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I am obsessed with the loss of a close friendship.

(100 Posts)
Oblomov Tue 06-Nov-12 07:57:15

I posted on another thread, last week or so.
My post is the long one, about 5 from the top.

I just wanted to add, something to that other post.
Reading it back, it sounds very full on. But it wasn't really like that. Our friendship peaked and troughed, like anyother. Sometimes we saw alot of eachother, sometimes we didn't see eachother for ages. Pretty normal, I assume. I work 3 days a week. She was the class rep and knew lots of people, was very chatty. Which I encouraged her to take the class rep position. And was never jealous of that aspect. Our freindship sounds very full on, but actually over the course of 4 years, it wasn't that full on. I work, she didn't. Some weeks, I didn't see her at all. I chatted to other people in the playground, on the days when I did actually do pick up (not working). and then we would see eachother, realise we hadn't spoken for 1/2/3 weeks and come round to each others houses for a coffee and a catch up.

I was talking to my best freind about this last night.
The atmosphere in the playground is so icy. barely civil. I sit at work, 15 minutes before having to go to pick up, dreading going. Come on, thats not good. And about once every week or 2 weeks, I still have a little sob about it all. When you write that down, it sounds so pathetic.

I am so angry with myself. Why can't I get over this? I want to hit myself with a large slap and shout 'stop being such a wimp, you idiot'. But I still get upset by what has happened. Miss her. Worry about what I am going to do about about ds1's birthday party. I should invite her ds. He is still my ds's best friend. But she was also very very rude and offensive about my dh, that my dh has no time for her.

Why am I letting her get to me? What is wrong with me? Why can't i get over this?

Please could you give me a hard slap. wink
Or atleast give some sensible advice, with practical steps as to how to stop this hurting so much, how to be tougher on myself.

HeathRobinson Tue 06-Nov-12 13:18:52

Well, if she's not embarrassed, maybe it's just anger on her part, like she felt she 'gave in' and apologised too much? confused

Anyway, try to put it out of mind and maybe just fake breezy and cheerful until you feel it. smile

fromparistoberlin Tue 06-Nov-12 13:24:11

I would not slap you, as you are clearly very upset

I have had a few "new" baby-mum friend ships fall by the wayside too, and its a weird one

the friendships are very intense, then they can turn to shit, as often you had fxxk all in common bar your kids to start with

I think the main issue for you is you see her every day, thats the bummer tbh

no advice, but I had similar issues with my neighbours. 3 of them all got weirdly entangled due to one of them having major ishoos, and we all have kids same age. now for various reasons I want nothing to do with any of them

I FUCKING HATE IT! as its ruined where I live now. I actually pray that all 3 sell up/move on as I hate the awkwardness when I seee them

Its sooooo petty, but it has really bugged me so I sympathise alot. I have also wondered why I care so much?

but its your day to day life isnt it

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 06-Nov-12 13:32:51

It wasn't me who said the word jealous. Was the poster above me. No, I didn't pick up jealousy from your posts, at all.

I think your ex-friend is a little unstable, and is unable to renew the friendship now that she has crashed through it with anger, swearing and so on.

I think you have been let down, unexpectedly and undeservedly, by this woman whom you believed to be a friend.

PotionMaker Tue 06-Nov-12 13:37:41

Oblomov I really sympathise, it is hard but speaking from my own experience I found that the best thing to do was front it out and apologise - literally said "I value our friendship and I'm sorry for my part in this upset that's been going on" (I didn't detail what I thought 'my part' was, though). Or maybe you could write / email her to the same effect? It's not about saying you we're wrong and she wasn't, it's about finding a way forward that makes life easier for you.

Depending how 'woo' you are you could always try another thing that I did and found very helpful - sat quietly, meditated and imagined meeting my friend and apologising in person, admitted that I was partly to blame and asked for her forgiveness. Even though this only happened in my own head, I found it had an amazing effect on me when I then met her - I no longer felt scared or anxious, it was as if I'd moved on myself so it no longer mattered what she or anyone else thought. Since then I've been able to smile and chat with her in the schoolyard much more easily, although I have no desire to be close friends again, and that suits me fine - the main thing for me is that I no longer dread meeting her or our children playing together etc. I hope that helps. (Unmumsnetty hug)

Oblomov Tue 06-Nov-12 14:26:01

Thanks everyone - haircare,heath, antrobus, paris and potion .
I make myself sound like such a wet blanket, but actually I'm not. I do have stength and I have good self esteem and do like myself.
But I also hate all this day-to-day shit, that I am kind of bringing on myself.
I have to go to the playground in half and hour and my heart is already racing, I so don't want to go.
But as you said, I can apologise to her. I can do anything really. If it would mean it wasn't this bad, then I am more than prepared to.

