and have since married and moved, although not too far away. Coincidentally, she is now friends with the co worker that she accused of "splitting us up" and has transferred all that possessive nature onto her. The co worker and I are still friends (quite happily, with no drama!)and my ex friend is driving her nuts exactly the same way she used to do with me!!
I've always wondered if men have these kind of issues with their relationships but, as evidenced by your husband and your ex friend's husband still being friends, it's obvious they don't.
I'm all for "Girl Power" and there are many strong qualities in women that I admire, but we are horrendous when it comes to our relationships with each other. Not all the time, obviously, but when it comes to grudges (whether imagined or real) certain women hold them like their lives depends on it. Those women will stop at nothing to make your life hell and because they are women themselves they know EXACTLY what buttons to push.
I think you are doing the right thing by distancing yourself from her. In my experience it won't stop unless you make the decision to end it. Those kind of women derive way to much pleasure out of making us crazy and they bask in the spotlight of all the drama they can make.
Don't feel alone in this..I may not know you but I support you and your decision

NGS said...

Breaking up with friends is so hard, especially when there are other ties (husbands who are friends).

You have no need to feel guilty. It sounds like she is toxic to you. Even if everyone else loves her, you feel like it's a competition, you feel like she's copying, and you feel like she's always vying for the center of attention. Listen to yourself. You aren't happy around her, so you have to let go.

Please don't put all this guilt on yourself.

Anonymous said...

Your situation sounds very trying! I honestly have no idea what advice to give you.....but I hope everything works out for you. :)

Sorry it's not much help. :(

Alison said...

How much younger is she? She seems very immature and insecure. I know you can't just ignore her and expect never to see her because your husbands are friends. Speaking of, how does your husband see the situation? Does he agree that she copies your every move and turns everything into a competition?

Karen said...

It is hard to say it, but I have been that single childless friend who distances myself once you become pregnant and will shower your kids with gifts the 2 times a year I have to see you. That part I understand. The rest seem a bit crazy.

Glad it helped to get it out.

Jason, as himself said...

Honestly, some "friendships" truly are not worth the effort. There are plenty of people out there to make this friend of yours happy. I've had to learn this the hard way, too.

Katie said...

I've been dealing with the same sort of situation. My best friend of 8 years and I stopped being friends once she got her first serious boyfriend.

She became very religious because he family was, and ended up telling me she could only be herself around him (even though we had been inseparable for 8 years- go figure). It has been so hard the last 4 years to deal with it. We didn't talk for about 2 years, then we somewhat talk on and off now.

I wish we could pick right back up where we started, I feel like I am the same person. but at the same time I know it isnt possible bc she has changed so much.

i just try to keep myself busy so I dont think about it, but at the end of the day it makes me so sad bc I envision her in my wedding party someday and at other life events but I honestly dont know how it will really play out...

thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I started not to comment because I don’t like to be the one to bring in a negative viewpoint, but I figured that you really were interested in hearing opinions, even if they differ from yours. Please take this for what it is - a gut reaction from a stranger who knows nothing about the situation that what you've written. I know that personalities and nuances of the friendship can't be relayed here, so I acknowledge that I don't know the whole story.

I agree with what a few others said about some friendships not being meant to be. But, I also want to say that my first reaction when I read some of the things that you considered stalker-like is that you are being too sensitive.

The wedding similarities? There are a limited numbers of weekends in the regular wedding season... Maybe you guys just have similar taste in flowers....Maybe there are limited bachelorette party sites in your area...

The house buying decision - I just find it very hard to believe that your purchase of a house was her PRIMARY reason for buying one. There are a lot of factors (marital status, salary, savings, etc.) that go into these decisions and she probably has her own reasons.

