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To ditch lifelong friends, or am i being 'touchy'? Long, sorry!

(548 Posts)
ElllaKeat Mon 16-Jan-17 18:45:41

This story has been festering with me for a couple of days now, so sorry for the long tale, but need proper feedback.

Backstory is i have a prominent and ugly mastectomy scar. Usually it is covered, but to be honest it does not bother ne if it is revealed, i dont flaunt it, but do not feel embarrassed if it is visible. It is just part of me and after 2 seperate mastectomies, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and delayed reconstructions, i am just happy to be healthy and still alive!

Me and DH have 6 lifelong friends - three married coupes. We have known them all for over thirty years and our social lives mainly involve them. We meet up roughly once a month, for everyones birthday, at Christmas etc. We have always gotten on well, had the usual niggles with each other, but as a crowd, we have all been accepting of each others quirks.

On Friday it was my birthday. We all got together for a meal on Friday night and i wore a new top that i loved. Slightly lower cut than normal, it still covered my scar.......until it kept slipping down had a bloody life of its own. If and when i noticed, i hitched my top up again and thought nothing more of it. DH and i went to the bar whilst waiting for the starters to be served to organise some bubbly and when we came back the atmosphere had changed, i knew something was not right. Things just felt a bit off.

Chatting was fine, on the surface, everything seemed okay, but i just had a feeling that something was wrong.

Anyway, after main course, i nipped to the loo and the woman i would consider my closest friend followed me in. She offered me a clean vest top she had in her gym bag in her car, to wear under my top because she said she could see i was uncomfortable during dinner.

I thought she was being thoughtful and said no, i was fine, it really didnt bother me. She then said 'well it may not bother you, but it bothers us. We dont really want to be looking at that whilst eating - not like you to flaunt it in our faces Ella. You really should think of covering it up. You know we love you, just want everyone, including you to feel comfortable '

I went back into the cubicle and bawled my eyes out, i felt so crap.

Went back to the restaurant but could not make eye contact with anyone and made an excuse to leave as soon as the meal was over.

DH kept asking if i was okay and when i told him he thinks i took it the wrong way and it was concern for me that prompted the loo talk. But it wasnt, i know that. He says if he thought for one minute our friends were that shallow he would firstly tell them what shits they were then never speak to them again, but he cant believe there was any malice in it. But there was. WHY would anyone, let alone a 'friend' tell me to cover up my battle scars?

Or have i really got it wrong?

I fluctuate between being embarrassed, angry and hurt and have lost the plot as to which is the appropriate emotion.

Help me sort this out please.

Rockpebblestone Mon 16-Jan-17 18:51:40

That would upset me too, OP. I mean really, a scar is just scar, is she really so incredibly squeamish? Even if she is she should know it is her at fault, not you. What if you had a facial scar, would she expect you to wear a mask?

Rockpebblestone Mon 16-Jan-17 18:53:31

As for sorting this out, I would not make any moves regarding contacting her. If she asked why I would explain how uncomfortable she made you feel with her comment.

NightTerrier Mon 16-Jan-17 18:53:36

YANBU. I would never dream of saying something like that to anyone. I can't understand why other people would feel so uncomfortable when you were the person who actually had to battle cancer. What a load of dicks.

Birdsgottafly Mon 16-Jan-17 18:54:47

I'd rather my friends be honest.

I've just been through having a lymphoma and I completely understand that you don't even think about what someone who hasn't been seriously ill, would, I'm sick of being asked if my appearance/weight gain/biopsy scar bothers me.

My Dad had scarred feet, from an accident, in which he nearly lost his life and I used to have to have him cover them.

It's great that you feel confident, but being upset at seeing the scars isn't, because of repulsion of you, it'll be stirring up a lot of thoughts/feelings in them.

Peppapogstillonaloop Mon 16-Jan-17 18:55:43

Ugh that's horrid shallow behaviour.. have you spoken to any of them since?

Iamthecatsmother Mon 16-Jan-17 18:59:08

I would be upset by that too. That sounds wholly unnecessary. So sorry that your birthday celebration was spoilt. [flower]

Zephyroux1 Mon 16-Jan-17 18:59:26

YANBU, how dare they. I wouldn't ditch them ,but I'd distance myself and set about making some new friends.

TheSparrowhawk Mon 16-Jan-17 19:00:47

I don't think you're being touchy. I think your 'friends' are arseholes.

whatlifestylechoice Mon 16-Jan-17 19:01:13

That's really fucking bizarre. Of them, I mean, not you. I can't ever imagine saying or even thinking that about anybody, never mind a friend. Is it possible it was just that one friend being odd and she was bitching about it to the others and that's what made them uncomfortable ?
Either way, I don't blame you for being really hurt and upset. I would be too. Can you talk about it with one of the other people there and ask them what was going on ?

