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to be getting a bit mentally drained by this friend

(179 Posts)
dirtyface Wed 07-Aug-13 19:12:59

there is an absolutely huge back story to this. in summary, my friend has ME, has had it since she was 16. and has never had dcs, married, moved out of home etc (her parents kind of care for her i think) and a whole host of other physical and mental health problems that i think a lot of them are in her head

she is absolutely lovely. she is clever, funny, loyal, beautiful and a brilliant mate, one of the nicest women i know

the trouble is, she gets into relationships with men who mainly just cannot cope with all her problems. they inevitably act like twats, hurt her, dump her, or she dumps them for being twats. but otoh because of her myriad problems, she can't be the girlfriend that guys want, ie she won't sleep over their house, she won't see them more than a few times a week as it apparently wears her out, but then obviously that means the relationships cant move on naturally. the one or 2 nice, understanding guys she has been with, she dumps them for being too nice confused

she is also very attention seeking, constantly putting cryptic statuses on FB (usually re latest dodgy relationship or latest health thing) that seemed designed to elicit sympathy. i can tell lately that a lot of people are getting a bit weary of her (we have a few mutual friends) i can tell just by the lack of response on FB etc. she seems to almost revel in many of her various health problems (none of which are life threatening / limiting btw). i also think she should fight it more and tbh her family, in particular her mum is quite enabling. my mum would have told me to get a grip TBH.

i have loads going on in my own life. a home to run, kids, a husband, my own business, money problems, my own mental health problems (anxiety and depression). i worry about her a lot and its all getting a bit much.

i feel like such a cow and a rubbish friend. but its getting hard for me to support her. and i really do want to. sorry this is long but i dont want to drip feed.

so i just wanted to know if anyone has been in a similar situation to either me or my friend, and has any advice for me.

dirtyface Wed 07-Aug-13 19:13:52

also just quickly so as not to (dreaded) drip feed, lots of her friends have drifted off as they dont believe her re her health problems. and i find that really sad but then wonder if i too am being taken in sad

Hassled Wed 07-Aug-13 19:17:54

She may be attention seeking and all the rest of it, but the bottom line is that she has ME which is a huge deal and will affect her life and her attitude towards everything else. I'm not without sympathy for you - it does sound wearing if you have your own issues - but none of this is in her head and getting a grip won't make her better.

And you don't really say how this does impact you - how much support is she asking from you?

catinabox Wed 07-Aug-13 19:18:32

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dirtyface Wed 07-Aug-13 19:26:05

a lot hassled

for example, the other week she rang me after midnight because of her latest romantic drama when i was ill with a sinus infection and had only just got to sleep. she knew i was ill and she knew i hadnt been sleeping as well

i also miscarried twins a few months ago which she knows about, she knows my mental state is quite fragile as well because of that and the other things i mentioned

toomuchtoask Wed 07-Aug-13 19:26:35

You know what ME is like do you? Fucking hell there are some judgemental people on here. Do not fucking judge if you don't know what an illness is like. You haveno idea what ME is like to post the idiotic crap that you have (and that is for catinabox too).

YouTheCat Wed 07-Aug-13 19:27:37

ME doesn't mean someone will behave like an insensitive twat.

She is being an insensitive twat. Drop her.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 07-Aug-13 19:32:33

It is so frustrating when a person doesn't seem to help themselves and lives life as a victim for whatever reason.
It is an attention seeking behaviour and can be tiresome.
So YANBU to feel like this.

I have found that the only way I ( yes I as in the friend, daughter, whatever who has problems of my own) can cope with people like this is to be the 'fair weather friend'. Needy people can often put their needs above everyone else which is selfish. They sometimes take more than you can give.

Saffyz Wed 07-Aug-13 19:34:57

What toomuchtoask said.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 07-Aug-13 19:35:35

toomuch As far as I see, the OP hasn't attacked this person for having ME. She is tired of her neediness and reliance on others whilst taking little responsibility for her own life and relationships.

toomuchtoask Wed 07-Aug-13 19:38:46

People with ME are reliant on other people. They are likely to be needy. They have a hugely debilitating illness which affects EVERY aspect of their life EVERY second of everyday. Try to imagine that ... Even for a moment.

ANormalOne Wed 07-Aug-13 19:40:20

ME can be life limiting, actually, do you even know what it is? I have a friend very similar to the one you described who can't move out her DM's home, can't date, can't work, can't even leave her bed most days.

She revels in it? What constant pain and exhaustion? Yeah, sounds a fucking hoot to me.

Clearly you should drop her, she doesn't need a friend like you. Nasty person.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 07-Aug-13 19:43:07

toomuch Yes, that is understood. However, does that mean that OP's friend has the right to wake her ( when OP is ill herself) to discuss boyfriend issues ( for example ) Does having ME mean that she should show no regard for OP and her needs?

QuietNinjaTardis Wed 07-Aug-13 19:43:21

Catinabox let's hope neither you or your Dh ever end up with me and find out what it's really like.

Saffyz Wed 07-Aug-13 19:43:55

It sounds like this friend has low self-esteem, which is not the easiest thing in the world to overcome, particularly if you're unwell with an illness some people don't understand. I think that's probably why she's choosing unsuitable men and finding it hard to keep a positive face on things. It must be pretty hard for her, to see everyone else living their lives while she's currently unable to. If you really want to support her you could help her in finding decent medical help, therapy, M.E. organisations and books etc. But I'm sure she's better off without the "fair weather friendships" that MrsLouisTheroux suggests. I'd rather have no friend than a fair-weather one.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 07-Aug-13 19:45:02

However... This friend of OP's is not bed bound. She goes out 3 nights a week.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 07-Aug-13 19:49:06

saffy different people want different things. When I was seriously ill last year and was going through treatment, in bed, couldn't move, sick and vomiting due to the drugs I was given, the last thing I would do would be to phone my friends ( who had young DC ) at midnight to cry over a man like OP's friend has done.

toomuchtoask Wed 07-Aug-13 19:50:02

MrsLouis you obviously have no idea what a lifelimiting illness is like. It becomes very difficult to think of the problems of others because life is a constant problem for yourself. Every day is a constant struggle with no light at the end of the tunnel.- no knowing when (or even if) things will ever become normal or manageable again. Some days only being able to contemplate tryingto get out of bed.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 07-Aug-13 19:50:32

We were all 'fair weather friends' at that time. We saw/ spoke to each other when I felt we'll and they weren't busy.

catinabox Wed 07-Aug-13 19:50:46

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MrsLouisTheroux Wed 07-Aug-13 19:52:49

Toomuch read my post above and have a guess to see if I do understand or not.
There is never an excuse to prioritise your own needs above others. Sorry. We will have to agree to disagree.

DeputyDeputyChiefOfStaff Wed 07-Aug-13 19:54:22

ANormalOne, 'life limiting' doesn't mean it limits what you can do, it means it limits the length of your life (ie reduces your life expectancy). I don't know if ME does that or not, but life limiting does not mean what you describe.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 07-Aug-13 19:54:39

toomuch the post to saffy that is.

ANormalOne Wed 07-Aug-13 19:55:28

Focus on getting well? From a disease that has no cure and is incredibly difficult to manage? Is believing in a better future going to magically make pain and exhaustion disappear FFS? What an ignorant load of crap.

YouTheCat Wed 07-Aug-13 19:55:42

I don't think ME is life limiting tbh. MS is though.

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