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AIBU to back out of house-sitting for my friend with 2 weeks to go?

(146 Posts)
Alwaysunderwhelming Tue 09-Apr-19 16:59:08

OK, I know IABU and I'm not sure I can go through with it, but I'm so stressed about this.

Me and this woman are mature students on a grad medicine course. I looked after her house for her last summer for a week. I stayed there and took care of her 3 cats.

She asked me to do it again this year. Initially I said it might clash with an event, but around December I said I would be free. She said "great, we can confirm the details nearer the time".

I heard nothing. In Feb I sent her a long message apologising but saying I could no longer help. The reason was: we now only have Good Friday - Sun 28th off university, and I need to have an appointment with my consultant psychiatrist that week. I have bipolar disorder and my reviews every 3 months are integral, especially due to the nature of my course and its stressors.

She replied and said "oh no, we've booked all the flights!" and said she'd nearly had a heart attack at my message. So obviously I said "fine, don't worry, I just won't see my doctor". I didn't want to create drama and cause issues. She also said she wants me to take the dogs, which we hadn't previously agreed, and she has booked the entire holiday period (literally from midday on Good Friday until the Sunday afternoon), so I can't go home and see my own family during Easter and will be alone in her house for the entire period.

I really wish she has asked me before she booked. She does pay me but the pay is of absolutely no consequence. I just want some time with my family and to see my doctor.

She also lives in a tiny village with no bus services out, and I don't drive, so I will be isolated for over a week without anyone to speak to. With the current status of my mental health and the stress of exams, I'm worried about the effect that'll have on me.

I can't back out, can I? I should have said no to start with. I'm so unhappy.

TheOriginalNutty Tue 09-Apr-19 17:01:35

Yes you can back and and should, because your mental is important, and could negatively impact on all sorts of things.

Yes it is short notice, but as bad as it sounds, that is not your problem. You and your health are your problem and you must put yourself first.

TheOriginalNutty Tue 09-Apr-19 17:02:26

Somehow managed to miss the words OUT and HEALTH out, sorry.

CaptainJaneway12 Tue 09-Apr-19 17:03:15

Is there someone who could do it with you so you have some company?

Swatsup Tue 09-Apr-19 17:03:21

You can back out! It’s her problem not yours and your health is more important!

mbosnz Tue 09-Apr-19 17:03:46

I agree with pp. You are important. You matter. Your mental health needs should absolutely be your number one priority. It's a shame she didn't confirm with you prior to booking. Now she needs to organise an alternative.

HopefulAgain10 Tue 09-Apr-19 17:05:52

Yanbu 2 weeks is more than enough notice. Your mental health is far more important than anyone I would be pretty disgusted if I told someone I needed to see my doctor and they brushed it off. Take care of yourself, please don't feel guilty
She has enough time to find someone else.

Hiddenaspie1973 Tue 09-Apr-19 17:08:03

Can't she use a cattery? We do.

notharryssally Tue 09-Apr-19 17:08:07

I think you do need to back out. You were wrong to agree back in Feb but she was wrong to guilt trip you. I think you will lose a friend but not one worth having. You absolutely must see your doctor and your family.

HarrysOwl Tue 09-Apr-19 17:08:08

She should have confirmed the exact dates and what she expected BEFORE booking her flights.

You expressed you couldn't do it and she's manipulated you by pushing it, and now she doesn't care knowing you'd miss a doctor appointment for a significant health issue.

She's not a friend, and you are not a bad friend if you back out.

Tell her asap, you have to put yourself first here.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Tue 09-Apr-19 17:10:20

Of course you can back out. She's just trying to make you feel guilty. She can pay a professional house-sitter to do it.

Please don't put your mental health at risk for this. Tell her quite clearly that you're having mental health issues and you need to spend time with your family and see your doctor.

IncrediblySadToo Tue 09-Apr-19 17:10:32

I think, given everything, it’s not really a choice, you NEED to back out. Your MH sounds very fragile and you need to look after yourself. You don’t want to end up in a bad place, plus that might result in you failing your course.

Tell her today, then she has time to find someone else.

ShawshanksRedemption Tue 09-Apr-19 17:11:25

You need to be honest about this to her, and explain your mental health has changed so that you can no longer do the whole period as previously agreed. I understand that may be a big issue to her, but its' the same as if you broke your leg - your health whether physical or mental is preventing you from doing it this time around.

Of course if you can draft in someone to help you out whilst you see family/psych etc, then all well and good, but your health has to come first.

TixieLix Tue 09-Apr-19 17:12:24

Yes you can back out now. Your own health is much more important than her house. Tell her now to give her maximum time to get her pets booked into a kennel/cattery, or to book a pet sitting service. If she knows you're at uni and only have limited holidays, it's unreasonable of her to expect you to spend the whole of your Easter break sitting in her empty house.

Bluntness100 Tue 09-Apr-19 17:12:55

Yes of course you can backout, she's all but bullying you into this.your mental health comes first.

Mememeplease Tue 09-Apr-19 17:13:08

I don't know. You did say you would do it and then you agreed in February as well, admittedly under duress. The time to insist on backing out was in Feb and then at least you'd have given her time to organise something else. You'll really drop her in it if you back out now.

Can you ask some other friends or family to stay with you?

Fortheloveofscience Tue 09-Apr-19 17:13:43

Back out. She can get someone like animal aunts to sort out her pets while she’s away.

Mememeplease Tue 09-Apr-19 17:14:10

TBF she probably only booked it in December when the op said it was fine.

MatildaTheCat Tue 09-Apr-19 17:14:29

If she previously had someone else care for her dogs then she does have alternative options there and it’s frankly not difficult to get someone in to feed cats. A teenager can do it.

Or she can pay or ask someone else to house sit.

Send a message saying you do regret the shortish notice but are telling her now for definite that you cannot help as you are unwell. She has time to find alternative cover.

I bet you she won’t cancel her trip. You look after yourself. She didn’t listen when you told her indirectly so be direct.

TheGrey1houndSpeaks Tue 09-Apr-19 17:14:41

You said “Fine, I just won’t see my doctor? Why would you do that? shock

puddock Tue 09-Apr-19 17:15:17

Another one saying you must put yourself first. There sounds like a lot of mission creep going on there - 10 days not a week? dogs as well as cats? - and she should have confirmed with you before booking flights.

CottonSock Tue 09-Apr-19 17:16:21

I think she has time to sort it out. It back out it sounds like it's not right for you at all.

MatildaTheCat Tue 09-Apr-19 17:17:04

Or, even better, say you’ve called your psych and s/he has advised you to see them urgently and get rest with your family. You come first, not her.

Ohyesiam Tue 09-Apr-19 17:18:10

She could easily get someone from a sitting agency. Your mental health is too important to mess with.

LividLaughLove Tue 09-Apr-19 17:18:51

You not only can back out, but in the circumstances you describe, you MUST.

You have to look after yourself first.

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