On the issue of bragging about her career and making you feel like you weren't as smart because you were a mother and maybe aren’t on the career fast track anymore -- I think we often bring these feelings on ourselves. I don't know her, so she could very well just be a jerk with no tact, but my bet would be that she wasn't doing that to hurt you - she was just talking about her life. And, if she really was bragging - maybe she thought that you were a person that she could brag on herself to. I could tell my best friends about a promotion or a raise and they would be ECSTATIC for me and tell me how awesome I am. And, I would do the same for them because they are not my competition. Don't we all want that from our friends? Again, maybe I am completely wrong about that - but I think you should consider that maybe your reactions to her talking about her job were more about you than her. I don’t know…. I think that situation can go both ways – women who have children, especially stay at home moms, can be extra sensitive to the fact that they aren’t taking part in the workforce that others are and they can feel alienated. I say that from experience – I stayed at home a few years when my oldest some was born. The flip side of that is mothers who work feeling like the mothers who stay home look down at them for putting a priority on their work – and they always feel like they are playing catch up and never giving either side (work or kids) their all. And, another situation would be where a single girl without kids finds herself surrounded by women meeting Mr.Right and having children while she continues with the single life. I’ve read many accounts of that situation leaving someone feeling lonely and left behind. Her work would be the primary activity in her life – so of course she’s going to talk about it.

CONTINUED

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED

The perfect age for a child comment? Come on…… I can’t even come up with an understanding response for that one….. Actually, now that I think about it – I had a situation with some similar characteristics happen to me. I had a friend that had gone through some “female surgery” just before I got pregnant with my first child. She was in her early to mid 30’s (a few years older than me at the time) so she had become very anxious that her physical problems and her age might cause some infertility issues. She had been married about a year and was thinking about trying for a baby. Cut to me – I had been married for 5 years, was 28-29 (my “perfect” age range for a baby ), and had just been starting to get curious about the idea of a baby (searching the internet for ovulation calendars, looking at parenting websites, suddenly noticing babies everywhere, etc.). While on vacation, my husband and I kind of spontaneously (but not purely out of the blue) decided to stop birth control and just see what would happen. Light heartedly, I spoke to my friend before I even got back to work (she was work friend) and told her that much (we were pretty close for me to go into that detail with her). By the time I got back to work a few days later she was avoiding me. She eventually agreed to have lunch with me – I was completely baffled by her change in behavior, so I asked her what was up – and she actually gave some weird explanation that included ‘stalker’ as a description. I was flabbergasted. Crazily enough I came home to my husband and said that I couldn’t handle having that negative vibe going on, so I thought we should hold off on the baby trying and we did. Two weeks later I found out that I was pregnant. I still have a pang of resentment when I think back to that time and having any negative feelings when I was entitled to be jumping for joy at my good fortune. My friend couldn’t even look at me – I had to get updates on her feelings from a third amigo of ours at work. It was the craziest thing – I would have never in a million years imagined that situation evolving to what it did. We had been SUCH good buddies. I went through the next 9 months spending days inside my office so that I wouldn’t run into her in the halls. It caused some misery because I couldn’t be openly giddy about my pregnancy with others because of the fear she might be around. I lost a really close friend. The sad irony is that she was pregnant within 5-6 months of me. I heard about it right before I had my son. A friendship lost for nothing. She has since apologized by saying that she let her stressful worry about infertility (which she created in her mind because she hadn’t even gone off the pill when she started worrying!) take over then and cause those feelings toward me. We are in different cities, so the friendship we have is nothing but a facebook friend, birthday email once a year kind of friendship now. What a waste for that to happen based on her mind telling her that my going off birth control was somehow about me trying to one-up her and that her interest in pregnancy should keep my husband and I from having a baby - because she had somehow called 'dibbs' on pregnancy. As I type this, I'm reliving the ridiculousness of the situation and STILL cannot believe that I lost a friendship in that manner. Maybe this experience in my life affects how I read this situation – because I think it is an awfully ‘conceited’ attitude to assume that all those things are about YOU. (be clear, I’m not calling you conceited, but rather that IDEA is a self-important, conceited one)

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED

BOTTOM LINE – even if your friend REALLY was imitating you on ALL these things --- WHO CARES? Why should it bother you that she chooses similar things as you do? Really think about that. Is it really such a problem that she has the same wedding anniversary as you or that she had similar wedding flowers as you or that she celebrated her bachelorette party at the same place as you or that she now owns a house like you do? Seriously read that and think about their level of importance. And, maybe even take it back a step to question whether those minute details of life are REALLY indication that someone is displaying stalker-like behavior. You weren’t the first person in the world to do all those things and neither of you will be the last. I have a feeling that you really aren’t on her mind quite enough for her to really want to imitate you that much. Maybe I’m wrong…..

