Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
is it just me?(13 Posts)
Bit of background. Have a best friend who I class as a sister. Been friends for about 15 years and been through a lot together. Bereavements, serious illness of my dp, dv for her from exp and all the drama in between.
Only ever seriously fell out once about 6 years ago when I was getting serious with my current dp. She basically made it impossible for me to spend time with her. Constantly criticising my dp. Really nasty stuff that was completely unacceptable and untrue. Stopped all contact after finally flipping over it and telling her that I couldn't cope with her anymore.
She contacted me via fb about 4 years ago. Apologised for her behaviour and asked if we could start again which I was happy to.
She has had some problems over the last few years. Attempted suicide. Suffers from depression. Made some poor choices that have added to her problems both practically and financially. I have picked her up and been there for her at the expense of my family.
Her latest drama is mostly her own making. I have tried to help. I have given her advice and have supported her emotionally and financially and practically.
I don't want a medal for it. She is my friend.
However for the last 4 weeks she has done nothing but dig at me and mine. Silly, bitchy comments that are just nasty enough to make me annoyed but not enough to make me flip without looking silly. And the more she does it the more likely I am to flip.
For instance we have ponies and go to shows together at the weekend and share travel costs. Anyway I am 25 weeks pg and have a 9 yo DD. My dp has started to come with us to help me out due to being pg. Friend seems to assume he is there to help her too which I don't mind but she talks to him like shit. And also seems to assume my dd is there to fetch and carry for her too. Of course my dd is too polite to say no. So I end up being pissed off that our day out is spent with my family being bossed around.
Another example from this afternoon. She asked if my mum was coming tomorrow to the show we are going to. Said that she was and that she was looking forward to it as she doesn't get to come as often as she would like due to working early shifts on Monday so finding it too much to be out all day on Sundays. Friend said her mother used to manage just fine. I replied that it was difficult for my mum as she works full time. Friend then got arsey over it as her mother didn't work due to illness and would have loved to so I was being a n arsehole to make the comparison.
I am seriously considering ending the friend ship for good. But know she will blame the fact that I am pg and therefore hormonal rather than accept any responsibility for it.
I intend to get tomorrow out of the way and then stop contacting her and really cut down on the amount of time I see her or speak to her. I can't remember the last time she was nice to be around. I can't remember the last time she asked about me or my family that wasn't in a nasty way. She digs constantly about my dp not doing enough to help me but never offers to help unless it benefits her. My dp works a 60 hour week and does anything I ask or need.
She is becoming more and more toxic and I really don't know why. I worry though that if I'm not around that her depression will take over again and she will do something silly.
Sorry that is so long. Just need to get it out and get some different perspectives on it all.
It sounds like half depression etc & half personality to be honest. Whatever it is, if it's making you feel like this then there's no one making you stay in this friendship
Not sure how that smiley got in there...sorry!
Have your DP and DD mentioned her digs/being spoken to like shit, at all? If so, it can't just be your hormones that are making you sensitive!
I get that a 15 year friendship is hared to give up, but what are your getting out of it?
When was the last time you came away from your friend not feeling as though you're suppressing what you would like to say?
It's your friends job to manage her depression, not yours.
Sorry I've only just got back to this.
My DP has noticed it and commented to me that her behaviour is getting worse. To the point he has agreed that we will have our own transport next year and go by ourselves to shows. Which he has previously resisted as he didn't see the financial benefit.
My mum came with us yesterday. She knows my friend very well. Mum commented to me that friend was bang out of order, rude, selfish and a brat! And my mum is nice about everyone lol.
I feel guilty that I can't help her anymore. But I just can't keep picking up the pieces for her, she has to manage on her own. I have a family and responisibilites at home. We haven't had it easy either with a couple of pretty big issues over the last few years but we manage and cope and am still kind to people I care about, even when really stressed!
It will be very difficult to cut all contact and sever the relationship complelty for lots of different mutual friends and family. What I am going to do is have the friendship on my terms. So if I want to answer the phone or reply to a text message I will. If I can and want to help out with something I will. And if I don't I won't and tell her why I won't (ie I am pregnant and concentrating on that). It might sound a bit precious and dramatic and silly but its less hurtful for her that way.
