My neighbour and I - am I being paranoid?(2 Posts)
We've always had a bit of a funny relationship. When we first moved in (nearly 7 yrs ago), I introduced myself when I took a parcel round. But when my husband introduced himself, she said "oh about time, how long has that been, a year?" and walked off! Then when I was pg with dd2, she was there at my antenatal class. She would never look me in the eye when we were there and the group started to meet up for coffee after antenatal class finished. They all peeling off one by one having babies and we'd get the text messages of who had what. Then for some reason she invited all of the girls our age to her house (saw them parading in next door even though I'd had my dd) and didn't invite me! then they all started meeting for coffee and I felt awkward, left out, when I had the usual baby blues and I felt v lonely. YET she buys me a present when my dd3 is born??
Anyway, fast forward 5 years (my husband told me to ignore her which I duly did but avoided local toddler cos of her etc) and our children are both in preschool and in the same 'team' colour. We always say Hi, do the odd bit of conversation - I work full time. She's a SAHM and honestly I see her have coffee with a different person every day! ANYWAY, she invites ALL the children from our cloakroom and doesn't invite my dd. my dd comes home saying the class had been teasing her as she wasn't invited to x's party! honestly!
Then I've tried REALLY hard to get to know folk on mat leave, despite working full time. I seem to get so far and then they'll start acting less friendly to me. then I'll see on facebook that my neighbour has started befriending the folk I know, or has started going out socially - as I being paranoid? Or is she spreading stuff about me (obviously the only 'proof' I have is that another neighbour (from another antenatal class) said one day when she found I was pg with my third child, and they'd ignored her because my other neighbour said "Oh you know what she's like about spreading rumours, I didn't think it was true"..... and there is no reason for her to discuss me as we don't socialise. So the conclusion - we're never going to be friends, but if she is spreading gossip which is turning folk off me as a person to be friends with, then what do I do? I'm a slow burn with new folk (eg it would take me a few times of meeting and getitng to know someone before I'd invite them for coffee) but do want my children to have friends at school etc. And with working full time, its really hard as I@m not often in the playground and it seems to be that your children only get invited to play dates if they know your mum! ANy suggestions?
It is so hard to make friends when you are working full time. I've been there. I know the anxiety about trying t remain social - it is good for your children to know other parents and arrange social occasions. I am really sorry for your struggles and loneliness. You have done nothing to deserve them. Even if I 've made a mistake and not treated someone correctly it certainly doesn't warrant being socially ostracized - not that you are. But I know it must seem that way.
Weekend activities help and let your kids tell you who their friends are. Then send a note to the mum with your mobile number and ask for a play date.
Honestly, if she really is trying to ruin your reputation - other people should be smart enough to see through it. It is easy to feel paranoid when you are lonely. Also, tell the school if your child was the only one not invited to a party and the other kids made them feel upset. Most schools have policies against that.
I hope it gets better.
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