And I do think what happened to me was unjust. Of course I do have A part to play. But I don't think I did that much wrong. As I beleive my son did little wrong. But actually, that is just not relevant anymore.
what is important is the here and now, and i have to make that a bit better.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 06-Nov-12 14:51:36

I used to hate the school run. I always tried to arrive late so that I didn't have to hang around with the people whose day revolved around school-gate conversations.

I liked walking away with my DC and talking to them and friends about their day, but the adult to adult interactions were often, erm, underwhelming.

PotionMaker Tue 06-Nov-12 14:56:41

I don't think you're a wet blanket at all - and I also don't think you've done anything terribly wrong. What is important is the outcome you want - if you want things in the playground to be easier then realistically the only way that's going to happen is if you go the extra mile and meet her more than halfway, if that makes sense. You shouldn't have to, I agree, but she obviously feels that she is in the right and that you deserve to be cut off (probably because that's the only way she can justify to herself how she is behaving) so if its ever going to get smoothed over, it's going to be you making the running. It's not fair, but it is the way of the world.
I learned my lesson the hard way - as you are, and I feel for you. These days I try very hard not to take sides, don't get involved in my child's school disputes / friendships and also don't try to get too close to other school mums. I have plenty of good close friends whom I really trust and so I now treat the school mums like work colleagues - people you have to rub along with, nothing more. Yes one of them may turn out to be a lifelong best friend, but they may not.
I hope you can move past this. For me, once I'd said sorry and done the decent thing in saying that I wanted the 'feud' to be over,I felt much lighter knowing that I'd done all I could and that the rest was up to her.
Picture yourself wrapping her and the whole argument in a big blanket, tying it at the top and throwing it into a lake. Let it go. Move on.
Good luck at the school gates, am just off there myself if I can tear my youngest away from his Ben10 DvD that I've let him watch all afternoon while I bugger about on MN grin.

Oblomov Tue 29-Jan-13 10:47:21

I thought I ought to tell you thta I woke up at 3am and got up and had a little cry about this all. It is only on MN that I can write this. I can not talk to anyone about it in rl, becasue I talked about it in the summer and people don't wnat to hear, do they? Will you MN'ers pander me on this, please?

After I last posted. Things were just about o.k. They were a bit icy, but she got a new job, not having worked for the last 5 yeras, as a hairdresser, in a salon, so she only did pick up twice a week, as I did too,as I work p/t. She chatted to others. I did too. Once or twice we spoke, but it was very uncomfortable.
Then in Oct, she gave me a birthday card for ds2. Then she rang out of the blue, asking if i wanted her ds2 clothes. she dropped them round in a bag, and I thanked her greatly.
Then becuase of her new job, she was working shifts. Her mum came to do pick ups. I have always got on very well with her mum. But I couldn't understand. her mum walked straight up to me, each time and talked and talked. And then me and her mum met again, on the way to the christmas assembly. She was so nice, as she always had been. And this only compounded the fact that I was confused. Mum talking to me. Friend barely civil. Had my friend not told her mum what had gone on? Then friend gave christmas card. I returned a card.
But during this time, immagining that things were just about o.k. I asked if her ds wanted to come round to play. She gave excuses 3 times. Then I realised i must not ask gain. Maybe he didn't wnat to come. Maybe they didn't want him to come.
I knew not what to do. My ds kept asking wehn he was coming.
I kept thinking about your advice to apologise. I had not needed to before, because things had appeared to be semi-reasonbale. But after we got back after christmas , it seemed particularly icy. I tried atleast 3 times, but it was impossible, she was talking to other people.

Last saturday was my 40th birthday. Dh is taking me to Barcelona, without kids, for 3 days in April. And as a small party, I decided to go out with the girls, for a meal. It was nice. 12 of us. I invited her. by text. but she refused. when I got there. lots of people asked about her, where she was. This made me very sad. Because really she should have been there. Maybe this is why I feel so sensitive about this whole issue, right now.

This saturday is my ds's birthday. I text to invite her son,and 2 others. She agreed.

