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I want to talk things over about a friend

(57 Posts)
Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 15:28:56

We have known each other for over 20 years but not been in touch for all of that.

I have always felt like she was better than me - as I do with everyone, never felt good enough - and envy how together she is.

I have had a few problems and while she hasn't said what I wanted to hear or always appeared to understand she has been right some of the times.

I hardly hear from her, don't always get answers from my messages, but what upsets me is when I message her something that is troubling me I get nothing back. I feel like she has had enough of me (ongoing problems that I can't get over) but in my stamp feet mode it is a lot harder living with it.

I don't know how I feel about never seeing her again, sad I guess, but I also feel sad that I feel I can't talk to her. I would be there for her 100% but feel I need her more than she me at the moment and that is hard to reconcile when we hardly talk and I don't want to be me me me.

Lemonylemon Wed 28-Oct-09 15:35:48

What sort of problems do you have that you can't get over? Physical/mental?

Maybe she just reached "overload" point and needs time out from it all.

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 15:58:25

It is mental/emotional.

I don't think it is overload as it isn't constant but more that they have been on going for a long time and she probably feels I should have got over it/snapped out of it by now.

On the other hand, I have a friend who I have known since I was 12, haven't seen her for 16 years, talked about half a dozen times on the phone in that time but mostly we pick up where we left off. I am seeing her tmw for the first time in years grin. I guess she has been in my shoes so can understand more.

I guess I was thinking how to proceed with the first friend.

Lemonylemon Wed 28-Oct-09 16:01:34

It doesn't need to be constant to reach overload level. The thing is, that if your problems are the main topic of conversation or that the messages are always about the same thing, that can have the same effect as well.

Have you tried getting any support from the boards on MN?

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 16:16:14

I try not to talk too much about them. I get immediately if she doesn't want to listen and change the subject. I just find it hard when we are long term friends that I can't discuss things that really hurt me.

I have had fabulous support on here but some things are just too painful to try and talk about without the inevitable backlash.

I appreciate you listening to me.

Lemonylemon Wed 28-Oct-09 16:26:05

No worries

OK, I don't think that you are going to get anywhere trying to get over your issues if you don't talk about them somewhere.

If they are mental health issues, then that's the board to go to. I hope I haven't got the wrong end of the stick, but I seriously hope that the backlash you're talking about isn't getting flamed.

If the backlash is an emotional reaction from you because you're talking about things, well, sometimes it's a price to pay to get through to the other side and to start putting things to bed, so to speak.....

I am listening, but I'm off home now - will be back tomorrow.

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 16:30:32

It is a bit of both but mostly the former.

SolidGhoulBrass Wed 28-Oct-09 17:44:41

I think it's possible your friend is just exhausted with offering you support and has no more to give. You don't seem particularly aware or interested in what might be happening in her life: maybe she is dealing with being dumped/ill health/work stress/bereavement and hasn't got the time to be your unpaid therapist as well.
WHile having mental health issues isn't your fault, and you can't help having them, you do need to take some responsibility for helping yourself get better, such as seeing a doctor or a counsellor rather than just expecting your friends to prioritise looking after you when they have lives (and families and other friends) of their own.

Lizzylou Wed 28-Oct-09 17:49:06

Perhaps she simply doesn't know what to do/say?
She may be worried about giving you the wrong advice?

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 17:54:42

SGB - did you mean that to be so harsh? I am just asking that occasionally she send me a supportive text or email. I have lots of ideas what is going on with her life and always ask how she and her children are.

I actually can't believe you have posted that. sad. I have seen the doctor, I am on ads but sometimes you just need a friend.

JamesAndTheGiantBanana Wed 28-Oct-09 18:05:43

Yeah, maybe she's overloaded... or maybe she just isn't the fab friend you think she is. I like to think of myself as a caring friend but I'm not the best at texting back (in fact I think my phone has been off and covered in biscuit crumbs at the bottom of my handbag for at least 7 weeks) blush

Some people are fairweather friends who only like to stick around when the going's good. They'll be there for shopping trips, parties, nights out, weddings, but when you're up to your tits in housework and the kids are ill and your dh has been a shithead and you really want to talk they're less than enthusiastic.

You can either take this at face value and stop using this friend for emotional support, or you can talk to her about why she hasn't been so present lately. But beware, the truth might be painful to hear.

MadameDuBain Wed 28-Oct-09 18:06:22

Fabster this is a bit like my relationship with my sister except that I'm on the opposite side of it, so I feel like I should apologise to you!

