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I need to understand why this keeps happening to me

(70 Posts)
Lollypoppop Sun 08-Sep-13 21:51:46

I seem to have a very strong track record of ultimately being let down by my friends. This has happened for as long as I can remember. It usually takes the form of a long term friendship suddenly disintegrating and it always takes me completely by surprise. For example, my best friend for 6 years all thorough secondary school suddenly dropped me because her boyfriend didnt like me. Funnily enough two years later I met him at a party and he decided I was a suitable friend after all and she tried to rekindle our friendship but it couldn't be done by then.
Around the same time I discovered a friend was stealing from me when I spotted her wearing a unique silver ring of mine. There was no confrontation but the relationship couldn't continue.
That happened again when I discovered that a friend I had known since babyhood and was regularly babysitting for my children was also regularly stealing from our home. She got away with quite a lot because I totally trusted her. There are lots of other examples I could give but this week I have had two more experiences.
I run my own business and one of my employees who has grown to be a friend over the years we have worked together has suddenly announced that she is leaving, doesn't want to work her full notice period and will not negotiate the leaving date despite having no other job to go to (she wants to set up her own business) but this is our very busiest time of year. We also just lost another member of staff two weeks ago and i directly asked her if she would be able to do extra hours in the coming months to help out. she said yes, but 10 days later hands in her notice! it almost seems as if shes being vindictive to leave now. She also knows all about the stress I have at home, ds has recently been diagnosed with asd and ADHD and he is incredibly challenging, she knows I have been on the brink for many months now and I thought she cared but she can't have done, can she? I asked her if she would stay just a couple of weeks to give us time to recruit a replacement but she refused. I don't know why.
Also this weekend my sister suggested I might like to look after her kids today as she had a lot of work to do. I happily had them for the day but at the end of it I had an unpleasant realisation.
She is a teacher and has had the whole summer off, I have had an extremely hard time as my ds got excluded from his summer play scheme (his special needs mean he is very explosive and impulsive) so I had no childcare. I suggested that we had one another's children but she declined and said she would prefer her kids not to be with ds. Obv I found that extremely difficult but accepted her view. But now that she needs help it is no longer a problem! So clearly it was just an excuse for her to be able to avoid having to help me.
So, there must be something I am doing to make this happen. I am not blaming myself but I know that I can only change my own behaviour, not that of other people. But how? What is it that I am doing? People say that I am assertive and confident and I think I am but why is it always such a sudden shock when people let me down? time and time again I must be lining myself up for this?

CailinDana Sun 08-Sep-13 22:26:51

What sort of relationship do you have with your sister?

Lollypoppop Sun 08-Sep-13 22:35:52

We were close when we were growing up but I was very much in her shadow, she mothered me and looked after me, i idolised her. She was very popular and got all the attention. When we got older though and I began to become my own person she didn't like it and has been seemingly resentful ever since. I guess now she thinks I am 'more successful' than her. Time and time again I have tried to talk to her and say I just want a relaxed relationship with her but it never really works.

CailinDana Sun 08-Sep-13 22:45:46

What I'm wondering is why you accepted her view on your ds and didn't question why it was suddenly ok for her kids to be around your ds?

Lollypoppop Sun 08-Sep-13 22:54:23

I told her how hurtful it was but she said that it was her ds who didn't want to see my ds, so i guess I accepted it. But nephew seemed totally keen to play with ds today so that's obv bullshit. I was so delighted at first that I would be 'allowed' to see my niece and nephew and they could play with my dc that I only just realised the manipulation once they had gone home.
If I look back over the years I have looked after her dc 20 times as often as she has looked after mine no exaggeration. She has been awful in many ways about my ds' special needs, minimising and dismissive and her dh clearly dislikes ds.