But I phoned her anyway. Just to tell her that i was very sad. I said i was very sorry. (Not for anything I did, you understand, just sorry that it had tunred out this wasy)
And she told me that she didn't want him to come round because she thought i would grill him about what had happened. hmmWhat? I never would. she said her dh thought that I wouldn't do that. She said that was why she had been making excuses.
She said they were shcoked when he got invited to ds's party. why? the boys made it up withing a day of being back at school. hmm
She said it was silly to still hold a grudge (I was thinking, I don't hold a grudge, its me pathetically begging you to change things here, when I actually have done little wrong, and that I can't figure out what I actually did wrong, when infatc she did loads, so I can't see that she has any reason to actually hold a grudge).
she says we were both just sticking up for our boys. Well no, actually, you said some terrible things in the summer. I said nothing bad, and then you shouted and swore. I have said or done practically nothing nasty or that i regret.

But anyway. I hoped that the atmosphere would get a little less icy. It hasn't its got worse. she tunred her back on me whilst asking about arrangements , yesterday, for ds's birthday this saturday, and its just getting icier, despite my apology last week.

I never really told you all what happened on cub camp.
She phoned to say that her ds1 didn't want to be friends with my ds1 anymore. my ds (who is weak as a robbin) had bullied her ds all week, on cub camp, he had ruined it for all the boys. She said that he was a brat, a bully, and that all the boys wished he had never gone because he ruined it for them all.She went on and on and on about all the terrible things he had done and how all his classmates felt the same way. I was sobbing and apologising.

I, in shock, questioned ( shouted at ds1 like i have never shouted at him before, and even shoock him by the shoulders, to my shame) , and once gettign more of the story, phoned her back.

Her son, (who was incidentally, was infact fat and got teased, by a few boys, not mine, in reception, which I and all the other parents, told her was totally unacceptable) fell out with ds1, on the second day, when on the first night, my ds had jumped on them all, in his sleeping bag, and ended up hurting her ds. He was told by the scout leader to get back in his bed and told off. Hardly crime of the century. But her ds did infact end up with a big bruise.

The next day , her ds teased my ds and eventually said :
'well your dad's fat'. Then he said it more than 6 times.
Ds asked him to apologise, but he refused. Ds said, you musn't say that about my dad, he is lovely. and if you don't apologise I won't be able to have you round my house, for my birthday party, next year, because i can't take the risk that you won't say it again.
To which her ds responded. I don't wnat to come to your party. I don't want to be your freind.

When I mentioned the your dad is fat comment, to her, her son denied saying it.
Then she said " besides, he's only saying what he's seeing "
yes my dh is fat. But she shouldn't condone her son for teasing my son about it.

I spoke to the cub leader, who said my son, apart from a couple of times of not doing what he was told, was fine all week. Not as friend described then.

Dh says he is not sure about being comfortable with her son. And has asked that I drive the boys to bowling alley, this saturday, becasue he says he is not that comfortable, being with her son at the moment. At first I thought he was being a bit... but then I realised that he is just trying to protect us all, in an icy situation.

Oh god, heaven help me.
I miss her. My friend. I miss her chats and our laughs. I obviously cared more for the freindship than she did. Silly me.

I hate going to pick up in the playground. I want that awful feelign in the pit of my stomach to go away.I have tried to ignore this whole situation, but going to the playground each day, seeing her son, seeing her, just rubs salt into the wounds.
It would be easier if i had fallen out with a freind who lived miles away, but this is everyday.

I just want my son to be o.k.
I just want to make his life easier and don't want him to have the hassle of her and me, to stop his freindships.
I want to have her son round for tea, because thats what my son wants.

I KNOW you must all think I am over emotional. I realise i am.
But this whole thing is such a mess.
It is beyond my social skills (which are clearly limited, or else I wouldn't have got into this mess) to work out what to do, for the best, for me, my son, the situation, everything.

Oh please Mn'ers. Give me some advice. Help me. Talk straight to me. Give me a slap. I am sobbing even now. Quite pathetic.

LostinLondon Tue 29-Jan-13 11:26:52

Blimey, just gone through your whole thread. Totally exhausting for me just reading it, can't begin to imagine how you've coped living it.

But clearly you're not coping. To be this upset over the loss of a friendship is not healthy. For your own state of mind (and probably for your family who must be affected by this mess too) you have GOT to get over this woman.

Forget about why you were friends in the first place and how lovely and close you were. Too much has now happened for you to go back there. From what you say, you sound like very different people who don't seem to understand each other at all. On that basis, were you really as 'close' as you think you were?

Move on. Wipe her and her sons from your mind. Talk to other people at the school gate. Doesn't matter who they are or whether you actually want to talk to them, just make the effort in front of her to be normal, to look like the loss of your friendship means nothing to you anymore. It seems to me that you're hoping that one day she'll realise how foul and unreasonable she's been, but that is just not going to happen.