And then when baby comes obviously I have a newborn so can't do x,y or z and everyone knows how much work babies are!
And if she does click on and ask me outright what the problem is I will tell her. I will tell her that I find her attitude and behaviour completly unacceptable. She did click on a bit yesterday that I wasn't happy with her. I bit quite a few times when she was rude to my family. An example was that my mum went up and got me and mum a coffee. It was impossible to carry more than 2 drinks at a time as no lids. Friend doensn't drink tea or coffee and I refuse to buy pop from burger vans as I bring plenty of water and dilute pop with me. Occasionally if it is very hot I will get DD a cold drink to get her to take on some fluids.
Friend asked if anyone had thought of her. My mum had asked her if she wanted a tea or coffee and she had said no! Apparantly my mum should have bought her a cold drink back when she said she didn't drink tea or coffee. FFS. Told friend where burger van was and suggested she go and get one herself.
Then friend was moaning no one had helped her all day. Twice my DP and twice my mum offered to hold pony for her. Pulled her on that too.
Grrrrr. The more I explain to people who don't know her the more awful she sounds lol. I feel awful as I know she struggels with depression but I don't think she can keep using it as an excuse to be horrid to people. My DP is on the same AD's as her (due to a life threatening, life changing illness a couple of years ago) and is never like that, even if he is having a rare 'bad day'.
I know everyone is different. But she was perfectly lovely all day to some other people she knew so is quite capable of being nice.
She is awful isn't she?
It's good that you felt confident enough to pull her up on her behaviour.
I suffer from depression, but it doesn't give me an excuse to be nasty to people. If anything, I withdraw and I'm careful about what I say, so that I don't offend/upset others. IMO, depressed or not, she has control over how she interacts with people; which is why she chose to be nice to others.
If she can't express her needs; 'could you get me a cold drink?' 'Can you hold my horse/get it's tack?' etc. How are you supposed to know what it is she wants?
Could you talk to your friend about the changes in her behaviour and the affect on you and your family? If not then it's probably better to withdraw.
I think you know that you need to cut this person out of your life.
Yes you have known her for a very Long time, but people change. Over a course of 15 years she has changed and not to a very nice person at that. You don't need to feel guilty, you have tolerated quite a lot. And her treating your family in that way should is unacceptable.
If I tell her minx I know she will create more drama out of all it. She will either deny it all and blame it on me being hormonal and pregnant. Or she will be so over the top sorry and upset over it and bring me flowers and chocolates to apologise. And grovel and apologise and go on about it for months so I end up looking like I'm being u reasonable and awful and unsympathetic to herpproblems lol.
She won't change I don't think. But I keep my ponies on her yard and to cut her out completely means moving them and I am happy with them there and the care they receive. But I can go at times she won't be around if I choose. I can set boundaries on our friendship and limit the amount of time I put into the relationship.
I wouldn't tolerate my dp, my family or a business associate speaking to me in that way so I won't accept that from her either. I have been more tolerant whilst I have been pg to be honest but am not going to do it anymore.
I am sorry that I can't help her anymore but the more I do the more she expects which isn't helping her in the long run.
Bare in mind that suicidals/self-harmers don't like themselves so it's common for them to exhibit these black/white behaviours. They want to be liked/loved so are 'nice', then push the people that like them away because they feel 'unworthy'. They're typically unconscious of this and will only change through councelling/cognitive therapy. Less severe cases can find stability through loving/tolerant partners or friends but that usually requires some insight into their own behaviour. Your friend's ability to be nice to strangers while being simultaneously nasty to you is typical. Similarly, your statement that she'll come crawling back with apologies and chocolates if you dump her. If you recognise this push/pull behaviour for what it is you'll cope with it better. The best thing you can do for her is suggest she seeks professional help or, failiing that, gets herself some cognitive therapy books about low self-esteem. You might want a browse at the latter yourself, since you seem unduly bothered about her calling you names ("hormonal"). Just because somebody calls you something doesn't make it so. Don't let this woman's issues have a negative effect on you. You don't have to cut her off forever, just until she seeks help for her nastiness. If she doesn't, well, you tried and that's all you can do. You can't help people who won't help themselves.
