Feel a bit letdown by a friend(43 Posts)
I've been good friends with someone for about 4 years.
I've been there for her when she's needed me - provided childcare and support when she went through a miscarriage
On the end of the phone and supportive when she was in bits as she accidentally hurt her child - talked her down when she was in tears and reassured her it wasn't her fault.
Looked after her DC all day when she was having another baby. Happiness and joy all round when baby arrived safely, etc.
I've never really asked for anything from her before...anyway..I've had a really difficult time lately, got diagnosed with depression and have a lot going on.
We were chatting by text and I decided to tell her I was having a bit of a bad time, depression etc...she replied "oh I'm sorry, we must meet up soon as I always enjoy venting at you, you always make me feel better etc etc, I'll message you with dates"
About three days later I get "I can do X date (three weeks away) or Y date (4 weeks away) after 10:30"
Incidentally, I work, and the dates she suggested are my working days. She doesn't work - I understand she probably keeps busy.
I just...I just...I'd make more of an effort, I think? Whenever she's needed me I've been there. Now I feel like me and my depression just need to fit into her schedule. Meh.
That does sound rather one-sided. Can you tell her how you feel?
I could try, and I feel I owe her that.
The thing, with depression, I don't want to come across all 'me me me'. But equally, I am not a needy person (which she knows) so to confide in someone and have them say, essentially "you've been there to listen to me vent and I'm happy to reciprocate, how about 3 weeks from now after 10:30 AM" just feels like.
Not sure what I'd achieve by saying that to her, though? I'm obviously not high on her priority list.
Maybe it just feels worse because your feeling depressed . how are you feeling? Do you no what's triggered your depression? You don't have to answer
The dates would annoy me less than "let's meet because I want to vent". She has young children and childcare might be an issue (assuming that she is seeing you child free?)
I have one friend that I could really count on, other than that I would say I offer more than what I would receive to the others. I was actually wondering how many people have friendships that are totally balanced, rather than one person usually providing/offering more.
Hope you feel better soon OP
My depression is under control, thank you Halftruth, I have a great counsellor and am on the up.
I never really reveal my weaknesses to people, but I kind of felt with her, I have been there for her in some really vulnerable states.
Part of me getting better from depression is admitting to other people that actually, I'm not actually always ok and always there to catch other people when I fall. I have my own issues and they are as valid as other peoples.
I genuinely hope she is just busy . but she might not know what to say to you .
So you are telling her about a rough time and she comes back with how she feels better when she unloads her shit on you and let's do that in 3 weeks?
I'd just not reply to her. Especially when she next needs you to babysit.
Halftruth, this is what I'm worried about..I don't think she knows what to say to me.
The thing is, I did not know wtf to say to her when she accidentally knocked her son's front teeth out. But she was sobbing and I talked her through it. I was shocked, believe me. But I knew she was stressed and I understood it was an accident.
I didn't judge her, I listened.
I just...ah, fuck it.
I think she was very dismissive of you. I've seen this happen with so many people OP, who are always the strong, dependable one and the friend doesn't know how to deal with it when you can't be that person, so brushes your problems aside. It's time for you to look after yourself and be honest about how you're feeling. Friendship is a two way street..
I know it isn't always easy to see though. I've always been the supporter, adviser, listener etc and I've enjoyed this role.. not having to reveal my own weaknesses. Then when I went through a bereavement it was very telling who supported me.. But sometimes I wonder if I set myself up to fail! I'm now more open if I'm feeling sad, down etc... and people are more caring. People find it easier to care if you show you are vulnerable like they are.
I'm sorry if that sounds like an epic dripfeed. I didn't want to give specifics because it's so outing...
A mutual friend has arranged a night out with the three of us next week and I just don't want to go, it feels awkward.
Billy you banged that on the head beautifully .it's not weak to feel it's just human .
Thank you billbryson
Counselling has shown me how much of my life is focused around supporting other people, and wonder who is supporting me. I have only told a very few people what has been going on, and a couple have been massively supportive and shown me what a true relationship is.
Just this one particular friend, I feel like I owe it to her to be there for her? But why?? I don't have those kind of resources any more.
I am a bit hurt, AIBU isn't really the place for this, I know, but my thoughts are so disorganised right now I need opinions!
How did the accident happen ? I'm a bit afaird to ask
She threw something to him. It hit him in the face.
Sometimes you only find out your true friends when you really need people. It stings a bit, but teaches you who is worth putting effort into and who isn't.
I feel for you.
It seems not everyone has it in them, to be there for someone else. Sadly, its seems especially rare in those who have needed support in the past. Since I noticed this, I have tried to listen out for my stronger friends occasionally reaching out for help. Its rewarding when i do notice, then we seem to take it in turns to give & receive. Hope you find the support you need and deserve.
I find that it takes me a huge effort to even hint that I might need support, even from DH. If he doesn't immediately provide it once I have made the herculean effort to explain that I am not self-sufficient (very, very hard for me) then I usually feel ridiculously hurt and stupid and angry at him, and have to try very hard not to feel incredibly let down. So maybe you're feeling a little of that? I suffer from depression too but it's currently
sort of under control.
OTOH it does sound like she did a bit of a shit job in acknowledging your feelings and showing that she gives a shit about them. I'm sorry. That is rubbish
When, sympathies. I do also think you need to think about (or maybe counselling has already got you doing so?) why you set the relationship up like this, what 'worked' for you about it when you were the eternal listener/consoler. These threads come up so often on here, usually with a baffled, upset OP who feels she has been 'paying in' to a friendship bank account for years, and now she wants to draw on the account for once, the other party won't allow it.
Bear in mind that the other party doesn't nevessarily see it as a give and take situation, where she 'owes' you some giving. Her text certainly suggests she sees your friendship as 'set' with her as venter, you as vented/listening post/shoulder to cry on whose job of making her feel better is set in stone. From her pov, you're suddenly changing the rules.
I suppose you need to decide if it's worth the effort to try to negotiate a more balanced dynamic?
Op I think you should just be honest with her and tell her that you need her. From your op (and I'm sorry if I'm wrong) it sounds like you have kind of hinted how you feel and not told her exactly how much you need her right now?
Its not just a case of her wanting to give a decent time slot to you so you can vent properly, no kids, just a nice adult chat? And then not thinking through about when you're available?
Thank you, everyone.
Counselling has crystallised for me that I take on this role as listener/fixer etc etc. Unfortunately this has also resulted in my depression, the trigger being too many people needing fixing all at the same time, all relying on me and me with my own issues and never feeling like I can rely on anyone else. So everything you say is correct and valid, and I'm working on that.
Part of working on that is looking at existing relationships..
I don't know about me always being a fixer when it comes to the two of us..she tells me frequently that she has a low requirement for social contact from other people. To be fair, most of when we see each other is just general catching up/chatting, it is rare that she relies on me for something, but when she does, it's big.
I think this thread has shown me that it's as much my poor communication at fault as her lack of concern.
Yet I just don't feel like seeing her right now, and maybe that's ok..
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