She is one mum out of god knows how many at that school - find someone else to be friends with and the same goes for her sons. It doesn't sound like your children can be friends without this impacting on your relationship with her. So, whilst the boys can be friends in school, don't encourage any outside contact. Don't invite them to anything. Don't be unpleasant, don't bitch about her, just don't acknowledge her existence.

Eventually after acting as if you don't care, you will wake up one day and realise that you REALLY don't care. You will have got over this and you'll once again be the happy,strong, confident woman I'm sure you really are.

Kikithecat Tue 29-Jan-13 11:30:43

I sympathise, having been dumped by a good friend in the past for no reason I could fathom. Luckily I didn't have to see her because we lived in different areas so I'm sorry this is dragging on for you.
Hopefully someone will have better advice, but for me I started feeling better after I 'let go'. I started to feel better about myself because I realised in the last few years of our friendship I was sensing disapproval from her and often came away from our meetings/conversations feeling deflated. Now I concentrate on people who make me feel good and I'm a lot happier for it.
I can't really see your friendship getting back to what it was - all the laughing together etc. It would probably just end up as a bit of a millstone around you neck, so my advice: put her in the past and move on.

LostinLondon Tue 29-Jan-13 11:45:30

Good advice from Kikithecat. We've all had friendships that haven't worked out for some reason or another. The thing is realising that sometimes those friendships are worth fighting for but sometimes they're not. Even as adults, we're all changing constantly - not necessarily our personalities but our circumstances. Having children, getting new jobs, moving house - all these type of things contribute to our friendships and mean that, as adults, we have to learn to deal with evolving relationships.

Your going through a tough time at the moment but you will get over this and look back and wonder why you let it affect you so much. You're grieving the loss of the relationship rather than this particular woman so find something/someone to take her place. If not another friend, then take up an activity that keeps you busy and takes your mind away from your lost friendship.

piratecat Tue 29-Jan-13 11:45:56

from the off it seems it was all a shock to you, the attacks verbally. seems like it floored you, and I think your grief for it all lies in the fact you didn't understand where the vitriol came from and why.

In your first post on that other thread, what comes thru is your inability to understand why and how it has got to this.

Months have passed op. You must let it go. Why bother with it? What is it causing you other than a messed up head.

Leave it, and stop questioning it all, it's a mess. Sit down close you eyes, think to yourself, I will let this go, i will let this drop, it's taking too much out of me.

You aren't her she isnt you, you can't seem to agree on any of it.

TheProvincialLady Tue 29-Jan-13 11:47:41

This woman is a BITCH. I know you want everything to be ok and you loved her and everything, but she is a BITCH and you need to stop contacting her at all. Why on earth did you invite her to your birthday dinner? She must have been baffled. You are like a puppy waiting to be kicked.

This woman is not your friend. She does not want to be your friend. You are acting in an unhinged way, almost begging her to treat you badly. I understand that icy silence is uncomfortable for you in the playground, but FGS accept the situation for what it is. It is never going to be ok between you. Never. Don't invite her to anything and accept that any friendship between your children and hers will happen at school etc and not in your homes. Your children will be much happier if you stop showing them that this relationship with their friends' mother is so important to you.

You need to hold your head up high and act like someone who is in control of themself and has moved on from a difficult situation. Talk to other people in the playground if you want to, or arrive just before pick up time and stand by yourself just focussing on your children. Whatever - the important thing is to act the part of someone who is not obsessed with another person. It will feel hard and unnatural but the longer you act the part, the more you will feel it and start to move on. At the moment you are feeding the fire.

Oblomov Tue 29-Jan-13 11:49:26

Thank you both.
LostinLondon, I am so sorry it is so long and draining. I apprecaite it is.
You are both so very right.
I need to let go. I have no idea why I have been unable to. whats's wrong with me? sadI am not even sure that i know how to let go: Just to stop thinking thinking about her, her son etc. And every time i do, just to stop myself. And like you said, focus on other things and other people, so that she fades more and more. This is what I HAVE to do, right?

"Eventually after acting as if you don't care, you will wake up one day and realise that you REALLY don't care. You will have got over this and you'll once again be the happy,strong, confident woman I'm sure you really are."

I PROMISE, I will try. I know I am a good friend and I KNOW I didn't deserve this shit. I need to be stronger, to not let it/her get to me.
I will really try.