CailinDana Sun 08-Sep-13 23:00:47

Why do you put up with that?

mamafridi Sun 08-Sep-13 23:05:55

I think the first thing you have to ask yourself is what do you expect from the friendships you make. No one person will ever fulfill your list of needs and you shouldn't expect them to. And more often than not, don't expect kindness back just because you were helpful, nice, generous or whatever else to them. Have low expectations - that's what I have learnt over the years and the multitude of let downs I have had from past friendships. It might seem overly cynical, but it has worked for me and I don't get half as hurt now as I used to.

mamafridi Sun 08-Sep-13 23:08:22

And your sister sounds like a right cow. Stop looking after her kids!

CoteDAzur Sun 08-Sep-13 23:11:27

Why didn't you confront your "friend" about the ring she stole?

Have you told the employee that you will take her to court if she doesn't respect her employment contract?

Are there any consequences to people who take advantage of you?

addictedtofarmville Sun 08-Sep-13 23:11:28

I agree with mamafridi; I used to feel much the same as you do, OP, but over the years I have adjusted my expectations of people and keep people, even good friends, at arm's length these days. I feel that this works better for me. I think in the past I've let people in too much and too quickly, and then been let down. I tend to really take my time these days to suss someone out and to judge what they are like as a person, before I consider them a friend.

I am also far less tolerant than I used to be, and these days I am much better at cutting people out that behave in an unpleasant way towards me. I think that now I have cut people off myself before they have had a chance to hurt me, if I feel the friendship may at some point go that way.

Lollypoppop Sun 08-Sep-13 23:17:53

Good question, why do I? But how exactly do I 'not put up with it'? I told her how hurtful it was and I told her I needed her support now more than ever. She remained unmoved.
With the person leaving at work I told her how upset I was at her manner of leaving (giving little notice, at worst time of year and after other member of staff leaving) and that I felt it was very unreasonable of her to mislead me when I asked that direct question and I asked her why she had lied to me (I admit that I was very emotional at this point) so she got very upset with me and ended up storming off and screaming that she would just leave then and there and never come back. Subsequently, I apologised for being over emotional (although she didn't apologise in return for her over emotional outburst- apparently it's Ok for her to scream at me because I asked her why she lied to me). We talked she gave me some more contradictory 'reasons' why she was going and said she knew it was the worst possible timing but would apparently will not consider staying for just two weeks to help the business and me out. I didn't want to inflame the situation by calling her on the inconsistencies in her reasons for how she is leaving but now I am totally impotent just like I was with my sister. If I try to put across my point of view again I will just end up with her going off again and will never get any answers so what is the point?

SinisterSal Sun 08-Sep-13 23:19:19

Maybe you are not a very good judge of character, Lollypopop? Not an attack. But you seem to assume people are basically decent, whereas other people spot the signs. I ask because I am this way too, think I know someone and trust them, then an unpleasant side comes through that was actually in plain view all along.

CoteDAzur Sun 08-Sep-13 23:21:18

I think you are a bit too soft.

Lollypoppop Sun 08-Sep-13 23:25:20

cotedazur, I didn't confront the 'friend' about the ring situation because my granddad had made the ring and had recently died, when I saw her wearing it I was very sad and didn't have the resilience to confront her about it. She knew that I knew and she was clearly ashamed.
I already don't let people very close to me because of all this but it seems that people find a way to hurt me despite it. Or am I just setting myself up as a victim? I'm not sure, I don't think anyone would see me that way. I have a successful business and I generally speak my mind, another friend has sadi I am the most assertive person she knows. I do try to be kind and caring to others and take time to listen to their problems and help where I can, but that is a human impulse surely?
I had completely given up looking after my sister's dc but the prob is I never see them if I don't and me and my dc miss them. Also, then my mum has to do the childcare I no longer do.

CoteDAzur Sun 08-Sep-13 23:25:44

What can possibly be the point of badgering an employee about the reasons she wants to leave [puzzle] and then when she lies, going on about why she lied?

You could have just said "No, you give your written notice three months in advance, as detailed in the employment contract you signed or I will take you to court."

Bumpstarter Sun 08-Sep-13 23:27:19

How to do choose your friends?

It seems like they just show up in your life and take advantage of you. I have a friend in rl like this. It drives me bonkers. She does things she doesn't want todo because they asked her to, and then complains about it to me. Argh. I don't have a lot of friends, but they are very carefully chosen. People who I can see act according to principles.