For the other stuff about the party and the hotel situation – you might be 100% right in them. It is hard to tell just from reading your account of the situation. She might have a completely different take on the situations. Do you think she really intended to ignore you when she invited you on the trip where there weren’t enough accommodations to keep everyone together? Was that why she invited you? Rather than intentional, it sounds like she is a bad planner and maybe does have some issues with manners/tact. That carelessness might be reason enough to end the friendship, but let it be for that reason instead of the “imitation” issues because they aren’t the critical ones. You not going to her party hurt her feelings plain and simple. Think if the situation had been reversed and she didn’t show up for your party. I suspect your feelings might have been hurt, too. I can’t say who is right on that one, but I would hope that my good friends would understand a situation like that and let it go. But, as you know – there are some deeper resentment issues between the two of you that prevents you from truly understanding each other and believing the other has the best intentions at heart.

I can’t believe I wrote this much – I didn’t do it to bash you, but to give you my perspective based on this small post. I hope you take it in the objective manner that it is intended. My intention wasn't to try to convince you that you are completely wrong about her and that she hasn't done anything wrong. I just wanted to point out the triviality of those issues you mentioned. The girl may be bad for you to be around, but the fact that she chose similar wedding details, house purchasing, and baby making age ISN'T the reason she is bad. They, alone, don't show proof that she is trying to be a copycat of you.

Good luck with gaining some peace in the situation. I do admire you for putting your feelings into words and having the guts to put them out on the internet, even if it is anonymous. I hope it helps you.

Great idea on guest posting, Jennster.

Becky said...

i don't have some great amount of advice for you except that i have a friend/family member who is the same way. and i constantly fall back into a rut of missing them and then being angry. it's a vicious cycle. these people are poison though and totally eff up our emotional state. it sucks. i'm sorry that you're having to go through it too. it's easy to say they're cut off...i've said it before too...and yet they never truly are. because we're better people than they are. and we miss them. good luck.

Anonymous said...

This is the anonymous person who wrote the post. I have a few responses that I'd like to share.

To Alison: I am in my mid-thirties and she is just a few years younger. My husband sees the situation as I do and has even picked up on things when I didn't (and he doesn't care for her at all...i think he always saw her for what she is, when I didn't.). He will continue to remain friends with her husband no matter what happens with my friendship with her.

To the anonymous poster with a few comments: I don't take your comments in a negative way at all and appreciate hearing your point of view (because that is what I asked for, right?). I am very much a sensitive person and there are a lot of additional details that I did not write about. The copying stuff was from a couple of years ago (which I have since gotten over for the most part - which, btw, her wedding was on a weekday so that she could have it on that specific date), but the more current items are what has been bugging me the most. I think the bottom line is something that I did not put in the original post. When I am friends with someone, I like for it to feel equal. She supports me, I support her. I had always supported her decisions and was enthusiastic for her no matter what I was feeling on the inside. You are right about my sensitivity. VERY RIGHT. The relationship between us did not end up being equal in the recent past in a lot of different ways. Because of the type of person I am, I like to see things through and hope that they aren't what they appear to be on the surface. However, I can't tell you how many instances have come up where I have had to question this friendship. I really do appreciate what you had to say - you have no idea.

To Becky: I totally agree with you.

To everyone else: Appreciate what you've had to say and your experiences. Thank you for sharing and commenting.

Jennster: Your readers rock. This has helped more than you know and can't tell you how much I appreciate you letting me do this.

norcalgirl28 said...