But it is hurtful Slang when someone blames you for their behaviour?
I know and understand it isn't me or my hormones. It's not just me being oversensitive. Other people have seen it for themselves and commented before me. And people that know how much I care for her and how I usually get defensive over her behaviour and stick up for her.
I don't need to cope with it to be honest. It's sad but I have been her friend for 15 years and I see this type of behaviour many times. Not just with me but with other close friends she has had. I am unique in that I stuck it out as I realised she had problems and felt sorry for her.
I won't cut myself off. We have a massive shared interest that 90% of the time I enjoy spending time with her doing. I just have to realise and accept that I can't help her until she helps herself and also by allowing her to treat me this way, it makes it worse for her in the long run as she will think she can do it again and again to other people.
I know the flowers and chocolate routine like the back of my hand sadly. She is like a repentant lover caught out and will be on her best behaviour for months if not a few years,and then we start the cycle again.
Its sad as I do love her very much. We have been through a lot together and is the one person I can call in a crisis when I know she would 100% be there for me if I needed her. You are right in the push pull behaviour I think.
She needs to get a persepective and realise for herself that unless she is nice to be around then people will choose not to be around her. I can't help her with that I don't think.
So will keep a distance until she either realises and changes or until she asks me, in which case I will explain why and also explain that the fuss and drama surrounding it all is why I haven't mentioned it at all. I will then ask her to give me some space away from her to let us both think things through and to see if we can carry on with a friendship or whether we call it a day.
Its so sad though. But I have to put my family first and myself a close second. She has taken too much over the last 6 months or so. Partly because I think she doesn't know how to deal with me being pg and partly because I know she desperatly wants a family and a partner and a big wedding etc herself. Which is why I have made allowances.
But she has things I would like and I never begrudge her these things or behave badly because she has things I don't. Tis a bloody mess.
OK. You seem to have a good handle on her and how best to deal with her. I remain a tad concerned about you though. You mentioned how the name-calling and accusations are hurtful and, just above, how she'll go on and on and make you LOOK STUPID and unsympathetic etc. My question - Look stupid and unsympathetic to whom? Nobody in this thread and, if I've read the above correctly, none of your immediate family either. Seemingly, everyone that matters will support your distancing yourself from her so you really don't need to be fretting about how you'll 'look'. Since she's known you so long, obviously she'll know which of your buttons to push to make you feel bad, especially given her personality type making her expert at this. Apparently you can see this yourself but haven't quite made the connection that her name-calling and put-downs that 'hurt' you and make you look/feel bad are how she manipulates you into giving her attention. Essentially, she's exploiting your good nature as a weakness. It's a testament to that good nature that you can still see the good in her and refuse to cut her off completely. So, don't let her make you feel bad about putting your priorities in order. Tell her you'll be happy to talk to her about any cog' therapy books she reads (or buy one yourself and lend it to her). You're doing the right thing(s). Be proud of yourself and feel good about it. You 'look' decent and intelligent to me, for whatever that's worth. Good luck with your plans.
She sounds like she's very jealous of you. She obviously has issues and needs to seek help for it but you don't need to be dragged down by it. Has she ever sought help?
Thanks slang. You are right I know. In answer to your question about who she will moan and whinge and bitch to about me doing what I am going to do it will be mutual friends from pony stuff. But there opinion doesn't matter a great deal.
They will probably see for themselves eventually.
She did have some counselling a couple of years ago which I think was cbt based. She had a few sessions with one counsellor then was referred on. After 3 sessions with the cbt one she took an overdose and blames the counselling for it.
I have tried just about anything and everything to help her and I don't think she will change sadly. She finds it easier to be the way she is than make a real effort to improve her life. She goes from 1 drama to the next. The only thing that has varied over the years is who sheis pprobably jealous of and behaving badly towards.
At the moment that is me. Probably because I am pregnant.
This thread really has helped me see things a lot clearer though. At least I can explain it to myself and be less emotional about it all.
Join the discussion
Please login first.