CoteDAzur Sun 08-Sep-13 23:28:47

It is a souvenir from your recently deceased grandfather - how could you just leave it in her hands? shock Go get it from her tomorrow!

I'm really sorry to say this but it sounds like you look weak and these people don't respect you. You sound like a nice person, but people around you are taking advantage of you and will continue to do so until you grow a pair and start demanding respect. And show them consequences when they cross the line.

Lollypoppop Sun 08-Sep-13 23:29:22

I am not a good judge of character, thats for sure. But how do i become one? Do I just trust no one?
I do assume people are basically decent and that they have a moral compass but time and time again it just doesn;t line up with my moral compass.
I do cut people out when they hurt me (except my sister, although i have cut down our contact by about 75%) but I never see it coming so can never preempt it.

SinisterSal Sun 08-Sep-13 23:30:28

It's a nice sentiment to say you'd like to see your sisters' kids, but if her DH doesn't like your DS it's not fair on him to bring him into that atmosphere.

A bit off the point there - sorry

SinisterSal Sun 08-Sep-13 23:33:02

I suppose be very very circumspect around people until they have earned you respect? Be a bit of a cold fish until you've seen people do right even when it goes against their self interest. It doesn't come naturally to me, either, but I have started a fairly box ticking approach when it comes to acquaintances.

Jagdkuh Sun 08-Sep-13 23:39:47

Basically, you are too placid, and do not right wrongs done to you. what your sister does and says is disgusting. you have doormat sewn into your earthly fibres. fight back or wilt.

Lollypoppop Sun 08-Sep-13 23:41:00

cotedazur, the employee wants to take her remaining holiday out of her notice period therefore leaving very shortly. Of course, I could say no but she can say try and stop me. We both know It's not worth my while taking her to court as it would cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. I have no problem at all with her wanting to leave it's the spurious reasons why she is going right now that bother me. I just feel she should have enough respect to tell the truth. I wonder though if one of the reasons is that she is actually scared of me? She was clearly very nervous to tell me she was going and my first reaction was to tell her I would miss her very much it was only when she said how soon she wanted to go that I got bothered.
what exactly ARE the consequences when someone crosses the line?

Lollypoppop Sun 08-Sep-13 23:55:03

My sister's behaviour is disgusting. I have thought so many times of ending the relationship and had worked her out of my life a lot. I just accidentally fell into my old pattern again. I will get back on the wagon there.
My ds only very rarely sees sister's dh (at larger family gatherings) and will not interact with him anyway. I hardly interact with him either.

garlicbaguette Mon 09-Sep-13 02:23:39

I think you're way too bothered about people liking you. Yes, of course we all want everyone to like us - but that's never going to happen - and you are right to treat people as well as you'd like to be treated.

Humans being varied, though, some will view your nice qualities as weaknesses and try to take the piss. This is the point where you STOP wanting them to like you, and give them both barrels. I suspect you 'know' this, but don't live it ... or I could be projecting, as I'm still working it myself!

Actually, if this thread sums the total of your disappointments, you haven't done too badly at all. Everyone gets shafted now and again - you don't seem to have attracted bad behaviour. You could have put a more decisive stop to things, and it looks as if you're about to improve on that big time, with your sister!

Re your departing co-worker, it's safe to assume there's a reason you will not like or something dreadful's happening to her. Otherwise, she'd have gone about this differently. There can't be much point in poking her for reasons - but it might be prudent to make her sign an anti-competitive agreement, just in case.

Practise your Powerfully Angry stance. Mine's pretty good these days wink

GreetingsFrontBottom Mon 09-Sep-13 03:33:53

I think you are being a bit oversensitive about your employees' behaviour - it is nothing personal. They have just both decided to leave. The business is not their responsibility.

As for your DSiS, I would be having nothing more to do with her, I am afraid. She doesn't sound like a very nice person.

Beyond that, try to find some nice new friends and don't put up with shit from people. If someone takes advantage of you, show them the door. If someone steals from you, call the police.

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