I do find it very hard to be "needed" and to know that the other person thinks I am "better then them". Because what I really want is to feel like we are equals, and because I never get that feeling from her, I feel pressured, guilty and responsible. My reaction is to try to pull away because otherwise I feel as if she will use me up emotionally. I hate the whole situation because I know it can't be nice for her - but if I were to spell it all out, she'd feel criticised and even worse about herself.

I also feel she knows very little about the real me, because to her I'm on a pedestal and have a perfect life and she just focuses on falling short.

I hope this isn't harsh, I'm just hoping to give you an insight though I realise it's not the exact same situation and sisters are a bit different.

However I also know not everyone is as antsy as I am about feeling needed - I have an issue with it but that's my issue. Plenty of people would be able to be much more supportive to you. Do you need her to play that role or could you focus on other friendships instead?

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 18:13:25

She can only be over loaded because I have mentioned it more than once, not because it has been lots of times as it hasn't. We live miles away from each other and I can't even remember the last time we spoke on the phone. I text her more than she me but that is my choice. I sometimes just feel so lonely. sad

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 18:14:12

If she has had enough, I would rather she just said tbh.

TotalChaos Wed 28-Oct-09 18:18:58

I can see where SGB was coming from; though I do wonder whether it's part of the "pedestal" that MadameDuBain describes, that you're not worried that there may be a problem in her life that's making her less communicative because you assume because she's better than you that her life is better than yours? I think you need to take a step back from messaging her about your troubles and expecting supportive messages back, try and make things more shallow and less intense for the moment.

MadameDuBain Wed 28-Oct-09 18:22:09

But because you look up to her and see her as "together" and think you are so much less worthy than her, she probably feels guilty and thinks if she said something to you, it would be kicking you when you're down IYSWIM.

I really think things are not working well with this friend and you need to look elsewhere for friends. There are plenty of people I've known for 20 years who I've drifted apart from - it's not necessarily because they are letting me down or vice versa, it's just that friendships change and sometimes aren't doing their job any more. You're hurt because you're seeing this as her rejecting you or her failing as a friend - but maybe she's just not the right person for you to have as a friend.

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 18:33:46

I always ask how she is and say I hope things are okay. I was there for her through one difficult time so I would hope she knows I am always there and tbh I much prefer to be the supporter than the needing supporting.

SerendipitousHarlot Wed 28-Oct-09 19:20:57

I dunno. Fabster, I'm going to be harsh. But it's meant in a supportive way, honestly.

Maybe she's just drained. I've been on her side of the fence a few times over the years (I'm only assuming) - it's really hard to deal with someone that constantly has problems/issues. Even if you're a really good friend, it can still make you feel like you want to avoid that person.

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 19:31:41

I get that. I really do. And I would much prefer to not need to talk about these things. Is a bit like having depression. People get sick of hearing you talk about it but how about they try living with it for five minutes. I will have a talk with myself. Thanks.

biggirlsdontcry Wed 28-Oct-09 19:33:46

hi fab ,
i can see both side of your dilemma tbh my bf of over 20 years suffers on/off with depression & i have spent endless hours on the phone with her, talking her problems over with her , she has had therapy for three years & it has gotten to the stage that her counsellor has told her they could not do any more for her as she just cant seem to move forward in her life , maybe your friend feels like you don't want her advice or she simply does not know what to advise anymore iykwim .

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 19:34:52

TBH I think she doesn't understand and I guess that hurts a bit as I thought she knew me really well.

biggirlsdontcry Wed 28-Oct-09 20:46:05

have you spoken to her about your feelings ? is there any chance of you both meeting up for a coffee & a chat ?

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 20:53:54

I could never say I don't feel she listens/understands as she has lots of times but not over this.

I am having a proper chat with my oldest buddy tmw and then I will accept there are somethings you can't talk to certain people about.

I think it is one of those things where she will have a proper chat about something, never for it to be mentioned again.

biggirlsdontcry Wed 28-Oct-09 21:00:01

its sad sad that you feel you cant talk to her about this , especially as you have both been friends for so long . i hope you have some other friends in rl that you can talk to fab , maybe your friend you are seeing tomorrow might have some ideas as to how you can resolve your issues with this other friend , it might be just a case of this other friend feeling low or bogged down herself atm , x

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 21:07:27

TBH I have never been high on her priorities and that is fine. I am high on DH's and that is all I need really.

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