GinIsIn Mon 16-Jan-17 19:01:26

Are you sure you didn't misunderstand and she meant seeing you uncomfortable made them uncomfortable, not the scar itself?

redexpat Mon 16-Jan-17 19:02:28

That would upset me too, but are you sure it wasnt just the one friend who had a problem with it?

Blueemeraldagain Mon 16-Jan-17 19:03:30

Fucking hell. What a bitch and on your bloody birthday.

fourpawswhite Mon 16-Jan-17 19:03:50

Do you know my first reaction was the same as yours, and others. Anger and fury on your behalf. Then I read bird post. Which I actually understand, and is well put. When I think about my mum, and how upset chemo made her, and us, I feel so sick and angry. So maybe seeing the scar reminds them more of the pain you went through, rather than a battle scar. Old friends, good friends. How were they when you were unwell? Did they help and support you?

I think upon reflection I would talk to them. Explain how it made me feel and take it from there. flowers I understand your hurt though.

MissLadyM Mon 16-Jan-17 19:04:39

Hideous behaviour. I would cool off with them and find new friends. The world has many decent people who wouldn't dream of being so hurtful. Well done on winning your battles darling xxx

hmcAsWas Mon 16-Jan-17 19:04:42

I'm rather taken aback - I don't think I could get past that from a so called friend. Incredible! (and grossly insensitive)

Not surprised that you are upset

NoraDora Mon 16-Jan-17 19:04:42

I think she was rude and didn't say it very nicely.

BUT if the scar is where a boob would be, and your top was showing that, I can see why your friends might not have felt comfortable.

Did your friend know how upset you were?

TitaniasCloset Mon 16-Jan-17 19:04:44

Wow. That's unbelievable. So they all sat and had a good chat about your scar and she volunteered to be the one to 'put you straight'. Unfuckingbelievable.

Avoid them from now on. If she can't see how rude that was I don't know what to day about her.

I think you are amazing BTW, you are a warrior queen with all you have overcome and fought through. Your friends can kiss your arse.

Hassled Mon 16-Jan-17 19:05:25

I think Birds is right. It's normal for you - it's part of your body, it's who you are, it represents all the horrors you've been through, you presumably see it every day. But to them - it's a scar, which you describe as prominent and ugly. A scar that reminds them that they were worried about losing you. It's understandably incredibly emotive for you - but listen to your DH. There may have been some thoughtlessness, but there was no malice. And it's not worth losing 30 years of friendship over that.

Broccolirevolution Mon 16-Jan-17 19:05:31

Nice of her to offer a vest if you were uncomfortable. You told her you were ok, and that should have been the end of it. If they apologise for upsetting you on your birthday meal then I would accept it since they have been good friends up until this one hiccup. If they don't make the move and apologise, then they aren't friends at all.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 16-Jan-17 19:05:33

Sorry that woukd really upset me, and make me feel a bit less towards them. So to feel better, they make you feel rubbish. I woukd tell them how hurt yiu are.

Sweets101 Mon 16-Jan-17 19:05:54

I think you should speak to her about it, tell her it upset you and ask why it made others feel uncomfortable.
I wouldn't want to lose 6 30 yr long relationships without at least talking about it first

flumpybear Mon 16-Jan-17 19:06:07

That's bloody outrageous!!! So what would she prefer you didn't have
The scat to save her feeling uncomfortable !? I'd say embrace the fact this scar, in part, saved your life!!! A friend st work has shown me her boob job post mastectomy (we work in medicine so not ashamed of bums, boobs or bare skin(!!!! It's her battle scars and good her her too - your friends should be delighted modern modern means their friend is alive!! Tell her her rather large obscene gob upsets you and can she
Cover that up please angryangryangry

ElllaKeat Mon 16-Jan-17 19:06:23

Peppa, no, i have not. I was on such a high last week, i was finally discharged from my Oncologist after five years and was feeling on top of the world. This has knocked me so much, i am afraid that if i tried to take to them about it i would either start crying or being a nasty cow, poiting out how much i had supported then all through various traumas over the years. Neither version of the conversation would end well for any of us.

I feel so crap. I do wear stuff that covers me up, this was just the wrong shaped neckline that kept slipping. Do i really need to wera polo neck jumpers for the rest of my life to spare the feelings of everyone around me?

Sorry, i know i am being touchy. DH has started taking the piss out of me now to try and jolly me out of my funk. It is not working.

I am obviously being daft about it but it hurts.

hmcAsWas Mon 16-Jan-17 19:06:33

I have to disagree - I think Birds is giving them too much credit

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