Oblomov Tue 29-Jan-13 11:55:44

Thank you Piratecat and ProvincialLady. You of course both speak sense.
I am "feeding the fire". Of course I am, how could I not see this. I should be ashamed.
Of course you are right. what a twat. It was dh who finally said I should invite her. so I could hold my head up high and know that I did the right thing. But as you said, what a lapdog, just waiting for another kicking.
I must appear so pathetic.

piratecat Tue 29-Jan-13 11:56:42

i have been dumped by my best friend years ago. For no good reason it seemed. She just wasn't interested anymore, and i loved her so much and it was the the not understanding, that was the biggest problem for me.

I don't think anyone knows 'how' to move on, we can simply use tools, like i said, like affirmations do help. They call it almost re wiring our thinking, honestly it works!

'I did what i could, it hurt, it hurts, but i know i did what i could'

'she is not my responsibility, i cannot make her understand my hurt'

'i will move through this, it will get better, it will not shape my world'

and it will op.

LostinLondon Tue 29-Jan-13 11:59:35

You are NOT pathetic! Just very sad. And now that has to stop.

piratecat Tue 29-Jan-13 12:00:55

you aren't pathetic, don't say that. it's a learning process this life. not everyone is equipped with the tools to face things in the same way as the next person.

it depends on self esteem, on what role you have played in life, to other people.

I am a nurturer. I have had many people rely on me, as i am reliable, yet tho i wouldn't change this, i have had to learn, that others may not operate this way. I sometimes feel pathetic, and blame myself for stuff, but then, when i am really down think. 'hey hang on a minute, it's not me it's them' i 'know' i have done my best.
it takes work.

Oblomov Tue 29-Jan-13 12:20:33

"'hey hang on a minute, it's not me it's them' i 'know' i have done my best.
it takes work. "
I know this. I do have self esteem. I know I am a good freind. It is just this bit, the bit that you say takes work, that I need to work on this. I recognise this. I will try and instill it as a 'mantra', and then when I get hacked off, I will have to try and remember to think of that mantra.

Wallison Tue 29-Jan-13 12:21:21

You don't sound pathetic. You sound like a good, loyal decent person who has been badly hurt by all of this.

But, I don't see how this relationship can move forward from here - too much has happened, too much has been said and some things are just beyond repair. It is horrible and upsetting and it hurts. But rather than thinking of ways to fix it, I think what would be more helpful would be to think of ways to enable you to cope with your new emotional landscape that doesn't include this woman as a friend. Quite apart from anything else, would you really want someone in your life who has caused you so much heartache? We need people around us who are good to us and good for us, and to be honest she sounds like she fits neither of those criteria. By distancing yourself, you are protecting yourself and looking at the wider picture of your life by protecting yourself you are also protecting your family and keeping them happy.

Keep telling yourself this, when you have moments of doubt. The fall-out didn't happen because you were a bad person, or weak, or any of that. It happened because she was vile to you, and now having given her the chance of an honest dialogue she has instead chosen to save face. These are not the actions of someone that you want around you. So reject her. She is no good for you. When you smile and nod at her and keep her at arms' length from now on, don't think of it as being something that you have lost. Think, instead, that she is a person that has been tested and found wanting. You do not need her in your life, and you are making a conscious decision to keep things that way. What she thinks and what her take on the whole matter is irrelevant - you are deciding what to do; you are the one in charge of your life and this includes being in charge of how to treat her. Which is, with civility because you are dignified, but no more than that because she has by her own actions made sure that you remove her from your inner circle.

Oblomov Tue 29-Jan-13 12:21:52

Thank you. You give me perspective that I seem to lack.

piratecat Tue 29-Jan-13 12:32:01

we all lack perspective until we ask for a bit of perspective!!

Oblomov Tue 29-Jan-13 13:01:53

That is true of some of us, more than others!! wink

TheProvincialLady Tue 29-Jan-13 14:03:59

You're not remotely pathetic. Just in need of a good slap - delivered as requested! Now you can either choose to hold up your head or you can spend another few months berating yourself and not moving on. It really is your choice. Good luck.

Looksgoodingravy Tue 29-Jan-13 14:08:53

I can understand why you have found this difficult as this also affects your ds plus you have the added turmoil of seeing her at pick up times, which tbh can be like pulling teeth at the best of times.

Does your school offer a kids club? is it possible until you adjust to the change in your friendship, that you could maybe have your ds attend an afterschool club during the two days your ex friend does her school pick up? I generally wouldn't suggest anything like this but as it's really affecting you desperate times call for desperate measures.

I do feel for you, this must be a really difficult situation especially as your two dc seem to be really good friends.

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