I could have written portions of this about someone I once considered my best friend (maid of honor, et al). She pulled some things that hurt and confused me and I tried to get over them and move on. The more she pulled the more I looked back on the history of our friendship and realized that she had been pulling crap like that all the time and I had just tried to overlook it until the two big "doozies" that she pulled....moving on the day of my son's first birthday party and asking all of our friends to help her before I had a chance to send out invites to the party (she was the only one who knew the date). None of those friends showed up to the party because they had already committed to helping her move and then, when I expressed my confusion at her actions, didn't invite me to her wedding. She had been planning her wedding for March and I was to be her matron of honor and she rescheduled to a ceremony at her house on New Year's Eve and we weren't invited. At that point I just wrote her off. She tried for years, and even sends the occasional e-mail, and I ignore it all. I am sorry you have the husband connection because I cannot tell you how much more relaxing it is to not have her games and antics in my life. I am so glad to be completely done with her it isn't funny. It has been over ten years. Good luck. I really hope you find some peace. Unfortunately, my advice to you is to write her off. You can only try so long and keep your pride.

Anonymous said...

I've been through the jealousy part with friends.....I have a close friend that goes out of her way to be like me. Sounds so silly..i almmost feel like she takes on my personality when i'm not around. I know when you're with someone a lot you tend to talk like them, say things they say, etc......but this person has been to parties without me and I've had my other friends call me to tell me they can't believe how much she tries to be like me - esp when i'm not around. I have a crazy personality, I am outgoing and I guess funny to most of my friends. So this friend isn't FUNNY.....she can be at times but I never really think she is a naturally funny person. Anyway, my point is, people are strange.....and friends really suck sometimes. I have a best friend who no longer holds a place in my heart. It's been eating me up for almost two years but I can't let her go. I try to but we've been best friends for about 30 years, since we were 7. Her husband did something awful, my husband got involved thanks to him.....and her and i had a falling out and i can't get over her ignorance in the whole situation. soo, if you think close friends can get through any battle, you're wrong. I don't think I can get over the hurt my friend cause yet I continue to talk to her.....every so often I blow up and get into it again.......the thing with you is that your husbands are close. I'm SO glad our husbands aren't close by her family was a second family to me. it's so upsetting. I lost them too. we no longer go to bday parties, she was supposed to be my daughter's Godmother, she's not....so life changes and friends suck sometimes.......it's the people like us with big hearts that can't let go. In my opinion, I think your friend envies what you have.....and some of the things like flowers aren't worth getting upset over, you must have great taste in her opinion, it's a compliment.......but other things she did are very spiteful. At our age, I don't think we have the time or energy for spiteful people.

Anonymous said...

Gah... I've been here! My friend even went as far as to get the same underwear I had and would show it off to guys I was interested in. It went on for several years and then I dumped her because I was living in France and she had the nerve to get mad at me because I didn't comment about how some guy at her new job thought she was hot (even though she was engaged to someone else).

I confronted her about her behavior and we officially parted ways. She called my boyfriend (how husband) and told him how terrible I was to her, etc. We didn't talk for over 3 years.

But her mom had cancer, so when I heard that she died I felt bad and contacted my friend to extend my sympathies and tell her what a great woman her mom was. This made her latch on to me even more, which is not what I had intended. I put up with her selfishness for another few years, off and on.

The final straw for me was when she friended one of the loves of my life, whom she had met once, on facebook. I know, that sounds sooooo insanely jealous, but this girl always flirted with everyone I was interested in and this was crossing a line. A BIG FAT LINE. So I unfriended her on FB and have not responded to any of her emails. THE END.

Kelly said...

This article helped me a lot after going through my 'best friend divorce' earlier this year.

http://www.friedgreentomatoes.org/articles/emotional_manipulation.php

Your situation sounds like this 'friend' will likely fall into lots of these characteristics of an emotional manipulator. Once you realize this is something that will NEVER stop it is easier to move forward. The husband thing makes things difficult. Hang in there.

I just posted today on my blog about some of what happened. It felt good to get it out, but took me a year to write anything. I figure if she is still stalking my blog she deserves what she reads.

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