AIBU to expect a friend to offer me some support?

(18 Posts)
coralpig Mon 07-Mar-16 09:35:07

I moved to the city where I'm currently living about 18 months ago due to work and I only have a few friends in this part of the country.

One of these (Jade), who I long considered my closest, is always pretty shoddy at replying to messages - calls, texts, online messages.
We both suffer from mental health problems (which is relevant). Jade is also our departmental rep. for pastoral matters.

A few months ago, she went very quiet - none of our friends had seen or heard from her in a long while and I started to worry. I did everything I could to contact her and was very close to trying to to get in touch with her family as I was worried (I've met her a mum a few times). She then replied after 2 weeks very casually saying she was fine just had been a bit busy. I was inwardly a little pissed off as she would have been able to tell from my messages that I was getting concerned. However, I didn't verbalise this as I know she has spells where she goes AWOL and also has mental health problems.

My own mental health has suffered a lot in the last few weeks - worst it's ever been and I've been put on medication for the first time. I'm waiting for a counselling appointment and so far only my partner knows. I decided that it wasn't right to keep this from my two closest friends as I would like to let them know to explain my change in behaviour recently and as a heads up that I was now on medication. I sent a message yesterday letting them know that my mental health had taken a hit and to ask for advice on telling the right people and who at work to go to for help.

One friend replied immediately with a message of support. However, she said that Jade would probably know about seeking support at work due to her being a rep. Both friends have seen the message (according to facebook messenger) and Jade has since been active on facebook.

I'm quite hurt - AIBU to expect a bit more from Jade- a text, call, message. anything would have been nice.

BlueMoonRising Mon 07-Mar-16 09:43:59

It's really hard to know without knowing how Jade is feeling.

I know when I was going through a shit time, I lost all empathy for anyone else. I probably was a bit like Jade (at least the impression I get about Jade), in that I didn't share how I felt with anyone, and it seemed to me (in my negative frame of mind) that anyone that did was just attentions seeking and they should just get on with it. That's not who I am, in fact I am usually quite the opposite when it comes to friends problems, but thats how my mental ill health manifested. Possibly because I needed a break away from everyone else's shit because I had my own to deal with.

Now this is a bit different, because Jade has a role to help with this sort of stuff. But if she is in a difficult place at the moment, maybe she just doesn't have the wherewithal to deal with it.

YANBU, not one little bit. But it's possible she isn't being U either.

I hope you get the help you need and you start feeling better soon xx

FigMango1 Mon 07-Mar-16 09:48:21

I think Yabu. You seem to be heavily reliant on her to sort of see you through things?
Maybe she is dealing with her own issues at the moment and can't offer any emotional support as she may be battling herself?

You've been there 18 months so you should have made other friends. You want a response from her after the messages but If she was that close to you, then you should have called her. You say she also has mh issues so you should be understanding as to why she might be withdrawn at the moment.

coralpig Mon 07-Mar-16 09:55:31

FlgMango1 I don't want her to see me through things. I was asking for advice as she has a role in our department where I presumed she'd know. I hate the stigma and secrecy around mental health and it helps me to talk.

I'm sorry I don't have more friends.

FigMango1 Mon 07-Mar-16 09:57:06

So is the issue that as a department rep she is failing to do her job? If that's the case then it's an entirely different situation.

ghostyslovesheep Mon 07-Mar-16 10:00:44

you are confusing her roles as friend and rep

if you want her professional support ask her at work

MrsJayy Mon 07-Mar-16 10:05:54

Speak to her at work if it is a work matter or was she off sick I think you need to accept she was busy or didnt have time to reply I know this sounds harsh but she doesnt have to reply all the time

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 07-Mar-16 10:06:17

Sorry OP, but I agree with ghosty.

If Jade is in a bad place herself she won't have it in her to support you. If you are expecting her to support you at work then you should be contacting her through the proper channels.

Try to keep work and friendship separate.

StitchesInTime Mon 07-Mar-16 10:08:17

Ignoring the friendship issue for a minute here -

I think that if someone is a departmental rep. for pastoral matters then, if someone in their department gets in touch letting them know that my mental health had taken a hit and to ask for advice on telling the right people and who at work to go to for help then, in their role as a departmental rep, they have an obligation to respond in some way.
Even if it's just to say "person x would be better placed to advise you about what to do at work regarding your problem".

It's possible that Jade isn't responding because of her own mental health issues. So purely from a friendship point of view it may not have been unreasonable for her to feel unable to offer support to a friend at the minute.
But given her role, and given you've specifically asked for advice regarding work, YANBU to expect some sort of response.

sonjadog Mon 07-Mar-16 10:12:23

If you messaged her yesterday, it was Sunday and she may not have the details for following up professionally at home. Sehe may reply today. If she doesn't, ask her again at work.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 07-Mar-16 10:13:16

Stitches - I think you're right but the OP sent a text as a friend on a Sunday. There is probably a procedure at work that OP should follow and I'm fairly sure that a text outside work hours won't be it.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 07-Mar-16 10:16:40

I think you're blurring the boundaries here.

If you're asking for support as a friend, you aren't BU to expect a reply, but she might not be able to support you at the moment if she's struggling herself.

If you're asking for support professionally as she is a rep, it's inappropriate to ask on Sunday on Facebook Messenger. You need to ask her in a professional manner (via email? In a meeting? However this would normally be done) and during her working week. She may not have the ability or inclination to respond to work requests via Facebook at the weekend. It may also be very frowned upon for her to do so.

I'm sorry you're struggling, please don't take this as a slight. Sometimes, even the best intentions go astray. She may be fully intending to send you a nice supportive message and make sure you're okay, but just not be able to at the moment.

coralpig Tue 08-Mar-16 17:38:54

I've had no response from her yet. Other friend asked me if she'd contacted me privately and was shocked to hear that she hadn't. Don't really know what to do. Should I contact her again? Assume she doesn't want to talk? Ask how she is? I accept that contacting her on a Sunday on Facebook wasn't appropriate for professional matters but it's now Tuesday. I'm quite hurt that she wouldn't ask how I'm doing as a close friend.

FigMango1 Tue 08-Mar-16 17:44:41

Have you emailed her from work as she has to respond in a professional capacity?
If she doesn't reply to private messages then there's not much to do really.

stumblymonkey Tue 08-Mar-16 18:07:57

I agree with Fig....firstly you need to deal with professional matters. In which case you need to take the professional route to her....i.e. a meeting, email or call at work and during working hours.

Focus strictly on the professional piece.

Once that is out of the way then you wouldn't be unreasonable to say something like 'Now we've dealt with the work piece do you mind if we discuss something that isn't work related?'

Then you can ask her, without any implication of blame, whether she saw your message on Sunday and why she hasn't replied. You wouldn't be unreasonable to say you felt hurt that she hadn't replied.

I do reiterate though that this should be without blame otherwise she will be defensive as she'll feel attacked before you know the whole story.

RubbleBubble00 Tue 08-Mar-16 18:49:58

when my mental health is low I can't deal I with people - anyone else problems I would probably ignore tbh

Clearoutre Wed 09-Mar-16 19:29:21

Draw strength from friend(s) who will support you through this.

You have one friend who sounds sympathetic and responsive so focus on her instead of spending your emotions chasing after Jade - she will probably be an erratic & unreliable source of help due to her own circumstances.

No need to write off your friendship with Jade but recognise she's probably an unhelpful influence right now, whatever her professional capacity.

ScarletForYa Wed 09-Mar-16 19:36:26

Maybe she doesn't see you as a close friend OP?

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